Fish From a Kayak, a Canoe, or a Portable Boat?

This article is mainly for anglers who fish in the northern regions of the United States, Canada, as well as in colder regions in other parts of the world. To these people, we also recommend reading this broad range, comparative Wavewalk review »

1. What’s the Problem?

For decades, the problem that anglers faced was choosing between different types of boats, all of which come with advantages and disadvantages –

Big motorboats are stable enough, and comfortable to fish from, but they don’t come cheap, and they take a lot of space on your driveway, or your backyard. Most importantly, they limit launching to boat ramps, and the most critical problem with them is that they work only with a motor, be it an outboard gas engine or an electric trolling motor, and their crew is prevented from paddling them effectively. This problem means that even if a big boat has a shallow draft, it is to going in water that’s not very shallow, and where aquatic vegetation is not abundant, and that’s too bad for bass anglers and anglers who go after other fish species that can be found in these productive waters.
In addition, an increasing number of attractive  fisheries are now closed to motorboats, and if an angler wants to fish in them, they need to use human powered propulsion.

Big motorboats include bass boats, large-size Jon boats, skiffs, to name a few, and a broad range of other types of boats.

Portable boats are neither as stable as full fledged motorboats, nor very comfortable to fish from, but they’re usually less expensive. Their smaller size and independence from transportation by trailer saves their owners plenty of space on their driveway, or backyard, which is convenient.
Being trailer-free also means freedom from the absolute need to launch in boat ramps, which is another advantage.
But a portable boat is still a boat, namely a vessel that’s not designed for paddling, whether in a kayaking or a canoeing mode. The operator or crew of such boats may be able to paddle them over small distances, in case of necessity, but overall, the range of paddling for common portable boats is limited.
Being small and not very stable also limits these boats’ comfort for crews of more than one person, and anglers who fish out of them know they need to be particularly careful in their movements, in order to avoid doing anything that could destabilize their boat.
Generally speaking, portable boats are suitable for fishing smaller bodies of water and other protected fishing grounds.

Portable boats include inflatable boats, folding boats, small-size Jon boats, and small dinghies.

Canoes and Fishing Kayaks are not stable enough to allow for worry-free fishing, and to say that they are uncomfortable would be an understatement. In fact, most people who try fishing out of kayaks give up the experiment due to physical problems ranging from back pain and leg numbness to excessive fatigue.
Storing a canoe or a kayak is convenient, and so is transporting and launching it. In general, canoes and kayaks are more stealthy than bigger boats.
However, in the real world, motorizing canoes and fishing kayaks is limited to less powerful electric motors, and this fact coupled with their instability limits their use to ponds, small lakes, slow moving rivers and well protected waters. The last thing you want is to fish out of is a canoe or a kayak on a big lake when the wind starts to blow, and white caps appear over the waves. Powerful, fast tidal currents are unwelcoming too for these small and under-powered vessels.

2. A Perfect Solution?

Perfection depends on the angler’s requirements, and anglers who practice a large variety of fishing styles in various types of fisheries and lack storage space at home put severe constraints on their search, and finding a perfect boat would be harder and perhaps impossible for them.
Some of the more important factors for choosing a boat are the crew size – solo, tandem or more, the type of water, range of travel, etc.
But there are near-perfect solutions, namely boats that more versatile and can deliver higher performance when important factors are considered. These near-perfect solutions are the Wavewalk 700 and the new Series 4 (S4) from this company.
These two patented twin-hull (catamaran) craft are similar in many ways, which are their ultra light weight (even by comparison to some fishing kayaks), extreme portability (both are car-toppers), unrivaled stability for their size, high level of comfort, and the high performance they offer in both motorized and human powered modes. Both are also well suited for solo and tandem crews.
The differences between them are mainly qualitative –
The 700 paddles better than the S4, and the S4 can be outfitted with a more powerful outboard motor and be driven at higher speeds as well as in tougher waters.
The 700 is lighter than the S4, and the S4 can take a heavier payload.
Both offer full comfort and stability to anglers who fish standing up, but the S4 features a stand-up casting platform at the bow, which is typical to skiffs and large-size Jon boats.
Since this article discusses fishing kayaks, it would be inappropriate to mention the world’s best ultralight fishing kayak, which is the Wavewalk 500.

The following collection of online videos (playlist) shows the 500 and 700 driven with outboard motors of various size, and electric motors:

 

 

The following video is a preview of the new S4 –

The S4 is offered in three colors – White, for anglers who fish blue water, Light Gray, for anglers who fish smaller bodies of water, and Mud Brown (dark brown) for anglers who are into stealth and camouflage.

Wavewalk® fishing kayaks in Sweden

Kent and Christer Johnsen, DBA FiskeKajak are Wavewalk’s distributors in Sweden. Both are avid anglers, and the region where they live is famous for its trout fisheries.

Swedish fishermen standing next to their kayaks
Kent and Christer holding up a Safari colored W700. This two person boat works perfectly for a crew of two fishermen.
Christer fly fishing from his W700 kayak - Northern Sweden
Fly fishing in northern Sweden

Christer standing in his kayak and fly fishing Kent and Christer paddling on the river, Northern Sweden

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Good season for bass in Wisconsin

John from Milwaukee, WI went on several fishing trips this season. He was fishing mainly for bass, and his favorite lures this year were frogs.

 

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Big largemouth bass caught on a frog lure, in Michigan Upper Peninsula

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17 inch bucket mouth bass
17 inch bucketmouth

 

bass caught on a frog lure
Another largemouth bass caught on a frog in Fox River, WI

 

John caught some other fish as well, such as this nice longear sunfish –

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Longear sunfish

 

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Nice perch

 

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First crappie of the season

Great bass season for Michael, in Upstate Ny and Cape Cod

Michael is a passionate ‘bass hunter’ whose favorite bassin method is top water lures. He prefers small lakes and ponds with abundant vegetation, where he goes mainly after largemouth bass.

This summer was very good for Michael in his numerous fishing trips in eastern Upstate New York, Western Massachusetts, and Cape Cod.

Here are some pictures he shot from the cockpit of his W500 –

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17″ 4 lbs largemouth bass caught in Rudd Pond, NY

 

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Calico-bass
Calico bass

 

 

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This beauty was caught in Cape Cod

 

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22 inch bass from a pond in Cape Cod

 

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And this is a bass fishing movie from Sutherland Pond, Upstate NY:

 

Visit Michael’s website »

Cool summer but good fishing in Upstate NY

This summer has been rather cool and windy in the Northeast, but the low temperatures did not present any problem to the bass themselves.

Here are some pictures of chunky bass and trout that Clint caught in Upstate New York, standing in his Wavewalk 500 –

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And here is Nioca, Clint’s wife, showing a 5.5 largemouth bass she caught while fishing in tandem with him:

5.5-lbs-largemouth-bass-caught-in-tandem-fishing-kayak-upstate-ny