Podcasts and webcasts have become so integrated into our daily routine that it would be hard to revert to a time before they existed. It is possible to listen to them live or catch up at a later date; on your drive in to work or on the water. These outlets can provide content, good or bad, offering advice and/or information; or maybe just open up conversations.
I see the value these feeds have in our community, and want to share a few that I have listened to over the last couple of years. They provide a method to get information out to local groups, nationwide audiences or even to communicate globally on any subject.
Here is my short list of favorites, again not trying to be comprehensive, so in the end I will ask for your input to get the word out about any others that touch the kayak community. List yours in the comments so we can share them.
I am grouping the first two pod/web casts because they are both from the mind of Scott Beutjer. Scott is an angler whose passion for the sport doesn’t have many equals, and it shows in his enthusiasm on the broadcasts.
The two are different in their content, but Scott will tell you that “both of the shows I’m part of began from a place of need. I wanted to know more about this sport and the people in the community. I could not find the answers to the questions I had, so I just started inviting people to answer my questions.”
“The Westbrook Wednesday show is a game we call “plead the fifth” with six questions designed for storytelling about the guest’s life on and off the water.”
“The Weigh-In show, it’s basically just an opportunity for me to weigh in others opinions and my own on various topics across the community. It’s a more evolving show every week, always something different. Not usually one person or one subject focused like the Westbrook show.”
If you talk to Beutjer about what really gets him excited about both, it is a simple answer that he and I had discussed the first time we met.
“Storytelling… I also want answers to all of my questions, and I naturally have a lot of those… At the end of the day I love a good story.”
While Scott had the vision to create the formats, he acknowledges that he is not alone and gives credit to those who support him. “The Westbrook Supply Company team gives a lot of support behind the scenes; keep the sites going and show flowing. The weigh-in show has amazing support from FishUSA & KBF.”
“I am amazingly grateful to every guest that has ever volunteered their time to come on one of my shows and help me communicate their story with the world. We are getting close to the half a million downloads and we are just getting started!”
These two are definitely worth some time, and my two personal favorites. They are from the perspective of a guy who loves the sport, and wants to give recognition to those who are doing the work to promote kayak bass fishing. Don’t miss out on them.
Kayak Fishing Podcasts #2: Topwater Live
This Michigan based cast is really an extension of the Michigan Kayak Trail. It was created by Mike Anderson and his brother in law Kyle Van Leuvan, with tech intern Grant Bennick helping on the controls. Mike helped me to understand where they started.
“I will give you a rundown of what Topwater Live is and how we began. The name Topwater, confusing as it is actually stemmed from our software development companies umbrella. Kyle and I have always had a passion for fishing and are avid enthusiasts of the sport. So, when we founded our software company, we decided to stick with a name that was unique for the industry that we work in on a daily basis and reminded us of something that we love, fishing. We founded The Dropshot Group several years ago. The Dropshot Group encompasses several different branches of our businesses software development umbrella which includes Dropshot.io & Topwater.io. Two of our favorite and preferred styles of fishing.”
The show started “after we had completed the Topwater season. We wanted to keep the momentum going. We were having so much fun with our local clubs that we hated to see the camaraderie disappear all winter. We had gained traction with sponsors and our local anglers. We saw the need for a platform that recognized not only the national anglers but our local tournament anglers as well. Our goal was to help grow the sport of kayak fishing as a whole.”
“The success of our series paired with the reach of our unique Topwater Live broadcast gives us the ability to reach anglers from all over the country. We see no reason why other states cannot adopt the Topwater Series brand and schedule format and have success. We have created a totally unique kayak tournament fishing format unlike any in the United States geared purposely towards the everyday grass roots angler.”
“We choose our content in a variety of ways. Each episode holds something different. In depth conversations with our local clubs and its participants, highlights on current fishing industry news. We put high focus on the youth level and lady anglers in order to grow the sport. We add highlights on the pro tours and anglers that fish nationally with remote guest calling in each week. We involve other podcast hosts to join us for conversations and cross platforms. We work with our sponsors and feature those who help us continue to grow.”
That is why I am listing this as one of my favorites. It is a great format that many local clubs can follow to keep their base connected during the off season while providing knowledge and up to date information. This also allows for membership growth, creates opportunities for young anglers and just provides great content. Topwater Live is definitely worth a look, especially if you are thinking about providing some content yourself.
Brian Schiller started Paddle and Fin in July of 2018.
“I started it originally with a good friend of mine when we got into kayak fishing. We wanted to document our journey in kayak fishing to share our mistakes and successes to help others out. When we started, we struggled to find good info.”
But by 2019 he had added new episodes, delivering content strictly focused on kayak fishing 6 days a week; with plans for that seventh day. When talking with folks at boat ramps before launches, I have been caught in conversations where people say “did you see that Paddle and Fin show where…”.
It is by kayak anglers, hosting kayak anglers who talk about kayaking. Genuine and as real as it gets. They keep current with the latest events and developments in the kayak tournament world and industry.
There are opportunities to catch Paddle and Fin, while tailoring your listening based on your interests:
- Monday- Bass Fishing For Noobs hosts- Ryan Milford & Sean Lavery – focuses on how to fish certain techniques with guests
- Monday Night Facebook Live – Og Show. Host- Brian Schiller – Angler, manufacture highlights & Storytelling
- Tuesday OG Live Show goes on Podcast platforms
Then they provide alternating Wednesday content:
- Every other weds- Adventures of Outdoorwoman host- Susie Roloff. highlights Women Anglers and getting a woman’s perspective
- Every other Weds.- Chasin’ The Tide Saltwater segment Host- Dustin Nichols
- Thurs- Final Cast Host- Josh Eldridge & Brad Hicks – Product Review Segment
- Friday- Reel Down. Hosts Sam Jones & Dan Perry – Tournament recaps across the nation
- Sat. Coming soon. Segment called Off The Water
And, alternating Sunday content:
- Every other Sunday – Mixed Bag. Host- Jason Ricketts. Focuses on all aspects out of a kayak
- Every other Sunday- Afterhours. A bunch of hosts get together to shoot the breeze, talk about what’s going on in kayak fishing, and tell fish stories
If you can’t find something on this one to interest you… well, I really don’t know what to tell you.
Kayak Fishing Podcasts #4: KBN Live
Say what you will, feel what you will, about the Kayak Bass Nation Facebook page; the group has some of the most passionate and solid anglers among its members. And though the Facebook page is not for everyone, KBN Live is a great place to hear some of the latest info from the hottest anglers on the trails; and some of the biggest controversies.
It was created from the minds of Ryan Lambert and Jeff Malott who “wanted a place where all topics could be covered. The goal of KBN Live was to have on guests from all sectors of the sport from shop owners, top anglers, tourney directors, and manufacturers.”
And they have stayed true to that mission. I have not listened to a broadcast that was not well produced or informative. It has a very relaxed “in your living room” feel while providing a great deal of content.
Ryan will tell you that their goals were not just to cover who won, but to “tackle whatever headlines are happening in the kayak world, not just the pretty stuff. Addressing the issues publicly is the only way to educate the new anglers while also letting folks know that they will not be brushed under the rug.”
The guys do their best to remain neutral, allowing them to tackle every segment of the kayak fishing industry.
“Over the years we have seen some great changes come about and we pride ourselves in having no vested interest in any one entity or the other.”
Lambert does understand that the people who follow and are part of the “Nation” are key to KBN Live’s success.
“I’d like to thank The Nation for supporting us in the beginning and now the exponential growth we have experienced.”
KBN Live is another “must listen” when it comes to being a part of the kayak community.
The Dark Waters Kayak Fishing Podcast started by, and featuring, Josh Smith is a little more laid back than most. This is a one man show that may not always be for the youngest members of the kayak community because according to Josh, “sometimes we just drink beers and run our mouths about anything fishing related. The show can be a little raw. Cursing and trash talking is allowed as long as it’s just fun in nature.”
This is a place where you get to hear open conversations from anglers who are there just to talk about fishing. Josh brings on guests to just talk or promote events that may be coming up soon in our community.
“It’s only me and I just bring different guest on every episode. Mainly I bring kayak anglers to come on the show to share their stories on how they got into the sport, tournaments or whatever. The motivation behind the show was to create content that’s just fun. Not trying to make better anglers or anything, just want to let people talk about the sport in general.”
So there’s my top 5 list! I am aware of many others that exist but have not found (or made?) the time to get engaged with them.
What are your favorite kayak fishing pod/web casts? List them in the comments and let’s get them some attention.