We all know that kayak fisherman. The one who everyone talks about during the tournament or on social media. The one whose video you watch, not because it will help you catch more fish, but because you get a chuckle each time through. And if you don’t know that kayak fisherman, maybe it could be you? Here are seven signs to watch out for.
7 Signs You’re “THAT Kayak Fisherman”
1 Your Work Email Signature
Some anglers luck out and get to be a guide and fish full-time, but most have regular jobs. In the office, your boss probably doesn’t want to see a list of sponsors and fishing memes at the end of every important email you send. Hey, maybe you lucked out and they won’t mind. Perhaps you’ll even find another fishing buddy! But if not, you should probably get rid of it…or become a fishing guide.
2 Chill Bro
Some anglers forget that this is all supposed to be fun. Relax. You’re the angler that everyone talks about if you end each day on the water cursing yourself because you let your sponsors down. If your self worth is so tightly wrapped up in your angling persona, maybe you should spend a day on the slopes or relaxing at the beach—and not fishing.
Take a break until you remember this is all fun. The only reason your sponsors are at work is because they like to go paddling and fishing. It’s all fun and games until someone gets too serious. You should also be able to laugh at yourself, because we all make mistakes.
3 Speaking of Your “Fans”
Even if you legitimately have fans, you probably shouldn’t walk around saying stuff like, “Look at all my fans! How many fans do you have, bub?” The best anglers, whether famous or not, aren’t thinking about their fan base and are just fishing and filming and doing whatever they’re doing, because they love it.
If the only reason you’re fishing or filming something is to get famous, you probably shouldn’t be filming it. I’m a fan of anglers who do it because they love it and don’t even know they have fans.
4 Blocking the Boat Ramp
Nobody is hated more in the fishing world than the guy blocking the boat ramp, whether that be a kayak angler, a power boater, or a confused person with a picnic basket who can’t tell the difference between gravel ramp and sandy beach. You don’t need to be sitting on your kayak finishing your coffee, covering yourself in sunscreen or chatting with your buddies.
Here’s how the perfect boat launch should go: Prepare your straps, kayak, paddle, rods, etc in the parking lot before you get to the ramp. After backing up to the water, you should show some hustle trying to get your boat off and into the water. Once it’s in the water and pushed to the side, out of the way of the next guy, then you quickly get in your truck and park it. Or, because you’re in a kayak, you could avoid the boat ramp all together and drag or wheel it to the water.
5 Your Way or the Highway
Everyone is different and everyone fishes in a different way and that’s exactly how it should be. If everyone was exactly like you, this world—and our magazine—would be pretty boring. Who would want to look at 15 pages of the same exact photo or article telling you how to rig the same boat the same way as the page before? Stop looking down at every angler who doesn’t fish the same way as you.
I know a few anglers who get hated on because they use a motor. As one of them put it, “Who are they to tell me how to have fun?” That’s exactly the point. If one person is having fun paddling their SUP rigged out with a cooler as a seat and pontoons, don’t tell them they should be in a pedal boat if they want to be a “real angler.” We’re all just having fun.
6 Tie Down Your Boat Better
If there’s one exception to the rule above, where every angler fishes in his own way, it’s safety. Knowing how to properly tie down and transport your boat is no matter of preference. At the launch, I won’t let someone leave without first showing them how to do it right and telling them, “Dude, if you don’t do this the right way, you’re going to kill someone.”
Sure, you might think I’m that kayak fisherman spewing tips or facts without people asking for it, but there’s nothing scarier than driving down the highway and seeing a kayak on someone’s roof, dancing and waving in the wind like a hula dancer. Tie down your boats correctly and not only will you protect everyone else on the road—you’ll also look like you know what you’re doing.
7 Don’t Spoil the Newbies
As a general rule, most of the kayak anglers you’ll meet are some of the coolest people around. I’ve met anglers who gave me the money lure right out of their tackle box, even if it was their last one. But, every once in a while, you’re going to come across that guy who looks down on new kayak fishermen. News flash—with no new kayak fishermen there’s no growth, no new gear or new tournaments, and ultimately no sport of kayak fishing at all.
The easiest way to not be that kayak fishermen is to just relax, have fun on the water, and be the best ambassador to our sport that you can be. If you see a younger or novice angler, or someone who is clearly struggling, give them a hand. Help them tie their boats to their truck, give them that money lure, or just tell a joke and make them relax. Make sure you remind them it’s all fun and games. Just don’t have this talk on the boat ramp!
Why so serious? The best way to not be that kayak fishermen is just relax and have fun on the water. | Feature photo: Ben Duchesney
Um… reading this makes me want to smack said fisherman… don’t be that guy!