Retired businessman and county official starts a new career as kayak dealer and fishing and diving guide in southern Florida

For decades, Captain Larry Jarboe owned and ran sawmill in Maryland, and served as a county commissioner there, and all this time, his passion was fishing and diving.
When Larry retired in Key largo, his plan was to keep fishing out of a commercial fishing boat that he owns named the Line Dancer, and offer guided fishing and diving tours from this boat. At that time, Larry was already a fan of the Wavewalk 500, which he had used in Maryland, and he became a Wavewalk dealer.
Then came the Wavewalk 700 series, and Larry discovered the potential for using it for guided fishing tours in the mangroves and for diving tours on the reef. He also discovered motorized kayaking. Both discoveries led Larry to reassess the business potential of the Wavewalk 700, and put a greater emphasis on this small watercraft, in combination with the Line Dancer, serving as a mother ship.

 

The Line Dancer mother ship carrying three Wavewalk 700

 

Captain Larry Jarboe and a client on board the Line Dancer

 

 

 

Larry also discovered the option to use a motorized W700 for driving clients into the mangroves, and as the creek becomes narrower and tortuous, continue in a paddling mode.

 

 

The advent of the S4 changed things for Larry and his business. He found that he could use a motorized S4 to tow two Wavewalk 700 kayaks, each one attached to each side of this versatile boat. This innovative setup is extremely stable and comfortable, and it allows its passengers to chose between paddling autonomously or being towed by Larry’s S4 skiff.

 

 

Larry developed a climbing ladder for the S4, which allows practically anyone, including big and heavy clients, as well as elderly ones to get back into the boat easily.

 

Underwater view.

 

Wavewalk S4 with diving ladder.

 

Wavewalk S4 with ladder for divers.

 

In addition, Larry found that practically anyone could drive the S4 and fish out of it, and this includes people who simply cannot used any other kayak, and would feel uncomfortable in a conventional small boat such as a Jon boat or a skiff, such as this 330 lbs guy –

 

 

As Larry keeps finding new ways to use the Wavewalk S4 and 700 to better serve the clients of his burgeoning fishing and diving business, he’s very excited about advising others who may benefit from the versatility and high performance of these skiff-kayaks that practically anyone can use, including people with a sensitive back, back problems, back injuries, arthritis, sciatica, excess weight, and other limitations and disabilities.

 

 

And let’s not forget couples who just want to paddle in tandem, or go motorizing in the mangroves –

 

 

Larry driving an S4 with two passengers on board. This crew spent three hours touring the mangroves.

 

Visit Capn’ Larry’s website Florida Fishing Kayaks »

More about the Wavewalk S4 skiff kayak »

 

 

Nature Coast Kayak Fishers Club

Gary Rankel, from Hernando, Florida, launched his kayak fishing club and website in 2015.
Since then, his website has become a useful source of information about fishing Nature Coast and Citrus County, kayak fishing techniques and rigging tips, the Nature Coast Kayak Fishers Club schedule and activities, and the Wavewalk 500, from which Gary has been fishing for the past seven years.
Gary offers lectures and advice on these subjects, and he organizes fishing trips, mainly to the Ozello wildlife refuge, where he and his friends fish for snook, redfish and seatrout, as well as other species. He is also active in campaigning for wildlife and fisheries conservation, following his decades long work as a scientist in this field.

Many seniors who would like to go out there and fish are prevented from doing so because handling and driving a regular size motorboat is too hard for them, while fishing out of a common (SOT or Sit-In) kayak is too uncomfortable for them, mainly because of back pain problems, leg circulation, difficulties in launching and beaching, and the need that some have for an extra source of power, namely a motor, due to the fact that their range of travel as paddlers is even more limited than that of younger anglers. Some elderly anglers, such as Gary himself, who’s in in seventies, no longer enjoys a perfect sense of balance, and appreciates the extra stability offered by the Wavewalk.

Gary wrote a comprehensive review of the Wavewalk 500, which was published in the magazine Southern Kayak Fishing.

Good news for elderly kayak anglers

It’s as simple as that: Thanks to a new generation of fishing kayaks, which are lighter, stabler, and more comfortable than common kayaks are, anglers in their sixties and even anglers in their seventies can spend long hours on the water, and enjoy paddling and fishing without suffering from wetness, instability, back pain, leg numbness and cramps, or premature fatigue, which are all symptoms that are commonly experienced by people who fish out of kayaks, especially if they happen to be middle aged and elderly. They can even motorize their kayaks and by doing so travel long distances, and fish in remote locations, without being constrained by the limited physical power they have when paddling is concerned.

Gary is a retired biologist who worked for decades assisting Indian tribes throughout the country in managing their fish and wildlife resources.
He’s in his seventies now, and he lives in Florida.

Says Gary –

Fishing has been my passion since I was young, and I prefer to fish in saltwater, where I go for redfish, sea trout, snook, and other popular local fish species. I practice catch and release, unless someone close (wife or neighbors) orders a particular fish from me for dinner. I fish alone and with other kayak anglers.
Over the years, I’ve owned various fishing boats, and I stuck to the Wavewalk for several reasons; its unmatched stability, comfort and dryness, and the fact that unlike other kayaks it doesn’t hurt my back even if I spend the entire day fishing in it. I can stand up and unkink anytime I want, or lay down on the saddle and stretch.
It’s also lightweight, and that makes it easy for me to take it from my pickup truck to the beach, and back, even with all my fishing gear loaded inside its hulls.

Paddling my W is easy for me, even in harsh weather as it tracks perfectly without the need for a rudder.
In recent years, I’ve discovered the pleasures of wildlife photography out of my W kayak.
I’m planning to add a motor at some point so I can cover even greater distances. I had first opposed the idea of motorizing my kayak, but the numerous videos posted on Wavewalk’s blog have changed my mind.

All in all, it’s the most comfortable and functional fishing kayak I’ve seen.

Here are some pictures of Gary and his senior fishing buddies Bob and Dick:

 

Fishing trips with grandchildren on board your kayak

As one grows older, one usually grows wiser, and more cautious. Many elderly anglers who have fished from a kayak realize it’s a no go, because even the stablest sit-in, SOT or hybrid fishing kayak does not offer adequate comfort and sufficient stability. You don’t have to suffer from any particular physical condition to realize that.

These requirements limit your choice to basically one kayak, the W.

If you add on top of that a requirement that your kayak should enable you to take your grand kids on board comfortably and safely, although kids are known to behave unpredictably (and unsafely), you end up doing what this eighty year old grandfather from Tasmania (Australia) did, and you get yourself a W kayak:

Four passengers on board a stable fishing kayak
Eighty year old grandfather with three grandchildren paddling a stable fishing kayak – Tasmania, Australia

Older kayaker and crew of 3 children on board W kayak - Tasmania

Needless to say that teaching your young passengers to paddle together as a team, is another thing, and results may vary  😀

Do you have grandchildren? Interested in learning more about kayak fishing with kids? >

Note: This blog, Senior Kayak Angler, is dedicated to everything that elderly anglers may be interested in and concerned about regarding kayak fishing.