Select Page

When people start talking about professional kayak fishermen the notion of a “pipe dream” usually ensues — unless you’re talking to Drew Gregory, that is. You are never quite sure what to expect when you meet someone who has such a large online personality. In the real world, he’s a passionate, knowledgeable kayak fisherman who happens to be a genuinely nice guy.

I’ve met anglers who can’t wait to tell you how great they are and want to make sure they position themselves as better than you by the time the conversation ends. They are usually draped in some type of wicking material with too many logos to count. Drew is not that guy. He could be if that was his thing, but it simply isn’t.

In late March of 2014 he opened his door (and a pull out couch) to two guys he didn’t know well by any means and a few fishing trips followed- trips we won’t likely forget anytime soon. As we watched Drew (with his favorite partner, a Blue Heeler named Lu) fish for a few days, we found ourselves humbled and came to realize how much we still have to learn as kayak anglers. Coming from Pennsylvania, we saw some artificial baits that were more like some of the fish we catch up here slinging through the air from what seemed like a pool cue threaded with line. Standing up as if it was on the edge of a concrete pier, he casted big baits for hours on end maintaining a perfect position of his Cuda 14. We saw some southern hogs latched onto the other end of the heavy artillery — much like the ones we were looking for and talked about during our 7-hour ride south. The exciting part about all of this is the room for growth. Personally, I pushed my limits a bit fishing with him and a learning experience like that is one to remember. It’s one that will keep me pushing myself to the next level for years to come.

Drew is all about the sport and reaching as many people as possible so it can grow — all while making sure he doesn’t get pulled away from it so far that he forgets why he started doing what he does in the first place. In his position, the latter is something that could easily happen. His lifestyle is probably not what you’d expect as an onlooker following Facebook feeds, GoPro videos, and other blogs. He is a guy juggling as many if not more responsibilities as we are, and he’s not simply launching his kayak and fishing the days away for his enjoyment like some of you may think. Long road trips to shoot a television show and lead his nationwide River Bassin’ Tournament Trail, “concrete feet” on the trade show floors, negotiations with sponsors both on a business and personal level then ensuring sponsorship requirements are met can be not only time consuming but a physical and mental drain as well — it is work, don’t kid yourself. And that’s not all of it, only what was talked about over a few dinners while winding down from a fun day on the water. These types of days don’t happen often for Drew but we could tell he thoroughly enjoyed spending some of his scarce free time in the Elite seat without money on the line.

Then tournament time came and the gloves were off. Drew maniacally ensured all of his line was up to snuff and dug through Plano boxes looking for as many options as possible. He had a plan, everything made sense to him and he started to get excited. The next morning it was as simple as pulling out of his neighborhood and heading to the lake. This guy does not mess around when it comes to this part of his job and not surprisingly, on a lake he hadn’t even fished until two days prior, took 8th in the biggest money kayak bass fishing tournament to date.

I take a little bit of solace in knowing how hard Drew Gregory has worked to become with kayak fishing icon he is. There are many industries where knowing the right people and being in the right place at the right time can buy you a free ride for life in a corner office with a bunch of windows, but kayak fishing isn’t one of them and Drew isn’t that guy either. He puts his pants on one leg at a time just like we do, his just happen to have a little more fish on them by the end of the day. So the next time you see him, say hello and thank him for all he’s done to help grow the sport we all know and love. As for me, I can’t wait to head south again and learn a few more things from a new friend who is a professional in all aspects of the sport.

-Noah Heck