This summer, world champion whitewater kayakers Ken Whiting and Brendan Mark teamed up with Jim Sammons, a world-class kayak angler, to push the limits of their fledgling sport, whitewater kayak fishing. The sport is exactly what it sounds like, angling from rapids in kayaks custom built to accommodate fishing equipment and turbulent waters. These guys took it to the extreme on the big-waters of Canada’s Ottawa River.
“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.”
A point evidenced by, as Mark puts it, a life-threatening swim Sammons took out of one of the Ottawa’s thundering holes, four additional capsizes, and enough fish to satisfy even the most ardent of anglers. According to Mark, they caught 50-100 Musky, Pikes, Walleyes and/or Bass per day. Fish story or not, the site of Ottawa locals Whiting and Brendan hooking fish while being spun in circles by whirlpools is a common one. Mid-rapid, or just beside the curtain of a waterfall, is where they’ve found some of the most aggressively feeding fish. As appealing as it sounds, veteran fisherman Sammons doesn’t see whitewater kayak fishing catching on.
“It’s not an activity for the faint of heart,” Mark says.
Check out footage from the adventure in The Heliconia Press’s upcoming film Kayak Fishing:Game On at kayakfishingmovie.com