Everyone has heard the old addage, a dog is a mans best friend. I won’t argue that. I love dogs, they’re great. But I will say this, I bet the man who came up with this age old saying didn’t own a Jackson Kayak Kilroy! This is the story of a man and his kayak.
I started kayak fishing a few years back. I had never really thought about it until I ran upon what I thought was a good deal at a yard sale. Glitter boats were the way for me for 20 years prior to this chance meeting with destiny. I forked over a 50 dollar bill for a little sit inside yak that someone had added some rod holders and a anchor trolly and deemed a fishing kayak. Little did I know, this tiny 10 foot piece of plastic would float me right into the best times of my life outside of family and God.
Frustration was in ample amounts on that first kayak fishing trip. I didn’t know how to properly paddle. There was nowhere to store my gear. The poor little boat tracked like a nose deaf blood hound on the trail of a ghost. I’m sure onlookers were reminded of an army march… the nose of the boat went left, left, left right left all the way up the lake. I also didn’t understand how casting and hooksets were affected when the angler was in a seated postion. I battled the urge to weave my way back to the ramp and just leave the little boat there, for some other sucker to come along and get his feelings hurt when all of their kayak fishing dreams were crushed by the reality that there was a learning curve to this, that it takes some getting used to, but I didn’t do it. I paddled on and on, looking like a water snake weaving it’s way back and forth, all the way to the first big stick up that i knew held good fish.
This is where it happened. Small tendrils of mist wafted across the glass surface. The sun peaked across the mountains, casting long shadows. In a clumsy, half hearted side arm skip, my bait made it’s way into one of the dark corners of the snag. I let the bait fall to the bottom then began the cadence that I feel calls the hawgs to dinner. We all have one, some of use do the pull, hop, shake shake, pull. Others do the shake, hop, shake, hop, pull. Mine is the sink, shake, short pull, hop, shake retrieve. Right around the short pull segment of the retrieve, I felt it. We all know the feeling. That tap-tap-tap that says “Hey dude, I’m on here, set the hook!”
I pulled sharply back on the rod. I knew in an instant that this was no dink. The weight on the end of the line was quickly followed by a pull that only a monster bass could muster. The fish quickly shot to the right and my kayak followed suit. As the front of the little boat turned the beast surged down and under the boat. Drag screamed and I did to. I reeled down quickly, trying to catch up to the fish as it switched direction and made a run to the top of the water. The sows fat, green head shook violently within a foot of me! The closeness, the intensity was amplified by 100. I was right there with the fish, right on its level. I quickly slid my net under the hawg and hoisted it into my kayak. This was the moment that I fell in love with kayak fishing.
Fastforward a few weeks. I’m a gear geek. I love to research new gadgets. I’ll peruse the web, searching for blogs and reviews of different models of whatever gadget that I’m interested in. On one such search, I stumbled across the Jackson Kilroy. The Kilroy peaked my interest. I found one, purchased it, fished it and now 4 kilroys later, I’m a fan for life.
The Jackson Kayak Kilroy is an amazing fishing platform. This boat is 12.5 feet and weighs in at 69 pounds when stripped. It features the same hull as the Cuda 12, but it’s a sit inside kayak. All the bells and whistles are included, from the gear tracks to the awesome seating with lower lumbar support, it’s all there. The removable front deck is super handy and the fish grips and line cutter that come with the Kilroy are awesome little extras, but anyone can get online and read the generic specs on this boat. I want to give you some real life experiece.
The Kilroy is a joy to paddle. With proper form and a moderate stroke, this boat can be propelled and 4-6 miles per hour with ease. Unlike my first little yard sale kayak, the Kilroy tracks like it’s on rails. Once a paddler becomes proficient, the back and forth weaving are over. The deep hull cuts the water like a knife through butter. On flat water 2 or 3 strokes will easily push you 20 or 30 feet. When on a lake, boat traffic is always a concern. Some glitter boat guys don’t understand the possible impact that their wake can have upon a kayak. The Kilroy rides out the worst wake with ease. I have been on Kentucky Lake fishing the ledges in 30 mph winds with boats everywhere and not once did I feel the the Kilroy was going to let me down.
Comfort is paramount to a good days fishing. If you are constantly having to adjust to be comfortable, you can’t focus on the task at hand. Jackson has done a great job with the seat in these boats. There are high and low positions in the Kilroy. I prefer the low in rivers and the high on lakes. This past weekend I fished a 2 day tournament and not once was uncomfortable.
Tackle storage is awesome in these little boats. There is bulit in rod storage that can hold 4 rods conviently out of the way. I love this feature. When the seat is in high position it’s super easy to get the rods in and out.
I love my Kilroy. I love it so much that I buy a new one every year. I’ve had my Kilroy on lakes, ponds, creeks and rivers. This Jackson has taken me to places that rarely see people or fishing pressure. I have caught many, many bass from it. I have caught tons over 20 inches and even my personal best 25.5 inch, 10.2 pound beast setting right in my Kilroy. But beyond all of the features and all of the fish, the Jackson Kilroy has given me happiness. I spend 100 plus days a year in that little plastic boat. No matter what is going on in life, I forget it all when i get in my Jackson.