You never know when your 15 minutes of fame will come. Take mild-mannered kayak fisherman Drew Gregory, for instance, whose YouTube video (Click Here) of him getting embarrassed and pummeled by rabid geese has topped 100,000 views and aired on Jay Leno on Friday, Feb. 5. The Jackson Kayak paddler and fishing pro first posted his clip on Jan. 26, with the frenzy starting from there.
“They were going to play it on Thursday, but decided they wanted to make it a little bigger segment,” says the newly discovered star. “Other networks have also contacted us about showing it on different shows it may pop up on television in a few places. It’s craziness…”
But he hasn’t gotten so big and famous yet that he couldn’t spare a little time for good ol’ Paddling Life. We cornered him between Hollywood deals to get the down and dirty on his little escapade…
Paddling Life: Where were filming/fishing?
Gregory:I was on the St. Marks River south of Tallahassee, Florida
Paddling Life: How, exactly, did you get the shot?
Gregory: I was self filming with a special camera mount designed to film from behind my kayak
Paddling Life: Ever expect that to happen…getting pummeled by geese?
Paddling Life: Ever see anything like that before, in all your days out on the water?
Gregory:I have never heard of something like this happening. It was totally random and insane. I guess that is what has made it such a big hit.
Paddling Life: Were you feeding them anything?
Gregory: No, we were just focused on fishing and they were very friendly for about an hour. I believe they were just curious, really.
Paddling Life: Remind you of Hitchcock’s The Birds?
Gregory: Haven’t heard that one yet, but I can see the connection.
Paddling Life: Think you could’ve braced to stay upright?
Gregory: No way in the world. The number one priority your brain tells your body is that the threat on your back may be more threatening than a simple spill in the water. I’d rather get a bird off my back where I can’t defend myself and have to take a swim any day. It really all just happened so fast that you just react in that situation. If I knew it was going to happen I probably could have focused enough to stay in, but who ever could have known it was going to happen? Funny thing is I have made over 600 kayak fishing trips in the river and been standing out of my kayak in all those trips and this is the first time I’ve unintentionally taken a swim. Guess that bird really showed me who’s boss…
Paddling Life: And yet you still got the footage…
Gregory: I’m lucky the Jackson Kayak Day Tripper I was in is stable enough to not turn over after I fell out. Otherwise, there wouldn’t have been any footage of this whole incident. Also, I didn’t attempt to re-enter the kayak by myself because the camera mount in the back was preventing rear entry and my fishing partners were very close by. I knew they could take care of the bird, which was then upset, while I got back in.
Paddling Life: What’d you do to piss him off?
Gregory: I don’t think he was ticked off. Most all animals have natural audible ways of warning that they’re upset and this goose hung out with me for an hour and never acted upset or hostile. It even allowed me to pet it just a few minutes earlier. They’re curious animals and are always looking for an easy meal. Since I was so friendly I believe it was just wanting to perch on my seat to get a better view of what was inside my kayak. Of course, I started flailing and it looked more like an attack. As you can see it never pecked at me and only after the traumatic incident did it hiss.
Paddling Life: Think your new-found fame will lead to anything bigger?
Gregory: The video may certainly get my name out there, but ultimately if my brand and product isn’t entertaining then it can never lead to anything bigger because this video is only a 15-minutes-of-fame-type deal and I know that. Right now I guide and my company also runs riverbassin.com and drewgregory.com so if people find those sites and enjoy them then it could lead to bigger things.
I also have a lot of big things in the works right now involving kayak fishing and bass fishing that may change the sport forever, so the name recognition will probably help in those ventures that’s. I wish I could announce them now but the public is not allowed to know about them quite yet. Most people seem to enjoy my videos and want to see me with a show on TV some day so maybe this is a way for more people to become fans in what I am doing as far as continuing to pioneer the sport of kayak fishing in rivers.
I’m just a normal guy that loves life, people and kayak fishing. All I need is a kayak and a fishing rod and I’m happy and have no intentions of living some lavish lifestyle if my enterprise does grow. I hope they do grow though so that I can take care of my parents, family and the less fortunate in the world.