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By Randy Jackson (Kayak Instruction, Inc)



After picking up a new Coosa Elite recently, I’ve been anxious to get it on moving water and put it through its paces.  There was also some new camping gear collected over the winter months that needed to be checked out, and with dogwood trees starting to bloom, there were prospects of catching a few smallmouth bass, as well.


With some near perfect weather over the weekend, I headed toward the Illinois River here in northeastern Oklahoma with plans for a fishing overnighter out of the Coosa.  After some helpful fishing tips and a shuttle from Casey Peyton from Peyton’s Place Resort (thanks, Casey!), the Coosa was loaded and underway on a picture-perfect day.


I’m not sure what I can say that hasn’t already been said about the Coosa.  At the risk of repetition, here are several first-hand impressions from the weekend:

  • Stability – amazing!  The ability to fish from a standing position isn’t just a novelty.  It gives you so much more range and visibility.  And you can easily paddle from a standing position to see what’s up ahead, to stretch your legs, or maybe even show off a little bit!
  • Features – lots of ‘em!  It’s the attention to detail in the design that really makes a tangible difference in your experience on the water.  For instance, the rod and paddle holders and stagers let you move from fishing to maneuvering to back to fishing quickly, quietly, and reliably.
  • Storage – plenty of it!  Room to pack gear for an overnighter, and with some extra planning and compact packing, you could possibly squeeze in a three-nighter.
  • Drag chain chute – genius!  I didn’t know what a drag chain was till Drew Gregory talked about it on his Coosa video, and the chute designed into the hull handles it perfectly.  I rigged one up with a retractable dog leash and it simply works great!
  • High-Low Seat – so worth it!  Not only is it versatile, but with its back support and comfort, you’ll be able to stay in the saddle longer, catching more fish, and enjoying it more!


It was simply a great weekend on the river.  Some fish were caught, but the biggest ones got away, of course.  It all just whetted my appetite for lots more river time in the Coosa.


Thanks again to the good folks a Peyton’s Place resort, who, along with several other outfitters on the Illinois, rent the finest sit-on-top kayak in the business, the Riviera.


And big thanks to all the folks at Jackson Kayak – making the finest “RV’s” – vehicles to get you into great outdoor experiences!

Ready to launch at the put-in.


Drag chain set-up.  I pulled a bike tube over the chain to cut down on noise

Token evidence that I did catch fish!

Day Two launch.

Easy to load and go.