You got yourself a kayak!

You’re $2,500.00 poorer, congrats!

That is so wrong in so many ways.  And I will tell you why at the end of this article.

Kayak fishing is a “solo” sport.  Yes, it gets you more in tune with yourself and nature.  Makes you a better angler by forcing you to dissect smaller areas.

But what about the social aspect of it? At least with a motor boat you can bring your friend on it and spend a great deal of time catching up while catching fish, covering water and trying different spots.

And how is kayak fishing “social”? Simple!You don’t go as fast as the other boats, so it’s easier to slow down/stop and make small talk with that cottage owner fishing from the end of his dock.  You never know, that person can share a few spots and secrets of what works where on the lake/river.

Also, if you see a fellow kayaker you can do the same and perhaps hook up and fish together.  You might have found yourself a good friend.

In my case, I was tired of fishing with only one person.  Depending on when our schedules would meet.

I was tired of seeing people kayaking but not holding a rod and the ones that had one would not be very friendly when conversing.

So I decided a different approach.

Ottawa didn’t have a kayak fishing club (If your city has one, join it!) and I decided I was going to take the plunge and post on a fishing forum that I would be starting a Facebook -yes, Facebook- group that would be dedicated to kayak fishing for kayak anglers from around my area.

A few people started joining (I was surprised!).  When there were about 10-20 members I decided to hold the first “Meet and Greet” at a local and central pub in town.  To my surprise, about 12 people showed up and the talk was about our catches and what plans we had for the upcoming open water season.

Word of mouth (and social media) travelled fast!  I couldn’t give credit at how many people kayak fished around Ottawa.  So I decided to hold our very first CPR (Catch, Picture, Release) mini tournament in May and, let me tell you, it was a success…to me.  Twelve anglers showed up to brave the cold winds in search for pike.

More -local- people continued to join the group and a lot of us started posting open invites to go fishing around the area.

Last December we hit the 200-member mark and that’s when I decided to contact my sponsors (Jackson Kayak, Orion Coolers, Bending Branches, YakAttack, and other local businesses) and told them about my plans to organize a series of friendly events throughout the year to help raise awareness of kayak fishing in the region (and in Canada, for that matter), since it was in diaper stages on this side of the border.

The sponsors didn’t hesitate to help us out! And let me tell you, the events have been a success.  Lots of work needs to be done, but super fun.  All the work you put into the events is rewarded with friendships I don’t think I would have ever found on my own.

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Kayak fishing is a brotherhood.  Quite different than boat fishing.  It’s all about bragging rights and having a great time on and off the water.  All this stress-free.

KAAO – Kayak Anglers Association of the Outaouais has surpassed the 300 member mark in a year-and-a-half!  I’m don’t believe it was “me” who accomplished all this.  Instead, I give credit to all of its members for spreading the word and inviting others to join.  Especially for being so cooperative in following the rules:

  1. Have fun
  2. No picture without PFD securely fastened.
  3. No bashing other members

Remember at the beginning of the article I said that you’re wrong if you think you’re poorer after buying a kayak?

Well, I consider myself richer because I have another family, a brotherhood.  Guys that I can talk to about fishing.  People I want to pass my fishing knowledge to and also learn from them.  Oh my God! have I ever learned a lot during this last year.  I used to fish for bass 99% of the time.  During this year alone I’ve caught 14 different species (check out my Instagram account).  And I owe it all to my KAAOtic brothers.

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I’m happy that KAAO exists.  I’m happy kayak fishing exists.  I am in my happy place!

Go ahead, I encourage you to find your “brotherhood”.  You won’t be disappointed.

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Tight lines y’all!
Roberto Briones “Dr.B”
@DrBOutdoors
@kaao.ca
www.kaao.ca

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