Advice from Virginia Pro Angler Casey Reed

Advice from Virginia Pro Angler Casey Reed

MONETA, Va. (WFXR) — Kayak fishing has exploded in popularity over the past decade. The Recreational Fishing and Boating Foundation estimates that nearly 40 million people spend at least some of their time fishing from a kayak.

“I really think it’s the cost,” said professional kayak fisherman Casey Reed of Lynchburg. “You can get in a kayak for a couple hundred bucks.”

Reed is evidence of the growing popularity of kayak fishing. He is a competitor on the Bassmaster Kayak Series tournament trail. More than 100 anglers now compete at that top level of professional kayak fishing.

“There are people all over the country that actually travel the country and fish these kayak tournaments,” Reed said. “I started fishing kayak tournaments nine, 10 years ago.”

What should you know if you are considering kayak fishing?

“You have to go online and there are a lot of owner groups, like the Old Town group and other groups. You can go in there and just see what other people are doing with these kayaks,” Reed said. “You may not know what you want in a particular kayak, but you see how these people are using their kayaks.”

Once you’ve decided what you want, you can spend a lot or a little on it, but it doesn’t have to be expensive.

“You can start with a kayak that costs less than a thousand dollars and still have a really good kayak,” Reed added.

Reed fishes from an Old Town Sportman Autopilot 136, a top-quality American rowing boat.

Even though his kayak is high-end, it still costs a fraction of what a boat costs, and it offers access to water that many boats can’t. And each kayak is customizable. You can add what you want, to suit your preferences and needs.

Then there’s the mobility factor. As Reed trailers his kayak, he says you don’t have to.

“You can throw it in the back of a truck or on the roof of a four-door sedan,” Reed said. “You can really transport these things any way you want.”

There are kayak applications for both freshwater and saltwater. A kayak can be effective on lakes and streams, but also in salt marshes and on creeks leading to the Intracoastal Waterway. In addition, there are kayaks that are made for “big water” such as the ocean or the Great Lakes.

Reed says the sport will continue to grow because it’s fun, affordable and gives anglers access to water they normally wouldn’t have.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Reed said. “You can really do as much as you want with these kayaks. I have mine all rigged up, because I’m a tournament fisherman who travels around the country, but you don’t have to do everything. You can make it as minimal as you want or as over the top as you want.”