By Eric Jackson I am a big fan of having the right tools for the trade. My son has his own Skipper and we used the Big Tuna for years as our tandem, but on this day, I was going out in my Cuda 12 and KC wanted to join in and ride with me. I have to remember that it is...
I am a big fan of having the right tools for the trade. My son has his own Skipper and we used the Big Tuna for years as our tandem, but on this day, I was going out in my Cuda 12 and KC wanted to join in and ride with me. I have to remember that it...
Here is my Interview with Crispin Powley, Strike King Sales Manager, and fishing super star.
“I got to know you as the Sales Manager for Strike King Lure Company, seeing you at trade shows, etc.. But you have had your share of tournament fishing success as well. Want to tell us about that?”
Yeah EJ, most people these days meet me in the capacity that I serve for Strike King. I’ve been there for the last 11 years and it’s an awesome company to work for. Prior to that, I spent a lot of time fishing tournaments and guiding. At one point in my life, most of my income was related to my fishing earnings. I fished tournaments all around the south and southeast, especially events that were on the TN River.
“About Strike King, what is it like to be in such a big position at the biggest freshwater bait company in the world?”
Working for Strike King is basically my dream job. It’s kind of funny in fact because growing up a bunch of my buddies called me “Strike King Powley” because I fished pretty much every day and I wore a Strike King about as much. My time at Strike King has been great. I’ve been blessed to incorporate my passion for fishing and fishing lures into a career. We have THE BEST team in the industry from inside our offices to our pro staff. Everyone is like family and shares a common goal to make the best baits on the market at the best price that we can make them for. I can’t imagine working anywhere else.
People want to know (like me) what is your number one “Go To” lure that Strike King makes?
Growing up a KY Lake angler, I’m most at home offshore on a river ledge. As hard as it is to narrow it down to one bait, I’m going with the 6XD. It’s the PERFECT deep diving crankbait. It casts like a dream. It runs great. It dives deep and fast, Most of all, it flat gets bit. It’s just one of those special baits that bass bite everywhere. I have a ton of confidence in it.
“I am sure you can’t tell us, but anything new coming down the pipe?”
Well, let me just say that we’re really excited about ICAST 2017. We put an enormous emphasis on new products and we spend a lot of time working with our pros to design and fine tune each one. I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag, but I will say that we have a couple things for the coming ICAST that will be huge!
“I was there the day you did your first kayak fishing trip and was surprised at how well you did right away. I assume athletics were in your background?”
Thanks, EJ. I noticed that you’re not too shabby in one yourself. I actually felt a lot more comfortable in a kayak than I expected right off the bat. Yeah, I played pretty much every sport growing up. I wasn’t spectacular at any of them, probably because I spent too much time fishing and hunting. But, I wasn’t terrible either. I’d like to think that I am pretty agile. The cool thing is that you don’t have to be a triathlete to enjoy kayaking. It’s much easier than most people assume and it’s fun and great exercise.
“This is off topic, but one can’t help but wonder about your arm that looks like it was bitten by a shark. For everyone who wanted to ask, but was embarrassed to, can you enlighten us on how you got that scar?”
Ha, Ha. Well, as far as my little bot Fisher knows, it was a shark bite. I don’t want him to know the truth and get any ideas. However, the truth is that I was on a safari in Tanzania and saved a small child from a man-eating lion…… Well, that’s not exactly the truth either. I actually got stepped on by a bull. I had a period in life where I rode bulls. I was decent at it, but as my arm indicates, staying healthy wasn’t my strong suit. That injury was really nasty and was the conclusion of my world championship dreams. If Fisher asks, back me up on the shark story.
“You have been talking about doing kayak fishing tournaments in the coming year and did one on your home lake last year. Do you see kayak fishing tournaments in your future?” What is attracting you to them?”
I fished my first Kayak event in 2016 and had a great time. It was actually on Lake Guntersville and I didn’t do very well. It was considerably different than my previous experiences from my 21′ Skeeter and 250 horsepower Yamaha. I learned a lot that day as well as many days since then. I have a plan in place to fish several more kayak bass tournaments in 2017. It’s such a cool way to be competitive without the big time expense of conventional bass tournaments. I would never pick one over the other, but I’m currently jacked about the fun I’m having fishing and competing from my kayak. I’ve pretty much decked out my Big Rig with everything my Skeeter has except for a motor and livewell.
Here is a short video my son, Dane, edited when we fished near Kentucky Lake together.
Tell me about your Orion Cooler. Have you put it to the test yet? Any good stories about it? Do people notice it? What do they like about it?
There’s no way I can describe how great my Orion Cooler is. I have a 35 qt. and it is about the perfect size for everything. It keeps ice forever. It’s built like a tank (and right here in good ole’ TN might I add) and it looks super cool. People are always wanting to look at it and are asking me about the differences between it and other coolers. I’ve yet to find anything that I would change about it.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with me, Crispin! I am fired up to do some more kayak fishing with you!!
You too, EJ.
Here is my Interview with Crispin Powley, Strike King Sales Manager, and fishing super star. "I got to know you as the Sales Manager for Strike King Lure Company, seeing you at trade shows, etc.. But you have had your share of tournament...
My third child, KC, is perhaps the happiest, most excited kid, I have ever known. He approaches some of the littlest things with the most enthusiasm. A big smile, loud, cheerful, uncontrolled screams of pure joy, followed by an adrenaline shot and...
Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. We go the extra mile to get our family and friends together, we smile a little easier, laugh a little easier, and take time to remember what is truly important in our lives. It is also a time where we enjoy finding special gifts for special people.
If you have a fisherman that you are looking for something special for, here is a list I have put together that will put a smile on any fisherman’s face on Christmas morning! The gifts vary in cost, but are in my order based on how big of a smile I would have if I got it!
10- Strike King Popping Perch– This is a brand new lure that provides an adrenaline rush any time you use it!
9- Jackson Kayak Mesh Hat- A great logo hat for any fisherman and sure beats combing your hair!
8- Jackson Kayak Truck Sticker– Help your favorite fisherman “Wrap” their vehicle like a pro with Jackson Kayak logos!
7- Power Pole Micro Anchor– This is a #1 pick for me on the water, but since it is a $500 item I put it at #7. This is a gift that will bring tears to even the toughest fisherman’s eyes.
6. Buck Knife- Salt Water Ready Splizzors– Nothing cuts braid better, and this tool is a must have!
5. Jackson Kayak edition Werner “Hooked” paddle!– Lots of dealers selling this one, amazing paddle.
4. Raymarine Dragonfly Electronics for any Jackson Kayak Fishing model– Help your favorite fisherman catch more fish and be an even happier fisherman! I never leave home without mine!
3. Big Truck Hat– this hat is bad to the bone- ranks #3 on my list!
2. Orion Tumblers- because everyone drinks either hot or cold drinks every time they go fishing and this keeps them at the right temperature for hours!
1. Orion 25 Cooler– fits perfectly in the back of our fishing kayaks, on the porch, in the truck, and anywhere! How did we make it before this cooler?
Because this is even better than number 1, but is a big, big ticket item…
Special top pick:
Cuda HD Fishing Kayak – The latest in our lineup- this boat takes the fishing kayak to the next level. It takes a lot of love and a chunk of change to give this as a gift, but….
I hope this was helpful! Fishermen and women LOVE getting anything related to fishing. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You can’t go wrong with the list above!
Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. We go the extra mile to get our family and friends together, we smile a little easier, laugh a little easier, and take time to remember what is truly important in our lives. It is also a time where...
I had the honor of being invited to the Strike King Writer's Conference on Kentucky Lake in Paris Landing, Tennessee along with many of the who's who in fishing. Joey Monteleone, fellow Jackson Kayak team mate and long time fishing media...
I had the honor of being invited to the Strike King Writer’s Conference on Kentucky Lake in Paris Landing, Tennessee along with many of the who’s who in fishing. Joey Monteleone, fellow Jackson Kayak team mate and long time fishing media icon was there writing articles about different people as well. I was representing as a kayak fisherman, and FLW Pro, but the big interest was about the explosion of kayak fishing in the industry. Strike King has a long history in the lure industry, and the management of the brand is made up of icons in their own right. Doug Minor, VP of Sales and Marketing, who really is the gate keeper for new innovative products, etc.. has been at the helm for decades. I never really paid that much attention to the lure industry, related to how much effect they have on the overall lay of the land in the fishing world, but certainly the lures change the methods of fishing, and rods, reels, line, boats, etc. all adjust to accommodate that. Kayak fishing is bringing a new element to the fishing world, and at a pace that has the industry “reeling” to catch up. While kayak fishermen are fishermen first in most cases, the kayaking itself with the off the beaten path mentality, is different than the tournament fishing mentality. Tournament fishing out of bass boats has dominated the industries focus related to product development, marketing, sales, and media. Rightly so, as no group of people are more focused on finding ways to catch big fish effectively than those doing it as a full time endeavor with their livelihood riding on it.
I was fortunate enough to have Kevin Van Dam join Joey, Roger, and I for dinner on Monday night and hear his perspective on many things related to tournament fishing. Nobody has done a better job being an all around ambassador than KVD, while competing at the highest level. Kayak fishing, however, will be throwing many for a loop in the years to come as the landscape is changing rapidly, and the “influencers” will no longer be limited to powerboats. At the rate that kayak fishing is taking off, fishing kayaks will outnumber fishing powerboats in a few short years. This phenomenon is not going unnoticed by the industry. Organizers, manufacturers, and the media are starting to see the writing on the wall. During my time at the Writer’s conference I had 4 interviews (8 hours worth) scheduled on Monday and 2 on Tuesday. I ended up doing 7 interviews on Monday, having multiple media outlets interview me at the same time. I did 9 interviews out of my Jackson Kayak Coosa HD, and one out of my Ranger / Evinrude . While there were some fairly knowledgeable, on the subject of kayaks, TV, Radio, Print, and Online reporters, most were seeing a true, modern, top of the line fishing kayak for the first time close up. Seeing my kayak equipped with the Power Pole Micro and Raymarine Dragonfly , elevated seating and standing ability caught their initial attention and they were quite impressed with the level of evolution the kayak has had since their last look.
It was the little things that ended up stealing the show, however, related to these interviews and my Jackson Kayak. The ease of access to your tackle, just a reach under your seat, the rod tip protectors, the Line Cutterz on the seat, the leader line dispenser under the console, the recessed transducer scupper for paddling over rocks, etc.. without worrying about your electronics, and more. It was the total fishing package that got the most attention and had the unanimous effect of having everyone there want to get their own kayak.
One thing that really hit home, however, and is, and will continue to be the, biggest deterrent for new kayak fisherman is the ready availability of cheap kayaks that are not suitable for most people to fish out of. All kayaks are not created equally. The reason the fishing kayak market is exploding is because of the recent creation (2011 Coosa by JK) of wider, more stable, high seating position, stand-able kayaks. Chain stores offering kayaks out front for low cost, are selling an abundance of narrower, less stable, not very fishable kayaks that turn people off on kayak fishing if they are larger (over 200 pounds for example), or not very athletic. Jackson Kayak now has boats like the “Big Rig” which allow fishermen over 300 pounds to enjoy kayak fishing, and give the over 200 pound crowd a very confidence inspiring boat that gets them into skinny water and fresh, non pressured waters where the big fish and eager fish reside. Luckily there are lots of forums, websites, and dealers, kayak clubs, etc.. that are directing new kayak fishermen to the right equipment. A great paddle, like my Werner Shuna Hooked limited Jackson model makes your life easier as well with lightweight, efficient paddling.
Being on Kentucky Lake is awesome for me. It is one of the most famous ledge fishing lakes in the world, and home of huge bass. I fished the FLW Walmart Tour event there this past summer and did a 70 mile run from Kentucky at the dam to Tennessee where I had a 6.5 pounder in my live well by 8:30am on both Thursday and Friday of the tournament.
Photo by Joey Monteleone
What a way to start a day! It was great to get on the lake again both in my Ranger, and hit some shallow waters in my kayak out of the range of where you can get a power boat.
Thanks Strike King for the invitation and the opportunity to get to know many of the “who’s who” of fishing that I hadn’t met yet.
If you haven’t fished from a kayak yet, the boats we make will put a permanent smile on your face- give on a go! Mark Copley, the Marketing Director for Strike King is quite fired up on his new Big Rig… I can’t wait to see his first fish out of it!
Jackson Kayak is a business, created out of my desire to build a kayak for Dane, Emily, and myself that I was not able to build when I was with my previous employer. Those humble beginnings and reasons for what we did then, are part of our DNA. Today, we...