How to Get Your Friends Hooked on Kayak Fishing
Eron and Will Anderson on Will’s first kayak fishing adventure paddling his new JK Kilroy. Eron fully outfitted it with his wife’s YakAttack gear a BB AnglerPro.
We talked to Bending Branches ProStaffer and Ontario native, Eron Dodds, about ways he’s learned to introduce people to the sport he’s come to love—kayak fishing.
Eron started kayak bass fishing in 2015 and joined his local tournament group soon after. He didn’t start out being a kayak fishing “evangelist.” In fact, when he first joined the group he told its director, “I’m not here to make friends. I just want to compete.”
He would eventually earn Angler of the Year with KAAO (Kayak Angler Association of the Outaouis) twice in back-to-back seasons, and has been the tournament director for the past three years. But Eron found that while he joined KAAO to compete, he stayed because of the people.
It wasn’t too long before people outside the group began to hear of his success and ask him about fishing from a kayak.
It’s the Kayak Fishing Experience that Converts
Eron works in HVAC, and often has guys on job sites approach him with questions about kayak fishing. He said, “When most people hear kayak fishing they think of someone fishing from a sea kayak. That’s the image they have in their minds of what a kayak is.”
So when Eron shows them pictures of his sit-on-top fishing kayak and how it’s rigged out for angling, they’re surprised and intrigued. They realize it’s very different from the kayak experience they had in mind.
Eron started to offer to take these guys out fishing with him, and his life hasn’t been the same since!
This story of one young man is typical of Eron’s experience:
A fellow contractor on one job site asked Eron if he’d find his son, Parker, a used fishing kayak. It would be a surprise birthday gift.
Eron found a suitable kayak in the right price range, then gathered a couple of his fishing buddies to spend a day fishing with Parker. He offered the young man an AnglerPro to use, and they hit the water.
Parker enjoying his first kayak fishing adventure in his surprise birthday gift kayak, demoing an AnglerPro paddle for half the day.
That morning while launching, Eron did a live Facebook video introducing Parker and told him the kayak was a surprise gift from his mom and dad.
Parker soon joined KAAO, fished in his first tournament (with Eron alongside for some coaching) and is completely hooked. Now he’s making new friends through the group and buying his own gear.
Other anglers have asked Eron for help picking out a fishing kayak and gear, which he’s happy to do. He’ll accompany them fishing, share his tips and help them out however he can.
“Lend out your gear, give them a little advice and let them guide the day. Fish at their pace. That’s what leads them to fall in love with the sport,” said Eron.
And it’s not just beginning anglers Eron introduces to kayak fishing. One coordinator of Ontario’s Renegade Bass Tour joined Eron kayak fishing. This man has a very expensive bass boat, but loved fishing from a kayak so much he went out and bought one!
Why is Kayak Angling so Appealing?
Eron suggests two reasons why people are drawn to this paddle sport:
- The price point. For the same price as an older, cheap motor boat you can outfit yourself for kayak fishing very well. This is one of the main draws.
- The camaraderie. The atmosphere in the kayak fishing world is very welcoming, very friendly. “It’s not the same stress. It’s a very humble, tight-knit community compared to other boat fishing series.”
Eron, his wife Jessie, Casey Ryan and newcomer Will Anderson ready to hit the water for another day of kayak fishing
“I joined [KAAO] to compete and prove myself. I was tired of fishing alone. Now I just want to get out with guys and fish and have fun. My biggest passion now is meeting up with guys and taking them out, hooking them up with all the good gear. It’s more satisfying than winning a tournament—it’s truly priceless. Most of my best friends I’ve met through kayak fishing. I’m a better person since I started. I live my life a lot healthier, and I’m a lot kinder. My soul time is on the water.”
Eron and his wife, Jessie, fish together often. “If you can fish with your spouse it’s amazing! We share the passion together. It’s a great team building sport, and for couples, it’s the same thing.” He invites guys to interest their spouse in trying the sport and says, "remember we do it for fun, exercise and enjoyment."
Eron admits his wife often out-fishes him, which he loves. He doesn’t mind his fishing buddies and the guys on his job site giving him a hard time about it!
Eron loves kayak fishing with his wife, Jessie
The Paddle Makes All the Difference
When Eron takes a newcomer out kayak fishing for the first time, he always lends him an AnglerPro or AnglerPro Carbon paddle. “Once they try the Bending Branches paddle that’s it. The best way to market a product is to put it in their hands in the field.”
Eron said, “The key to is to always welcome new anglers. Always introduce yourself and offer to help. I’ve had great success with that.”
Want to follow Eron on social media? You can find him on Instagram and Facebook.
(All photos courtesy of Eron Dodds)
Do you need help choosing a kayak fishing paddle? Contact our friendly Customer Service team today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]
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