Florida Kayak Fishing was one of the first Kayak Fishing websites on the Internet. It was launched in 1999 after discovering Dennis Spike's Coastal Kayak Fishing website in California in 1998. It was created to demonstrate the shallow water style of kayak fishing available, especially in the state of Florida in both fresh and salt waters, but also, adaptable to many other waters in other states and around the world.
Soon after the launch, the email box was swamped with requests for information. There were requests for answers to a wide variety of questions, but many of the same questions arose from people across the country and even around the world.
It became clear to me that the sport was not just a fad as some had thought at the time. It was also clear that there were too many advantages to an angler, especially a shallow water angler. I could not imagine anyone giving up the sport, having discovered those advantages. Not only was it a more effective way to catch fish, but it was also much more fun. The first article I wrote on my new website was entitled The Kayak Advantage.
I received a big response on the article, and the mail only increased in the Inbox. I could not keep up with all of the requests for help. I decided to attempt writing a book for all those folks trying to get started in the sport and to convince those considering --- that it was a good idea. My #1 comment on the sport was always ----- that I only wished that I had started sooner !
I knew I would need some help writing the book because I didn't know that much about kayak fishing myself yet at that time. I was still in the learning phases on my own waters. So, I knew that I would need to get help from others who might have experience in different fishing environments than I had experienced. I didn't really know any other kayak fishermen, except for a few people I was in communication with Online in those early days of the Internet. But there were a few other kayak fishing websites popping up at that time, and there was much participation by others wherever there was public conversation. So, I started to advertise my plan and ask for input from anyone with experience, but I was most intrigued by the input from the perspective of those who were new and just entering the sport. That perspective resulted in the creation of my favorite chapter in the book entitled "The Kayak Fishing Community".
I have often said that it wasn't actually me who wrote the book. I only put the information together that others provided to me, especially in dealing with environments where I had never been and fish species I had no experience at catching from a kayak or otherwise. But everyone was very encouraging and helpful at providing information and photos. Most of the photos were sent by email. One of my favorite replies was that the Internet wrote the book.
I knew that I probably couldn't get a publisher for such a small niche sport with so few participants. I also knew that I would have to self publish and self fund the project. I was pretty sure that I was not going to make any money and that I probably would even lose much of my investment, but I was convinced that this was the start of something very big. I decided to call it --- "The Revolution".
From my years as a professional fishing guide, I was fortunate enough to have worked with some of the best and most successful outdoor writers. So, I decided to get a little advice before proceeding.
One of the most successful self publishers of fishing books is Larry Larsen, who has also been inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. Larry has published over 50 outdoor books for himself and other authors. He convinced me that self publishing was the right way to go, and that I might actually even make some money.
Just about the time I was finishing up the book and had a printed layout finished, one of my favorite outdoor writers called to do an article on Kayak Fishing for Bass in the Ocala National Forest. Steve Price, senior writer for BassMaster Magazine, graciously offered to look over the book before I made the final decision to publish.
Steve had already written a number of very successful books on bass fishing, and he
assured me that the book would be successful and that I would do very well.
Of course, the book did do very well because many people wanted to get into the sport, and they were starving for more information about it, and its application to fishing in their own environments. I received more free press coverage and promotion from media outlets and personalities than I can remember. I also received many, many thanks from people in all walks of life who credited the book for getting them into the sport. Some of them have gone on to become very influential in the sport themselves, creating websites and even large tournament series that launch hundreds kayaks at their events. Some of the folks I had written about have become legends in the sport. Some have written their own books. Some even have their own Kayak Fishing TV Shows. When anyone thanks me for the book ---- I like to say ----
"If I knew you were going to like it so much" ----- " I would have done a better job ! "
When folks ask me what's next for me in The Revolution, I like to say ---- It over----
" We WON ! ! ! "
Actually, the next thing after the book was something started even before starting the book. I had purchased one of the first Broadcast Quality digital video cameras on the market when I discovered that it would allow you to slice, dice, copy and re-copy video without the loss of quality in the edited & reproduced clips. Eventually, I published and marketed some of the first DVDs ever on Kayak Fishing for Tarpon, Kayak Fishing for BASS, and Kayak Fishing the FLATS. These videos allow new kayak fishermen to get the experience of fishing from a kayak almost as if they are on the back of my kayak. Even if they have never fished in the same types of waters or for the same species of fish, they can get a pretty good feel for what's required for success and what they can expect for results, and perhaps it is even helpful in some way on their own waters and fish. It helps to see what happens when a large shark torpedoes your kayak in an explosion of white foamy water or when a big tail walking Tarpon body slams onto the deck of your kayak.
Most people soon moved to YouTube to present and view video content, and I did the same to show off some fishing lures that I had developed. Of course, this led to many new adventures in Kayak Fishing and many new viewers of the YouTube Broadcast Channel from all around the world for the videos on FROG Fishing with the Designer Bass FROGs™ and also for many new visitors to this website. However, the FROGs sort of took over the website for awhile, but it did give a lot of new viewers a chance to see what a kayak could do for their fishing, and many did say that they had now taken up the sport. Around the Internet, the FROGs were getting known as the Kayak Cult FROG. That was just fine with me.
Eventually however, the FROGs made it into an issue of BassMaster Magazine and were used for the lead photo and even on the Cover of the magazine. The response was so large that the Waiting List went from a back log of 6 months to a wait time of over two years. Many of those folks on the Waiting LIst never did get a custom FROG, but I think many of them did appreciate getting the mass produced Clone Series FROGs at any time they wanted them without waiting, especially at a much more affordable price.
With the launch of this newly updated website, it will reveal what I have been working on for the past several years, bringing some very old projects into a state where I can share them with everyone. The first project is the Capt Ken's Designer Bass Shiner™ Kits --- now available to everyone. The next project is a new "Revolution".
This time its the Fly Fishing Revolution: No Fly Rod Needed.
Copyright 1999 Ken Daubert. All rights reserved. Republication and redistribution of content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.