This is a report on an offshore kayak fishing trip that several members of the South Korean Sea Dreamer Kayak Fishing club took in their motorized kayaks in late December of 2011. Propelling fishing kayaks with outboard gas engines is picking up, but it also faces certain limitations. These guys are certainly at the forefront of technical innovation in rigging fishing kayaks.
This story also shows that pedal drives can’t substitute a motor – any motor, and they can’t replace a paddle.
And it shows that people who love fishing would do everything for the love of the sport, even if it means being cold and wet…
Members of the South Korean Sea Dreamer Kayak Fishing club, outfitted their fishing kayaks with outriggers and outboard gas motors. They went out for an offshore kayak fishing trip December 31st, in cold, wet, and windy weather. This fishing expedition included a number of pedal driven SOT kayaks, and a W500 kayak, which unlike the other kayaks, was operated by a crew of two: An elderly couple – husband and wife.
Here are the fish this great tandem crew caught in the ocean:
Imported fishing kayaks are very expensive in Korea, and the same is true for outboard motors and outriggers. For the cost of their motorized W kayak, this couple could have gotten a nice small motorboat, but they could have not car topped it:
Another hassle associated with a bigger boat is the need to launch it from a trailer, in a boat ramp. This is hard and inconvenient.
Winters in South Korea are cold, and so is the ocean there. This means that a kayak that can keep you dry is very advantageous, especially when you’re going at high speed, and getting splashed:
The reader surely realized that fishing in tandem out of a kayak is problematic, because the space available is small, and that reduces the crew members’ range of motion. But clearly, this was not the case for this South Korean tandem crew: They managed just fine, and caught plenty of fish.
While the other anglers who participated in this cold weather offshore expedition practiced kayak fishing as an extreme sport , this elderly couple practiced traditional, sensible and cozy fishing – as it should be. The only difference between their motorized W500 and other motorized W500 kayaks is the fact they outfitted it with outriggers, like all the other members of their club did. This is a safety measure that is understandable, in view of the hazardous environment, and the risk of hypothermia in case of an accident, the fact that two people were on board this W500 kayak and not just one, and last but not least – the fact that these are elderly people whose sense of balance might be impaired by age.
The other club members used motorized kayaks of the type that features a push pedal drive, but they all carried a paddle on board in case the motor stalled, and in order to propel their kayaks near shore, in shallow water, when launching and beaching. That is to say that out of the three propulsion devices (I.E. paddle, motor and pedal drive), the pedal drive was redundant. These anglers were courageous, but they didn’t count on their pedal drives for such a long, offshore trip, which shows that such drives are not reliable as means to extend a kayak’s range of operation, and cannot serve as substitute for some kind of motor in the presence of currents and wind.
This review was first published on Wavewalk’s fishing kayaks blog >>