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For more seasons than I would like to admit I’ve fished. Walking the bank of a farm ponds, wading creeks, small lakes in a small boat, (10 foot Jon boat), and big lakes in a big go-fast boat, canoeing dozens of years in Canada, I’ve caught walleye in “tin” V-hulls, cast from pontoon recreational boats and then being “late to the party” climbed into a kayak. Truthfully I enjoyed each one but there is something special about kayaks. Soon endless questions from colleagues, “why a kayak?” While not being a fan of motorcycles, ask those folks I’m pretty sure the first response is going to be the feeling of freedom associated with the openness of a motorcycle. In the kayak the ceiling is the sky, there are no walls and the floor can be down six inches or 60 feet. You experience a personal closeness to the water, the underwater inhabitants, nature’s creatures and the forces of nature. Options abound; paddling with a partner, solo trips, in a two person craft, fishing for fun, food, a tournament check, freshwater or salt, white water, exploring, hunting and more.

Kayaks developed by the Inuit Indians specifically for hunting have evolved but maintain some of the initial qualities and advantages. Silent, smooth, paddle power kayaks are available with so many options, you can go traditional and paddle, pedal or add electric propulsion. In most pursuits I embrace all things traditional, my paddle is no exception. My favorite for strength, lightness and performance is the Bending Branches Angler Pro Carbon. For years a wooden long bow to hunt, in karate the ancient philosophies, in kayaking I enjoy the physical benefits, mental and precision points of paddling. In fishing the positioning and accessibility of the kayak is a huge advantage. Up close and personal, paddling (sometimes pulling) through super skinny water being able to present a bait to fish that haven’t been pressured is an advantage afforded to the kayaker willing to work.

While tackle may be species specific you can chase tiny trout, gigantic tarpon, crappie in an underwater brushpile, river musky, deep water smallmouth bass, and essentially anything that swims is fair game. I’ve paddled and fished from Jacksons Big Rigs, Kilroy, Cruise, MayFly, Coosa HD and the Liska all for different reasons. Kayakers use any fishing rod, in any geographic area of the globe an in all water types are potential kayak targets. Cost and accessorizing is only limited by your budget and your imagination. From the apex of simplicity to the most complex computerized gear, that’s a kayak. That’s why I kayak.