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Kayak fishing in Michigan has grown rapidly in the last few years. I can remember first starting out kayak fishing as a teenager never knowing at the time that there where anglers just like myself fishing out of kayaks. Finding out later that there are like minded anglers around the state and some of our Canadian friends across the great lakes going out in plastic boats and fishing. Then to throw it all together around the U.S and world. I know it doesn’t sound like anything new to a lot of readers but the kayak angling world is still reaching new and seasoned kayak anglers across the globe bringing new faces in all the time.

With that it opened a new world to me of kayak angling. For the past three years I have been fishing tournaments around Michigan for the most part and venturing sometimes out of state. Starting out completive kayak angling a good size tournament would be around twenty. Now two years later we are seeing competitive fields into and over one hundred. Each bringing the kayak angling community together.

Good or could have been better days I have found adventure in them all. There are numerous groups that hold these tournaments all season long, so if I can the weekend starts a new adventure for me. Winding rivers, big lakes, storms and waves could go on for days about some memorable trips and fish I’ve caught throughout them.
Doing these competitive adventures has brought me out of my comfort fishing grounds and ways. I believe this has also made me a better angler. Better as in knowledge of lakes and rivers I may have never attempted to fish. Also in recognizing similarities of bodies of waters to target fish and what challenges those bring.

I have learned numerous things from attending tournaments. Kayak rigging and equipment management, water and weather conditions when kayaking, how to be prepared and my favorite do’s and don’ts. A bit of trial and error comes into play but learning from others can be the best way. I don’t believe I could write down a list of knowledge that has been obtained.

My advice to new kayak anglers is get out and learn firsthand. Break away from your comfort and find an adventure. Find someone or a group in your area for a bit of mentoring and guidance. Most kayak anglers are more than happy to have a fishing buddy and show you the way. In our world today you can find a lot of information online but get out and actually experience it. Your take away of what you found on a computer may not be what you take away out on the water.
As for the seasoned kayak anglers my advice is keep spreading the sport we love and take someone new out. They may just show you something new.

– Adam Judge