Elderly Couple Fishing Offshore, In Tandem Out Of Their Motorized Fishing Kayak. December, South Korea

This is a most unusual, yet most revealing story.
It says a lot about kayak anglers and the sacrifices some of them are willing to make for their love of fishing.
It also shows that propelling fishing kayaks with outboard gas engines is picking up, has a future, but it also faces certain limitations.
This story also shows that pedal drives for fishing kayaks simply can’t substitute a motor – any motor, in any way, and that when push comes to shove, they can’t replace the paddle.
And last but not least, it shows that two elderly people can go out for a long, offshore kayak fishing trip on a cold day in December, catch fish together, and enjoy each other’s company while doing so, without suffering from back pain, leg numbness, discomfort, wetness, or any other undesirable phenomenon that elderly anglers suffer from when they attempt to fish out of kayaks.

Members of the South Korean Sea Dreamer Kayak Fishing club, who are all courageous and avid anglers, outfitted their fishing kayaks with outriggers and outboard gas engines. These unusual people went out for an offshore kayak fishing trip December 31st, in cold weather. The fishing expedition included a few traditional SOT kayaks, and a W500 kayak, which unlike the other kayaks, was operated by a crew of two: And elderly couple who loves fishing, and enjoys fishing together.

Elderly South Korean couple fishing in tandem, offshore, out of a w500 kayak outfitted with an outboard gas engine and outriggers

Sungjin Kim, Wavewalk’s distributor in South Korea, published this story (in Korean) on his Korean kayak fishing website, and his post there includes a link to the kayak fishing club’s website.

Here are the fish this tandem crew of kayak anglers caught in the ocean:

fish caught in the ocean near the South korean coast, by an elderly couple fishing in tandem out of a W kaayk outfitted with an outboard motor

The reader should be aware that imported fishing kayaks are expensive in Korea, and so are outboard motors and outriggers. For the cost of their motorized W kayak, this couple could have gotten a nice small motorboat, but not necessarily one that they could car top:

beached motorized kayaks ready for fishing in the ocean, South Korea

Another inconvenience with a bigger boat could have been the need to launch it from a boat ramp, which is neither easy nor convenient.

But let’s not forget that winters in south Korea are cold, and so is the ocean there. This means that elderly people can’t go fishing offshore out of regular SOT, sit-in or hybrid fishing kayaks: They need to fish out of a kayak that keeps them dry, which wouldn’t be the case if they used anything else than their W500:

fishing kayak with outboard gas engine and outriggres in the ocean, South KoreaAnd last but not least, elderly people need a level of comfort that can’t be found in kayaks other than the W kayak: They need to stand up easily and whenever they want to stretch, change positions, be free from any pressure on their lower back, and be able to fight and prevent leg numbness.

The reader has surely realized that fishing in tandem out of a kayak can be problematic, due to the small space available, and the reduced range of motion of the crew. But this was not the case for this tandem crew, obviously – They managed just fine.

In other words, while the other anglers who participated in this cold water and weather, offshore expedition practiced kayak fishing as an extreme sport , this elderly couple practiced traditional, cozy fishing – as it should really 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 participants in this fishing trip did. This safety measure 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 the W500 and not just one, and the fact that these were elderly people whose sense of balance might be impaired by age: Seniors are usually more cautious than younger people are, and rightfully so.

Interestingly, the other motorized kayaks that participated in this expedition were of the type that features a push pedal drive, but all the other anglers carried a paddle on board as a safety measure in case the motor stalled, and in order to propel their kayaks in shallow water, when launching and beaching. In other words, out of the three propulsion devices (paddle, motor and pedal drive), the drive was redundant. The fact they didn’t count on their pedal drives for such a long, offshore trip also shows that such devices cannot be counted on as means to extend a kayak’s range of operation, and cannot serve as a substitute for some kind of motor when currents and wind are to be dealt with.

Motorizing Your Fishing Kayak – Why, What, and How

Let’s face it – being a senior kayak angler can also mean that you’re not in the best shape, and you either don’t feel like, or are physically incapable of paddling long distances.
This leaves you with a rather limited range of operation in terms of fishing, and could get frustrating, at times, as well as hazardous, in case bad weather or a strong, fast current prevent you from getting back to the spot from which you had launched your kayak.
Another way to look at it is saying that time is fishing, and you don’t necessarily want to spend your precious time paddling to your favorite fishing hole, if you can get there faster, and back from there without cutting your fishing trip short.
Pedal driven fishing kayaks fail to offer any true solution, which leaves you with the option to motorize your kayak, and a series of questions about the technical feasibility of such project, how much you’d need to invest, safety, utility, and much more.
In many cases, an electric trolling motor can do the trick for you, and in other cases it won’t, and you could find yourself disappointed and frustrated, and wishing for more power and speed, a longer range of operation, and less weight. This is where outfitting your fishing kayak with an outboard gas engine becomes a solution worth considering, but there’s only one kayak out there that’s suitable for this type of project.
To learn more, this article about motorized fishing kayaks discusses these issues in breadth and in depth.
And watching this movie may make you want to learn more:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=439ZQaJX6t4?rel=0&w=640&h=360]

Motorizing Your Fishing Kayak – A New Approach

Electric trolling motors are not always useful, especially when the battery goes flat, and you find yourself a long way from your launching spot, and having to paddle your fishing kayak back against wind and/or current, with a heavy batter on board. On top of that, a propeller tends to get entangled in fishing lines and seaweed, as well as get stuck in underwater obstacles, especially in shallow water, where you happen to like to go fishing with your kayak…

Small, 2 cycle outboard gas motors tend to be unreliable, and difficult to start, and they are particularly stinky, and often excessively noisy. Such motors are problematic as well, when taking your fishing kayak in shallow water is concerned.

Needless to say that one doesn’t get stronger with age, and many elderly anglers find they can’t go fishing from kayaks because they lack the strength needed to paddle long distances and in adverse conditions, such as against the wind, or current.

Such senior kayak anglers may be interested by a new approach to motorizing fishing kayaks and other small craft, which involves a gas engine producing a powerful stream of air, rather than rotating a propeller in the water. In addition, the motor used is a modern, 4-cycle (4 stroke) engine that’s easy to start, easy to maintain, requires no mixing of oil and fuel, does not create stinky and nauseating fumes, and is quieter – all of this without being heavier than a 2 stroke engine of the same size:

You can keep paddling while this motor is running, and providing your fishing kayak with extra power. There’s no need to hold the tiller (steering handle) if you’re going forward, and you can use your paddle for steering, and make occasional adjustments in the tiller’s position.

The new motor setup is lightweight enough to allow for you to cartop your fishing kayak, and most importantly, this setup is using a converted backpack leaf blower that costs $200, so it wouldn’t be very expensive to rig your fishing kayak with one.