Kayak Fishing.Time on the water is a great thing. For some, combining water time and fish is even better. Kayak fishing is already well established in the U.S., mainly along the coasts and the Gulf of Mexico. The traditional kayaks that are typically used can definitely get the job done. However, the limitations of a skirted cockpit and covered hatches left us wanting more of the open feeling that a canoe provides. The kayaks from Native Watercraft caught our eye. These kayaks are very much a hybrid of canoe and kayak with the low profile and narrow beam of a kayak and the "open" deck of a canoe (see below)
combined into a light weight boat. We find them well designed and offering features not found in other kayaks. To be clear, kayaks from Native Watercraft can be used like any other recreational kayak on the market. A double bladed paddle, a PFD, and some water and you are good to go. If you are a "squirmer" or someone that does not like feeling confined, like you are in the cockpit of a "normal" kayak then you might check into these boats as they provide an open deck, exactly like a canoe does.
The feature we like the most is the ability to stand up in these boats. This gives you another
choice when it comes to making your cast. You can stand up in other kayaks but balancing is usually
an issue. Stability while casting is a related issue and the features of the Native Watercraft
Ultimate kayaks, we found, really made for a stable platform to stand and cast. While not everyone
wants to stand up in a kayak, the more we did it the more we liked it! Another feature, and one that
has really grown on us, is poling. After all, if conditions and water depth allow for it, and you
are already standing up to cast, you might as well stay upright and pole your way through the water!
Poling has been around for quite awhile, from the Erie Canal on up through the saltwater skiffs in
the mudflats along the Gulf of Mexico. Now, it can be right here in a Midwest lake or river too!
Needless to say, we were excited about these boats and anxious to take them kayaking and fishing! Our time came once the ice left the waters of northern Wisconsin. Jimbo Meador, one of the first employees at Native and a member of the design team there, flew into town and off we went with three Native Watercraft Ultimate kayaks on a fishing trip to Hayward, Wisconsin to see just what these boats could do. In Hayward, we met up with Wendy Williamson and Larry Mann, the owners of Hayward Flyfishing Company. They showed us around some of the world famous waters in the Chippewa Flowage near Hayward. Over the course of two days with them we caught muskies, pike, and smallmouth bass. Great freshwater species and just what we had wanted to catch. We came back with fish stories and lots of video! It was a great trip. Paddling, poling, and fly fishing from these boats were every bit what we had hoped for!
The DVD we're making, as this is written on June 26th, is anchored firmly in two areas: showing how these boats can be used in a variety of settings and fishing Midwestern freshwater lakes, streams, and rivers. We have found inland waters to be a bit neglected when it comes to kayak fishing. Our aim is to fix that. Saltwater, surf, redfish and other ocean species are covered in other places. What we have in this DVD is freshwater species like muskies and pike, large and small mouth bass, crappies and bluegills. All caught using flies and fly rods while fishing from Native Watercraft kayaks. Do you need to be a fly fisherman to buy this DVD or use an Ultimate kayak? Absolutely not. In fact we have an interview with Keith Gelhar, a salmon fisherman from Milwaukee, WI., who uses his Ultimate kayak on Lake Michigan in his pursuit of salmon. John van Den Brandt is a wildlife photographer in Appleton, WI. He uses a MONSTER lense in an Ultimate kayak as he goes about pursuing the next shot for his photography business. We think that time on the water is what boaters and fishermen are really after. Native Watercraft kayaks provide that along with some unique features that can offer new ways to enjoy the water! read more