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In early February I had the great opportunity to join some outstanding kayak anglers for the Perry Georgia Kayak Fishing Symposium. It was held at the Go Fish Education Center, a wonderful place filled with live aquariums of fish that represent species from the north Georgia mountains all the way to the coastal regions. The assistant curator gave us a tour through the facility and explained the flow of the species throughout the region. The Go Fish center is loaded with displays and educational tools as well as interactive games and activities to put the fun in learning about our waterways and the species we share them with.

It is also a recirculating fish hatchery and helps raise many species that benefit local anglers as well as some species that are facing extinction without our help. I was fascinated with the baby gulf sturgeon swimming in the tanks. If I remember correctly, the center released over 600,000 walleye fry to be stocked in Lake Lanier last year among other species. This is great news for me because that is close enough for a day trip and I have never caught a walleye!

The Kayak Fishing Symposium was the 4th annual and was the first I have been able to attend. I was glad to have been accompanied by my bride who got to talk with folks about paddling tandem in our Big Tuna as well as show off her Cruise and Ibis. It was nice to have the opportunity to talk about paddling for fun as well as hard core kayak fishing. My fellow Jackson team member, Evan Howard, was there to talk about the art of SUP fishing and swimbaits. His new granite SUPerFISHal was a sure hit with attendees.

This was a neat opportunity to share with others about fishing the southeast and helping to protect the rivers we love. The Flint Riverkeeper gave an inspirational talk on the plight of the Flint River and the need to care for the resource for our children’s sake. It was great to be surrounded by anglers who represent multiple kayak manufactures and see the genuine desire to get people on the water whatever kind of kayak they paddle. Paddle 4 Tomorrow representatives were there to encourage paddlers to share their love of kayaking with people no matter what their Physical or mental state may be.

If you are ever near Perry Georgia, plan a stop by the Go Fish Education Center and plan plenty of time to do it. This is a great resource in the state of Georgia and will pay dividends with our angling future and that of generations to come. Better yet, plan to swing by next February at the 5th annual Kayak Fish Symposium and you will get the best of both worlds; a place to learn and teach and the people who put it to practice every day !