ProStaffer of the Month: Drew Gregory
Bending Branches’ ProStaffer of the Month for April 2018 is kayak angler and media producer, Drew Gregory. Like many of our ProStaff, “BasserDrew" is a busy guy with lots of great stuff going on…
BB: How did you get started in kayak fishing? What do you love about it?
DREW: You know how you have to use a hammer to pound a nail into the wall? Can't use a screwdriver or knife, right? Well, you can't fish rivers effectively without the right tool, either. That is essentially what got me into kayak fishing.
Thanks to my parents, I've had a lifelong love for river fishing. Wade fishing and using other small watercraft to access rivers were not as effective as hammering the nail with the right tool—the kayak.
I love the fact that a kayak gets me to places no other watercraft can. I like to call these "wild waters," and they're my favorite places to explore. In fact, that's why the name of my show is "Hooked on Wild Waters”! Once you get into these places, the scenery is amazing, the fish are unpressured and usually very willing to bite.
What's not to love about that?!
BB: How do you give back to your community through your fishing?
DREW: I’m fortunate to have two main outlets I use to give back to the fishing community or just the community in general—my Hooked on Wild Waters show and the River Bassin' Tournament Trail.
Through the show we promote conservation, stewardship and educate anglers about the fish, the area or the watersheds we fish. Through the tournament trail we partner up with charities to give back to the community through a Jackson Kayak raffle kayak.
BB: How are you involved in your local fishing scene?
DREW: I’m not as involved in my local fishing scene as I would like to be! Being on the road so much and being part of the national scene keeps me away from home a lot. But with a little boy on the way, I'll be traveling a bit less in the coming years and hope to get more involved in some of my local clubs or tournaments.
BB: Is there a local Bending Branches dealer you help out?
DREW: The closest dealer to me is The Great Outdoor Provision Company. They've always been a great kayak fishing shop to be a part of. I've done seminars through them and they've been a local sponsor of many tournaments I've put on in the Charlotte area.
BB: How do you introduce new anglers to kayak fishing?
DREW: The best way for me to introduce this pastime to new anglers is through my show. We go to places that anyone can go to, as we fish in the US and on predominantly public waters that anyone can access.
I hope this inspires the guy or gal that’s watching to say to themselves, "Hey, I can do that!" Everyone lives near a river or creek that’s floatable via kayak. Believe me, if it’s floatable then it’s large enough to have some nice-size fish in it!
BB: Do you work with any specific groups in kayak fishing? How?
DREW: We’ve worked with many groups through the River Bassin' Tournament Trail, often predicated on where we are and what local organizations are there. We’ve worked with Paddle4Tomorrow, Heroes on the Water, the Ozark Smallmouth Alliance and many more.
We also have a separate youth division and college division within the tournament. And this year you could even call it a "family" division is you want to,—it’s a "Super Team" division of 5 anglers (each person's best bass).
BB: Any conservation or environmental efforts?
DREW: We’re always promoting conservation and general fishing education on the Hooked on Wild Waters show. At the September 22nd River Bassin' Championship in Waynesville Missouri, I'll be doing a seminar along with folks from the Ozark Smallmouth Alliance.
We aim to promote awareness about the incredible river bassin' resources around the country, and how we can sustain them.
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