For me, one of the most enjoyable aspects about fishing is the drive to always do better. Sure, you can win a tournament, an angler of the year award, or even a national championship, but there is always a challenge looming over your head that just can never be completed. That challenge is to upgrade your personal best (PB). There are two main ways to quantify a personal best fish. I think the most popular way in general is by weight, but fishing from a kayak most of the time, I prefer to keep my records by length. I don’t even own a scale.
When I started fishing from a kayak, a whole new world of water was opened up to me. Never really keeping track of fish before, I had a clean slate to start with in order to break my PB. I was still in a recreational kayak and had not yet made the improvement to my fleet of Jackson Kayaks. I was proud of my 18-inch bass.
Within a year’s time of owning that sit-in kayak, I knew I needed to get a Coosa HD to improve the the fishability of the waters I wanted to fish, and I knew that being in a recreational kayak allowed me some movement in the water, but a Coosa HD would allow me to traverse even more area on a body of water as well as reach areas that I just wasn’t able to in my sit-in recreational model. . I paddled many different brands, but something just resonated with the Jackson models when I had the opportunity to sit in one. The Coosa HD quickly became my favorite boat, giving me the versatility to effectively fish both rivers and lakes. Now I had two species to chase: big largemouth and smallmouth bass.
As a bonus, some areas in Ohio provide homes to spotted bass. These spotted bass do not grow as large as their counterparts in the southern regions, but with what they lack in size, they make up with aggressiveness and strength. They are extremely fun to catch, and a topwater lure is their mortal enemy.
In 2017, I had an epic moment. In one cast, one fight, and one fish, I was able to accomplish many feats. Even after fishing Lake Erie, Lake St. Claire, and the Susquehanna, I am extremely proud to say that my PB smallmouth came from a smaller flow in the southern hemisphere of Ohio. A 20” smallmouth established a new PB for me, won/improved my standings in multiple tournaments, and made a memory that will never be forgotten–even if the record is broken in the future.
Now we can go back to the largemouth bass. Although smallmouth are arguably my favorite, I will never turn down a chance at a big bass. In 2018, I was fortunate enough to acquire a Coosa FD. This boat has changed the way I am able to approach a lake while searching for these largies. To categorize, this next fish would have to be considered my best “kayak” largemouth bass. There was a pond fish that was a teeny bit longer than this one; however, I was able to comfortably stand and target specific spots to tease this fish into blowing up on my frog.
Little to my knowledge, about two weeks later, I was about to crush my P B largemouth bass. I was pre-fishing a lake for a local tournament in Pennsylvania. There was a particular line in the middle of the lake I was able to follow because of the Coosa FD’s pedal driven system. The ability to steer with one hand, make corrections with the drive, and cast with the other hand lead me to this brute. I honestly do not think I would have snagged this hog if I were in any other kayak that day.
– Ken Morris