If you are reading this, I know that kayaking and kayak fishing is a passion to you as much as it is to myself. Most of free time when not taking care of my husband, father, family and work duties, the sport of kayak fishing consumes all of my additional free time. From reading forums and blogs to watching videos, tide tables and weather forecasts, writing, posting, video editing and tending to my "PRO-STAFF" agreements, I am dedicated and committed to this for the long haul. Many days, with all of the commitments to the sport I have made, I almost feel as if this is my second job (on some days, my first) and easily forget about the one thing that brought all of us to this sport, THE FUN OF IT!
As many of you may know, I have a 5 year old son Nicholas that has enjoyed and grown to love kayak fishing as much as I have. He has been fishing along with me in the kayaks since he was only 1 and half years old. There are many things I have learned along the way having such a young fishing partner. I have learned to be a better father. I have learned to listen the to little things a person of my age may not know normally catch when dealing with young children. When you spend 6-8 hours a day with a 5 year old in a kayak there are many strange conversations you tend to have! I have learned to be kid all over again. I have learned PATIENCE. Most importantly I have learned how to have FUN again! With the all of the daily stresses in life, fishing with your child or for that matter any child (all children deserve to learn the enjoyments of fishing) can really take you back to a place where everything all is good! Do not get me wrong, not everyday is peaches and cream, but the good will ALWAYS out weigh the bad!
Well there came a day when my son asked me when he will have his very own kayak. Now this posed a few questions I had to decipher in my head. For one, he is only 5, what 5 year old has their very own kayak? Can a 5 year old paddle and handle his own kayak. Can a 5 year old fish in their own kayak without losing all of there gear? Nick does not fish with a spider-man rod and real, and yes, him losing his rod and real will set me back a new Penn real and St. Croix rod. It was hard enough convincing his mother that I am spending this much on a 5 year old for his very own fishing combo let alone having to do it all over again. The answer was easy, for Christmas I am sure Santa will bring you your own kayak...... if you are good. Well Nick was good, and Old Town Canoes and Kayaks makes the perfect kayak for a junior angler, the Heron Jr. On Christmas day Nick did wake up to find his very own kayak and his kayaking adventures begins here.
It took a few months for the right opportunity for us all to get out and let Nick paddle his kayak all by himself. Finally the day dame. It was a warm and sunny afternoon on a Friday and I was able to come home from work at a reasonable hour. My wife an I quickly decided that the tonight was the night to let Nick have the moment he has been waiting for since Christmas day. Living in Palm Coast, Fl, there is an endless supply of man made lakes throughout the area. These bass and Panfish stocked ponds would be the perfect place to let Nicholas see what he can do on his own in the kayak. We loaded our kayaks and set off for the memorable evening.
We arrived at our destination and in perfect Nick fashion, he was on his way. He paddled the entire lake all on his own efforts (with Liz and my supervision of course) with ease. Within 20 minutes Nick was a pro and I was a very proud father. This moment will live forever for both Nick and myself, and most of all we continued to have the FUN that this sport provides! I will let our pictures of night show the experience. Next stop for the Heron Jr., Yak Gear accessories!
- Miguel Pandich