Kayak Fishing Radio


Created to share one man’s love of both the sport and angling-related stories, Kayak Fishing Radio is an entity born of passion. As with any project bearing a personal etiology, an outside description thereof can feel incomplete and glossy. Though Chip Gibson’s initial vision has grown to vast realization, complete with multiple broadcasts and a diverse pool of hosts, it is still, at its core, a reflection of the founder. Eschewing further secondary elaboration, we are choosing to let Chip, via the following interview, paint a picture of himself and the radio network he brought into the kayak angling world. In addition to owning Kayak Fishing Radio, Chip wears many other hats, including Thursday night broadcast host, father, husband, Harley aficionado, and environmental sustainability specialist.

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

The simplicity of kayak angling and the fact that other than the fuel used to get to the launch, it’s a pretty low-impact sport environmentally. That was really important to me after witnessing first-hand the damage done to an ecosystem by oil during Desert Storm. The first time I went kayak fishing was in southern California with a friend in San Diego mid-nineties; I really had a great time.

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

I’m thinking I don’t. Hmmmm, you didn’t ask my age and I’m old enough to start forgetting things now…

 

 

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

Coffee – black – and a bacon, egg, & cheese on toast or in a tortilla.  I’m always listening to Public Radio or the local talk flavor, like Fishing Florida Radio when I’m on the road.  I like talk radio.

Within the sport, there exists a wealth of self-produced media, though it is mainly comprised of print and video. You chose to express yourself in a context that is audio-based. What was it about the format of radio that called to you?

The standard line is, “I have a face for radio!” I like listening to fisher-men, fisher-women, and fisher-kids talk.  It started with me listening to both of my Grand Fathers.  One was a commercial fisherman out of Mobile, and the other a pretty successful sport fisherman in Miami.  They would tell me of days on the water and catches that were made.  I keep copies of all our broadcasts, kind of like an audio history of what I heard about the sport.  Hopefully during our broadcasts we might be able to capture something while talking, that would be cool right?  It’s easier than editing film or video.  One day I’ll go back and listen to them all again with my grand kids.

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

Who, like in an individual?  The guys, gals and kids that are kayak fishing are shaping the future. There are folks out there doing it to the max. All over the world fishing places that guys in motored boats don’t.  I wish I was about 20 years younger so I could keep up with them all.  Jim Sammons and Chad Hoover are doing great things in terms of getting the sport the exposure – that’s cool.  I think that there are some manufacturers that are doing good things too. Unfortunately though I think some are losing sight of the simplicity of the sport.  The K.I.S.S. principle has always worked for me. That’s why we BoonDoggle.  Stick a pin in the map, go there, and fish with friends.

 

KayakFishingRadio has blossomed into an entity that features several shows and numerous hosts. This growth is answered by an immense popularity in terms of audience numbers, and your broadcasts garner scores of positive reviews and comments. When you started your media outlet, did you ever think that you would yield such a reception?

No, I thought there would be some people who would listen in and want to go try kayak fishing. I sure didn’t think we would have over four thousand downloads a month of the podcasts.  I’m glad folks listen and find it interesting; my wife is truly baffled, though.

With regard to kayak angling, what issues are important to you? What, if anything, can be done about them?

Access. The fisheries belong to everyone, and access should be a protected right.  Kayak anglers need to join voices and let the officials know that we are losing access to the local areas and ask that it be guaranteed. Spend the time and visit the local Natural Resources Department in your state and find out how you can be heard.

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

I want to fish with David Elgas‘ crew on Christmas Island. I was fortunate to be able to fish Wake Island on a trip across the Pacific, and it was great; I think Christmas Island would be a Kayak Angling dream.


What’s in your milk crate?

A First-Aid kit, some pliers, and way too many Plano boxes of lures that I want to catch fish with.  They’ll all get a chance.  I promised them all they would.

Tell us about your best day on the water.

We were at Mosquito Lagoon – the Clone (my 13 y.o. son), Dee Kaminski, RedFish Chuck, Rob Devore, Mark Wheeler, and Aaron (sorry I forget his last name).  It was a foggy morning as we launched at first light, Chuck had the Clone in school and on a redfish and trout in three casts!  Not fifty yards from the launch!  We moved out onto the flats and Dee pointed out three wakes. I cast out and hook up with a thirty plus red; sweet! But that’s not the best part…we move out a bit further and commence to catching reds, shorts and lower slot, but catching and catching and catching…from about nine to two in the afternoon it was non-stop. The best part was watching my son and my friends catch what must have been easily a couple hundred fish; we lost count.  It was a blast.

What is the kayak fishing lifestyle?

Plastic boats and milkcrates…that’s the only commonality. There’s no certain music or clothing and it’s pretty diverse.  Anyone can play and everyone is happy because of it.

 

 

Tell us a story, any story.

I mentioned Desert Storm and you ask a question later about how my aviation experience relates to my gig. I like to tell people that there isn’t enough time in life to get hung up on the little things. There are too many people who lose sight of having fun.  Okay here’s the story…when I was a little guy, I remember seeing the news in the evenings and hearing the nightly accounts of the deaths in Viet Nam – the body counts – and it scared me.  I had a cousin in the air cav that got shot up pretty bad and couldn’t walk.  Family friends that didn’t come back.  I remember the draft and being worried about when I got old enough if I would go and what would happen.  I remember asking my Dad if when I grew up would there still be time to play and go fishing?  He assured me that there would be.  I wasn’t afraid any more. If there is always time to play and go fishing, then I was good with whatever came my way.  People are always thanking me for my service for our country; I appreciate that and I’m glad I made it all those years with all my parts. But don’t piss it away; all those kids are still out there protecting our freedom to fish and play. Go fishing and play.  Take a kid with you.  Take someone you haven’t met yet fishing; there’s still time.

Though not common enough a phenomenon to be referred to as typical or noteworthy, there does exist within the sport a populace of kayak anglers with military flight experience. You yourself have spent time in a fighter aircraft, serving as a Naval Flight Officer in the F/A-18 platform. Did your time in the cockpit come into play when choosing your current fishing methodology?

I don’t know, but I’m not trying to set any speed records in my kayak (my personal best is over 1000 mph in the Hornet).  I think it was probably the other way ’round.  I became what I am because I did fish.  Being outdoors gave me the motivation to join our armed forces to support our, my son’s, and your freedom to sit in a Tupperware vessel and chase fish.  I think maybe I saw something worth putting it on the line for.

 

 

What does the future hold for you?

Sitting in Atlanta traffic a few days a week until I have enough hours saved up to take a Friday off, then driving to some place where a friend that I might not have met yet is going to fish with my son and I…and maybe some other friends.  And then there will be more fishing later on.  When I die, my wife is going to put my ashes in a reef ball and publish the numbers so everyone can come and fish with me.

 

 

 

2 Responses to “Kayak Fishing Radio”

  1. Chris Lutz says:

    Nice interview. I usually don’t read interviews, but this one was very good.

  2. Great interview of the one person on this planet with a bigger head then mine! LOL Chip I’ll see you in October for the Columbus Day Boondoggle!!

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