Whitewater Kayak Fishing—Raising the Bar for Extreme Fishing

“I’ve caught 200 lb shark and marlin from my kayak,” says renowned big game kayak angler Jim Sammons, “but this is by far the most extreme kayak fishing that I’ve ever done.”
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During recent shooting for Heliconia's eagerly anticipated kayak fishing adventure film—ExOfficio presents Kayak Fishing: GAME ON, world-renowned, big game kayak angler Jim Sammons hooked up with world champion whitewater kayakers Ken Whiting and Brendan Mark for an action-packed, whitewater kayak fishing adventure. The trio used customized fishing kayaks to challenge the awesome rapids of the Ottawa River, accessing remote and untouched fishing holes. Six days of whitewater kayak fishing included five capsizes, one life threatening swim, a dramatic rescue, and enough great fish to satisfy the most ardent angler.

The adventure began ominously as on the first rapid, Jim flipped, experiencing one of the most terrifying situations any whitewater paddler can face. Caught swimming in a ‘keeper' hole, Jim fought for air while being mercilessly tumbled by the raging waters. Fortunately, a dramatic rescue by Ken broke an emotionally and physically exhausted Jim free of the hole's grasp.

“I've spent a lot of time paddling, surfing, and getting beat up in the ocean surf around my home town of San Diego, California,” explains Jim after his harrowing swim, “but nothing could have prepared me for the whitewater here on the Ottawa.”

The Ottawa River is known by whitewater kayakers and rafters alike for having some of the biggest and best whitewater in the world. Having lived on and worked on the river for almost all their lives, few people know the river as well as Ken Whiting and Brendan Mark. Three years ago, looking for new adventures, Ken and Brendan realized they could combine their two favorite pastimes—and whitewater kayak fishing was born.

Although whitewater kayak fishing often involves stowing fishing gear in the kayak while running rapids, Ken and Brendan have found some of the most aggressively feeding fish hanging within the whitewater itself. It's not uncommon to find the two kayakers catching fish while being spun in circles by whirlpools mid rapid, while trolling only feet from the brink of a waterfall, or balancing in the turbulent whitewater at the base of a rapid.

Although more and more freshwater anglers are recognizing the benefits of fishing kayaks (such as access, cost, and environmental impact), Jim Sammons doesn't expect to see whitewater kayak fishing booming in popularity. It's not an activity for the faint of heart. “I've caught 200 lb shark and marlin from my kayak,” says Sammons, “but this is by far the most extreme kayak fishing that I've ever done.”

About The Heliconia Press

Since World Champion Ken Whiting founded the company in 1998, The Heliconia Press has been producing best-selling and award-winning instructional books and videos about kayaking and other outdoor pursuits. For more information about all of Heliconia's products, please visit www.helipress.com.

About ExOfficio presents Kayak Fishing: Game On
Kayak Fishing: GAME ON is an epic, new, fishing movie that follows renowned big-game kayak angler Jim Sammons around North America on the kayak fishing adventure of a lifetime. Fights with tarpon in Florida, halibut and king salmon in Alaska, tuna and marlin in Baja, stripers in Chesapeake Bay, and muskie in Canada are just some of what you can expect to see in this exciting new film by The Heliconia Press. The movie features action and adventure providing a unique glimpse into the lifestyles of some of the most dedicated kayak anglers in the world. Coming Spring of 2009

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