A topic of conversation I experience a lot is how I got into doing kayak fishing videos on YouTube. To be honest, I’m not totally surprised that I ended up doing it. If there is one thing about me that you will learn, it is that I always end up tying in something creative into my hobbies.
I was 14 years old when I got my first job and made my first big purchase: a kayak. My aunts, uncles, and cousins loved kayaking, and I soon joined the group whenever they hit the river or back bays. Later in high school, I began to get really interested in fishing. I started hanging out with some guys from my church who fished a lot and I started learning everything I could about it. Before long, I was starting to wonder if I could use my kayak to get into some lakes and ponds in my hometown to catch fish that I couldn’t catch from the bank.
Back then, there was a lot of modding going on in the kayak fishing community. Before companies started building kayaks specifically designed for fishing with RAM mounted rod holders, transducer scuppers and tackle box staging areas, we had to rig up ways to carry our gear creatively. I would comb YouTube for hours looking for tips and tricks to rig up my sit-inside kayak for fishing, but every video I found ended up being for sit-on-top kayaks. Out of pure necessity, I decided to make my own video showing people who I setup my kayak.
To my own amazement, the video got over 200,000 hits. I started making some more videos about gear and after I had bought everything I needed, I morphed into doing kayak fishing vlogs. Kayak fishing was just turning into a hot sport and I found myself being a very small part of the influx of new content on the subject. After some experimentation, I was able to come up with the perfect recording rig. Two GoPros and a Zoom H1 for recording audio (I’ll do a blog post that goes into greater detail on how I record).
Thanks to the YouTube “adpocalypse”, my channel was demonetized because I fell just short on monthly viewing requirements. In a way, I think this was a good thing. It got me away from attempting the weekly “YouTube grind” and brought it back to what it was intended to be: a creative outlet. As with most things, I have realized that when you bring monetization into the picture, it starts to take the fun out of things. Now I make videos when I want and how I want. If I decide not to deal with setting up all my cameras, I just don’t shoot a video that day. If I go out and catch one fish, I don’t waste my time trying to fluff it into a 10-minute video.
In future posts, I’ll talk about my recording setup, video editing, and some tips for starting your own YouTube channel. Until then, “keep those lines tight.”