Ben Williams

As one of the most in-demand kayak angling artists, Ben Williams has made a name for himself by producing stunning and ethereal watercolors. With a batik influence and eye for the colors and emotions of the sport, this life long fisherman has sold over a hundred works to his local club mates alone. Ben is also known for his generous spirit; his donated works are often seen gracing the prize pool at tournaments. When not in the studio or packing his boat for overnight adventures, Ben can be found heading up his own painting contracting firm, Positively Painting.

What first drew you to this style of angling? When was that?

My brother and I bought an inflatable kayak in the 70s because it was cheap. We fished local lakes and the Potomac river. Caught small mouth & catfish. Kayaks are easy to pack and you don’t have to fill them with gas.

Do you remember the first fish that you caught from a kayak?

The first big California fish was a sturgeon of at least 7 feet.

What food and/or music fuels your drive to the put-in?

I sometimes play the theme from Johnny Quest when I’m launching in big surf. When I’m landing, sometimes it’s the theme song from Hawaii 5-0.

Who, specifically, is shaping the future of kayak angling?

Sean White, Allen Bushnell, Jim Sammons.

Barring money or logistics, what is your dream kayak angling trip?

Mexico or Alaska.

What’s in your milk crate?

Usually too much crap…knife, compass, radio, PBRs.

Tell us about your best day on the water.

When I won the Elk derby (2007?). Windy, lots of swells, I was trying to get out of the wind, and clipped onto some kelp next to a rock, dropped down a big greenling, and pulled up the 17 lb monster that won the tournament – Lingzilla.

What is the kayak fishing lifestyle?

It gives you a sense of freedom. You’re the captain, first mate, and crew. You can solo and go wherever you want. You’re not stuck on a boat.  It can be hairy on the ocean. Also, since we pack light, we can camp light, and the camping experience is half the experience.

When depicting images of kayak angling, you often employ a medium that seems a natural fit for the milieu of the sport. Is your preference for watercolor a choice based on the scenes from which you draw inspiration?

I’ve used different media, but when I do a series of many paintings at a time, watercolor is just more practical.

An interesting and beautiful commonality amongst the sport’s group of artists is a propensity to give back to the kayak angling community. Many tournaments have benefited by your valuable donations of art work and time. Why do you feel it necessary to engage in these acts of generosity?

One of the great things about (NCKA) is that everybody donates something. People are so giving – from advice, to food, to helping out the brothers and sisters of NCKA; it’s something I’m able to do and people like it.

What does the future hold for you?

I currently have a painting contracting business that keeps me somewhat busy. I’d like to balance that with a lot of fishing and camping, playing music, and making art.

2 Responses to “Ben Williams”

  1. Awesome! Thanks Ben for the mention, ha ha.

    We didn’t mention Ben is a kicka** guitar player. He even makes ME sound good when we jam. One my favorite companions on the water and off. Thanks MilkCrate for recognizing one of the guys that makes this lifestyle what it is.

    Keep up the good work and let me know if I can help!


  2. craig davis says:

    Hey thats my 2nd place plaque and some fine artwork by Ben Dude , I love your style and your warm hearted fellowship. Whenever I see you, wherever we are, I get a big smile on. Ben you are a gentle soul that we need more of on this planet. Ben brought us all hot dogs on the water at Lake Sonoma one cold and rainy day. Amazing!

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