I have a 185 Hydro with a Kawasaki 540. I had mine do the same thing and never figured it out. It cleared up on its own.
I did find a leaf before the needle once before tho.
If there is water in the gas, it will clog a new fuel filter.
The Kawasaki engines use a "trigger" separate from coil instead of points. Common failure issue.
Change sparkplug and make sure it has a bright blue spark when it gives you this symptom.