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Kayak Angling: Freedom and Flexibility

Aleuts ishing,1450s. Source:
Aleuts ishing,1450s. Source:

Fishing from kayaks is not new.  Native peoples discovered the effectiveness of seeking food from the water’s depths while floating on,  instead of standing at its edge, hundreds of years ago.

In the early 2000’s kayak designs that incorporated angling-specific seating and storage as well as life vests (personal flotation devices) and paddles suited to fishing started to catch up to instinct.  Today we enjoy countless equipment options for enjoying angling from water level.

PPA SitonKayak - OK Prowler CamoEach year unveils  destinations that were previously difficult to find or to reach with a motor boat or flats boat configuration.

Each year, thousands discover the nimbleness, tracking capability and storage that can comes along when you decide you’d like to try fishing by kayak.   Here are 10 Tips for the Beginner Kayak Fisherman as told by web-based blog YakAngler.



Canoeing: Family Fun that Lasts for Life

Photo courtesy of Johnson Outdoors
Photo courtesy of Johnson Outdoors

Get the family out on the water this summer! When considering the venerable canoe as your boat of choice, no better place to learn about their value and versatility than the folks who live in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota!  Actually, there are 11, 842 lakes 10 acres or larger, and Minnesotans have been getting across and around them in canoes for a long time. This is what you’ll find from demonstrations offered iwith the Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources to familiarize fans of the outdoors with the fun of canoeing:

Learn paddling skills from experienced guides, while exploring some of Minnesota’s most stunning lakes and rivers.

Designed especially for first-time paddlers, so no experience or equipment is necessary. Through firsthand experience you’ll develop all of the skills necessary for a lifetime of paddling. Programs range from 2-hour basics on a lake to 4-5 hour excursions that cover basics and beyond. Safety tips, what to pack, and resources are covered.

Small group sizes mean you’ll get the attention you need to become a paddling pro in no time. Canoes, paddles, and personal flotation devices are provided. Kids are welcome!   Learn more at this link.

Other states host canoeing, kayaking and other paddlesports introductory events on their waterways through DNR and state parks… and many of the programs are conducted with our outfitters!




River rafting … for more than just the day!

Middle Fork 03 007Many outfitters offer unique multiple-day river experiences by taking care of the ‘heavy lifting’ such as providing transportation to the put-in (where rafts enter the river) and picking you up at the takeout point; preparing meals; and, of course, offering expert paddling guidance whether your raft is being propelled by an oar rig or by you and your paddling crew in ‘paddle boats.’

Here is a blog post from seasoned river experts on the NRS Duct Tape Diaries blog who have logged many thousands of river miles, reflecting on the joys of multiple-day raft trips. There are dozens in the Western US where rural rivers have fewer access points, as well as a few wonderful trips in the East, 

Luxury or roughing it - tentIf you’d like to try a multiple day trip, our members can offer just the right option for you, your friends and family! Read Tips for Choosing an Outfitter, and then search for your outfitter by activity or location.




August, 2014 Paddling Events

August 2
Neches Wilderness Race

Frankston, TX
Good old Texas heat and another great day of adventure on the Neches River. Canoeists and Kayakers, young and old, expert and beginner, are expected out in large numbers for our annual fund raiser for Trinity Valley Community College special needs scholarship fund. Volunteers will see the racers safely through to the finish line and the cold refreshments, watermelon, hamburgers, and hot dogs that await them.

Paddle Grapple
Bryson City, NC
This multi-discipline event offers participants a 3 and 6 mile option, both of which circumnavigate two islands near the Tsali Recreational Area. Enjoy the cool water and views of Great Smoky Mountains National Park as you race SUP, Surfski, marathon, or recreational kayaks and canoes on beautiful Fontana Lake. After the race, participants and families are invited to try whitewater SUP for free.

Savannah Paddlefest
Augusta, GA
8.5 mile race on Savannah River. First 4 miles has shoals and class I & II rapids. The last 4.5 miles is deep water. Shuttle service provided. Canoe and Kayak Race will include 2 classes: Open Race (for serious racers) and Recreation Race will field C1 and K1, male and female, C2 and K2, male, female and mixed classes. SUP Race offers an Open class and Stock Surf class. The Raft Competition is meant to be fun for all, participants and spectators with prizes for design, originality, and first across the finish line. Festival and vendors.

August 3
LakeFest 2014: Raft-a-Palooza
Laconia, NH
Help prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance plants and animals and be part of our attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest canoe and kayak raft on a single body of water.

Kensington Canoe and Kayak Race
Kensington Metropark, near Milford/Brighton, MI
The third annual Canoe and Kayak Race begins and concludes at the West Boat Launch of Kent Lake. The race is open to all skill levels, single and double kayaks, and is divided as follows: surf skis – 12 miles; 14 ‘ -17’ boats – 7 miles; under 14’ ,  tandem canoes – 5 miles.

August 12-15
9th Annual Missouri River 340
Kansas City, MO
The Missouri 340 is an endurance race across the state of Missouri. Competitors will start in Kansas City and finish (some of them anyway) in St. Charles. With numerous towns and hamlets, the course offers plenty of opportunity for resupply while enroute. The Missouri River is also incredibly scenic and isolated in some stretches, with wildlife and beautiful vistas to rival any river in North America.
Participants are allowed exactly 88 hours to complete the course. Required safety meeting – August 11.

August 16
Yankton Riverboat Days Kayak Run
Yankton, SD
This fun-run style six-miler is all about community and speed! Come join the fun on a unique short hop in history-rich Yankton, South Dakota during its biggest gathering of the year!

16th Annual Cape Cod Against the Tide Event
Brewster, MA
The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) will be holding their annual Against the Tide swim, walk, run, kayak fundraising event. 7:00 am to 12:00 noon. The morning event consists of a competitive and recreational swim, kayak, walk, and run component, and an Aquathlon – a competitive 1-mile swim and 5K or 10K run.

Bayou La Batre Kayak Classic
Bayou La Batre, AL
Kayak Fishing Tournament divisions are
Redfish, Speckled Trout, Flounder, White Trout, and “Triple Threat”
Entertainment before the awards ceremony. Great prizes!

Floatzilla 2014
Rock Island, IL
The morning is for paddling the Quad Cities Water Trails on the Mississippi River from one of five launch sites to Lake Potter in Rock Island, IL. You can also put-in at Lake Potter to enjoy food, music, and a paddlesports tradeshow. At 2:00 p.m. everyone will gather for a traditional group photo and an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest raft of canoes and kayaks.

August 16-17
WCHA Upper Great Lakes Regional Assembly
Shell Lake, WI
The Wooden Canoe Heritage Association Upper Great Lakes Chapter will host its Assembly on the shores of Shell Lake with a wooden boat show, demonstrations, vendors, canoe trips, and swap meet. Free admission, open to the public. Onsite camping is available: for information call 715-416-1006 or grousepoint(at)
For general event information call 715-205-6583 or toomanygnus(at)

Aug 16-18
Ladies of the Lake Sea Kayak Symposium
Grand Marais, MI
“Women Kayaking with Women for Women.” The beautiful waters of Lake Superior will provide a great place for participants of all abilities to hone their skills. During the symposium there will be instructional courses, clinics on a variety of kayaking related topics, interesting and inspiring slide shows, as well as opportunities to try out the latest and greatest paddling gear and clothing. Trips will explore the local shoreline as well as the world-class destination Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

August 22-24
WI Charity Kayak Race
St. Germain, Wisconsin
A relaxing weekend of silent water sports, yoga and food demos. Friday kicks off with evening drum circle; all day activities Saturday include kayak race; and activities all day Sunday end at 4 pm.

August 23
Night Float Tube Fishing and Kayaking
Castaic, CA
Night time kayaking on Lower Lake 7:00 P.M. to midnight. Lake is small but great for work out, carving practice or wild life viewing. L.A. county Lifeguard on duty with boat. All proceeds go to friends of castaic that distributes to many charities. Sit-on-top kayaks can be rented: call ahead.

Cow Harbor Paddlefest
Northport – Long Island, New York
Exciting fundraising event for kayaks and SUPs benefiting the Northport Fire Department. There will something for everyone at this exciting fundraising event from the elite racers to the family and friends cheering from the shore. In addition to the paddling activities, there will be stand up paddle board and kayak representatives, demonstrations, vendors, music and food. 6 mile race, 3 mile recreational, 1 mile kids. This event will be hosted by and benefit the Northport Volunteer Fire Department.

August 23-24
Oyster The Race
Denver, CO
Oyster The Race is the ultimate urban hybrid race, sending teams of 2-6 racers out on a mystery course around the city. Now heading into its 9th season, Oyster is the longest running “urban adventure race” in the USA. The courses can range from 15-30 miles and 3-6 hours, providing an endurance level to suit all apetites. Oyster has an uncanny ability to combine athleticism with thought provoking strategy. While you “may not” get burned or covered in mud, teams can be seen running, biking, kayaking, rock climbing and performing crazy stunts while solving city and sponsor specific clues in a race to the finish line. Racers can then spend the rest of their afternoon reminiscing about their day of adventure, mistakes, sweat, awesomeness and discovering the city.

Race for the Rivers
St. Charles, MO
Events include a two-stage, 65-mile paddle along the Missouri River for serious canoeist and kayakers; a 41-mile race; a laid back 20-mile trip; and a 25-mile race Sunday. Race for the Rivers Festival will take place in St. Charles Saturday.

August 30
Paddle for Parkinson’s
Corpus Christi, TX
A five-mile kayak/stand up paddle board relay through the canals of Padre Island/Corpus Christi that can be paddled solo or in teams.
1.25 miles per leg makes it attractive to the novice, as well as the experienced paddler.  Proceeds benefit Parkinson’s patients.

July, 2014 Paddling Events

Events are taking place all around that are fun and exciting to watch, and even better to enjoy as a participant!  Here are a few that  highlight both long-standing traditions and brand new reasons to go paddling!

Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium
Grand Marais, Michigan
July 16-20

This is a wonderful event that has for decades offered an introduction to paddling on the shore of Lake Superior. Grand Marais, Michigan is a quiet, picturesque town that welcomes long sea kayaks, as well as all other paddlecraft for classroom sessions and ‘field’ sessions on the water along unbelievably picturesque settings.  Recalls one of the instructors, Dave Olson:

“My folks took me to the north shore of Lake Superior for the first time when I was about 7 years old. Towering rock cliffs, ore freighters, crystal clear water that I couldn’t see across and I was hooked. When I began sea kayaking Gitchee Gumee in 1997 I instinctively knew it was the perfect way to interact with the lake. I haven’t looked back since.”

Love Long Beach Festival
Long Beach, California
July 19-20

Free 2 day celebration of all things locals love about Long Beach… Art, Music, Arts and Crafts Village, Food, Farmers Market, Saturday Evening Luau, Sports… 5k Run, Swim, Paddle, Beach Volleyball, Sand Soccer, Beach Football, Yoga, Dog Events and Work Out Area. Beach Dance Party Saturday Night with a Fire Show and Burning Man. This event benefits a great Long Beach non-profit, Children Today.

Eppie’s Great Race 39
Sacramento, California
July 20

The Eppie’s Great Race®, “The World’s Oldest Triathlon®”, “The Great Race”, the “No Swim” Triathlon is by far the largest paddling event in the US. This, the first “Modern Triathlon” was held  July 27, 1974 by Sacramento-area entrepreneur Eppie Johnson and has been held every year since.  The race features a 5.82-mile run, a 12.5-mile bike and a 6.35-mile paddle held along the scenic American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova and Sacramento, and  has become a Sacramento-area summertime tradition for elite athletes, fitness enthusiasts, friends and families.

Plaques are awarded, and participants have the option to sign up for best costume and/or body paint award.  A duathlon put on by Eppie’s Great Race®, the Eppie’s Kids Duathlon, is available to area youth 4-13 years of age, as well.

67th AuSable River Canoe Marathon
Grayling to Oscoda, Michigan
July 22-27

North America’s Toughest, Richest Canoe Race is held to generate public exposure of the communities in the AuSable River Valley and increase awareness of the AuSable River. “The Marathon”, is a non-stop canoe race that starts at night with a thrilling LeMans-style running-start to the river in Grayling, MI, and ends 120 miles later near the shores of Lake Huron in Oscoda, MI.  Contestants must navigate the narrow, winding upper stretch in total darkness, as well as stump-filled ponds and the blazing July sun in the lower stretch.

Fans cheering and routing for the teams keep the paddlers alert and gives them a boost of morale and adrenaline.  The diehard spectators will follow the race from Grayling to Oscoda, and stay up all night!

47th Annual National White River Canoe Race
White River, Arkansas
July 24-27

The National Invitational White River Canoe Race is an adventure of over a hundred miles from the heart of the Ozark Mountains near Bull Shoals Lake to the foothills of Batesville, Arkansas.

“For many teams like the families and Scouts from Bogalusa, the White River Canoe Race has become an annual reunion in addition to a competition—a chance to renew old friendships, refresh fading memories, and experience again a seminal moment in their young lives. All in three exhausting and exhilarating days.”
Jim Morrison, Scouting, September-October 2011