Shallow Water Fishing

S4 microskiff in shallow water, Ohio

The optimal microskiff for shallow water anglers

Updated March 7, 2023

Shallow water presents various challenges to boaters, including the risk of getting stranded at low tide, mud, and vegetation. None of these is a problem if you drive a Wavewalk S4 microskiff.

Shallow water is especially challenging for motorboat anglers, since although the boat itself may draft just a few inches, the outboard’s propeller must operate several inches below the lowest point in the boat’s hull, and practically speaking, you need to drive in water that’s at least one foot deep. This leaves you with an alternative mode of propulsion for microskiffs, namely poling, and since poling is slow and hard to practice, at least for most people, it doesn’t really solve your problem.

Mud motors are an effective solution for this problem, and they are fun to operate.
The following movie shows the new Wavewalk S4 outfitted with a 6.5 HP motor and a Twister drive from Mud Skipper:

Another alternative to conventional motorizing is paddling, but motorboats, even small ones such as Jon boats, are too wide for their crew to paddle effectively, so paddling them doesn’t really work over significant distances – unless you own a Wavewalk 700 or S4 cartop skiff.  The special thing about these patented multihull boats is that thanks to Wavewalk’s invention, they are extremely stable and comfortable, and they offer easy and effective paddling, whether with single blade (canoe) paddles or dual-blade (kayak) paddles, solo or in tandem.
These boats are ultralight (80 lbs and 98 lbs without the motor), and thanks to their patented twin hull (a.k.a. catamaran) they track better than kayaks and other microskiffs out there.
The cockpit of these versatile and portable boats can accommodate a crew of up to three small to average size adults, or two big guys. The S4 is more stable than the W700, buy even the W700 is so stable that anyone, including big and heavy guys can drive it standing, paddle it standing, and fish standing in it in full comfort and confidence.
Even one person can cartop their W700 or S4 without help from a fishing buddy, so you don’t need to launch them in boat ramps, and you’re free to launch anywhere – beaches, docks, etc –

When you launch at a shallow water beach, you keep the outboard’s propeller raised (no problem even if it’s a rocky beach), paddle and/or pole until you reach deeper water, lower the propeller into the water, and start the motor comfortably while facing it. Once the motor is on, you just turn around and face forward, so you can drive in the position that’s the most comfortable for you to drive in. It’s easy to do, and it takes barely a couple of seconds.

Back from an offshore fishing trip, carrying theS4 motorized kayak up the beach
Dragging the S4 microskiff is possible even for one person

PADDLING IN Aquatic vegetation – not a problem

The same is true for going in water with abundant seaweed and grass, where propellers tend to get entangled: You turn off the motor, easily and swiftly raise the propeller (as seen in the last few seconds of the above video), and you just keep paddling anywhere you want. Thanks to their unrivaled stability, the W700 and S4 offer you to go across obstacles that are absolute barriers for conventional fishing kayaks.

Unrivaled Stability & Mobility for Shallow Water Anglers

Shallow water, a.k.a flats, is a popular fishing ground for many kayak anglers and microskiff anglers, but fishing, paddling and motorizing in it aren’t necessarily easy, and they can be quite a challenge.
Whether you want to fish in flats or marshes, flooded grass, shallow streams, rivers obstructed by rocks and logs, or near oyster bars and rocky beaches – our W700 fishing kayak and S4 microskiff offer you unrivaled mobility and stability, and the overall performance allowing you to go and fish optimally in all types of shallow water.  Wavewalk anglers have dubbed our boats  All-Terrain Boats for good reasons, which are that you can go anywhere in them, and never get stuck –

If the water gets too shallow for the propeller to run, you turn off the motor an lift the propeller out of the water, and keep going manually, that is paddling. And if the water gets too shallow for paddling, you just get out of the boat, walk in the skinny water, pulling the boat behind you until you find navigable water again.

Wavewalk S4 flats boat
Wavewalk S4 all-Terrain and all-water shallow water flats boat

These are facts and not just words, and when you own a W700 or an S4 you can start thinking about going fishing in places that you may have previously thought were inaccessible or ‘unfishable’.

Poling in Shallow Water

We recommend to use a paddle that’s longer and sturdier than regular kayak paddles. The advantage of using an extra-long and sturdy paddle is that you don’t need to carry a poling pole on board.
Poling and paddling while standing on the bottom of a Wavewalk is stable and safe, as well as comfortable.

This said, paddling is much easier than poling, and driving is easier than paddling…

Going Back In Case You Can’t Turn Back

If you get stuck in a narrow passage or in very shallow water and you can neither keep going forward nor turn your Wavewalk around, you can simply turn inside the cockpit and face ‘backward’, and then simply paddle back in the direction you came from.   This simple maneuver can be executed even if the W700 kayak or S4 microskiff is outfitted with an outboard motor – just remember to lift the propeller out of the water!…

The next video shows that you can comfortably drive and fish with the S4 in narrow mangrove creeks and tunnels, where no other microskiff can go:

Sight Fishing

Sight fishing requires that you can stand up easily and confidently in your kayak, including switching instantly and effortlessly from a seated position of a standing one, as well as cast and land fish comfortably and safely, and paddle easily and swiftly over long distances.
Wavewalk’s W700 kayak and S4 microskiff offer you unrivaled stability, and fishing out of them is the equivalent of fishing from a full size flats boat.
Unlike all other fishing kayaks, both the W700 and S4 offer you the ability to easily and comfortably paddle while standing, in full confidence, knowing that in case you lose balance (stuff happens!) you’re likely to fall into the Riding position on the 15 inch high saddle between your legs, and instantly regain your balance, and the control of your kayak.
More about stand up kayak fishing »

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