“I saw the coolest thing when I was out fishing today.” That was the text my dad sent me that changed my life forever.
I’ve been fishing since I could stand and hold a rod, but because of college, getting married, and starting a professional life… fishing got put on the back burner. Actually it got put in the attic of a house I moved out of.
Then COVID happened. And like everyone else, I was looking for something to do to give me an escape from all of it. So, I went to my local Academy, grabbed an Ugly Stik rod, and got back into it.
I tied on the old, faithful Texas Rig, found a local pond, and it all came back to me. Within an hour or so I’d shaken the rust off and was back to catching the bass I’d spent hours chasing with my dad in our boat.
My dad, of course, is the one who taught me to fish, and he was the only one who cared about what I was pulling out of the ponds I was fishing, so I started sending him pics of all my catches. Then he started sending some back.
This friendly “competition”, and us going to the water everyday is what led to that text.
He’d gone to one of his favorite fishing spots and saw a guy in an Old Town PDL kayak. He had never seen a kayak like that before, so he got to talking to him, and then text me about it.
Now since my return I’d just been bank fishing, so hearing about fishing from a boat that didn’t cost as much as a house and that I could basically take anywhere peaked my interest. I jumped into looking at and pricing kayaks online and, in June, I got my first one.
It was a Pelican Castaway 100 and it was far from special, but I loved it. I took it to a buddy’s private pond for her maiden voyage with one box of tackle and some soft plastics and was hooked (pun intended). I think I got maybe 2 bass in the whole 5 hours I fished, but being on the water by myself in my own little boat was what made me fall in love.
I started going every weekend after that. I got into digging up local ponds and fishing spots on Google Maps, I started following a ton of fishing brands and influencers on Instagram, and I filled my YouTube subscriptions with kayak fishers. I basically just threw myself into the kayak fishing world, and I wanted to learn and watch all I could to get better.
One of the guys I followed was @_thatbassfishingdude_ and he just made kayak fishing look cool. Seeing what he was doing on Instagram inspired me to start my own fishing page, @asap_fishing, and post about the big adventures I was taking in my little boat.
Which also led me to finding his kayak giveaway that he was doing through Austin Canoe and Kayak.
Now, I never entered Instagram contests because I, like everyone else, thought, “No one ever wins those,” but I really wanted that kayak. It was a 3 Waters Big Fish 120 that came with a NRS PFD and Big Fish paddle… the same stuff @_thatbassfishing_ dude uses when he’s on the water. Immediately I was like Ralphie from A Christmas Story. I would daydream about what it would be like to have that kayak and the places I could go in it.
I ended up tagging several hundred people over the course of a month for a chance to win it… and I did! And nothing’s been the same since. Winning that giveaway, and working closely with ACK on getting it to me, got me to more places and allowed me take better pictures to grow my Instagram page with.
And now I get to be like the guy my dad met. I get to be the guy who gets asked about his boat when he’s loading it into the water. I get to be the guy who’s introducing people to something new, or (like me) reminding them of things they loved that they’d forgotten about. I get to play a part in growing the community of kayak anglers across the country.
So, when you’re heading out to the water… be that guy too. Share your passion and share your knowledge. You never know the impact it can have one someone.