Drew Gregory 11/03/2016 | Posted in Family Zone, Fishing, Freshwater, Internationalisation, Skipper, United States
I have really loved the Skipper kayak concept for kids, or even smaller adults, ever since the idea was first brought up in some of our product meetings about 3 or 4 years ago. To this day I will am indebted to my parents for not just getting me into fishing when I was a kid, but more importantly doing so without buying the cheapest fishing rods or reels out there that break easily and are frustrating for kids go use. This decent gear gave me the best opportunity to really see what fishing was all about, and kept me sticking with it during those tougher learning years and of course beyond! Finally, we at Jackson Kayak have a chance to assist our youth with a similar above average and quality product to help kids learn how to kayak fish and hopefully keep them sticking with it! The Skipper is officially a reality and this past weekend Cristina and I had the chance to take our first kid fishing in the Skipper to see the response!
Our good friend Robert Baker, of the Wilderness Way in Crawfordville, FL, has a real fishing fireball of a nephew named Kolby. Kolby is on the high side of the Skipper’s weight limit since he is in 6th grade and will probably be able to make the transition into another full sized JK pretty soon, but this made him the perfect test angler for this kayak!
He fished in the River Bassin’ Tournament the day before, but decided he wanted more river bassin’ so he joined us on the Wacissa River to hopefully catch some nice bass and give the Skipper a try for the first time.
Right off the bat he caught a nice little Suwanne bass at the landing and you could see by his smile that he was in love! It was great to see him so comfortable right off the bat as he weaved his way in between all of us who were in various other full sized JK models. He went straight for the high seat position right from the get-go and never looked back. Kolby really knows his way around a kayak and a rod and reel so it was a lot of fun to watch him make cast after cast with and whip that bait caster around in hopes of enticing a big FL largemouth!
After quite some time the bite slowed down for all of us. Kolby came over to me after I had caught a couple and asked how I had been catching them because he had lost confidence in some of his lures that were tied on. I had been using a Z-MAN swimmerz jig so I tied one on and added a nice little diesel minnow for a realistic trailer! Now, with a new bait in hand and a new sense of confidence he paddle off to cast into every hole he could find in the eel grass. It wasn’t 10 minutes later I hear a loud “There he is!” and Kolby set the hook like a pro on a very nice sized Suwanne bass! I got in the water and was able to get a few nice GoPro shots of his prized catch of the day!
He continued to catch a few more fish after that and ended the day on a high note. We joked all the way home and also excitedly talked about the how, when and where we’ll get the Skipper on the water again to try and catch even more big river bass. I asked Kolby to send me his best few 6th grade sentences about what it was like to fish out of the Jackson Kayak Skipper and this is what he had to say…
“Fishing out of the Jackson Skipper was a lot of fun, and I was able to go places where I would never go. My favorite feature about the kayak was that it had a seat strapped down and that it was very easy to paddle. It could get in the grass very easily and when you set the hook, it does not rock and it was very stable!” Kolby
Well, that about sums up the Skipper nicely! The best part of the day for me personally was just being able to get out there with a young person and continue to fuel their passion for kayak fishing in wild waters! When Kolby caught that fish just 10 minutes after I gave him that jig, it made my day and I was able to get a brief glimpse of what it must feel like to be a proud parent watching your own children accomplish similar feats. I can’t wait until I get back to the FL panhandle so I can fish with my new friend Kolby again!
Photos by Cristina Gregory