For at least the next couple weeks, I am closing up my business up north. I have a little fish camp that I retreat to that is well located for many types of fishing in the Chesapeake Watershed.
This morning, I renewed my Maryland fishing license, loaded up the W500 on the back of the Mother Truck, threw in my catfish rods and tackle, and made a thirty mile trip to Mallows Bay on the Potomac River.
Mallows Bay is the largest ship graveyard in the Western Hemisphere. Dozens of archaic wooden steamships were scuttled there after WWI. The story which can be Googled is laced with governmental ineptitude and environmental calamity.
Upon arriving at the excellent public landing, I realized that I had forgotten to bring the 5 lbs. of fresh mullet that I bought over the weekend. Ineptitude still prevails at Mallows Bay.
Undaunted, I grabbed my Barnett compound bowfishing outfit to search for Northern Snakeheads to skewer. Those big Blue Cats at the edge of the channel would have to wait.
Plan B was not so good, either. The water was muddy and the Asian invasion has moved to deep water. So, a few pics would have to suffice.
On the way home, Plan C was formulated. A quick trip to the fish camp to trade the catfish rods for my lucky stik and off to my special spring fed pond to catch a few pickerel on a Texas rigged Zoom Fluke in the cooling evening. Freshwater barracuda trump a skunk.
Five Largemouth Bass releases later, as the sun set into darkness, a pickerel cut me off. No sense tying a new rig in the dark. Five bass is a pretty good day. And, I still have 5 lbs. of mullet in the fridge.
Last night, I went freshwater bowfishing in a canal outside of the Everglades with my personally designed laser lite crossbow. It is far more accurate than either my compound or recurve rigs which is a sorry statement regarding my skill as an archer.
These are Tilapia and Mayan Cichlids which are both invasive and very good to eat. There is a single gar which is now de-shelled and ready to broil like lobster and serve w/ drawn butter sauce.
I was tipped by an FWC officer that the perpendicular canals that feed through submerged culverts are full of bigger fish and only accessible by dragging a canoe across from the main channel. Give me a couple weeks to outfit Santiago with night lights, trolling motor, and overland transport wheel. And, crossbow cocking station.
Might take a little more than two weeks. The alligators can wait… No, I’m not going to shoot them. They are protected. However, I am not.
My wife wants to take out a life insurance policy on my carcass.
I just wanted to share a little fun with you –
I went out to do a little bow-fishing in the kayak today, and got many fish,….but take a look at this beast!! It was a little over 37 inches long, and around 40 pounds or so! What a blast!!
Back up in Maryland.
The Wavewalk is down South.
We shot these photos from my Smoker Craft w/ nite lights.
Gar are very hard to clean but taste like a cross between alligator and lobster. Come to think of it, they look like that, too.
I think the new Wavewalk 700 will be a hot bow fishing combo as well as a super stable boat. I’m looking forward to some more night trips (between rain squalls) before heading south.
Living the dream!
How many times have you passed by, or looked at, a body of water and wished there was a way to fish it.
There can be many things to keep a person from getting to what looks like prime water. The weeds can be too grown in to be able to fish from shore, and if you did cast past it all, how would you get a hooked fish in through it? Or, just no access on the shoreline to be able to stand and fish. There may also be no way to get a boat in the water anywhere.
Lots of things to keep us from fishing these waters because of access issues. Well, there is a solution to the problem; a kayak solution!
Kayaks can offer you the ability to get onto almost any body of water you want to fish or explore. They are usually light enough and small enough for one person to handle and transport easily. And they can be put into the water almost anywhere, no boat ramp need-ed. People are starting to realize more and more what a difference a kayak can make, and how much fun it is to get out in one!
In the past, people looked at kayaks and thought of them only as a white water craft for using on wild rivers and rapids. This notion has changed dramatically in the last few years, and many people are starting to see the benefits of these small personal craft. These days, there are so many styles to choose from, that anyone can find a kayak to suit their needs. There are kayaks made to just sit in and paddle around for touring and sightseeing, while others have been made to fill specific needs.
Kayaks come in many forms, and from many makers. The prices of these craft will usually not give you sticker shock, either. They can range in price from a couple hundred dollars, up to the $1500 range; once again, depending on what you are looking for.
There are many kayaks that are made specifically for fishing. Some are sit-on-top models, that allow you to dangle your legs into the wa-ter while fishing. Others have a deck, and will allow you to stand and fish, giving you a better view of the water. Most major sporting goods stores will carry an array of styles and makers to choose from. If you fish alone most of the time, you will want to consider the weight of the craft you will be using. This can also af-fect how you transport your kayak; whether you want to strap it to the top of your vehicle, or put it on a trailer. A heavier kayak does not mean a better kayak! The length of the craft is also something to consider; not only for storage and transportation, but for registration where you will use it. In Iowa, you have to register the craft if it is 12 feet or over; or if you put a motor of some kind on it.
Kayaks are so easy to paddle, a trolling motor is a luxury! Even paddling upstream is usually not a prob-lem at all. I recommend that you check out the seating in the craft when you are shopping. Many of the seats are adjustable in order to make you comfortable, but if you will be sitting in it for a long time, you want to be sure.
Storage space is another thing to consider when shopping for your kayak. You want ample space to stow your gear, but you want to be able to get to it when you need it. Many of the newer fishing models have plenty of storage, and even have places to keep your bait alive and well. There are even coolers and livewells built into some models. Again, check out the options thoroughly when shopping. [brand names] are some of the companies making many of the kayaks you will see on television. These are not the only makers of fine fishing kayaks though, there are other brands out there with great qualities. [names of chain stores] carry a nice line of kayaks, too. [local store in Iowa] also carries a line of kayaks made for touring or fishing, but may fit the budget better if you are just not sure, yet.
The kayak I use, and prefer
The kayak I use, and prefer, is the Wavewalk 500 fishing kayak. It is different than any other one on the market. It has a split hull design that has many benefits, including getting in or out of your kayak dry…..no wet feet! You simply step into it between the hulls. Great design! It weighs less than 60 pounds, so it is easy to work with. It is the most stable craft of it’s kind that I have seen, too. You can stand and fish in confidence. I even stand and bowfish in it! The split hull gives outstanding stability! It has a bench style seat that is long enough to lay down on, or take someone along with you. This type of seat also forces good posture while seated, so you don’t get a sore back from extended time in the kayak. I have been in it for hours at a time with no back issues at all, thanks to this design.
The storage in the Wavewalk 500 is the most I have seen in a kayak, too. The hulls are your storage. You can put enough gear in one to go camping for a week! Even your 7-8 foot fishing rods will stow away in the hulls, but you can easily equip rod holders on any kayak to keep your rods handy. They will carry almost 400 pounds of cargo. More than enough for most applications. I cannot say enough good about the Wavewalk 500 to do it justice; simply a great kayak.
No matter what kind of kayak you go out in, you will find it to be a blast. You are close to the water and you can go almost anywhere in one. When I take mine out fishing, I find myself just looking around almost as much as I fish. It is simply relaxing to be out on the water in a small craft like this. The places you can take a kayak are endless, and the enjoyment you can get from it will last a lifetime. Even some of the skeptical have worn a smile when out for the first time, and are now kayak owners themselves! Don’t miss out on the fun of this because of a preconceived notion about kayaking. It has changed a lot, and may be just the way for you to get that lunker out of that body of water you have been looking at for so long! You no longer have to look and wonder, you can do it!! Have a blast!!
About the Author –
Paul Malm a.k.a. The Musky Guy is a professional fishing guide, fishing tackle designer and manufacturer, and award winning, record holding fisherman in Northwestern Iowa. He also writes for fishing websites and magazines such as the Northwest Iowa Outdoors magazine, where this article first appeared.