A microskiff that doubles as a super fishing kayak

What is a microskiff?

A microskiff is a small skiff, namely, lightweight, flat bottomed motorboat. Fishermen in the South use such boats for flats fishing, and in protected bays, estuaries and lakes, as well as on slow moving rivers. The microskiff is said to have evolved from dinghies. Typically, two fishermen man a microskiff.
But “Small and lightweight” means a boat that still requires transportation by trailer, and consequently, its owner must launch and beach it in boat ramps, which is often inconvenient.

Propulsion problems with typical microskiff

These small skiffs are are too wide and heavy to allow for paddling, and they are designed to be propelled with outboard gas engines, which is problematic for several reasons –
Outboard motors can run out of fuel or stall due to technical problems, and any electric trolling motor that may be on board would not be enough for going over long distances and/or in adverse weather conditions, fast currents, etc.
Both outboard motors and electric motors have propellers that require being immersed in water a couple of inches below the surface. This means that the effective draft of a typical microskiff is not very shallow, and it’s often incompatible with fishing in very shallow water, namely “skinny water”.
Draft issues also limit these small skiffs when it comes to available launching and beaching spots, which means that their owners depend on boat ramps, and this fact is known to cause frustration due to much time wasted on waiting and technical maneuvers instead of being available for fishing.
On top of this, propellers don’t perform particularly well in water that’s infested with  seaweed and grass. Anglers who fish in such waters know that they are particularly productive fisheries.

The myth of Poling

Small skiff manufacturers like to show pictures of fishermen who propel their microskiff through shallow water with a push pole. While possible, poling isn’t that practical in real world conditions, because it involves long intervals between pushes, and the big effort that’s invested in each push to accelerate is soon wasted when the boat decelerates as the pole is lifted out of the water in preparation for the next push. Accelerating is very wasteful in energy terms, and besides, being relatively wide and heavy makes skiffs lose momentum rapidly, so the person who uses a push pole to propel them gets tired in a short time.
Not many people are capable of poling a microskiff for more than a few minutes, namely for more than a few hundred yards. This is hardly enough for effective fishing.
To add insult to injury, the hulls of these small craft don’t track well, because they are neither very long nor narrow, and they do not feature fins, skegs or tunnels that can contribute to their directional stability. This is why poling a small skiff in a straight line isn’t easy, and it makes you waste a lot of time and efforts trying to maintain the course.
Poling is far less effective than paddling, and it’s wasteful even compared to rowing.

Bottom line –

To fish in very shallow water and vegetation-rich water, you need a boat that does not depend solely on its outboard motor, and one than you can easily, comfortably and effectively paddle, and not just pole.

Wavewalk’s W700 series: The optimal skiff for fishing

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A good microskiff is required to enable two fishermen or a solo fisherman to launch it, beach it, drive it, fish from it and paddle it in all water conditions, standing or seated.

This fishing craft must be very stable yet not too wide, so that it can be effective for paddling.

The twin-hull (catamaran) Wavewalk® 700 microskiff works perfectly both as a tandem and solo boat. This means for one angler too, in case a fishing buddy is not available.

The W700’s two narrow catamaran hulls make it track better than other boats of similar size, and this fact also guarantees top performance in terms of poling and paddling with either kayak or canoe paddles.

Weighing about 80 lbs, this optimal small skiff is sufficiently lightweight for transportation without a trailer, and for car-topping by just one person.

The W700 is the only two-person small skiff that offers such advantages, and ironically, this innovative craft is lighter than the typical fishing kayak, and much lighter than the typical tandem fishing kayak.

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No trailer, and all types of propulsion in one boat

Wavewalk’s revolutionary W700 microskiff is a portable, car-top boat, which means that it requires no trailer. Even one person can easily car top it. It works well in choppy water and in skinny water, and also in vegetation-rich water.  Two big and heavy fishermen can fish standing in it in full comfort. Driving it is easy, comfortable and fun, and it can be outfitted with a powerful outboard motor, and with an electric motor for trolling.
A crew of paddlers can easily and effectively paddle this microskiff either in a kayak mode, using dual-blade paddles, or in a canoe mode, with single blade paddles.

This lightweight craft tracks better than conventional skiffs, so that poling it is easier and more effective than poling other microskiff, including solo skiffs, namely skiffs designed to carry just one person.
The Wavewalk® 700 comes in all-white, which is the traditional color for this class of small fishing boats, and in a number of additional color combinations that are suitable for inland fishing.

Kayak Fishing While Not On Rough Water

Due to the north east winds we had some unanticipated flood tides this weekend-

I could already tell that the evening high tide would submerge one of my favorite spots.

I decided to go just before sunset and see if the winds were bringing the waters up faster and as luck would have it the flood was in early.

After hustling to the first flat I only saw one tail and got a couple of unsuccessful shots at it.

With the sun setting fast I poled to another flat and was about to give up when some tails popped up but not for long. Fortunately, the water was shallow enough that I could follow the wakes. I missed the first one but stuck the second one I saw. It was a solid 24″ and put up a nice fight.

When I got that one landed and unhooked the sun had set and I figured the show was over. I scanned the flat and could still see some fish feeding as the light was fading. I got another nice shot at a cruising wake and the fish inhaled the fly. This one fought a lot harder and longer, laying out at 26.”

I was hoping to get a crack at another fish as the dark settled in but they pretty much disappeared by the time I got the fish unhooked.

There were still fish there, just not tailing as the lights went out. I ran over a few while poling back home in the dark but didn’t see any tails. I noticed the same thing a few weeks ago with the evening flood and full moon when I was hoping to fish the flat in the moon light. As soon as darkness settled in, the tailing stopped and fish activity decreased, even with the light of the full moon. Poling home off the flats in the dark is a hoot and almost as enjoyable as the fishing.

I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end Father’s Day.

Kevin

The stand up fly fishing kayak at sunset Florida

Kevin’s fly fishing kayak rigged with a high platform for sight fishing, and poling – no outriggers

kayak fly fisherman showing big redfish caught in flood tide shallow water at night FL

kayak fly fisherman showing big redfish caught in flood tide shallow water FL

Red fish caught by fly fisherman in stand up kayak FL June 2012

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