My love for this sport started in a whitewater boat. I started paddling the Nantahala when I was about 15, ended up guiding funyaks and video boating on the Ocoee in my college years, then having multiple lap days down the Green River Narrows, and eventually got to paddle some of the most amazing whitewater in Australia and Europe with friends that I am still in touch with today.
In April of 2020, my wife and I decided that we should get kayaks to paddle the calm Connecticut River in the Upper Valley dividing Vermont and New Hampshire. I of course found an old mint condition Green Boat in upstate New York and got an old Sit on top for her and my daughter. Even after fifteen years, everything came back to me, except for my feeling of invincibility when it came to fast-moving rivers and creeks. It never really dawned on me that all of that water I had been paddling all my life probably had some pretty good fish in it. I only got to fish a handful of times growing up in New Orleans, offshore in a friend's boat for tuna, catfish on the golf course ponds in Georgia, and for coastal redfish when the opportunity arose. After a couple of shore fishing sessions with my daughter, I remembered how much fun fishing was. I ended up paddling my wife's kayak to the other side of the river, caught 20 fish in two hours, drilling holes in her boat for a fishing rod holder, then found out that there was an entire culture of people devoted to catching fish from a kayak!
I have since built a kayak fishing guide service to share this sport with others, TBC Guide Services. (We call our garage The Blatt Cave, TBC for short) My kayak fleet slowly came together, started with two Big Tunas, and absolutely loved the versatility of either solo or tandem. Then added two Big Rigs for some stability in stand-up fly fishing. Having recently put my guests in the Knarr, I am currently switching over to all pedal drive kayaks. Jackson Kayak was a simple choice, I went with what I knew. This was a fishing kayak manufacturer with a whitewater background, exactly how I present myself to my guests, and how I begin every safety briefing before an outing. Just as I trust my ability to get them out and back safely, while catching some of the biggest fish of their lives, I trust the boats to aid in those experiences.
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