Month: January 2010

My Adventure on the Ottawa River or If you are going to try and kill yourself do it in spectacular fashion and get it on video

With the Ottawa river kayak fishing episode of our show airing this week, I thought I would republish the article I wrote about the trip.

My Adventure on the Ottawa River.
If you are going to try and kill yourself do it in spectacular fashion and at least get it on video

Well I am just back from the filming of the next segment of Game On, our kayak fishing adventure video . This segment was filmed on the Ottawa River in Canada and to my surprise would prove to be the most extreme segment so far. I would be spending time on the river with two former world champion white water boaters, Ken Whiting and Brendon Mark, so I felt was in good hands.

After a long flight from San Diego to the small airport in Ottawa I was dragged into immigration for a closer look. I was given the second degree and we had to go through the process of them deciding if I needed a work permit to be in Canada. From the entire airplane I was the only person they pulled into this secondary process. After a long debate and convincing them I was not getting paid they let me pass. It was after midnight when I was finally released and I was met by our videographer Will for the ride to his place to crash for the night. He told me we would be getting up early to meet the guys to fish the next morning.

This was an adventure I was really looking forward to and got no sleep just itching to get on the water. This would be the first of three days of running whitewater and fishing the eddy lines and pools that most anglers had no access to.

Other than floating down some small rapids in streams on inner tubes when I was a kid I had zero experience on rapids, but I have a ton of time in the surf on my kayak so I was feeling fairly confidant that I would handle it OK. The start off point on the river was as flat and calm as could be and I got slammed on my first cast of the lure in this spot.

I wish the rest of the river were this calm.

I figured they were going to take it easy on me for the first day even though Ken, Brendan and Will had joked about humbling me on this trip. I was feeling pretty good, that is until I saw this.

Yes I was scared

We watched three rafts in a row dump their passengers on the very first section, sending the people floating down the river. All except this one girl who took the raft for a rodeo ride.

Rodeo Ride

We watched and laughed, mine was a very nervous laughter.

Ken gave me a run down on running the river and made a plan, which was I would follow him closely down the rapids and the raft, which they were filming from would follow me down. I asked Ken “what happens if I get dumped” he said “just climb back on the kayak if you can, if not you should just float down river and the raft will pick you up.

Ken heading down first

I took a couple of deep breaths and said “well lets go, it’s only water right”. This was the start of what is, to this point in my life, the scariest thing I have ever been through. I quickly learned that running rapids is nothing like surfing, and unlike surfing there is no break between waves, the water just keeps flowing and pounding and comes at you from multiple directions at once.

Rough Ride

I did as instructed and followed Ken closely down that first section, passing one of the large rafts still stuck in the hole, and was quickly ejected from my kayak. As they told me I was right next to my kayak and quickly was back in the seat and setting up for the next section. So far so good all things considered. The next section was a different story, though to me it did not look as challenging there was a hidden obstacle that my inexperienced eye did not see and that was a hole that reached out and grabbed my kayak. I went from gliding down the river, to my kayak coming to a complete stop and me shooting right off the deck into the water and into the hole. I was later told this was Joe’s hole and I was not the first person to fall victim to its grip. Upon hitting the water I was quickly dragged back upstream and into the churning water which, even with a PFD, forced me under water. I popped up a few feet away and was quickly sucked back into the churning water to repeat the process over and over again within seconds. I could not catch my breath and even when above water could not get a good breath of air because my PFD had been too loose and was covering my face. I knew in my mind that I had help but I was scared to death that they would not be able to get to me, how could they in these conditions? Thankfully they did get to me in what felt like my final breath. First in was Ken, when you see the video you will understand why he was a champion kayaker. He side-surfed his kayak in the hole leaning over so far it is hard to believe he stayed in as I was doing my best to pull him over. He lost me once but quickly got back to me and finally pulled me out of danger zone. Brendan was next in with the raft and dragged me out of the water, adding one final insult to injury, baring my backside, as he pulled me from the water, to the crowd watching on the shore. Will did his part by keeping the camera rolling so we have some cool and exciting footage for the video. Which would have been shown at my funeral had I not survived, I have shown the footage to a few friends and the general response is “Holy Shit”. The rest of you will have to wait for the show to come out to see it.

This was a pretty scary introduction to kayaking the river and something I will not ever forget. Thankfully I had these experts there to come to my rescue, I will be forever in their dept, then again they put me in that spot I may have to try and get them back on our next trip.

Brendo and Ken

Though I was pretty shaken this was only the first day on the river and we had a lot of rapids and days of shooting to go, so after about a half hour of regrouping I was back in the kayak, this time in some flat water and doing what I love most and that is fishing. Catching my first pike and several small mouth bass.

My first pike

I still had to face the music and that meant running the next set of rapids. Though pretty intimidated I was assured this set was much easier and I should have no problems. The guys were right and I ran that set without incident and actually really enjoyed it. We ran several more sets of rapids over the course of the day with me only hitting the water a couple more times but always getting right back on board my kayak. I was so happy to have sacked up and run the river the rest of the day, it would have been easy to sit in that raft all day but I know I would of never forgiven myself. I opted not to tell my wife about the scare until I returned home.

Here are a few more shots from the first day.

My first Waleye

Doing a bit better in the whitewater

With a little bit of poetic justice I managed to catch the biggest Pike of the day right after the guys had taken their kayak out of the water at the end of the day.

Biggest pike of the day

Day two on the river was to be the same plan on the same section of river as the day before. Though I was glad I got back on my kayak the day before, I was not ready to run that top rapid again so I took a side chute of the river and fished my way to the bottom of the big section, while the boys ran it again. This time Lisa had raft duty and she flipped it in the top section. I was fishing and missed all that action.

Pike, look at those teeth, the entire roof of their mouths are teeth a true predator.

I am happy to say I ran the rest of the rapids that day and managed to stay on my kayak for the rest of the trip.

Ken running a fun section

Brendan in action

Fishing the eddy line

The next day was supposed to be the start of a two day camping trip on the river but heavy rain was predicted for that night so we opted to investigate a nearby lake the guys had never fished. The water was super clear and the lake was a very cool spot to fish, we all caught bass and Pike.

As predicted the rains came that night and we were all happy to be sleeping in beds not a wet tent. The forecast for the next day was rain until about 3:00 pm then clearing and cool.
Once again the predictions were correct so we loaded for our camping trip and headed out fishing in the rain. The fishing this day was pretty steady on small mouth bass, pike and Will got one four pound large mouth. Even better the sun came out and turned into a beautiful day.

Brendo with the big pike of the trip

We only had to run one section of rapids this day and I managed to get through unscathed. After that we were in some of the most beautiful country I have ever seen, It was almost too beautiful to be real, of course my camera battery died and I only got a few photos from this, our last day on the water.

Ken taking the lead

Dinner for our camp out.


The last morning we had to jump in the kayaks and make an hour and a half paddle in the fog back to the car so I could make my plane. I did manage one last cast on the paddle in and landed one last Pike.

I have landed a lot of what could be considered extreme fish in a kayak but at my skill level this was the most extreme kayak fishing I have ever done. I can’t wait to do it again, this time with my PFD nice and tight and my rescuers near by.

I hope you enjoy the episode of the show that documents this adventure.

Jim Sammons

The first episode has aired and the reviews are in.

After the airing of our first episode of The Kayak Fishing Show, I went looking around some of the kayak fishing web sites for some reviews of the show. What I found were mostly fantastic reviews mixed with a few suggestions. Thought I would share some of those reviews with you.

“Just finished watching it on my DVR and the segment was great, can’t wait to see some more.”

That was great!! I have set my DVR to record the whole series.. The 1st episode was really good ,informative and got me nuts since I will be in Panama next week targeting similar species,, Great Job Jim , Congrats , you should be proud!!

Great episode. I saw pics of that episode in kayakfishing magazine. Please give us a heads up for future episodes. The kayak surfing session looked like lots of fun. Something I want to get into this summer.

Now if this doesn’t set a new standard in fishing shows, I don’t know what does! It’s been a long time since I voluntarily watched those dingbats in their $50,000 bass boats yanking out 4 lb. smallies on 30 lb. braid, but still, they’re never ending on WFN. What a kickoff for this series!

What I found good? No deception. They went to Baja, ran into bad weather and reported honestly on what happened during their filming week. A 250 lb. marlin from a kayak? Unbelievable!

I have to agree DGW, is was an honest a varied cast that represented what you can expect when out.. I enjoyed the tips of the day for both Ocean Kayak and Exofficio.. great show and looking forward to more

Pour it on. Looking forward to the Ottawa segment next week.

“Well done Jim, I really enjoyed that. And kudos to Ken and Will at Heliconia Press for bringing this to TV.”

“Good show, now I’m pumped to go yaking.”

Just watched the show in spectacular HD. Looked great! Really showed the size of Howard’s fish – huge! Loved the Heliconia produced commercials. Even C&K got in the act.
Paul Lebowitz

just enjoyed the first episode of The Kayak Fishing Show with Jim Sammons. Congrats to producer Ken Whiting and director Will Richardson and all the folks at Heliconia Press.

Just saw your show, man! Marlin from a yak? who’da thunk it? Kudos to you guys!!! That’s it, that’s all: come this summer, I’m goin’ after the northern bluefin tunas! Lol!

Great show, Jim! Can’t wait until next week’s episode!

Well that did not disappoint! Howard McKim with a hammerhead, Ken with a beauty roosterfish, then a Howard and Matt double up on a couple marlin… makes me wish it wasn’t January

My hats off to Jim and the lads at Heliconia Press. Game On II should be quite impressive.

Excellent show guy’s.

Enjoyed the show, nice cameo shot of Jamie and a ski. I especially like the tips of the week. Great for promoting the sport and getting new folks to cross over. I want to go to Baja tomorrow 4 hours on one fish I will be glued to each show as with Jamie’s. Was it me or did it seem they where pretty calm landing these fish. You would have heard me in the jungles of South America if I hooked into any of those beast.

I enjoyed the show this morning, great way to start the day.

I just added the channel last night to get the show, and it was well worth it.

…Great Show

jim, you are the man….keep up the good work.

Congrats Jim,
Really fine job. You should be proud. keep it up you make us look good.

As a HYBERNATOR in JERSEY, I will welcome any KAYAK FISHING adventure/show to pass the time during the winter months.
I’m glad that this is a beginning of a fruitfull adventure. I hope that many more excitefull shows will come forward.

I give it a 8/10 due to the fact that it’s nice to finally watch kayak fishing on tv while I’m nicely iced in here in Ontario and my kayak is buried by 2′ of snow in the backyard.

Heliconia are monsters! Really impressive!

All I can say is “IT’S ABOUT TIME!” Congrats, guys!

To who it may concern..
WOW what a show the other night,
that show on kayak fishing,I fish out of my kayak all the time,but have never seen anything like the saltwater fishing they where
doing,,That show rocks,,Hope to see more of that show.. thanks for the Awesome show and keep up the Great work at WFN

I am so glad folks liked our show and thanks for the kind words. We are always happy to hear input or suggestions so please send them our way.
In next weeks episode we will be on the Ottawa river, running white water and fishing for Pike. You will even get to see me almost drown, which is great TV and fun to talk about now but was the single most scary thing ever to happen to me. I hope you enjoy this next episode of Ocean Kayak presents The Kayak Fishing Show with Jim Sammons

Jim Sammons

Show updates- 3 days and counting

Well the date for the first airing of The Kayak Fishing show is only a few days away and too say we are excited would be a huge understatement.
If you would like to see a bit more about the show take a look at this press release, sent out today.

The first show will air on Monday January 11 at 10:30 pm Eastern, 7:30 pm Pacific time zone. I did not realize the show times I posted previously were for Eastern Time zone only. So please adjust those times to your time zone, I know you don’t want to miss the show. 🙂

If you have not had a chance, take a look at our NEW KAYAK FISHING SHOW Website.which is filled with videos, and information about our trips, locations, sponsors, as well as the the guys we fished with. Look for this site to keep growing over the course of the upcoming year so book mark the site and visit often.

I have heard from a few people that the show is not showing up on the TV schedule for Dish network, I have been assured that they are working on that and the show will be on, so no worries there.

I plan on meeting up with some friends and family at a local sports bar to watch it, my cable company does not yet carry WFN.
If your cable provider does not offer WFN at this time, please contact them and let them know you want it, it is your voices that will get us on more TV’s. You can also join our FB group People for the expansion of WFN to all cable providers, which is basically an online petition to the cable providers.

I hope you all have a chance to see the show and enjoy it.
I look forward to hearing what you think of the show.
Have a great weekend.

Jim Sammons

2009 Wrap up and looking at 2010

Well 2009 is now behind us, and what a great year it was. We went to some great locations and fished and hung out with some wonderful people, I honestly feel like the luckiest guy in the world some times.
We started the year fishing with my friend Jeff Herman in Galveston Texas for some fun shallow water action on Reds, Trout and Flounder.

Jeff Herman with a nice Galveston Redfish

From Galveston we ran out to the Manske Ranch in Texas for the Heroes on the water event, where we had the opportunity to take some injured servicemen out fishing. This was a truly rewarding experience that I hope to be able to be part of again. Anyone interested in more information on this great organization should contact the guys at HOW. They are always looking for help.

Our next adventure for the year was fishing with Pesca Panama out of David Panama. We were able to fish areas that had never seen a kayak and would daily out fish the power boaters on the trip. The highlight of the trip was being the first kayak anglers ever to fish Hannibal bank and landing a 120lb yellowfin tuna. I would return to Panama and fish with these guys in a heart beat, it was truly a kayak fisherman’s dream destination.

Jims 120 pound Tuna from Panama

In August I made my first foray into fly fishing with a trip to Montana, another dream destination. On this trip I was joined by my son Randy and once again by Jeff Herman and our new friend C.G. Feldman. CG was a great teacher for my son and I and was a huge help in getting us our first ever trout on a fly rod and many more after that. We stayed in a great cabin provided by Rainbow Valley Lodge in Ennis Montana which was in close proximity to lots of great rivers and lakes. I have never seen so much wildlife and I hope to visit Montana again with my family.

Jeff Herman with the Big Brown for the trip

In September I headed up north to Algonquin Park in Ottawa to do some more white water kayak fishing with Ken Whiting and Jamie Pestilli. This was a six day paddle trip down the Petawawa river right during the changing of colors of the leafs on the trees, one of the most beautiful places I have been. The fishing was not bad either as I caught my first Musky from my kayak and a lot more after that. Having a white water expert like Ken on the trip was a huge help and I learned a ton from him.

Ken giving some white water instruction

Jim with a smaller Musky

Our last stop for the year was Cedros Island off the Baja coast. This was a six day mothership trip aboard the sportfishing boat Islander for some incredible Yellowtail fishing. The weather was tough on this trip with lots of high winds but we still managed to get some great fish.

Jim with a Cedros Yellowtail

Baja Calico Bass at Cedros Island

Of course the highlight of the year for us was signing on with The World Fishing Network (WFN) for our own TV show.
We got all these great trips on film and they will each be an episode of Ocean Kayak presents The Kayak Fishing Show with Jim Sammons and on our movie Exofficio presents Kayak Fishing; Game On 2.

2009 was a great year and 2010 looks to be even better, if that is possible. We are currently working of some absolutely insane destinations that have not been fished by kayak, as well as visiting some of our good friends around the country. We will keep you all up to date on the blog, as well as on our NEW KAYAK FISHING SHOW Website.which is filled with videos, and information about our trips, sponsors, as well as the the guys we fished with. Look for this site to keep growing over the course of the upcoming year.

If you have any general questions on kayak fishing or just want to share a story please visit the forums on my site, you will find a wealth of knowledge there. We also have a list of kayak fishing records that you can look over, and hopefully contribute too.

Don’t forget to look for our show on WFN starting next week.
The airing schedule is as follows.
WFN HD & SD (On Air) 10:30:00 PM Monday, January 11, 2010
WFN HD & SD (On Air) 6:30:00 AM Tuesday, January 12, 2010
WFN HD & SD (On Air) 2:30:00 PM Tuesday, January 12, 2010
WFN HD & SD (On Air) 8:30:00 PM Sunday, January 17, 2010
WFN HD ONLY (On Air) 4:30:00 AM Sunday, January 17, 2010
WFN HD & SD (On Air) 12:30:00 PM Monday, January 18, 2010

And please let your cable provider know you want WFN if they don’t provide it already.

As always feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or have a great destination that you think we need to visit. I hope you all have a great 2010
Jim Sammons

Before closing I have to give a huge thanks to my friends behind the scenes that make this happen and to my wonderful wife and kids for putting up with me being gone so much.

My great wife and kids who I love so much.

Director, Videographer, Editor, Drinker of good rum, Gets outfished on his own water, Will Richardson

Montana Still photographer, cook and bartender, Kendal Larson, on the left in the big fruity hat

Marketing, Sales, royal pain. Brendan Mark

Producer, life saver, poor fisherman, Ken Whiting

Still photographer and one mean Rower Lisa Utronki

Of course we couldn’t of done any of this without our great sponsors. I hope you will visit their sites and give them the support they deserve.