I started along the path to my fishing career as soon as I was strong enough to hold a pole. My father’s passion for canoeing and trout fishing quickly rubbed off on me. He taught me how to chase stream trout in the creeks and rivers of upstate NY with both spinning tackle and a fly rod. I also quickly developed into an avid paddler.
As my skill and ambition grew, I transitioned to bigger game. Taking to the lakes of the Adirondack Park, I loved chasing the hard-pulling smallmouth, and native lake trout that inhabited the backwaters only accessible from canoe or kayak. I prided myself in being a multi-species angler and soon added walleye and crappie to my hit list being noted as quality table fare. Over the years I realized I needed something to get me through the winter months when my lakes and ponds turned hard. A cousin took me ice fishing, and I was hooked. While I’m saddened to put the kayak away each winter, I anxiously await to see when my local spots have finally frozen over.
While my kayak is usually equipped with enough fishing tackle to open a shop, in the fall I remove all of it, cover the boat in camouflage netting and hit the marshes in search of ducks and geese. The kayak is great because it allows me to stay dry up out of the water, set decoys, and quickly recover birds without a dog. Each October, I load the kayak up with camping gear and my muzzleloader for a remote Adirondack deer hunt. Public land hunting is all about getting away from the crowds, and the kayak allows me to access areas other hunters can’t hike back in to. It’s also much easier hauling a deer out in a kayak than on my back.
In 2018 I decided to try my hand at tournament bass fishing. I considered doing co-angler events, but I knew not having a say in where the boat goes would not work for me. I had spent my life fishing from canoes and kayaks, so kayak tournaments were a perfect fit. I dove in head-first and never looked back. While being a tournament angler has made me focus most of my time on bass, I still carve out a little time throughout the year targeting all the other game fish that deserve some attention too.
After three seasons competing, I have traveled to 15 different states competing in tournaments. I am now one of the directors of my local KBF club – Adirondack KBF; and I am the president and founder of NY Kayak Bassmasters, the first and only NY B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak club. Being a member of the 2021 Three Bells Fishing Team is an exciting new chapter. I look forward to working with such a great brand to help spread kayak fishing and promote all the other paddlesports opportunities.