Andrew has been completely immersed in the outdoors since he was a child. His parents had him out hunting, fishing, and camping since before he was even able to walk. He was also very involved in scouting as a teen where he had some of his first experiences fishing from canoes and kayaks and earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 2004. Andrew now calls Sunset Harbor between Oak Island and Holden Beach on the Lockwood Folly river his home and he's grateful to get to live in an area so rich in outdoor opportunities. Andrew fell in love with the sport of kayak fishing to get off the beaten path and to get back to places his center console boat just couldn’t get. Since then he has been fully engulfed in the sport and there is no place he would rather be than sitting in a marsh in his little plastic boat. Andrew primarily fishes out of a Hobie Pro Angler 14 and fish inshore/offshore saltwater, but always gets several freshwater trips every year too. He is an avid tournament angler competing mostly in saltwater series up and down the east coast. He loves tournament angling because "it’s a way to test my knowledge and abilities not just to win but to prove to myself that when it counts I can hold my own." He was also lucky enough to be a 2-time winner of the North Carolina Kayak Fishing Association’s Angler of the Year title. In 2016 he began guiding kayak fishing trips to meet new people and share his obsession with the sport. Guiding has been a new challenging road and has sharpened his skills on the water. He has come to realize that coaching someone into catching a fish of a lifetime, passing on a skill, or sharing some great conversation is just as rewarding as being the one hooked up.
Captain Drew Mixon is a USCG Master Captain with qualifications to operate vessels from inshore sized boats, to ocean going commercial craft. Not only an angler, Drew is a true outdoorsman and steward of our beautiful central Florida environment. Drew has attained the level of master birder and his knowledge of facts and trivia concerning Florida's wildlife will entertain you with interesting things you didn't know before you climbed aboard.
Drew's fished Florida waters for over 40 years and developed techniques to put great fish in the boat. He’s always been a family man and introduced his boys to fishing and the great outdoors at an early age.
Drew has captained teams at the professional level on the redfish tours, pro kingfish tour, countless offshore tournaments and 2 different professional bass tours. With 7 IGFA records and trophy catch citations in 4 states to his credit, Drew uses the techniques he developed in his tournament angling to help anglers be more efficient on the water.
Drew is known far and wide as not taking himself, or things too seriously. If you enjoy a laugh and don’t want to be overly intense while putting giant fish in the boat, Drew will definitely make your day.
Ben currently resides in Middle Tennessee which is arguably the most competitive kayak scene in the country. Tennessee has over 12 kayak clubs and a handful of the country's big bass lakes within a two-hour drive. During 2018 Ben made a point to branch out and try some new water, in doing so he fished with 6 different clubs and landed his personal best largemouth during a tournament with the Tennessee Valley Kayak Anglers of Chattanooga on Lake Guntersville.
Ben has been fishing out of a kayak since late 2015. A self-proclaimed "weekend warrior" he splits his time on the water between fishing and introducing newcomers to the sport. Last year Ben was offered a Regional Fishing Team Member spot with Hobie, a synergistic role that combining both kayak fishing and his enjoyment of helping others get on the water. Ben served as a volunteer with the Heroes on the Water - Music City Chapter for two years until it dissolved in 2018.
During the colder months you can find Ben around dams chasing walleye, striper and hybrid. For the 2019 season he is looking to focus on fishing with one club in hopes of making the Tennessee State Championship, find a couple long weekends to chase redfish and reinvigorate his jig brand Dinkhunters.
Brandon Barton is a seasoned kayak angler, kayak guide, and tournament angler from a Pensacola, Florida. Brandon grew up fishing bass ponds in North Carolina but moved to Florida in 2006 and quickly got addicted to saltwater kayak fishing. Brandon now targets redfish, cobia, tarpon, mahi, sailfish along the gulf coast of Florida. Inshore, offshore or even bass fishing, Brandon does it all. He also is a big tournament angler and has many top ten and top three finishes. He also owns Emerald Waters Kayak Charters where he enjoys putting his clients on a fish of a lifetime. Brandon has a huge passion for photography and videography. He loves to capture his kayak fishing adventures and to share his passion.
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Brian grew up in a small town in Western Pennsylvania. He fished throughout his childhood for Largemouth Bass, Trout, and Walleye every chance he got. He often rode his bicycle many miles just to fish.
He enlisted in the Army before he graduated from High School, and served on Active Duty for twenty one years. Upon retiring, he stayed in the Fayetteville, North Carolina area, where he continues to work supporting the Military.
A few years after retiring, he purchased his first kayak, a Hobie Pro Angler 14, and started fishing inshore. Kayak fishing rekindled his passion for fishing, and began pursuing any and every species he could find in his kayak. With the help of a few good friends, he learned about how many opportunities were within a couple hours of him.
Sometime the first year, Brian was introduced to the North Carolina Kayak Fishing Association (NCKFA). NCKFA opened his eyes to other opportunities for fishing, primarily offshore fishing. He learned new techniques, and about the equipment to make offshore fishing more successful. Brian quickly became one of the front-runners in NCKFA’s Oak Island Classic’s Ocean Division.
Brian’s most memorable offshore catch was landing a huge Sailfish off of Pompano Beach, Florida, while competing in the Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament’s Sailfish Smackdown. “I can still remember every single detail of the fight, from the hookup, to getting my hands on his bill an hour and three miles later. I will never forget it!”
Growing up on the shores of Long Island New York, he has been fishing since he was a little kid for fun. It wasn’t until his time in the Untied States Marine Corps that he began to take fishing seriously. Being a fly angler for many years until an accident at work left him unable to walk correctly anymore. From that day he thought his enjoyment of fishing was over until he was introduced to Noah Heck and the Kayak-Anglers community. It was love at first cast. For the past 4 years he has been competing in the Kayak-Anglers Western PA chapter tournaments learning to hone this craft. Since starting out he has traveled across the country to fish in various tournaments on the National level. From Toledo Bend Reservoir, Kentucky Lake for the KBF National Championship and even right back here to Northwest Pennsylvania for the Northeast regional open on Lake Erie that was hosted by none other than FISHingONline. But his passion will always be Pennsylvania either on "the big lakes like Erie or the flowing creeks like the Kiski and famed Susquehanna River there is no shortage of great water here." While he loves competing in tournaments his greatest times on the water are the ones he spends with his fiance Tonya fishing for fun. She competes as well and is an accomplished angler in her own right but just seeing her enjoyment makes it all worth it after a long week at work. As they say there’s no such thing as a bad day on the water.
Donny was raised on a cattle farm in the southern middle part of TN. He started fishing at the age of 5 spending all of his free time on the Tennesse river / Kentucky Lake in west TN. The TN river chain as some of the best fishing waters in TN so he was spoiled from the start.
In 2013 he bought his first kayak and fell in love with kayak fishing. In 2015 Donny started fishing kayak tournaments, his first tournament was a KBFTN event on Percy Priest Lake. Never looking back from that time he religiously fishes tournaments and qualified for the KBF National Championship his first year in the KBF.
Over the years Donny feels very fortunate that fishing these events have enabled him to meet great people and get involved with many great companies. He hopes one day to be able to fish for a living.
Some of Donnie's tournament accomplishments in the KBF series:
1 - 1st place finish, 1 - 2nd place finish, 2 - 3rd place finishes and 20 top ten finishes
Facebook // @DonnyBennettfishing
Born and raised in Burlington, NC. He learned to fish out of the back of his dad's bass boat on Lake Cammack. He started kayak fishing in 2014 and tournament fishing with Carolina Kayak Anglers in 2015.
In 2018 he married his best friend and biggest supporter, Hannah. They have a German shepherd, Sam, and a black lab mix, Kota (yes like Minn Kota). Both his wife and the dogs love the water and fishing as much as he does, although his wife prefers the saltwater fishing.
He is currently a member of the Nucanoe Fishing Team and Denali Rods ProStaff. Jacob has fished in 40+ kayak tournaments with 20+ top ten finishes including a 1st place finish in the Bass division of the BooneDOX Yadkin Slam in 2018. He has qualified for the KBF National Championship in both 2018 & 2019.
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Jamie Denison, from Winston Salem NC started fishing as a young boy with his father in both fresh and salt water. Over the years he has fished from a multitude of different types of boats. In 2013 he switched from tournament fishing out of a bass boat to tournament fishing from a kayak. Jamie is well rounded in the type of fish he targets but his favorite has always been Bass fishing.
Since switching to that kayak tournament scene he quickly found his love for the sport competing on the local, regional and national stage. It didn't take long before his love for Bass fishing, and now kayak Bass fishing turned into a much larger passion to become the best Kayak bass fisherman that he could be, even birthing the slogan "just fishing."
It didn't take long before he got his first KBF win and that made him hungry for more. Here are some of his tournament highlights:
2017 KBF Angler of the Year, 2018 KBF "The Ten" Champion
2018 KBF Trail Series Champion, 2018 KBF Challenge Series Champion
2019 USA Kayak Team - US Bass
- St. Croix Rods
- Pro Angler Hub
- Lucky Craft
- Ego Fishing - Designed for the Savvy Angler
- Great Outdoor Provision Company
- website: jamiedenison.com
- facebook: Facebook.com/jamiedenisonfishing
- instagram: justfishingjmd
Joe Komyati lives in Raleigh NC. and has been fishing from a very young age. He started off Fly Fishing with his father in the rivers of northern New Jersey for freshwater trout. Joe took up kayak fishing only 8 years ago along the beautiful Florida west coast where he targeted Redfish,Trout and Snook. Now Joe is a seasoned kayak tournament angler who competes in the Inshore Fishing Association (IFA), KBF Series, Hobie Bass Open Series and is a member of the Hobie Fishing Team. Joe attended the Hobie Fishing Worlds #6 in Leeville, LA and also qualified for the Hobie Fishing Worlds #8 in Queensland, Australia that will be held this July.
When not on the water you can find Joe in his shop building his custom fishing rods or working on new Bass Jig designs.
FWA - Fishing With Attitude
Black Bear Tackle
Great Outdoor Provision Company
Johnathan Grady is a fisherman born and raised. At the age of 30 he purchased his first kayak and joined one of the fastest growing outdoor sports movements, kayak fishing.
From ocean to backwater farm ponds he has vast experience and knowledge fishing our great state of North Carolina. Member of both the Hobie and Great Outdoor Provision Company Fishing Teams and two time winner of the NCKFA Oak Island Classic Ocean Division, Jon has established a solid repuatation in the East Coast kayak fishing community and has a passion for spreading awareness and teaching other the ins and outs of the kayak fishing world.
Originally from Mt. Juliet, TN, Josh has been fishing his entire life. In high school some of his close friends introduced him to bass tournament fishing and he spent the last 25 years competing. In 2015 he moved to Florida with his family and on a whim he bought a kayak. Since then he has become engrossed in kayak fishing "I absolutely love it"! Josh mainly fishes freshwater and competes in Kayak Bass Fishing tournaments, but also enjoys chasing redfish inshore, whenever he gets a chance.
When not fishing competitively he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children- fishing, hunting, camping, gardening, going to the beach, and just spending time together. He makes a living as a bridge construction inspector during the week.
Mark Patterson has been involved in kayak fishing for over 25yrs so he has seen a lot of changes in the sport. Eleven years ago he founded the NCKFA (North Carolina Kayak Fishing Association) to promote kayak fishing both by having "meet & greets" as well as on the water events. The Oak Island Classic is the largest of these events with over 175 anglers coming to the coastal town of Oak Island NC to fish in both the Ocean and Inshore Division. As much as Mark enjoys educating kayak anglers on the in's and out's of the sport through seminars throughout the year he still loves to compete against the young guy when he can. Mark believes kayak fishing is the best and most challenging way to pursue his passion whether it is a small lake to a mountain river or the Ocean and does all he can to stay in shape so he can continue doing what he loves.
Based out of Northern California, Marvin currently fishes for Headwaters Fishing Team. He is chasing two kayak bass tournament trails for 2019. The KBF West and the YAK-A-BASS Trails. His current fishing vessel is a custom 2019 Native Titan 12. He vlogs the NorCal kayaking lifestyle on his youtube channel: MOBBIN outdoors
"Moving around such a heavy load from my truck to the launch would not be possible without the BooneDOX Landing gear. You cannot live without one if you are moving your highly modified rig around in the tourney scene. BooneDOX made a simple design which has been imitated, but the quality is never duplicated."
Marvin is currently on the following teams:
- Headwaters Kayak
- Native Watercraft
- Dakota Lithium Batteries
- BooneDox USA
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Matthew Vann is a native Floridian, husband, father of five sons, born and raised in Pensacola, Florida. He grew up fishing with his dad for bass, bluegill and catfish in the rivers and swamps of North West Florida. Currently, he fishes the waters from Navarre Beach to Perdido Key and is the owner/operator of Sails and Tails Kayak Charters. He enjoys the adventure, challenge and simplicity of kayak fishing. Matthew is a seasoned tournament angler and is the current Inshore Fishing Association (IFA) National Angler of the Year. Matthew attended the Hobie Worlds 6 in Louisiana where he placed 3rd. Matthew received the invite invite to compete in the Hobie Worlds 8 in Queensland, Australia along the World Famous Gold Coast. Matthew' s dedication and performance created the opportunity to attend the Hobie Worlds again. Matthew's trip to the Hobie Worlds 8 will be the first time he travels outside of the United States.
“I love the sport and take great pleasure in sharing my passion and knowledge with other kayak anglers. I enjoy tournament fishing and landing trophy fish, but would have to say my greatest accomplishments are consistently helping others catch the fish of their dreams. There really is nothing like the feeling of someone telling you “this is the best day ever!” To receive the call for the invite to the Hobie Worlds 8 was one of Matthew's best days ever!
- Picasso Lures
- Cranka Lures Pro Team
- Cal Coast Fishing
- National Angler of the Year 2018 & 2017 Inshore Fishing Association
- 3rd Place 2016 Hobie Fishing Worlds 6
- 1st Place 2016 Inshore Fishing Association Championship
- 2nd Place 2014 Inshore Fishing Association Championship
- Facebook: Facebook.com/matthew.vann.5
- Facebook: Facebook.com/Sails-and-Tails-Kayak-Charters
- Instagram: @sails_and_tails_kayak_charters
Mel Russell Ashe grew up in the Carolinas fishing farm ponds with his Dad, Melvin and his grandfather Russell. After working many years around the US he landed in Kansas City, MO. MO has so many wonderful ponds and lakes, and Mel went out on many with his friend Matt Clark and his canoe. Matt is the one that came over one day and said ” You gotta see this guy fish out of a kayak” on “Knot Right Fishing”. That was 2012…and in 2013 he was in a kayak fishing Santee Cooper in the KBF Open. He was hooked…line& sinker. Mel travels all over the Midwest, South & East (still haven’t gone West, maybe 2019) fishing KBF events and Midwest Kayak Bass Fishing Series events as well as his local club NEKKA. When not on the water, he loves spending time with his wife, Toni, and his three amazing rescue pit bulls-Remington, Dixie, and Zima. Saturdays during football season, if he isn’t fishing, you definitely will find him on the couch watching his beloved Clemson Tigers.
Nathan, 47yrs old who lives in Thomasville NC with his wife of 27yrs, has two children and 3 grandsons. Nathan started tournament fishing when he was around the age of 16yrs old in his dad's boat mainly fishing local tournaments such as the Redman, Fishers of Men and other small tournaments. Now he mainly fishes out of a kayak and is an avid tournament angler who fishes in the CKA (Carolina Kayak Angers) and KBF events. While fishing the KBF National Championship on Kentucky Lake he finished in the top 50's out of 400 anglers. Nathan doesn't limit his fishing to only bass, he also loves to fish for other species in fresh water and saltwater.
Ryan has been kayak fishing for 5 years in the Carolinas and has fished several tournaments from freshwater to saltwater. He started fishing with CKA (Carolina Kayak Anglers) and NCKFA (North Carolina Kayak Fishing Association) and couple of years ago he started fishing with QCKBF (Queen City Kayak Bass Fishing). Every group has great guys and girls in it and each is different and he enjoys the friendly atmosphere of each. He has logged a couple of top five finishes in the CKA events and has won the SLAM division at the BooneDOX Yadkin Slam 2 years in a row. While he likes the tournament scent he really enjoys fishing charity tournaments more than anything. He recently has relocated to the gulf coast of Florida in the Clearwater area.
Ryan is also on the PinkFishing Team which is a big part of why he fishes tournaments, it enables him to help spread the word about Breast Cancer awareness.
Ryan is an avid kayak angler from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a founding member of the Tennessee Valley Kayak Anglers he works to grow the sport from the grass roots level, getting more new anglers involved each year. As co-owner of the YakAddicts, brand promotion of the sport through media content is a top priority. Ryan works as a content producer and representative for Native Watercraft doing everything from shooting product videos to attending expos. On the water you can find Ryan competing in various Hobie BOS tourneys as well as regional KBF tourneys throughout the year. When he is not kayak fishing you can find him in the duck woods or in hot pursuit of a big gobbler.
Some of Ryan's top fishing accomplishments are: 2016 TVKA AOY, 3rd place in the 2017 TN State Championship, 2018 TVKA Classic Champion & 2nd place in the 2018 Fishing for Soldiers
Ron Champion is a seasoned tournament angler who grew up fishing creeks, ponds and reservoirs in middle Tennessee but now he and his family live in the Coastal Waters of Southeast Georgia. He started fishing when he was about 5 years old with his dad. Coming over from the Bass Boat side of fishing it didn't take long for Ron to make a impact in the Kayak world. Although Bass fishing is his passion, his most memorable trips are catching Crappie, BlueGill & Catfish with his kids. Ron is a family man and has a 12 year old son “Branton” and a 8 year old daughter “Makayla”. He has been with his wife “Chrissy” since 2005.. Both kids love to fish and he takes them every chance he gets. With over 200 Kayak Tournaments to his name and over half those being Top 10 Finishes you can guarantee when Ron shows up to a event he is there for one thing and that is to Win. Ron is a Proud Christian and not afraid to share his Faith, so when you get a chance to meet him, please say Hello.
TOP FINISHES IN MAJOR EVENTS:
2014 Tournament of Champions 4th place 2016 Tournament of Champions 4th place
2014 Tennessee Kayak Bass Fishing State Championship 3rd place 2016 Hobie Bass Open Champion
2015 Tennessee Kayak Bass Fishing State Team Champion 2017 KBF The TEN Co-Champion
2015 Tennessee Kayak Bass Fishing State Championship 2nd place 2017 KBF Trail Coosa River 2nd place
2015 Tennessee Kayak Bass Fishing State Championship 2nd place 2018 KBF The TEN 4th Place
2016 Team USA Hobie World Championship Qualifier 2018 Ike Foundation Pro Am Champion
2019 Team USA Hobie World Championship Qualifier
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Shaun was born and raised in the town of Waianae on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. A passion for the Sea came naturally to Shaun being surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. At an early age he began Surfing, Diving, Spear fishing and shore fishing. It wasn’t until June 2017 that Shaun decided to borrow his brother in laws old Hobie Outback and take the fishing offshore. A whole new world of fishing fun and possibilities became apparent and Shaun was hooked. 8 months later on a solo trip he would gaff a 84.2 lb. Shibi (Yellowfin Tuna), his best catch yet. The Catch Photo/story later appeared on the cover of the February 2018 issue of Hawaii Fishing News. Relationships with industry leaders like Majorcraft America, Hobie Fishing Team and Big Island baits has since ensued. Shaun even regularly submits kayak fishing articles for Hawaii Fishing News as a Staff Writer. Aside from catching the fish Shaun enjoys preparing them into tasty dishes for friends and family to enjoy.
He tied the FG knot with his Wife Crystal in May 2001 and are raising 3 Keiki (Children). The eldest Ethan is 16, Akahai is their Princess at 13 and Ano’i is the baby at 10 years old. Shaun is also a accomplished Ukulele player and vocalist. If you meet him in person don’t hesitate to ask him to bring out his Ukulele. Have a few while listening to some Sweet Hawaiian music. Oh, and ask him to Jam a few country tunes as well.
Stacey Marin live in L.A. (lower Alabama) near Mobile bay and the Gulf of Mexico. He is diverse at both freshwater and inshore saltwater fishing. Stacey finds himself fishing from both power boats and kayaks through the year fishing as many as 31 tournaments one year but his love and passion is fishing out of his kayak. His tournament fishing along with pleasure fishing will bring him to almost every state in the south east in a years time.
When asked what his favorite thing to fish for or his favorite technique would be you may hear a response similar to "Who's your favorite child?" Stacey has a very broad tackle box and adapts to changes easily with his tool box of tricks.
Stacey also does a lot of presentations at boat shows, fishing clubs and working with local school groups. When he isn't fishing you can find him in the woods hunting, going to the shooting range with his wife or reloading ammo for his next trip to the range. He has a true love for the great outdoors and you will notice that the first time you meet him.
Steve is a lifelong fisherman who started kayak fishing 5 years ago. Calling Tennessee home, he enjoys crappie fishing as well as tournament bass fishing. Steve is a member of the Native Watercraft, Picasso Lures, HOOK1 Outfitters, Denali Rods, Line Out Custom Tackle, and PowerTeam Lures teams. He is a director with Tennessee Valley Kayak Anglers of Chattanooga (TVKA) and host Kayak Bass Fishing Trail events as well. He has qualified for the Tennessee State Kayak and KBF National Championship 3 times. In 2018 placed 5th in the Tennessee State Championship and won the 10th Annual YakAttack Tournament. He was the 1st angler to win both the Big Bass Prize as well as the overall Bass Division. This season he will be fishing the Hobie Bass Open Series, KBF Southeast Trail, and for a spot in the Tennessee State Kayak Championship.
Ty was raised in Makaha, Hawaii which is a small rural beach community and has been an avid life-long waterman. He grew up with a great respect for the sea and from an early age he was taught to fish, surf and free dive. For most of Ty's life, surfing was his foremost passion. Then, in 2010 Ty moved to the eastern side of the big island of Hawaii (where surfing conditions are not ideal) and he gradually started to learn more about shore fishing. His love for fishing was awakened, so in 2015 when Ty moved back to Oahu he naturally wanted to continue fishing. Ty wanted a new adventure sport so he tried ocean kayak fishing and was hooked! His many years of ocean sports helped him to quickly progress and start to excel. His goal is to help grow the sport of kayak fishing in Hawaii, and he loves to get to know and help new people who are interested in the sport. He currently resides in Mililani, Oahu with his daughter and son.
Tyler, 40yrs old and father to two amazing girls is from a small town in Iowa. Tyler fishes and is the tournament director for the Iowa Kayak Anglers and also competes in the KBF seriers. Growing up running the banks of his local river Tyler has a life long passion for fishing and has honed his skills to be a competitive kayak angler.