Social media and fishing forums were small back then. I didn’t know that I was paddling an “inferior” kayak. To me it was a joy and I still think fondly of that kayak. I caught a lot of fish from it. I have a lot of great memories centered around that kayak. Here is the thing: Don’t get caught up in thinking you have to have the premier kayak before you paddle a single stroke. When you are ready for one though, come back and ask lots of questions, try a lot of different kayaks out and make an informed decision. I’d be more than happy to help in any way I can from finding a dealer with world class service or taking a glance at a Craigslist ad. Whatever will help, I’m willing to do or find someone who can.
Hey! You there! You in the 10ft sit in kayak. I know you don’t have a rod holder and that kayak you are in may or may not be sold as a fishing kayak but you know what? You’re doing it. You are getting off the bank. You are diving into a new sport with what you can and that is what counts. I’m proud of you for doing that.
You also should know I was and in my heart still am one of you. I did whatever it took to get off the bank. For more than six years I fished in a Pelican Endeavor sit in kayak. It didn’t track well, it didn’t come with anything but a seat and I loved it. I was off the banks and in areas I could never reach before. It was a liberating experience.
I paddle a different kayak now. It’s more expensive, it has way more features and is looked at as a desirable kayak to own. You know what that gets me when you get it down to nuts and bolts? Off the bank. The exact same thing that original kayak did. Are the features nice? Yes they are. I am just now, in the last 12 months able to really afford a kayak that had some of the features I wanted. Will I go back to that simpler time? Probably not but if I needed to financially I would. It is the fact that we all want to be in a kayak and fishing that makes us brothers and sisters in the sport. We share a passion that more and more people come to understand every day.
I can’t speak for every kayak fisherman out there but I would venture to say that most of us are proud you are out there and doing it. When the time comes to upgrade or if you are one of the lucky ones and you can pick any kayak you want, many of us will be there to let you paddle our boats or a buddy’s boat or invite you to a get together to try all of the kayaks. Everyone is different as every kayak is different but one thing remains constant throughout- we all love to kayak fish.
I don’t care what boat you are in right now. I care that you are out there and kayak fishing. If you want to fish with me, please come up and say hi and let’s paddle and fish. Never be embarrassed by your fishing kayak. You don’t have to explain you have very little money. It’s ok. I swell with pride every time I meet someone new on the water and they are asking questions. That lets me know our sport is doing a lot of good things. Some of the coolest rigs I have ever seen have been ingenious ways to get on the water. There will come a time down the road when you get to upgrade. You’ll have a very nice kayak and a new kayaker in a $100 garage sale kayak will paddle up and marvel at your new boat. Don’t let them be discouraged. Remind them where almost all of us start and remind them it’s the fact that they are out there kayak fishing that makes us happy to share water with them. Some day their time will come too and hopefully the kindred love of kayak fishing will again be shared.