It was too windy to fish in the river so I stayed in the lagoon by where my friend lets me keep my Wavewalk kayak on his floating dock. I had been out in the morning about 7:30 AM and caught a small snook about 14 inches – a beautiful fish and since I got him on a small foam rubber “gurgler” fly it was fun to see a fish take that surface fly less than a foot from the mangroves in about eight inches of water. It took a little while reviving him in the water before releasing him before I could go looking for his big brother.
Fished until about noon got a couple of hook ups but nothing came to the boat.
I went back just about 7 PM and staked out at the corner of a nice grass flat in the lagoon next to the mangrove creek that feeds in from the Indian River.
It was low incoming tide one of the best times for the bigger fish to get in close to the flat in about four to five feet of water, they slip up on the grass flat and raid the little mullet fingerlings and grass shrimp and can dash back into the deeper water for cover.
So I fished different flies and different sides of the flat for about an hour… fifteen minutes after sunset I was making my “last cast” for the night and bang a freight train hits my fly about thirty five feet from the kayak I am standing on my platform on top of the center tunnel and all the line starts to shoot out of my striping basket and (for once it is not tangled up) whiz all the line is out of the basket probably 125 feet or so and I am on the reel and it is buzzing. First time I am down to my backing line it is still going out to open water in the lagoon
(not back to the mangroves like sneaky snook usually do). So I let him go
I mean he is too big and hot to horse in with an eight weight and 10 lb
tippet. Three good runs, a couple of tries for the mangroves and 15 minutes later I have him in the boat.
26″ snook WOW the first really nice fish I have ever caught out of the “W” and it was a beauty it took me almost 10 minutes to revive him pushing him through the water next to the boat.
But finally he swam off before I was eaten to death by Florida mosquito’s it was almost dark but I was as high as a tree frog just paddling back to the dock whistling Dixie.
I have caught a few smallish fish in the lagoon but started to think that all the nice ones are in the river.
Oh yeah all you northern woodsman who are wondering why I released a five pound snook instead of eating him, there is a limit here we call “slot” fish, 28″ to 32″ inches if they are in the slot then they are keepers but he was a little shy of the slot. And after one of the best battles I have had on fly since my Trinity river steelhead days, I figured he deserved a second chance anyway.
I love my Wavewalk… when that fish was on I was thinking he went 360 degrees around the boat did three really long runs and in general made 15 minutes feel like about three. I honestly don’t think there is any chance that this old man could have landed that fish in any other kayak but the Wavewalk fishing kayak. I mean I fish with a friend who has five kayaks SOT and Sit in type and he is an athlete, but I have seen how little room to
move and how cramped it is and if your line snags on anything when you have a big fish on a fly (even just for a moment) it is good by fish.
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Kayak Fishing Unlimited is not just a slogan – It’s a reality, at least for some.
So far, kayak fishing hasn’t appealed to Canadian anglers, since they fish in cold water and cold weather, which are good reasons for wanting to be stable, dry, and protected from the cold wind and elements. Needles to say that conventional sit-in, hybrid and sit-on-top (SOT) fishing kayaks don’t deliver anything close to being acceptable when these basic requirements are taken into consideration, and they don’t offer stand up paddling confidently when you’re sight fishing, and fly fishing.
Anglers who fish from W kayaks know they are different, and they fit cold climates as big, motorized fishing boats do.
Boyd Smith, from Hamilton, Ontario, discovered the benefits that W kayaks offer, and he decided he wanted to import them from the US.
Boyd founded Ontario Fishing Kayaks, and he offers Canadian anglers who are looking to downsize from motorboats or quit fishing from inadequate fishing kayaks to take a W kayak for a test ride, or a fishing trip. By doing so, these Canadian anglers will be able to experience the unrivaled stability, dryness, comfort and ease of use, which are synonym to W fishing kayaks: No wet butt, no yak back, and no leg numbness. In other words – the real deal.
W fishing kayak fans are known to say about it: “Nothing like it, nothing better”.
Those who want to enjoy both paddling and motorized driving can outfit their W kayak with an outboard gas engine, and thus be on par with anglers who fish from traditional motorboats. Learn more about motorized fishing kayaks >>
Kayak fishing is a nice concept, but this sport is facing growth problems. These problems are of a technical nature, and have to do with poor performance and unpleasant user-experience. They can be solved only through moving away from traditional fishing kayak designs, such as SOT, sit-in and hybrid kayaks (small, flat canoes), to the twinhull W kayak.
Have a look at this excerpt from a recently published, very long article about the big picture in kayak fishing:
“Kayak fishing ceased to be a novelty, and it’s safe to say there’s hardly anyone in America who fishes that hasn’t been exposed to the notion of fishing out of kayaks, one way or another.
Still, for the huge majority of American anglers, the notion of fishing from a kayak is by far more appalling than appealing, and those who fish from shore and from all other watercraft outnumber kayak anglers by a thousand to one ratio -”
The numbers discussed in this article are revealing, especially in view of the fact that kayak fishing is over a decade old, in today’s form, which is promoted by nearly all kayak manufacturers and fishing gear industry, and media.
This article goes over the major issues that have crippled kayak fishing as a recreational activity and sport since its beginnings. These serious problems restrict limit the number of anglers who join the sport, and get many existing participants to drop out. These problems are listed here by their order importance: Very poor ergonomics, insufficient stability, poor tracking, a limited range of travel, a too small storage space, and restricted mobility.
Also interesting are the article’s conclusions, which come from a comparison of the effect the above listed problems have on kayak fishing, to the performance of the new class of W fishing kayaks – relatively to the other kayaks commonly used by anglers:
“Does kayak fishing have a long term future?
We think it does, but only as a sensible sport and outdoor activity that would attract many more anglers, and not as the kind of unrewarding experience it currently is, which repels new participants while expelling existing ones.
The only venue is through an increase in use of W fishing kayaks rather than SOT, sit-in and hybrid kayaks. This is because W kayaks offer the solutions to all the problems discussed in this article, and some others, and these are the problems that make kayak fishing that marginal activity it has been so far in the much broader world of fishing.
Simply, as soon as realize that they can fish out of a watercraft that’s as small, nimble and lightweight as a regular kayak (not even a huge ‘barge’ fishing kayak..), and yet is as stable, dry and comfortable as a regular motorboat, and even has a similar travel range as a motorboat – they would adopt kayak fishing in growing numbers, and stick with the sport. The watercraft that combines the advantages of kayaks and motorboats, while offering better mobility than both, is the W kayak.”
The article offers an optimistic perspective of the future. According to it, many anglers who are currently displeased with kayaks as well as small motorboats would opt for the advantages offered by either human powered or motorized W kayaks.
So far, Midwestern anglers have been reluctant to adopt kayaks as a fishing platform. The reasons for this are many, and they all seem to come down to one word – COLD.
Yes, the climate in the Midwest is not as warm and nice as it is in the southern states, where kayak fishing is the most popular, and sit-in, SOT and hybrid kayaks don’t offer much to protect their passengers from capsizing, or from cold weather and water.
But kayak fishing in cold water and weather now has a kayak that offers both much more stability than the other kayak types can, as well as better protection.
This magazine, Kayak Fishing Unlimited, has a permanent section dedicated to Kayak Fishing in the Midwest. This section features trip reports and fishing kayak reviews from Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio, as well as reviews of rigged fishing kayaks, and even some information about hunting from kayaks, and stories about motorized fishing kayaks.