ProStaffer of the Month: Raymond Martinez
Texan Raymond Martinez is our ProStaffer of the Month for November 2019. Let’s meet Ray…
BB: How did you get started in kayak fishing? What do you love about it?
RAY: I started kayaking for fun and recreation in 2008. As I was paddling, I realized how many fish I saw and was passing up. The angler in me had to try and catch one!
I grew up fishing for catfish and red fish, but wasn't very much of a bass angler. Kayaking helped me learn how to catch bass. I started bringing two rods with me and as much tackle I could fit in my little non-angler kayak.
It wasn't long ‘till I outgrew my touring kayak and traded it in for an angler kayak and paddle—which happened to be a Bending Branches paddle and NuCanoe hybrid-kayak.
I quickly fell in love with the sport because it added an awesome extra bonus to something I already loved, which was paddling rivers. To this day, I enjoy it just as much as I did the day I caught my first bass. I love the thrill of every rapid in the river and each tap of a fish on my line
BB: How do you give back to the fishing community?
RAY: I personally love growing the kayak community. The concept of “If you build it, they will come” really applies here. I'm on several promotional staffs within the paddle sport industry. The reason isn’t for free gear or personal gain—it’s to help new paddlers or current ones grow in this amazing sport I’ve come to love.
I assist with several river and lake clean-ups to keep my local bodies of water clean for years to come. I also help with dealer Demo Day across Texas, and some in Louisiana and Oklahoma.
Back when I started in the sport, there wasn't much easily-viewable content and info out there. I like to point people to others in the industry who’ve done well or have great channels on YouTube, etc.
BB: How are you involved in your local fishing scene?
RAY: I used to fish a ton of tournaments and did well with several Top 10 finishes. Personally, I kind of miss chasing trails. They are a lot of fun a great way to learn and get better as an angler.
But these days I chase less trails due to my involvement with community events and dealer demos. I also have other responsibilities and family life that keep me busy. You can still catch me at the big events and charity tournaments fishing or helping out.
BB: Is there a local Bending Branches dealer you help out?
RAY: I’m a huge advocate for all Texas dealers. ACK is a dealer I do the most with, considering they are closest to me and in every major city surrounding me. They got me cornered! I also help dealers further from home as well, such as Mariner Sails and Roy's Bait and Tackle here in north and south Texas
BB: Do you introduce new anglers to kayak fishing?
RAY: Absolutely, love to do it. I have introduced a large amount of people to kayaking and fishing. A couple of them are now Bending Branches Ambassadors and part of various teams across the industry. I try and take new yak anglers under wing and teach them things to enhance their fishing and paddling abilities and help connect them with other anglers.
BB: Do you work with any specific groups in kayak fishing?
RAY: I try not to target one group. Don't get me wrong, it's a great concept for those who do, and I believe it's needed. My personality requires me to work in as many as I can without taking too much on. The idea is to cast a big net and see where my help fits in each group. I enjoy the diversity as well.
You can connect with Ray on Instagram.
Need help finding your perfect kayak fishing paddle? Get in touch with our Wisconsin-based customer service team today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]
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