The Dilemma of the Kayak Anglers Choice Awards
The "Kayak Anglers Choice Awards (KACA) is a joint venture between YakAngler.com and KayakFishingRadio.com. Each year kayak anglers from across the globe nominate and vote for their favorites in various categories like Kayak Angler of the year, Kayak of the year, and more. The KACA are the only kayak fishing specific awards driven solely by kayak anglers." - from their website.
It is the last sentence that always gives me pause when the awards come up. This is the third year running that I've paid attention to the KACA. Last year we avidly campaigned, as Appomattox River Company had been nominated for Retailer of The Year. It felt a little weird. I shared the voting page across our social channels and my personal channels. That means that many folks who are not kayak anglers had the opportunity to vote on "kayak fishing specific awards driven by kayak anglers." There in lies the dilemma.
I know it's silly. Ultimately, the more people aware of kayak fishing the better. And the guys running the KACA are just doing their part to increase awareness. But still, I couldn't shake the feeling that I had slummed for votes. Enter 2014 and the just announced Round 1 voting is here. Once again, the dilemma. What should I do? How should I support what the guys and gals at KACA are doing, promote our local folks and mention the shop nomination without feeling dirty? After a little internal debate and consulting with Tom, our GM, I decided to post a blog about the dilemma in which I would highlight all the Virginia nominations, including ours, thereby absolving myself of the guilt of soliciting votes. Also silly, I know, but it makes me feel better. ;)
So here goes. First up is Kayak Angler of the Year 2014. There are a lot of great anglers up for this award, but we're throwing our support behind all the Virginia anglers. Go cast a vote!
Drew Camp - Jackson Kayak, Werner Paddles
Rob Choi - Ocean Kayak/ Werner Paddles
Kayak Kevin Whitley - Ocean Kayak/ Bending Branches
Jay Brooks - Wilderness Systems/ Adventure Technology
Next up the Tidewater Kayak Angler's Association aka TKAA is up for Kayak Angling Forum of the Year. We love our local kayak fishing club and think they're awesome! Check them out!
We also want to give a shout out to Kayak Angler Magazine because editor, Ric Burnley, is a member of the Virginia kayak fishing community. The magazine is up for Kayak Fishing Magazine of the Year.
Oh, and low and behold, it just so happens that we, Appomattox River Company, are up for Retailer of the Year. We think we're pretty cool, but there are lots of cool folks in this industry. Cast your vote accordingly.
The Chesapeake Bay is up for Kayak Fishing Location of the Year. We all think it's the best place to be for fishing and community. What do you think?
YakAttack has many products up for vote in the Innovative Product of the Year Category. Our Central Va neighbors at YakAttack have been killing it for many years now, and they show no signs of slowing down. These guys design, manufacture and use great products all right here in Virginia. We love these guys! Show them some love!
Kayak Angling Video of the Year! I love this award. These folks put a lot of passion into their videos. I salute all the nominees, but we're highlighting our PaddleVa Family here.
Drew Camp - This is Why I Fish
Robert Lee - Yaktastic Adventures - Just Go!
Rob Choi - Striper on The Fly -or- Swing
Jonathon Leavitt- Snakehead
Last but not least is Kayak Fishing Blog of the Year. We have some strong content creators in Virginia. Here are the ones up for a vote.
Rob Choi - Angling Addict - Rob puts up some of the freshest content and with great style.
Kayak Kevin Whitley - Kayak Kevin - Kayak Kevin is the OG. He's been posting informative fishing reports and videos for a long time.
Fish Tails - Drew Camp - Drew is part of the youth brigade and enthusiastic and his reports are super informative and engaging.
Brian Vincent- PaddleVa Blog - I read all of the above blogs. They are all excellent. My blog is a mix of personal stories, event coverage, community highlights and product info.
That's right folks! This here blog is up for a nomination with some amazing company. I started out a couple years back reading these guys above religiously, so it's truly an honor to be nominated alongside them.
So, there you have it everybody. The Kayak Anglers Choice Awards are here. Click the previous highlight to cast your votes. The Virginia community is definitely well represented! I know my hesitation about the KACA awards is warranted, but I believe the good out weighs the bad. This world is cynical enough, we don't need it in kayak fishing as well. This lifestyle is about fun , camaraderie and relaxation and I think the guys and gals who put the KACA together get it. Yes there have been some bumps in the road, as there always are when people are trying to break ground in a new arena. But their heart is in the right place, kayak fishing. That's what we all love. So let's vote with that love in mind and when the results come out, let's celebrate our community. Debate is healthy and I'm sure the folks at the KACA welcome constructive criticism, but let's remember to have fun and be supportive of one another. That's my two cents and it's probably worth about that, but as a critic of the KACA in the past, I felt like I needed to make amends and drop my cynicism. Or maybe I just feel that way because I was nominated this year. ;)