Members of the South Korean Sea Dreamer Kayak Fishing club, all determined anglers, outfitted their fishing kayaks with outriggers and outboard gas engines. These avid anglers headed out for an offshore kayak fishing trip December 31st, in frigid weather. The fishing expedition included a few traditional SOT kayaks, and a W500 kayak, which unlike the other kayaks, was manned by a crew of two: an elderly couple who loves fishing, and enjoys fishing together.
Sungjin Kim, Wavewalk’s distributor in South Korea, published this story (in Korean) on his Korean kayak fishing website, which includes a link to the kayak fishing club’s website.
Here is the tandem duo’s haul:
Imported fishing kayaks are expensive in Korea, and so are outboard motors and outriggers. This couple could have gotten a small motorized boat in place of their motorized W Kayak, but then they would have to deal with the associated hassle. Instead, they can simply car-top their craft:
Another inconvenience with a bigger boat is the need to launch it from a boat ramp, which is neither easy, especially for the more elderly.
But let’s not forget that winters in south Korea are notoriously cold, and consequently so are the waters. This means that regular SOT, sit-in or hybrid fishing kayaks are inadequate for offshore excursions for elderly people: They need to fish out of a kayak that keeps them dry, an impossibility while using any personal watercraft other than their W500:
Last but not least, elderly people need a level of comfort that simply isn’t provided by kayaks other than the W kayak. They need to stand up easily and at their leisure to stretch, change positions, be free from any pressure on their lower back, and be able to fight and prevent leg numbness.
It’s fairly obvious 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 normal motorized W500 kayaks is that they outfitted it with outriggers, like all the other participants in this fishing trip did. This safety measure is logical in view of the hazardous environment and the risk of hypothermia in case of capsizing, 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 inhibited by age.
Interestingly, the other motorized kayaks that participated in this expedition were push-pedal drive kayaks, 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.