Eric Boyd and his mentor KG with Drew Gregory at the Riverbassin' Trail.

Eric Boyd’s kayak fishing journey started with a mentor, and survived ruts in the road. Photo courtesy Eric Boyd.

A Kayak Fishing Journey
Deep Ruts and Relationships
By Eric Boyd

"Eric, be positive or we will never make it out of here!" KG's words cut through the night from the bottom of an embankment northwest of Macon, GA. It was 5 a.m. and we were only 300 feet from the Ocmulgee River. I was scared – convinced we would never make it over the 24-inch deep ruts that ran between my SUV and the river. KG's thoughts were solely on winning the Macon leg of the 2010 River Bassin' Tournament Trail. I just wanted to survive. We did not win, however, we did make it to the river – and back!

KG had taught me everything I knew about fishing. He taught me to make the first cast count. He taught me where to fish, how to fish and why. This morning in Macon he taught me to trust him. KG was a fantastic spotter in the dark, guiding the SUV and Ascend A10's (unfortunately the Coosa was not in production yet) over the deep ruts all the way to the rivers edge. This was the day KG transformed from mentor to friend.

It nearly broke my heart when KG told me to start fishing with kayak fishermen. He encouraged me to learn more than he could teach. KG is one of the most knowledgeable fishermen I know but has given his time and knowledge to help me succeed and win – even when competing with one another. KG is a teacher, an encourager and a selfless person.

While maturing as a kayak fisherman I have developed patterns on my own. I have scouted and fished alone and I have learned productive areas alone. I have developed personal strengths as a kayak fisherman. If not for KG, I would not have the confidence to succeed on my own.

If not for my mentor, I may have never gotten into a kayak. I might still be reading about kayak fishing on forums, paralyzed by fear of the unknown. As kayak fishing is growing – faster now than ever – show someone what separates kayak fishermen from the rest of the fishing world. Show them a mentor and a friend. It will make a difference that lasts a lifetime and maybe even help you get through life’s ruts.

Eric Boyd is a Jackson Kayak pro staffer. Find more of his work at his Foothills Angler blog. KG, whoever he might be, sounds like someone I know. If you’re a kayak angler, you probably know him too.