I first met Tim Perkins at the 2017 National Championship/Open in the early morning hours as we waited to find out who had won some money. I had known about KBF for less than two months, had signed up for the Open (my fourth tournament ever) because I always wanted to fish a big tournament, and was sitting there all alone – I knew no one. Tim walked over and introduced himself and we started talking. Since then, we have shared a lot of water as he came up to fish subsequent National Championships and other KBF events.
Who is Tim Perkins… what is his life like?
Tim is a kayak angler from Heflin, Alabama (halfway between Birmingham and Atlanta) and he is known by everyone who fishes any amount at all. His southern personality can fill a room and get the attention of those around him; plus he can catch fish!
He fished professionally for a long time, then got out of it before meeting up with Drew Gregory and RiverBassin. That was the beginning of his time fishing in kayaks. He prefers skinny water but has the ability to be a threat on any body of water. That ability has not gone unrecognized in the industry either. He is the regional representative for Wilderness Kayaks southeastern team, has relationships with Torqueedo, Red Line, Pure Fishing, Abu Garcia, Ray Marine, and CableZ. Since retiring last May, he is finding more time to spend on his one addiction; fishing.
Tim Perkins | More Than Just a Kayak Angler
He retired after 34 years of teaching elementary physical education, coaching and driving the bus in the small community with a population of just under 3500 people. Twelve of those years was spent running an alternative school, but he found true reward teaching in a Cleburne County Elementary School. “It was so rewarding working with kids.”
Tim and his wife Michelle.
Tim met his wife, Michelle (Moore) Perkins, early in life but they didn’t spend all of their lives together. They eventually got back together after a ten-year gap and have been together since that day.
“She moved back home and we tell each other now that it was meant to happen that way. If we had gotten married when we were young, we would have killed each other!”
Several years ago, the couple turned an old rental house into Merry Little Lambs Early Learning Center in Heflin.
His thirteen-year-old twins, Fisher and Berkley, are still adjusting to dad putting them on the bus instead of driving the bus, but they are still very close.
“They never knew anything about me but daddy at school. I would load them on the bus, be at school, drive them home. They didn’t know anything else!”
Tim Perkins | Family Is Everything
Tim and the boys.
The pair came as a bit of a shock to Tim and his wife. Tim came home to find her a bit upset.
“I am pregnant, and it’s twins,” she told him.
Tim replied “What!”
“But you know what man, that’s been the easiest thing we’ve ever done. They have been such a blessing. We named them John Berkley and Joseph Fisher. Joseph Fisher was named after my best friend and John Berkley was named after my grandfather. Joseph and my grandfather John were two of the best fishermen I have ever known.”
“I fished with Joseph every weekend and was called in to practice one Saturday. On the way home, I passed a wreck and found out it was him. Man, it’s amazing how the good Lord takes care of you sometimes. It was just not my time.”
“I pray every day that God just makes it ok for me. God, I know you know what I need, but just make it ok.”
Michelle and Tim had five kids together but suffered one of the greatest losses a parent can endure when their son Hunter was in an accident coming back from iCast in July of last year.
“He was one of my pride and joys of life. And, uh, that kind of took the air out of my sails for a little bit. I mean it was like, well, the kayak community was just totally awesome, I could not, I mean there were people from everywhere, I mean everywhere. That’s the things that give me those good days. Sitting through that funeral, I needed that. To know how many lives that boy had actually touched, that’s what we are all supposed to be doing. I told my wife, you know what, I know this sounds awful but Hunter was like the big ‘ole neighborhood dog. Dude, he would go over here for a little while and they’d feed him, then he would go over there and they’d feed him… he was just a roundabout. Just full of life man!”
Tim has spent a lot of the last year changing his lifestyle to teach the twins how to live. It was hard on them, but they are making sure to make memories. “It is the one thing I try to say to them every day; we are out to make a memory today boys. Let’s make a good one.”
Tim and the Flukemaster Gene Jenson at Logan Martin.
I have to say, my conversations with Tim have always been easy. It is as if we have been life long friends. Whether we are talking about family, his early days kayaking with RiverBassin, or just about why were are at the Paris Fairgrounds at three in the morning… it is always pleasant and fun. Walk up to him at the next event and ask him to talk about his fishing history. It will be an adventure.
This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert
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