Merwin: Making Jet Skis Less Obnoxious

Mostly I hate jet skis, those fast and noisy personal watercraft often driven by obnoxious kids whose idea of a good time is harassing fishermen or generally tearing up a quiet lake. When I was in my late teens I might actually have enjoyed using one if they had existed back then. But not now.

Maybe I'm changing my mind. This morning I found some very cool web postings by a guy calling himself "Jet Ski Brian." He's rigged a large Yamaha PWC for fishing in his Virginia Beach area. Rod holders, a cooler, batteries, VHF radio, a GPS/sonar rig, and more--all for what might be called the ultimate "personal" fishing machine seen here. It's fast, plenty stable for fishing, and it's cheap to run. It's also trailerable and can be launched almost anywhere.

It also turns out he's not alone. Jet-ski fishing is becoming increasingly popular in New Zealand, for example, which only confirms what I've thought for some time--that a lot of those Kiwi anglers are at least partly crazy.

But maybe jet-ski angling will be the next big thing here. A used machine isn't all that expensive and has lots of power and range on the water. And it would certainly be nice if all those juvenile jet-ski menaces started seriously fishing with their machines instead of mindlessly ramming around.

So what do you think--ready to grab your rods and go for a ride?