Whenever a person reads about or has a chance to visit with a kayak fisherman, one thing resonates over and over again…passion. These people have a real love for all things kayak fishing. This is no more evident than with kayak fishing and Bending Branches ProStaffer, Drew Gregory.
"BasserDrew" as he is commonly called in kayak fishing circles, was gracious enough to allow us to ask him about the sport he loves as well as a few other questions to help us all get to know "BasserDrew" a little bit better.
What is it about kayak fishing that you like the most and where did you get the passion for your sport?
My favorite part of kayak fishing has to be the ability to access wild waters in a stealth-like manner and get exercise while doing so. These waters are home to the most amazing fish and wildlife and nothing in the world can give you the same feeling that kayak fishing in locations like this can. I got my passion for fishing from my parents and then it merged into kayak fishing in graduate school. I already loved to fish and now that I could fish in places that other boats couldn't access, making the fishing better, I was hooked!
The sport of kayak fishing continues to see growth in popularity for all skill levels. For someone thinking about "jumping in", what would you say to encourage them to do so?
I would simply say that there really isn't a reason not to! It is better for your health than any other type of fishing; it is eco-friendly and easy on the wallet compared to boat/motor fishing; it allows you to access less pressured fish in scenic wild places. I have yet to find a downside to this sport other than the fact that once you get in it, you don't want to do anything else but kayak fish!
For those just getting started, what piece of advice would you share?
The main piece of advice that I would give is to understand that you're getting into the sport of "kayak" fishing, emphasis on "kayak." Kayaking is a skill and it is the first word in the name of our past time. Most getting into the sport are not kayakers but are of course anglers. They don't take the paddling as serious as they should and then they wonder why they are often flipping over or getting hurt. The better kayaker you become, the better kayak angler you'll become because you'll know all the paddle strokes and different ways to get your kayak where it needs to be for you to catch those fish!
Sharing your passion is obviously important to you. One example is your collegekayakfishing.com site. Tell us a bit more about that and where one can go to get more information.
College Kayak Fishing is simply an effort on our part to develop an organization that allows college students to come together and get involved in kayak fishing through tournaments. It is our effort to make sure the youth are informed about our favorite past time and get plugged in. I hope it gives students something positive to do, keeps them out of trouble and helps them develop long lasting character traits. Right now the "salt series" is going very well and growing. We're hoping the "bass series" take off the same way but the amount of territory and distance between schools is challenging. However, eventually the more schools hear about it the better because we'll have colleges closer and closer together. For more information people can visit www.collegekayakfishing.com.
Your a big fan of using a paddle (versus other alternatives) when fishing….why is that?
I love paddling because it gives my entire core (abs, shoulders, chest, arms, back etc) a workout. Also, a paddle is just simple with no moving parts that can go wrong and allows me to maneuver my kayak in any direction quickly - forward, backwards, left, right, side to side etc.
Besides your passion for kayak fishing, what other passions do you have that you can share with us?
I am passionate about several other sports and outdoor activities. I play soccer, volleyball and disc golf as often as I can. I also enjoy board sports such as wake boarding, wake surfing, snowboarding and surfing.
With all the fishing you do, do you also enjoy eating fish? If so, what's you're favorite and how do you prepare it?
I definitely enjoy eating fish even though I pretty much catch and release 90% of the time. Weird, right? I also do enjoy cooking, and specifically cooking fish and any seafood when I am home. My favorite fish to eat, believe it or not, still has to be freshwater bream. I know it sounds crazy with such other good eating fish like salmon, tuna, mahi, flounder, halibut etc but a descaled bream rolled in some corn meal/flour mix and then fried is hard to beat!
Other than the infamous "goose encounter " , any other crazy things happen to you while in your kayak?
Well just the other day I was river side doing an interview with Discovery Channel about the Goose attack. They asked me to paddle out and do some fishing so they could get some video of it. So, like always I am just casting around not expecting to catch much right at the put in. All the sudden I cast over a log and get bit by a good size fish but immediately it breaks off way up the line! Ughh! I was bummed but still threw back in with a different lure anyway; I knew I couldn't catch the same fish (it actually jumped with my lure in its mouth still trying to spit it) but maybe there is another one in the area. Well, my line goes mushy and it sort of feels like a fish and it sort of feels hung. I pull myself close and realize my first fish had gotten herself tangled up due to the length of line that broke off and I had caught my own line and own fish that I was just heart broken over! It was about a 5lb bass and the crew got the whole incident on film...crazy crazy stuff!
Ok, one fish, one lure, one location- if you can divulge- share with us what they would be.
Chatterbait, river bass of any sort, any river with rapids in the Appalachians!
Lastly, if people want to learn more about what you're up to, how can they do so?
The best way is to follow me on Instagram and Facebook via my fan page .
A big thank you to "BasserDrew" for sharing his passion with us!