A COVID Angler | Kayak Fishing Canada by JK Team | Oct 9, 2020 | Big Tuna, Bite, Canada, Featured Post, Fishing, Fishing Feature, Fishing Reports, Freshwater Fishing, Internationalisation, JAdventures Main Banner | 13 comments A ‘COVID’ Angler! By: Trevor Thomson No, I do not have COVID19, nor have I had it, that was intended to get your attention, and read this blog about my experiences this year Kayak Fishing on Western Canadas Trail Series. Hope it worked? Now read on………………….. Like everything this year, our world was turned upside down when it came to the growing Kayak angling community in Western Canada. Aquabatics, our local Alberta paddle shop, was closed partially. Kayak orders were cancelled for spring/summer delivery, and all Kayak fishing derbies were cancelled on the Western Canada Kayak Fishing Trail (Facebook @WCKFT) but like Aquabatics owner Simon Coward says, “When Life gives you Lemons, Make Lemonade”, and so we did! 11 Kayak Fishing derbies were to be held this year across 3 different provinces (SK, AB, BC). Our biggest tournament of the year, Eastslope Kayak Fishing Classic, draws more than 50+ kayak anglers each year, was in its 10th anniversary year! It was planned to be an epic, 2-day angling derby for the first time since its conception. All this was gone, just like much of our everyday life was, normality was no more…….. The derby vibe was resurrected though with quick thinking from WCKFT manager Mike Zilkowsky. Mike put the feelers out to fellow tournament organizers, such as myself, to get feedback on a potential online Kayak Fishing Platform! Feedback was positive, and within a matter of days, the Western Canada Kayak Fishing Trail – Freshwater Summer Slam Series Online Kayak Derby was born! (Check out the page on FB @WCKFTSS) It was a welcomed platform for us hardcore anglers missing out on the live derbies. It certainly filled the void and not only attracted the common everyday veteran anglers familiar to the trail, but successfully reached out to new anglers, looking to join the growing Kayak Fishing community. The online derby was simply structured. June 15 – September 15, fish as much, and as often. No restrictions to water bodies (fresh water only), catch any species listed (up to 5 of each). Submit photos of your catch’s to admin for your entries, must be on an approved measuring device, must have tournament tag with anglers name & province in photo. Human powered watercraft only, no powerboats. Open to all residents of Western Canada. So pretty status quo! Fall Tiger Trout in their majestic colour So why the title “A Covid Angler” then you might be asking? Well, for me, Covid19 has taught me a lot this year, in an angling sense. When I first saw the list of fish species for the online derby, I was familiar with them all, and I initially thought, “no big deal, I got this in the bag”! What I soon realized was that, although I know of all these species, I commonly only target 5-6 of these on the list. 26 different fish species allowable to catch, my experience and knowledge on fishing is good, but certainly not 26 species deep. Once this all settled in and I absorbed what it meant foe me, I knew it was going to be time for me to explore now more than ever, time to fish and discover outside my normal boundaries. Now that’s a Species List! Yikes…… Covid pushed me, it forced me outside my normal fishing bubble, my comfort zone, it got me out adventuring for more angling experiences than ever! I love to compete, the WCKFTSS Online Derby helped me expose myself to new species, new bodies of water, and even more time alone on the water than usual. My goal for this online platform was to finish Top 5. I managed to finish in 3rd, and I am extremely happy with my results, and proud of my accomplishments. Goldeye, Mooneye, Cutthroat Trout for new species list checks. A couple new PB’s for Tiger Trout, and a new love/passion for river fishing and mountain lake fishing. Just squeaked in at 3rd place! Covid19 is not a good thing, we all know that. But to take the huge, ugly negative and turn it into a learning experience full of positive outcomes on a personal level, I couldn’t be happier with that and I think many more folks that joined in on the WCKFTSS Online Fishing Derby would say the same.. To me, this platform has shown itself to be a huge success, and I am looking forward to doing it again next year, along with the return of our live derbies!!! Its early October only, there is still lots of open water season left. So, see you out there, on the water, while the snow melts on our face, until the water turns hard! Fish On! Trevor Thomson Aquabatics Ambassador (Edm, AB, CAN) Jackson Kayak Regional Fishing Team Member Insta @paddlepowerangler Facebook @Alanthomson 13 Comments Jean Wilson on October 9, 2020 at 10:39 am Great article, Alan!! Wow, that’s a lot of species! Congrats on your accomplishments and enjoy the rest of the season!! Reply Trevor Thomson on October 9, 2020 at 11:00 am Thanks so much Jean for the kind words❤️ It’s been an amazing kayak fishing season for me. Hope to squeak in a bit more until the snow flies here. Reply Huy Tran on October 9, 2020 at 10:44 am Awesome write up! Enjoyable start to finish. I may have to try the Freshwater Summer Slam next season. Reply Trevor Thomson on October 10, 2020 at 11:26 am Thanx Huy, looking forward to more time on the water with you next year as well! Reply Mike Zilkowsky on October 9, 2020 at 11:12 am Great write up… the series was awesome and it was cool to see so many anglers push themselves to different waterbodies and species. Congrats to everyone who participated and made air a success. Reply Trevor Thomson on October 10, 2020 at 11:27 am Thanx Mike, love the feedback. More importantly, thank you for facilitating such a great online fishing derby! Cheers eh! Reply Flynn Skot on October 9, 2020 at 2:58 pm Trevor you nailed it, it made for a great kayak fishing summer. You wait til next year. Reply Daniel Bourdages JK ambassador on October 9, 2020 at 4:24 pm Great job, great post. Reply Trevor Thomson on October 10, 2020 at 11:29 am Thanx Dan for your support. See you on the water Reply Flynn Skot on October 9, 2020 at 5:53 pm Trevor, you nailed it! It was a great summer. ‘Catch’ you next year!! Reply Trevor Thomson on October 10, 2020 at 11:28 am Thanx Flynn! I appreciate that. See you on the water next year to! Reply Chris Fonos on October 13, 2020 at 10:50 pm Great write up, Trevor! I also really enjoyed the Freshwater Summer Slam. As you said, it was a great opportunity to push yourself out of your usual comfort zone and find those species you wouldn’t normally target Hope we can do it again next year! Reply Trevor Thomson on October 14, 2020 at 11:37 am Thanks for the feedback Chris, it was an amazing summer series, next year will hopefully be bigger and better. We might have to do some strategizing during hardwater season😉 Reply Submit a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.