Welcome to the Yakfishing Hall of Fame. Of course the real fathers of our sport were the eskimos. These wondrous men developed the first skin-on-frame kayaks and improved their designs over several thousand years. These "qajak" designs have stood the test of time and remain among the fastest, lightest and strongest kayaks available to us.
Skin-on-frame kayaks are still being made today thanks to a body of talented craftsmen and authors such as Harvey Golden, Chris Cunningham, Robert Morris, Mark Starr and others. I'm building a Greenland style myself which will be 17 ft 3 in x 23 in x 38 lb (est), from our native cypress.
To all of these we owe a great debt. We must never forget that kayakfishing is not just fishing from a platform we call a kayak. It is my firm position that kayak design and performance - and - fishing success and gratification are inextricably intertwined. Kayakfishing is a total experience beginning with a well designed, top performing, safe and seaworthy kayak.
Modern kayakfishing reemerged in the 1970's and our sit-on-top kayaks appeared in the 1980's. In the Hall of Fame I will interview the modern pioneers of our passionate sport of yakfishing. One of the first is my good friend, Kayak Willie.
Bill is a true sportsman and a classic Florida character who has been involved in boating and fishing his whole life. He is a skilled craftsman in both wood and fiberglass and has designed and built a number of craft, not to mention his own fishing rods, paddles, gear, airboat, helicopter, swamp buggy and more. An independent thinker, tinkerer and inventor.
I'm very proud to bring you this interview:
Pompano Beach, Florida
What ever got you into kayak fishing in the first place?
Well I used to - when I got my kayak - I was surfing it a lot and I was rowing it offshore one day when I noticed a bunch of boats around me with sailfish on and they were jumping around me frequently, and I said well why don't I bring out some bait out here sometime and see if I can hook one.
Were you already a fisherman at this time?
Yeah, I'd been fishin for years, in boats and stuff, so I rode around and pulled a ballyhoo actually on a piece of surgical rubber hooked to a piece of 50 lb. mono and the sailfish were hitting that bait but without dropping it back they weren't picking it up and so I decided to put a rodholder on my kayak and try it again.
Well how did you - did you just tow a line with a piece of surgical tube behind - you had no rod?
And no hook? And the rubber was to absorb shock?
No, it had hooks. I had 50 feet of surgical rubber, so if they jumped, which would stretch out about 150 feet.
(Laughing) Holy cow!
That would give me time to turn around and get pulled by em.
So you were actually gonna let the sailfish pull ya - and where did you attach the line?
I had cleats on my kayak.
Wow, that's amazing.
So next time I decided I would catch some live bait and go out there, and as I was leaving the beach I thought maybe a barracuda or kingfish had got me after catchin my ballyhoo and it was a 24 lb. tuna. that was on 6 lb. tournament line at the time, and he pulled me from Pompano Pier to Lauderdale Pier til I finally got him.
How far is that, bout 15 miles?
No, I think it was about 6. So after I finally beat him I rowed back to Hillsboro and we weighed him and at the time it was only 5 lb. off the world record for 6 lb. tournament line.
Was it a fairly light rig too?
Yes, flexible tip rod so I could see when my bait got nervous it would start to flutter a little bit.
Is that one of those 8 ft. rods you made?
(Yes) it was a Fenwick blank with a real light tip so when the fish (bait) got nervous I could tell even before I got the hit that a fish was coming up on me. So I got the tuna and the next time out I got some more bait, I left with the ballyhoo off the pier and all of a sudden the line went off, thought maybe it was a cuda again, next minute it was a sailfish comes jumping in about 45 feet of water - shallow water - and he thrashed around and went out from me, and turned around and came back, almost spearing me.
And finally the line got tangled or something and I lost him, so I came in and went back out again another day and caught some more bait and left, and noticed I had no problem hooking up sailfish just at will. Because on a calm day I would paddle and pop bubbles in the water and then coast my bait through them, the bubbles.
You said pop bubbles, you mean with your paddle?
Well I would swoosh it (the paddle), push the paddle behind me, making a big bubble mess, then I'd coast my little live bait through that area and it seems to raise the sailfish real frequently.
How far back were you towing the bait?
I was only pulling it 50 feet.
Oh, so fairly close. Now at this point did you have your 3-way rod mount?
No, I started with only one rod.
And how did you mount it, behind or in front of you?
It was in front of me so that when the fish decided to pull, he could pull me forward instead of reverse. And I kept hookin em up, hooking some real nice fish up and they would pull me at will and I was havin a real tough time beatin em on 6 lb test which breaks at 6 or under. And I said, well this isn't really workin, so I had to slow the kayak down, being that it's only 22 inches wide and 16 (ft) long - it was a sliver in the water and has no drag, and I finally knew a guy in the Army Reserves and he got me some small sea anchors that were adjustable, and they were real small and on parachute cord.
And I could slow myself down by puttin em in the water and controlling the size of the orifices in the back to get my drag set so he wouldn't take my line and he was still pullin the kayak, yet I was still putting drag on the fish.
So he was pulling you with the rod in the holder?
No, usually I'm holding the rod.
So where would you attach the drag chutes?
The sea anchor - I would hook it to my cleat and it would drag behind me.
The cleat was in front of you?
Yeah, but the line would go down along the edge. So I was - it was slowing down a little bit but it was real tough and with tournament line, like I said you're at 6 lb test which is very hard to do. It took a year of fishing to actually land my first sailfish on 6. And I said I wasn't gonna fish with nothin but 6 for my first sailfish.
You were lookin for a record, is that it?
Not really, I could, but anybody could catch a sailfish on 20 and stronger but when you start fishin super light tackle which is only a little bit more than they sew your bathin suit together with - it was like I was doing more.
Sure, and you had built your own rods, 8 ft., that would clear the yak, and what kind of a reel did you have on there?
At the time I was using a Penn 550SS. It would hold 350, 400 yards of 6.
As far as your terminal gear what did you use?
Originally I used Steel-On which is a coated, braided stainless. That would be about an 8 ft leader, with a ball bearing swivel hooked to my 6 lb.
Right. And what pound test is this leader?
It was 80. The hook to the Steel-On, to the ball bearing swivel and then to the rod.
How did you rig the ballyhoo?
Well, with live ballyhoo you want to keep em live and don't hurt em so you put it (the hook) in it's mouth and out his gill plate without hurting his gills and with a short piece of copper - you wrap it around his bill and throw him in the water.
Doesn't that close his mouth?
No, because the hook is in his mouth.
So that keeps the mouth open.
Yeah, because if you close his mouth he will not breath. My extra ones (ballyhoo) that I would leave the beach with would be hooked on my leaders already, but hook them (the leaders) to the boat with 2 lb test, and I would usually leave the beach with 3 baits. Sometimes you might lose a ballyhoo, a cuda might get one, a king might get one, so you had three chances of trying to get off.
How far out would you go and what did you do then?
Oh I would usually row straight out from the pier and if you see anybody sailfishing you know, they're from 90 to 150 (ft deep). And I would just work the area and work it into the sea and into the wind so that, you know, I would always have a free ride home. So I kept hookin em up. One pulled me almost 12 miles offshore.
He'd sounded and I couldn't get him up at all, with 6 lb test, it was playin a tune on the line it was so tight. And I waited way too long and didn't want to cut my line, which is a very hard thing to do. And just before the sun went down, here I am offshore.
And how long did this towing last?
He pulled me for two hours. I was off of Boca, bout 12 miles off.
Were you in the Gulf Stream at that point?
Well the current was running pretty fast that day and I was runnin north fast. And just before the sun went down I see my line starting to come up, and I watch it and watch it, and next minute he comes thrashin out of the water and does a 360 degree circle around me with a shark tryin to eat him.
So just about this time the sun is almost set completely dark and I bit my line in half. Rode on in to Boca Inlet, that's one thing I wouldn't advise doing, cause I hadn't really set myself up for stayin at night with glowsticks and even though I had all my safety equipment with me but I didn't have lights and it was not a smart thing to do at the time.
Now you had what I think was the first SOT kayak, because you took a kayak that was made here in Ft. Lauderdale?
Yes, in Oakland Park and it was one of the first Sit-Ons made. My kayak is like a bathtub that you actually sit in and not on top like a regular sit-on-top.
Now did you modify it or is this the way it was made?
It was the way it was made. He manufactured a lot of em, and these were not even finished, we had to trim em up and he threw em out, and the molds and everything. I wound up getting one and my friend got one and we finished em off.
Do you know the name of this guy and the kayak he made?
No. It was 16 (ft.) by 22 (in.).
I've seen the yak, it is beautiful, it's almost a canoe-like hull.
It's symmetrical with a flat bottom, surfs well. I could pick up waves on the Intracoastal with a passing boat and surf with em.
Now this was a fiberglass yak, how much did it weigh?
At the time it weighed only bout 40, 50 some pounds.
Were there any hatches?
No. It was non-sinkable, if the water got into the cockpit area, it would be like sitting in a bathtub and I could just splash it out with my hand.
It didn't have any scuppers?
No scuppers, and I usually just splashed it out with my hand and then sponged the rest of it out.
And you also built your own nine foot paddle?
Yeah the kayak was so fast and all the paddles I used, you had to move your hands a hundred miles a minute to go anywhere, I used the longer paddle being that I could take longer strokes, plus when I'm offshore it seems to stabilize you more. And I also don't run it feathered, I run it straight so that if I wanted to run one leg over the top of it and leave it flat in the water it could stabilize you.
Now you made this out of an aluminum shaft? Did you find the blades somewhere?
Fiberglass blades and aluminum shaft and then I used an extra piece of aluminum to lengthen it.
You built a little aluminum 3-way rod holder too, so you could troll 3 rods?
Later on I took real light weight aluminum and made a tripod system that bolted in the front so I could run three rods. I would run one down the center way back, one with a trolling sinker that would run about 20 ft (deep) under the surface, and then I'd run another short line, and I'd find that I could make as sharp of turns as I want and never tangle.
(The center one) I'd run back as far as a hundred foot. The (deep line) would run somewhere about 50 feet, the other (surface line) would be about 50 feet.
These are live ballyhoo, were you going real slow?
You just keep your lines tight, work into the wind. Maybe 1 knot, just as slow as you could go with the clickers on and free spool, with a sailfish you want to hear it go off and most of the time my fish (ballyhoo) would start jumping before the fish (sail) would even get near him. You feel the quivering of the rod. Then I would know my sailfish is coming up.
You were on guard at that point. Now let's say you saw it quiver, and with your experience, you knew what was about to happen. So what did you do with your other two lines?
You leave em. Then you wait for the hit, most of the hits would go "zzzzzzzzzzzz". Automatically freespool and start dumpin the line behind me and then if you feel it get picked up, then just lock it up, stick it in the rod holder and row a little bit to set the hook.
So you would set the hook not by pullin the rod, why not?
Cause it didn't matter, the hooks I was using with light tackle were made for fresh water, a super large worm hook which is so, such a fine needle tip, just the weight of the hook will hold it in your arm. Almost needle point sharp.
What kind of hooks are these?
They're about a 7/0.
That's a pretty big hook.
6 and 7's.
But I think of those as big, chunky galvanized hooks?
No with the fresh water worm hooks the diameter of it is less than a sixteenth each. J-hooks and they would actually hook themselves.
I guess with 6 lb it's not a problem. Now we all used to heavier gear where you could straighten out a hook like that without even tryin. But with your light gear....
I set my hooks up for 6 lb test but yet if I leadered the fish hard I could straighten the hook right out.
So you had to just be modest about it? So you've set the hook with your yak, now what do you with the other lines?
After the fish is done jumping and it's under control, I go ahead and pull my other stuff in. But first I had to let him do his thing.
Now was there a problem leaving the other rods up when you're fightin the sail?
I could take em and stick em inbetween my legs in the bathtub there if I wanted. Kinda depended on what the fish was doin, if he was takin much line or something I'd have to row after him.
You used a Steel-On leader at first, didn't you change to other leaders later?
Well, by usin the Steel-On - if I was sailfish only I shoulda been runnin the 80 lb. mono - but this way I could catch kingfish, a wahoo and usually they didn't cut through it.
How many of these fish do you think you've caught? Can you put a number on it?
Most of the time I tried to get offshore so that I could hook dolphin and sailfish mainly and a tuna even got me. Most of the time I was sailfishing I get off the reefs so I wouldn't catch a cuda or anything. I wouldn't want a kingfish, so I was running mainly off the edge.
Have you caught many wahoo?
I've caught wahoo, tuna, dolphin. Caught a 17 lb wahoo, that's actually small, that was in the tournament. The tournament before I'd caught a king but it didn't come up to 15 lb. at the weigh-in. Most of the time I was sailfishing. At the time I'm sorry to say but the tournaments were kill tournaments and it was so easy to hook sailfish back then so when I came to the scales with a sailfish - especially when you beat a million dollar boat that maybe didn't hook anything that day. Skunked.
(Laughs). They must have been pretty damn surprised to see you in their tournaments. What was their reaction? Did they think you were nuts?
First they kinda laughed - said "this guys jokin, he's not gonna do anything" - but after the second and third tournaments when you start beatin 75% of the boats out there, they know your'e serious.
Do you think you were resented?
Nooooo, they respected me, and it was fun fishin against - I liked being the underdog, being that it gives you more a sense of value. In a kayak it feels like you're doing something - where you go in a million dollar boat with all the heavy tackle. In a tournament I used 20 lb. test, a meat line which would really pull me. That's about as strong as you want to get in a kayak because of the turn over factor. If you use 50 or heavy tackle your drag would be tighter and if the fish ran to the side he could turn you over instantly.
It would almost be dangerous, if you get tangled in 20 lb test, the fish could take you with him.
Yeah, so later I had two International reels and I changed those to teflon drag washers so it was real hard to put too much drag on the fish. I would usually thumb it and reel down on it and this way if the fish did a run - I had gloves on - I didn't have to fumble around and lose the fish and snap it off, and it would run on.
Did you use spinning rods?
I used one 550SS (spinner) and two Penn Internationals. When I first did it I used the light rods (8 ft, that he built), then I had two custom rods made. But they were a little shorter, which worked kinda alright, more like 6 ft. boat rods. I ran the spinner down the center, give me the height.
Now for pleasure and not for competion, what kind of rod do you think is best?
I think just a good spinner (like his fast tip, 8 ft), with 10 on it.
Now with 6 lb. you were just tryin to prove a point, but a lot of guys who want to try this, would they be better off with 10 or 12 lb?
You'll have a real good fight on 12 and you'll feel like you did something if you catch a fish on 12. If you're familiar with the line and you let him do his jumping. If you're not a real good angler I would go with the 20 lb test, it would only take you maybe half an hour.
And on the lighter line you used?
It would take me an hour and a half.
When you brought the fish were they pretty much spent?
Most of the time I could just turn em loose. During the tournaments you had to grab em and you didn't want em to be too green, for sure. I had a big gaff with me but I never needed it.
Speaking of equipment what do you think is the minimal safety equipment you should take?
Always have a handheld VHF in a ziploc sealed bag for emergencies, glow sticks, sea anchor, gloves, compass always and GPS, the compass on your wrist, and safety lines on everything - that clip onto your reels, onto you, the boat, your rods, and onto - I had a bag, a duffel little bag that set between my legs with all my goodies in it that I could zip up. Everything is with you. It won't lose you if a fish is pulling you, you won't lose your kayak, you get back it, you got all your equipment, you won't lose a three hundred dollar fishin reel.
Did you ever dump?
No. I was fishin one time in 4 to 6 out there and the current was really running and a kingfish chewed my baits and I wound up comin in early that day anyway cause the current was really runnin, and later on I started carrying a bait boat with me.
What's a bait boat?
A regular boat would stay within a quarter mile of me in case I needed extra bait. In the first tournaments I'd run out of bait and by the time you'd rode into the beach and all the way back out.
Speaking of catching bait, where do you recommend people go?
The first reef. I use an eighth inch piece of squid about one inch long on a smalles gold hook you can buy, connect it straight to 4 or 6 lb. test, drift along in the wintertime and you can see the ballyhoo tap it, then you did a little drop back - a one second drop back - and then hook him. Then hook him onto your leader.
I usually carried five live baits (trolled three), I carried two live rigged ballyhoo (towed on each side of the yak, leaders attached by 2 lb. test).
You liked ballyhoo.
Well blue runners are real good except they have a tendency to want to swim up under the boat and hide so I didn't like those as much. A stickleback, a little skipjack (aka leatherjack) with its little yellow tail, do not grab one without gloves because it has three spines that stick up on its back, will put poison in ya. I've run one of those before and had a big dolphin on, which I lost, but that's a good bait. Anything live.
You hook em all the same way, through the gills?
Yes. Large needlefish, put it down the same way (as a ballyhoo), wrap it round his little beak and that worked well. Anything live that you could get.
Did you ever use sabikis?
No. I would mainly like fishin in the winter, cause of the sailfish action, I didn't find myself fishin too much in the summer - it's just too grueling and hot and I used to carry Gatorade all the time.
How many tournaments did you enter, what kind of prizes did you win?
Anything from what do you call it - the booby prize - they gave me one for losing a sailfish right at the boat, I lost him. One for a sailfish, gave me something for the wahoo too. Most of them I think was a gimme, I know I had points on the board where a lot people didn't - they just really enjoyed having me in the tournament.
So they enjoyed having you there?
That and a friend fished a Hobie Cat one year with me and he had had a sail on too.
You guys were nuts (laughs)!
And then one year a guy in a canoe was gonna fish against me, happened to be real rough that time, said that canoe's not gonna go. They did an article saying "tippy canoe and Titler too" (laughs). That was funny.
When did you start doing this?
I think maybe 80, 81.
SOT's weren't around then, I think they came around in the mid 80's?
There wasn't any back then. I always wanted to row back from the Bahamas but somebody did it fore I got to do it so I didn't do it. Made it I think in maybe 6 hours.
About the kayak you bought from the guy in Oakland Park, was this your first kayak?
Yes. I bought it cause they were cheap and dumb, good exercise, and just somethin to do. I had airboats and swamp buggies and I wanted to go mess around in the ocean. I built an airboat back in high school, then I built a tunnel hull airboat (his own design). Then I built a full-track swamp buggy which I had in car shows and magazines, it was real modern. I have a partial built helicopter, partial my design using some parts from another one. I have a (powered) wheelchair in the process, which is just about done.
Oh, for safety equipment you should always carry a whistle, and I carried a signal mirror which could help you if you have a big problem, kept these in my bag, everything was in my bag if I needed it. (The bag was tied to the yak). And also for predators out there, sharks, I carried a 223 power head, bang stick, in case something came up at me that I didn't want.
Now you were attacked by a shark?
Twice. One time I wasn't even fishing, it was June, July, my girlfriend had let me off in S. Pompano and she was waiting in Boca. I was rowing up the beach between Pompano Pier and Hillsboro going up in 25 foot of water when a shark came up at me. I hit him with the paddle and I actually broke the paddle a little bit. Kept going on up toward Boca, told em what happened. Then another time I came out, rowed from the inland out to the ocean and I was coming in by the Hillsboro reef and a lady says there's a big fish out there by the edge of the reef.
So I went out, I found it and it was a bull shark, it was 250 maybe 300 lb. - it was a big one and he was in feedin mode. Bull sharks are one of the meanest sharks out there, unpredictable, most divers don't like em. I stayed over the top of him everywhere that we went, and I peed him off a little bit (chuckles) and he zoomed off and then about thirty seconds later he came back at me. I hit him with the paddle so after that I didn't play with sharks anymore.
How big was the first one?
He came up at me so fast, he came right at me, I couldn't tell. It was kind murky water. But offshore I've seen big hammerheads, 400 plus, I'm not really worried bout those. But a mako or a tiger shark could just come off the bottom, take the bottom (of the yak) out, if he might see the way I pop and sputter around out there with live bait. He might, could hit you real quick, and not see him coming. It would be the worst thing, seeing something coming.
Then I raised one marlin one day it was so calm you could throw a bb in the water. I couldn't catch live bait, but I had a ladyfish rigged and I pulled him along real close to me so I could skip em, and I had to row a lot faster. It was during the summer and it was so calm I heard rushing water comin up behind me and I turned my head around, saw a big wave coming up at the back of the kayak. All of a sudden the wave went down, I quick reached up and pulled my safety on my powerhead (bang stick), tucked my elbows in and started rowing in real short strokes in case he hit me I wouldn't have my paddles in a bad position, wanted em to stabilize me. Next minute he comes out of the water and there's little bonitas jumping everywhere around me. They come up underneath me to hide. So that was one of the marlins. He had to be at least 300.
Do you think he was attacking you?
No. Only one other time I thought a sailfish had got on my line and I think it was a baby marlin, when I was fishing on 6 lb. test. This is the only fish I'd seen that took my line and put a quarter mile between me and him in seconds. Greyhounding away from me. And I figured it had to be a small blue marlin because I'd never seen a sailfish do that.
A sailfish will jump around ya and skitter around and sometimes come too close to you than you want because they're just literally trying to get the leader out of their mouth. Not worried about you. Sometimes your line is like a cobweb behind him; with no drag he's just jumpin around, tryin to thrash on his side. The biggest danger that I know was hookin a sailfish and having him jump toward you, cause if he happened to spear ya, he's gonna spear ya right about in the stomach. I didn't carry a hacksaw at the time.
Geez. I guess at that time you'd have to use your paddle or something, to hopefully protect you...
Yeah, I had some close calls.
Like how close?
Almost hitting the boat (his kayak). Because even when I was fishin regular boats lotta times you would have to power the boat up and get out of the way of a skittering sailfish all the time.
Many times a sailfish will go crazy on the surface, and go skittering back and hit the side of a boat. It happens all the time, and that's why fishing for sailfish not the safest thing to do.
Once a sailfish is on, I guess you have a little warning that its gonna skitter toward ya...I'm not sure what you would do.
Just hope he didn't hit you, if he hits your boat it's alright, but they can actually go right through your boat, like that picture on the wall (shows me a pic of a very large marlin that had actually penetrated completely through both sides of a large wooden skiff).
That's a marlin stuck right clean through a rowboat. And there was a fishin show on this week that showed a guy got speared in the wrist. They had to take him in to Islamorada, he was fishin a tournament.
Yes, we sometimes take things for granted. Let's face it, most of us have had a big barracuda on and are very cautious. A number of our members have been charged or attacked by cudas.
Only other close call I've had with a barracuda was I was catchin bait. I pulled the bait off and I held off for a second. The bait was fluttering (in the air) and I was just gettin ready to put my hand on him when a barracuda come whippin up next to the boat and literally chopped the blue runner right in half in midair. Within seconds of me puttin my hand on it, woulda chopped my hand. So that's one of the dangers of catchin live bait.
Do you think people could have as much luck just pulling a frozen ballyhoo?
No. Anything live will produce. You can't hardly move fast enough to make em wiggle good unless you used a split tail mullet or a deboned ballyhoo with a little egg sinker on it, so you can actually make it look like it swims. But the live bait in the wintertime is the way to go (he doesn't fish summers) for any sailfish action.
Did you much other types of fishin out of the yak? Artificials or goin into the flats?
Just to the Keys. I had a double kayak and my girlfriend and I would hook barracudas up just trolling around with tube lures.
I enjoy that a lot too...
And another thing - I'd tie my paddle to the boat also, I tied everything. I had a clip ring, everything clips on it. My safety line would be hooked to the boat, I had clip rings that would clip onto each reel, or anything I wanted to go around, little stainless clip rings that I could take off and on real easy when I hit the beach.
Were you concerned about getting tangled up if you dumped?
Well, if you tipped over and the fish pulled your kayak away you couldn't swim fast enough. I think I wouldn't worry bout as much about gettin tangled as losing all my gear and the kayak and then havin to swim in.
That would be a real tragedy there. I guess another safety feature would be to go in pairs with another person, have somebody around if you got into trouble.
Even though I really enjoyed fishing by myself, still do. Even in a regular boat now I use all safety lines on me and shut the engine off. I fish myself in a regular boat.
So how many years did you do kayakfishing? When's the last time you went?
(Laughs) Years. Probably nine, ten years ago. I kayakfished for maybe 10 years.
You put on a few miles then...
I could row from Pompano to Boynton in four hours. That's 24 miles, I was averaging 6 miles an hour. On an awful day when I'd just rowed for fun, leaving the house, I used to live on a canal, I'd row 12 miles just for a workout.
Did you yak everyday then?
Especially before tournaments I would yak everyday for 12 miles before the tournaments. After 12 miles you're not tired. Twelve miles is actually nothing. After rowing 24 miles I went against the current at Boynton inlet which is the strongest current on the east coast of Florida. It can go over 12 knots. My kayak is symmetrical and (the current) seems to flow around it like a 2 x 4 in the water. Sometimes you wouldn't move at all, sometimes you'd move a little bit but that was a fun thing to do every once in awhile.
Yes, I know some of the inlets have some serious standing waves when the wind opposes the tide...
One day my friend, who had a kayak just like mine, we found some manta rays off of Boca Inlet. You'd see 12 to 15 foot across manta rays. We would chase em around and one came up underneath my friend, came up right to the surface and bumped him right in the middle and lifted him up just a little bit. He was 200 lbs. this guy, lifted him up a little bit and both wing tips of the manta ray came out of the water on each side. I woulda loved to have a picture of that!
So you had this friend who bought the same kayak as you.
He was the one who told me about em. I still know him, but he got rid of it.
Well, your yak is surely one of a kind...
Well the one that's closest to it right now is your Seda Revenge. That's the closest to what I had of the bathtub style.
Are you interested in getting another one?
I would like to but right now I've got a - I want to make a two man from a rowing scull I have in the warehouse. I want to take and make a fast two man because my other two man was 31 wide by 17 and it was very slow, and it had sailing equipment. This one here would be 23 by 20 foot long.
That would go like the wind...
The rowing scull I have up there from a friend, it broke in half and it's straight sided and I could add four foot to it and it's 17. So that would make a real nice fast two-man kayak.
What is it that makes kayaks and kayakfishing magical or special for you?
No motor. You're fishin by yourself. It's quiet. And it's, uh, very peaceful and relaxing.
It's like the eskimos who fished alone, went hundreds of miles in the sea. It's an ancient, very natural way of doing things, under your own power, and you have control of your own craft. You're not dependent on anything.
If you lose a fish it's your own fault. And it seems like it's very relaxing, cheap way of fishing, and fun and healthy too.
I feel the same way....Bill thank you very much!
To Hall of Famer Dennis Spike
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