Thursday, March 1, 2012

Interview with Drew Gregory - Part 1

Drew Gregory, also known as “BasserDrew” in many fishing forums, is a professional kayak angler who specializes in bass fishing rivers.  He has his own signature series kayak, "the Coosa," from Jackson Kayak, and is one of the concept designers at Jackson Kayak that works alongside the Jackson architects to put out all fishing boats, including the new Cuda and Big Tuna.  He also launched the site for river fishing enthusiasts, such as myself, out there.

I had the pleasure of first meeting Drew at a River Bassin Tournament Trail Stop in San Marcos, Texas, in June of 2011.  I have run into him at different events since then, and he has always been nothing but kind.  He was the one who taught me how to strap a kayak to the top of a rental car using noodles (for floating in water) as a cushion.  I was finally able to track this busy man down for an interview in February of 2012.  Here is Part One of our conversation:

Pat Kellner:        Drew, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions.  You have done some really great things to promote the sport of kayak fishing, and I am excited to be able to ask you a little bit about some of it.  First of all, when did you start fishing?

Drew Gregory:  I’ve been fishing as far back as my earliest memories, which seem to become later and later every year?  Haha, at this rate when I’m 70, my earliest memory will be when I was 30…haha, my brain is so not normal so you folks are in for an entertaining interview.

PK:         Haha.  Yep, I know how you feel about the memory.  My memory can’t keep up either.
                How and why did you start fishing?  Was there one person or reason that introduced you or really got you hooked on the sport?

DG:        Oh sure, my dad was passionate about it (because his dad was, probably because his dad was, probably because his dad…uh, this could take a while so I’ll spare us).   He would take me whenever we had a chance and my mom even loves to go too.  Her dad was big into fishing as well and I remember spending a lot of time as a young boy on a bank or in a boat with my parents or grandfather.

PK:         I know you’re a Kayak guy.  Have you always been a kayak angler?  Where you a “power-boat” guy first?  What brought you to fishing from Kayaks?

DG:        I have always been a “simple” fisherman because we just enjoyed that type of fishing and didn’t have the money to get a big fancy boat.  We fished while wading rivers, or in a small Basshunter or Gheenoe and then finally moved as far up as a Jon Boat that we put a deck on like a bass boat.  I actually ended up buying a cheap Bass Boat in college to fish from and had a blast in that 14ft Glasstream boat. 
           I mainly got into fishing from kayaks because I fell in love with fishing rivers.  Obviously to get any job done properly you need the proper tool.  To me, a kayak is just the proper tool for that situation – and many fishing situations I might add. 

PK:         In your eyes, what are the main advantages to fishing from a kayak?  What are the biggest challenges?

DG:        Advantages would be the ability to really be in ultimate “stealth mode” and simply for accessing water that otherwise couldn’t be accessed. 
The biggest challenges are just learning proper technique and boat control because fishing is and always will be about proper boat positioning no matter if you’re a charter captain 30 miles off the coast or a dude in a kayak.

PK:         Do you fish competitively in tournaments?  If so, what are some of your best finishes?

DG:        I have fished competitively before in tournaments and have won several in years past (both kayak and other boat style tournaments).  I prefer to just compete with myself on the water, but every year I try to fish at least a few tournaments because it is fun to do from time to time. 

PK:         Do you guide?  How much time do you spend guiding fishing trips?

DG:        Well, my website says I guide, but I really don’t anymore because I don’t have time.  I suppose if someone contacted me about it I would still find the time to take them but it’s just not something I actively promote

PK:         What do you consider to be some of your greatest achievements in fishing?

DG:        Honestly I just don’t think about it much, but clearly getting to design the concept for the Jackson Kayak Coosa is about as big as it gets.  I never thought my name would be on the side of a kayak in a million years, and one that would be so popular as well.  I’ve definitely had to suppress pride so I don’t get an inflated ego (and believe me I have one like any guy) but it actually truly humbles me when I see my name on the side of the boat.  It does so because it makes me realize how amazing God is, and that all I’ve done is simply obey what He has lead me to do.  It’s really not me, but the talents He gave me that are accomplishing anything cool that I’m doing or have done.

To continue onto part two: Interview with Drew Gregory - Part 2

***If you would like to learn a little bit more about Drew, you can check out his website, ***

Other Interviews:
Interview With Jim Dolan
Interview With Tray Collins

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