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Bigwater Fishing with Ross Robertson
Bigwater Fishing with Ross Robertson

Episode 50 · 2 months ago

Chuck Earls - Lake Erie Walleye Kayak Angler - BIgwater Fishing Podcast #50 with Ross Robertson

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This episode is brought to you by Powderhook.com. https://powderhook.com/lake-erie/?utm_source=Bigwater+Podcast&utm_medium=YouTube 

Today we welcome fellow Lake Erie angler and  @FishUSA  partner Chuck Earls. We het into how he got started, the kayak fishing industry and the extra safety precautions kayak anglers need to take. Chuck is an avid fisherman who loves to get on his Old Town Sportsman Big Water 132 PDL and fish for eyes (walleye) on Lake Erie and other large bodies of water, and chase chrome (steelhead) throughout the Lake Erie tributaries. Chuck is a multi-species angler who fishes year-round and has been fishing for over 30 years. He now offers Lake Erie Kayak Fishing Guided trips throughout the Lake Erie watershed. Chuck is passionate about the environment, the fishery, and being safe on the water. He provides many educational YouTube videos as well as great footage of his fishing adventures. Chuck enjoys sharing his love for fishing and his knowledge with his followers, friends, family, and clients. He also cleans up trash along the waterways every chance he gets. Chuck is also an influencer and subject matter expert on kayak fishing the big waters within the fishing community in the greater Cleveland area. He brings a wealth of knowledge and on the water experience and is committed to growing the sport on Lake Erie. lake erie kayak fishing guide service chuck earls - fishing with chuck earls blog Capt. Ross Robertson has made his complete living chasing walleye as a full time professional angler for more than 20 years. Through the years he has worn many hats including time as a fishing guide, boat salesman, TV host, outdoor writer, product designer, tournament fisherman, speaker, radio host and podcaster to name a few. Ross fishes ice-out to ice-up on the Great Lakes. He spends the majority of the year walleye fishing on Lake Erie’s Western and Central basins. Check out more from Bigwater Fishing https://www.facebook.com/BigwaterFishing/ https://www.instagram.com/bigwaterfishing/ http://bigwaterfishing.com/ Download Bigwater Fishing Podcast Episodes iTunes https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/bigwater-fishing-with-ross-robertson/id1508243662Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/bigwater-fishing-podcastSpotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0i8zS8tQumNGYGAXqKLX45Google Podcasts https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5zb3VuZGVyLmZtLzI1NzIvcnNzLnhtbA?sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiW4-OnvY7rAhXYCc0KHX7lBRQQ4aUDegQIARAC&hl=en

M M producers. Here we are again another podcasts. Are you beginning to like these things? Yeah, it's sounds very that you need to work on I think you actually do. I mean when we talk privately, it seems like you do kind of like these a little bit. I do need to work online better. Yeah, you really don't know. I like them. I thought you kind of do. They're foaming you some interesting different personalities, like we have one now. You know, we've had some really established people Alander's, Dearly, Dalberg's, you know whatever, Gary Roach, of course. Now I think we've got a guy that is going to be newer to a lot of our audience and maybe newer to people just in fishing because he hasn't been doing it as long. But he's got a little niche kayak fishing on the Great Lakes or Lake area in particular, which on one aspect, I think it's insane, but on the other aspect, it's awesome. Yeah. I came across Chuck a few years ago just on Facebook, and he was putting out some great content. Um, and that's why I recommended him for this podcast. You did, even though we already had it in the works, because he was a Fish US a sponsored kayaker, So of course that's an easier way to get on the Big Water Podcast. Not that it's an exclusive deal, but it kind of is. With the people we've had on here, kind of. Yeah, Chuck and I have some things in common and some things you didn't even know. I am I'm scared, but I'm I'm ready to find out. So let's bring in Chuck before he decides he doesn't want to do this and has uh he maybe he's watching some of her videos right now and it's like, oh my god, I don't want to get insulted. Um, but let's bring him on to the Big Water Podcast. Chuck Earls, Welcome to the Big Water Podcast. Here we are, Hey, Ross, how are you? Are you excited? I'm not. I'm kid. That's uh, you know what, me and you worked a couple of shows together, you know, we're Fish USA guys, and then doing some other freelance and stuff. That beard game is still strong. I had to trim mind down, dude. You are not trimming it down. No, not at all. Is that a kayak thing? No? No, Christine Fisher did not have a beard. Ross producer, dude, coming swinging. He's swinging. So producer dude is he's silent often, but he's deadly when he comes at you. So you're gonna hear him just throwing it in there here and they're just so you know, especially since he's he gets a little information he hit me with today and I was like, WHOA. But I mean, kayak guys, is it fair because you've kind of caught yourself a little niche. I mean, we'll just jump right in that you're you're doing like not that you don't fish out of the things, but great lakes kayaking right like you're on Lake Erie fishing for wall he's out of a kayak. I mean, you're one of the idiots, no offense that I have yelled at all the time for you know, just driving over now. I've watched your videos and you're like float sue safety and you got your VHF right and you're like got the flag up. Some of these guys out there, they need to find you. That's why we're having you on here. They need to find you. You know, Fish was say that we work with as a big kayak dealer. They're like all in. They got all these guys doing it and like some of these guys are knuckle heads. Man, They're gonna get themselves killed. I kind of want I want to choke a few of them. I gotta be honest, right, I mean, it just comes down to it. They just have not encountered the situation that taught them the necessities to uh some of these gear, you know, some of these pieces of equipment. But but in fairness, if sense of you know, I'm throwing some shots across the bottom pun intended. There's probably more ding Dong voters than there is kayakers. I mean absolutely there is. And uh that's why I always tell all the kayakers. Um, you know, it's not the fact that we have the right the way. It's our...

...job to stay out of the way. We can see you guys coming from four or five miles away, and you're not gonna see us until you're you know, maybe a quarter mile a half mile, so we can see you. We can judge your direction and just make sure we're out of the way. Now. With that being said, very often you see a voter comes up and realizes, oh, there's my entrance and just takes a ninety degree turn. Um, you gotta watch for that, and you always gotta watch for the pleasure voters. Um, specifically a guy that runs a boat by the name of Special k. Um. Watch out for that guy, kids, He'll aim right for you. Where's he out of Let's put him on blast. I love it that was that was not a central basin. Um, Special K isn't so special huh that you had? Have you had multiple incidences with with Special K? Yeah, I mean at least one. Um. The fact of the matter is is you do something like that, You're not gonna affect me, but you do it to somebody that's not prepared or in a less table, could cost somebody their life. So let's put it out there ross that your your listeners. If they see Special K, we're gonna talking about cereal. Now do something to him. Throw like dead fish in there in the boat somewhere. You're inciting a riot. I love this. God you find to take a picture and post it to both of our social media just if you see Special K. But it'll be kind of like a contest. You know. My might give a ship. As you know, just keep getting less and less as I get older. But um, I think that we should at some point we're gonna have a podcast and We're just gonna throw it out there because I think most of those guys, I firmly believe that if we all got together, there should be some people that kind of run out of the show, you know what I mean, because everybody has the same problem with the same tour, three people, and it's like we could eliminated a lot of bitching and problems by just cutting a couple of people out, you know, right, that's big motors, no motors, kayaks or whatever. But so help me out here a little bit, because I don't know your whole story deal, and we don't need to know about you know what your favorite you know, food is and subject and you know school, little school or something. But you kind of came on pretty quick. So that tells me you're a hard working guy, because I think that I tell people all the time, like if you bust your ass, you can make it in the fishing industry in today's deal, because so many guys just don't want to work, and you know, so you've kind of come up there quick. But maybe this is like you know, an overnight you know, twenty years success story, you know what I mean. One of those people and they're like, I've been doing this forever, bro, you just didn't know me because in truth, you know, I'm just I don't follow the kayak thing, you know that much. Um, I work with some companies you know obviously that that follow that deal. But but you have a unique deal because you're doing this on the big water primarily. And so how did that all come about? And how long you've been doing it? Give us a little feel for you know, what is what you're doing? Well, it all started. I think it was two thousand and fifteen, um, when I got my first fishing kayak. It was a sit in fourteen footer and uh, I love to fish my whole life, but kayak fishing was a little bit different. It was it was kind of like against the grain. And that's that's like exciting to me. I like figuring things out. I like the challenge. Um. Well, then uh, cold season came, you know, and I didn't know any better. So I pushed the limits a little bit until the until the water froze and wait until the water warmed up a little bit in the spring, got out there. But then I started doing my research on the cold water safety um which led me to get in a dry suit and since I'd be fishing in those conditions by myself. UM, I started doing the testing, you know, testing in the cold water to make sure that it wasn't a fact of the manufacturers saying that this was gonna save my life. I knew for a fact...

...that in these conditions, under these circumstances, you know, I was good because I was the only one out there. Um. And sometimes even after the boat ramps would freeze because the pongo was very light, So I can just find the closest speech as long as there wasn't any ice along the shoreline, get out there and catch walleye. UM. But I knew in that situation there's no voters to come and save me if I get in danger. UM, So I had to prepare for that, and UM, it just kind of all evolved from there. I was recording my testing and putting it out there too to try to educate people, because, like I said, I mean, there was one point where I didn't know any better. UM. Unfortunately I didn't get in a bad situation or lose my life before I learned. You know, there's there's many other people that have lost their life in the cold water situation. UM or had near life experience or near death experiences. UM that will tell you as well, you know. So that's kind of how it started. I was just kind of putting it out there and and just trying to be UM a resource for the community. You know. I figured if I if I could save one life, it was all worth it. And UM, I was going through some career changes and just couldn't find my place. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I always wanted to do my own thing, and eventually it just came down to it where I decided, you know, I'm gonna burn the boats. You know, if you're going to take over the island, you gotta burn the boats because there's only one option then, and that's to take over the island. Right That's like a pirate deal, right there, are like that, that's naughty. So UM, I Uh, I'm a workaholic, you know. If I'm not fishing, I'm working on something. And you know, people think it's work, but it's not a job. It's a lifestyle, you know. So I just continue to put stuff out there, continued to grow and and help more people, and uh, eventually that led to the Guide service UM, which which is growing really good. Um, I'm I'm actually pretty booked up this season, which is really nice and teaching a lot of people about kayak fishing and it it just it evolved into where it is now. Where I mean, if I'm not here, all these people they're gonna go out there and they're gonna have to learn on their own. They're gonna have to make those mistakes that, um, you know I made along the way, um, or maybe some of my mentors made along the way. Um. So I just keep pushing harder, you know, whatever I can do. The main goal is to just keep people safe and you know, showing that they can enjoy their life instead of being afraid. But that, man, that's a lot of I mean, I don't disagree with any anything you said. Obviously, in a different way, I've done the same thing. But it's a lot easier to be like, oh yeah, I'm I'm gonna rule out of this job and I'm gonna start running the guide service. I mean, dude, that takes giant cahunas and service with kayaks on top of it. Not service. Yeah. My sister says, I'm not allowed to use this word, but it's almost retarded. I mean, it's it's borderline, like I mean, I think you gotta be a little bit batshit crazy, a little bit um. I don't know. It probably continues on from there. You know. The more experience I get, um, the more I'm thirsty for more. You know, on the days when it's too rough to take the clients out, those are my training days. Those are when I go out and I get in situations, you know, in a...

...prepared manner that teach me new lessons that I can bring to the Guide service producer. Dude, I see like Rocky in the background right now. Yeah, he's not kidding. He's not just going out two miles. If you watch his videos, he's seven eight, nine miles out, And some of them, I'm just like, I'm like, on one end, I see this, I'm just being honest, and I'm like it's like admirable, and then on another end of it, I go, that's dumb as shit, and then like in the middle, it's like it's kind of cool, and I'm like, I just keep going each direction. I don't know, And then you see some of those guys out there, you know, and it's not like but I'm sure on a different level, you know, I run a twenty three ft ranger, right, and people are like, oh, dude, that boat is so huge. Now when you're standing next to that boat in the parking lot and it's up to here, you know, it's a big boat at weighs six thousand pounds. But I always tell people the Edmund Fitzgerald is like, you know, on the bottom and it was like eight D nine hundred whatever it was feet longer. Like the Great Lakes is a nasty, nasty place. I mean, Army Corps of Engineers or whatever ranked at the most dangerous freshwater body navigate in the world at one point. I don't know what it is now, but you know, it's just a nasty place. And you know, doing it in my boat and with some of the other guests we've had, and we talked about, you know, just how physically demanding it is and beats you up and all this ship and then you know, like here's Chuck over here. Producer duty said like, no, I'm gonna do it a kayak. Yeah, I don't. I'm I'm I'm crossed. I still am. Honestly, as I thought about this coming up, you know, with this, I was like, I don't know how I even look at this. Is this insane or is this admirable producer? To where are you at with us? Yeah? I mean you know so yeah, I've always you know, number one, I grew up in that area where he's fishing, so you know, so I see where he's at. I grew up along the lake my whole life. And yeah, just seeing him, you know, I'm tired just kayaking, you know, back and forth, you know in a canal or something you know, used in shape like he's balling out like yeah, and so it just you know, I marvel at it and and marvel at the equipment that you take with you, just you know, looking at your kayak and all the stuff that's in it to keep you a little bit of that is is also the cheating aspect, because you know, you got like I run to code to lithium batteries. You know, you've got these batteries that are like this big now that run like this big, you know, and of old day, and you've got you know, your electric motors and stuff. So I mean they're you've got the creature comforts aside from your safety gear and all that, right, I mean, you you probably is it fair to say you probably couldn't have even done this to this level ten years ago. UM. I think that's pretty fair to say, at least safely. When I was out in the in the Tiger Shark Pungo. Um. One of the things that made that possible is that that kayak had front and back bulkheads. Now, every once in a while, when the auditions would get a little bit rougher and nothing like what I'm in today, um, but a little bit rougher, it would splash over the side. You take a little bit of water in your cockpit and you'd have to pump it out because a little bit of water will throw off the balance of a kayak. UM. That being said, very limited on space, and you just couldn't you couldn't care for a client, you know, you couldn't care for them with the gear and stuff like that. There were some sit on kayaks on the market to sit on tops like what I had now. Um. But the biggest thing that I look at is you never know what's gonna happen. Right. UM. I had a buddy I was meeting I think this was like two thousand and eighteen. Um, we were meeting up early spring TuS Growers River and when I got there, they were loading them up in an ambulance. UM again he had a matt a heart attack at the boat ramp. Oh my god.

So I look at that situation, you know, as devastating as it was, as a lesson. I'm taking people out, you know, two miles offshore. If something happens, I have to have the ability to get them back right. I can't depend on paddling them back and taking the hour hour and a half two hours that it would take UM. And that's why that's where the torqedo comes in. So with the torkeedo, I can have them back to shore ten minutes, fifteen minutes. You know, in the process call and rescue services we pretty much meet at the ramp around the same time. So UM, in that aspect and the safety aspect and just protecting UM, protecting the people that you're taken out there, I don't think it would have been possible. So ros I want to stop the podcast for a second. I know we'll get back to the guest in a minute. I saw you. I was looking at stuff. I was researching, get it, I was researching. Oh my god, you're you're doing your job. Oh my god, I'm doing my job, and I was on something like called like powder puff, which I don't know why you're on powder puff, but I saw your face on something called powder puff or something like hook man powder hook dot com. Okay, well what is that? Well, as you kind of found out, we're cheating on a little bit. Normally, the fellow listeners are a big water. Know that you have to tease me with ice cream to get a fishing report, because I quite frankly hate them. But we are doing an extensive fishing report, amongst other things with powder hook dot com. And they've got a bunch of things across the Instagram and Facebook and all that good stuff too, But we're doing a detailed fishing report. They're talking about really detailed stuff with what's going on specifically on Lake Erie here on the Western and Central Basins and even a few times there in the Eastern Basin in the summer now through May of three. So we're gonna be doing lots of stuff, and you already in some of it because that you caught me red handed, but we've got to purchase, you know, information on it. We're talking about player boards. We've got all kinds of different information, but with myself and then some other lake eri studs that basically are teaching how to catch more walleyes. What's going on currently? And I mean powder hook powder hook dot com. It's it's a one stop shop right now for lake your info, whether it's a fishing report, videos or some you know, written articles. How to you know, select a charter captain like myself, different things to think about and talk about. So a lot of unique things there is you already know, So powder hook dot com that's where we go. What's too far? Like, what's what? What is your parameters? You know, like I I don't really have like written down ones for myself because even today, you know, I have a husband, wife, couple. Yesterday I had some roughnecks like that that bar goes up and down, as I'm sure yours does. But you personally, like what do you think is It's like, hey, I'm not just as you said, you know, pushing the envelope or finding it out, like you just go, hey, this is stupid or this just isn't good or I don't want my name attached to this that I'm you know, capsized chuck or whatever. Right, Um, well, I would say my limitations now they're basically just an opportunity to um to gain the skills needed for that. UM. Now, with that being said, it is Lake Erie and there's store or is it three ft waves or I've been out in uh in at least four footers um as measured by the weather booty the time early spring when I was out and probably a little bit bigger water the weather Booie wasn't in yet. So you know, that's just kind of a guestimate. UM. It really depends on the distance in between the waves and and the type of you have and your preparation. You know, when you're planning, UM, if you don't have...

...the right planning, the right gear, and the right knowledge, you're going to put yourself in a situation very quickly. You know. I mean I've been in two foot waves. I mean it does kayak no kayak boat whatever. I've been in two foot waves that you feel like you're in a washing machine where I'm in four folders like you said, and some people that haven't done this to kind of visualize this where they're spread out like Lake Michigan style a little bit and you can almost just kind of ride the swell or even ride the troughs, and it's just kind of like it's like a big slow roller coaster when when you start getting into that short chop, like, there ain't no way to deal with it. I mean, you're just in a washing machine and it's just ride it out, and you've got to probably feel like you're whitewater rafting or something at that point a little bit um, you know. And that's one of the reasons that I don't take my clients towards the Western Basin much in peak boater season, just because it is so rough from that and that's kind of a complicated situation to deal with because the waves are confused. Um. It also happens when you have the water coming in towards like a break wall or something like that, and people don't realize when they go along that you have the water coming in on top the water bouncing and reflecting on the bottom, and it just creates this weird situation. Um. And if you don't if you don't have the stability, knowledge and the experience, you can easily make a mistake, lean the wrong way and now you're in the water. Well. Now the next problem is is how much time do you have before the water throws you against that object? Producer, do you remember the podcast we did when what he's talking about it's called a site? M I do remember that. Yeah, I just want to see if you're still paying attention and paying attention because I could just I'm just I'm still kind of marveling at this. I'm not trying to mock you or anything like that. I would do that privately if I was going to. But it's like, Producer, are you with me that this? As I started, he starts talking about like getting drawn on into break walls and stuff. Yeah, I mean I've been with you on on Chuck for a long time. I think I I, you know, mentioned Chuck a long time ago to you and I found him. But um, yeah, I mean so Chuck, I mean, what what kind of gear is in the kayak? Like what do you take with you? Because obviously you can't have as much gear as as Ross has in his boat. So like, what are the essential and to to have a successful guide trip? Um? Well, first and foremost is the safety gear. Um. All my clients get VHF radios. Um if they're in one of my kayaks, there they have navigation with the fish finders h p f D safety knife UM, and a pocket air horn and obviously a whistle, you know, as required by the coast guard. Uh. The air horn is just in case the boats coming at you. They're not gonna hear a whistle, but they're gonna they're gonna hear the air horn. UM. Inside my hull at all times, I have a life straw, I have nonperishable food. I have um PDA like powder packs. UM. I have a flare gun. I have a safety space blanket. I have a first aid kit UM. I have I have a fire starting kit, which isn't really practical for lake erie, but you get in a situation where you're like on an inland lake or a river and you find somebody that's wet, you know, it's an ability to get them out of their clothes, get the space blanket around them, and start a warming fire. UM. So that's that's kind of what that's in there for wintertimes sometimes lake area is too rough and I'm fishing rivers and stuff like that. UM. But all the inland guys should carry that for sure. Yeah. That that all sounds crazy and you don't need it until you need it and you're up on an island or something. Yep. And that's that's really what it...

...comes down to. UM. It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it, especially in in our situation on Lake Erie, UM. For example. I don't know if you heard the story, but my neighbor it's about twenty eight years ago he got lost out on Lake Erie for three days, three and a half days, and Canadian Coast Guard rescued him. So fortunately I've had really good mentors along the way, and he's one of them. He's told me that story probably I don't know, twenty times before I actually recorded it on the podcast, and I take that into account as well. Now nowadays, on a big boat, maybe it's not as likely, um, But on a kayak you get stuck in fog, it can easily happen. And that's why I have the life straw on there if I need to. So explained to us that are not familiar with some of these things, a life straw is well. Life straw is a water filtration system, so military members carry it. Basically, you can stick it in any fresh water source and it will filter it out. So it's drinkable. Okay, So I can only carry I don't know, four to six bottles of water, you know by the time I put my batteries and my my fishing rods, UM, my tackle and all that. So that's good for the day. Um. If we get in that type of situation like my neighbor Jerry did, where the coast guards looking for us, we have that life straw, which obviously that that would probably be more likely um me by myself in that situation, you know, than than with a client, because um, there's a lot of precautions that we take for the trips, just making sure the waves aren't too big, um compared to the comfort. Um. And uh, fog. You don't ever want to go out and fog in a foggy situation. UM. I have seen kayakers out and fog, you know. And again it's like again, I can be easy to judge. I was out in it, right, but yeah, you see something that and you're like, dude, you at least need a flag like I've seen on yours. You know, you've got the flag up there. It's like because like you said, even in little ways, man, you don't see it till it's like boom right. That's that's like, I don't know nothing about this, but I can tell you right now. If you're out on the Gray Lakes, people rather you hook up with Chuck or not, which you should. But you need a flag on that thing. And you don't be you know, don't be tiny with it. Get her done. You want to get as tall off a flag as you can. Um you want to think. You start to get in a trough, even if it's one ft waves, you might have two foot of water over top of you. That's over your head, that's over any little flag or anything like that. And when excuse me, when when the boaters are driving, they have a a large body of water to scan, so they're only looking in a certain direction for you know, very short period of time you're in that trough. You don't have a flag, Well, they didn't see you, they don't know they're that you're there. Now you pop up, they're already looking at you know, total opposite direction. And and I mean the obvious thing is as a guy that doesn't know that, even if they miss you, thank god, just the wake could put you in just as much harm's way. If you don't have the right kayak um and the right experience absolutely good friend of mine. Jeff Little. He says, Uh, stability is earned, not purchased. You know everybody always asks what's the most stable kayak? Well, you gain stability by practice, by flipping it over, by re entry, by knowing those limitations, and then by putting yourself in a little bit rougher conditions or a little bit more challenging conditions each time.

You know, you don't want to go out there and uh commit suicide and in ten foot waves. Um. But you know, if you're used to flatwater, go out on a day on an inland reservoir where it's a little bit shoppy, See what that feels like. See how challenging it is actually to get against the wind um and and the waves in the current, and you just gain those skills as you go. Confidence has got to be a big part of it, right, I mean I think it's no different for somebody driving a boat in rough water. I mean a lot of people are just ship scared right out of the gate and then then he can't do anything else because you've got that fear role and so so thick. But yeah, part of it is is huge, Um. Early On one day there was four of us. We went all the way out to the uh um the Cleveland water in the the crib and I was in the punko paddled out. It was glass that day, I mean as flat as lake areas and uh we get out there, the wind shifts ninety degrees and now it's it felt like four footers back then, but it was probably like one to twos um in a paddle kayak, you know. And and the thing is you just have to keep your reminding yourself. You just have to keep paddling or keep peddling, you know, a little by little um. One of the worst things out there. When you're going along, it feels like you're not moving, you know, because you're miles off shore. There's nothing but water to compare it to, and the shoreline really isn't getting close enough free to you know, distinguish it um. But you have to remember that you are you are gaining ground. Watch your map, set away point, make sure you're getting past that way point. If you're not. What you want to do is you want to shift your direction towards an alternate U return point so that you can use the wind or the waves that you know, came up out of nowhere, um or that you can't push through. You can use those to get yourself back. Um. Once you get off the water, you can figure out how to get back to your car. So again, just like so so I understand us a little bit. So what is like bad courtesy for a boater? Right? Like you cut somebody off, you get too close, the guy's drinking, you know what I mean, or whatever, you throttle up on somebody. Like, what's bad courtesy with kayaker? So if somebody is you know, trying to get into this and they haven't got a chance to get out with you, what what are some things that you take your guys aside and be like, bro, that's no go, Like that's not cool. Um. As far as my clients Coults are concern Yeah, just other kayakers you know, on the water, whether it's how you're interacting with other kayakers or maybe in relation to voters, you know. I mean, like I've seen kayakers when we're coming out of slips you know where there's multiple channel or whatever you want to call it, and you'll see a kayaker and you're like, yeah, you have the right away, but dude, you just rolled right in front of me. So like what if I'm drinking and I'm not a smart educated boat like I was dumb because you have the right away. And again this is you know, I'm not tacking kiager guys. Like there's a whole bunch of jackass boaters, you know, the same thing. But like that to me would be one of those things like just because you have the right away doesn't mean you should do it, um, because you're gonna put both parties and way. But like, what is a kayak or focus thing? Well, it starts at the boat ramp. You know a lot of times it takes us a little bit of time to get set up. So don't go to the boat ramp and start setting up on the ramp. There's boats they want to launch, there's boats they want to come in. Producers. We've seen them go over to the side such a kayak up and get good at it. Get good at it. So when you're ready to launch, you roll it in, you push it off, you tie it to the dock, and you get out of the way. You throw your cart back in or um, what I do is I trailer launch, you know, So I'm I'm in and out and out of the way, tied to the dock, and you know, a minute or two, and you know, really it comes down to we're fishing.

There's no reason to get upset or to piss anybody off. Um, We're out here to have a good time, not in any rush. The fish are gonna wait for me. You know. If there's a line of boats at the ramp, they already think I'm gonna hold them up, so I'll just let them go. You know, I'll sit here watch the boats just kind of hang out. Um, stay out of the way, and just be respectful of everybody. Um. And then when you get on the water. A lot of times we're traveling north to get out to a little bit deeper water and depending on um, you know, the boat they're they're going east through west. So I teach them to, um, go to the back of them, the stern of them, you know, don't cut them off, don't mess up there trailing path. Um, just give them some space. And remember they could have you know, tot of line out. They're gonna have some boards out to the side, So just give the guys some space. We moved slow. You wouldn't want him to cut you off, right, you know, you try to. I didn't even think of that. But like a kayaker trolling, you know what I mean, your footprint really it's not that much different than ours. I mean it's a little smaller obviously, but yeah, while you're actually fishing. I guess I didn't really even think of that enough. Well, it comes down to, at most on a one person kayak, we have three lines out on a boat, you could have six twelve. If you have to make a quick ninety degree adjustment, you're gonna tangle all your lines. Now you have what thirty minutes to get back set up. You know, with us, I can make a ninety degree turn, um, not tangle my lines and get back on my path. Um. And that doesn't come from avoiding boats. It actually comes from, you know, making detours to pick up trash along the way because we're so low you can see it, and uh, I'm not gonna drive past it. So I'll risk, you know, twisting my lines just to get the trash. Well, if I could do that for trash, I can do that for voters as well. You know, it's it's really just comes down to respect him one another. We're out here having a good time, living in a paradise. You know, let's act like it. I like it. So, I mean we've mentioned things that you know, you know, the dry suits maybe a little bit different because you know that's somewhat unique or whatever. But you know, having a VHF, there are a lot of the safety equipment is going to be the same, right, Um, some flares like what what are you required? Because I know there's a lot of people don't know the laws on these things. Like once you put a motor, let's forget kayaks for something. Once you put a motor, whether it's electric or gas on like a square stern canoe, Now, all of a sudden you're treated as differently even though we look at it as it's a canoe. Right, So is it the same way with the kayaks? Like what are you required of? Ohio watercraft rolls up on you. What do we need to have? Well, if you're human powered, UM, basically just need life check it and a whistle. And if you're out at night, some kind of light device, some kind of signaling device, UM, preferably at three six light. When you put a motor on, uh, now you have to have O H numbers on the side. You have to have navigation lights you know, red and greens, UM, and your three sixty on the back and um so and and by motor your difference. So if you had, like my buddy's got a mincoded trolling motor on his you know, like the employees off the front or whatever, and his kayak, so that is considered a motor main gas or that doesn't matter as a motor. So then we need o H numbers. You're basically a boat at that point. You need to have your regular nap lights, your anchor light or whatever you want to call it on that boat three sixty. So you're a boat, right, Yeah. I think it just comes down to, um, it's so new they don't really know what to require.

You know, like a safety flag should absolutely be a requirement. Um, you know, a VHF radio, your phone. There's certain parts on the lake. As soon as you get away from the lake shore, you're not sending in a text, you're not making a phone call. So what are you gonna do? Just float and wait for somebody to come and help you out. Um, But you know that's that's part of what I do is we might go to the extreme and UH, I might have redundancies after redundancies. Um, but you know for that one time, that one situation where this goes wrong, that goes wrong, that goes wrong, well we still got this. You know. For example, in the in the foggy conditions, kayaks move very slow and generally you don't have heading sensor on your kayak, so fish Finder might or might not know what direction you're going, dependent on what kind of software. Um, now you're in a foggy situation, you think you're going north, while all of a sudden you're fish Finder is like, no, we're actually going south. You don't know which direction you're going. So having just a just a compass, right, yeah, manual compass on my boat. And the people all the time, like when you go to Commas before you got seven grand with electronics guys TV screens, I'm like, yeah, what happens when they ain't working? Or a few times, actually the satellites have been shut off back more in the nine eleven days with the power plant and stuff like, they would shut those off every now and then. But yeah, that's crazy, you know. So I think it's you know, somebody's like thinking about hiring you. Obviously we suggested, but I mean, I think that the smart play if I'm talking to somebody would be, you know, don't be like where are we going trying to figure out like where the bite is? Like there's so many other ways to do that, and it's going to change NonStop, Like people think as guides like that that's what they're hiring us for. And I personally don't think any good thing could be further from the truth because that's going to change so much that even if you think you're gonna follow me today, like dude, I'm gonna fish actually tomorrow twenty miles away from our fish today because the conditions are changing. But um, I mean you're teaching them not to be like redundant at some point here, but you know, the safety stuff and how to actually navigate the vessel like you're almost like a boat driving teacher. Really, yeah, you know, in order to well, it comes down to, uh, with great power comes great responsibility. Right, people have been watching me for years go out there on Lake Erie and do it and show that it's possible. Um, And there's a lot of people that are now out there doing it, which is awesome. But if you're going to go out there, do it you know, you've got to go out there and do it safely and make sure that you make it back to your family. And it's kind of a personal responsibility since I kind of, you know, made it somewhat popular popular. I mean, have you taken flak for this besides somebody like me throwing some have I what have you taken any flak for this? Oh? I take flak all the time, Josh, And like I am with you or like seriously, like people like what are you doing? Oh? All different ranges? Uh? Shot, chuck be shot. It's just you know, um, the usual haters online that sit on their couch and and don't have anything better than keyboard commandos. Keyboard commandos. You know. The cool thing about them is they're the ones that you know, give us power, right because they say, oh, well what if you what if this happens? Well, then you go out and you make a video and you're like, well, this is what happens when this happens, you know, And it's just it's not any any people in the community or...

...anybody like that. Um, it's just you know, you always have those haters online. Um, they come across the video or something like that, and maybe they just they don't they don't you know that you have that experience, or they just you know, you're doing what they want to do. They want to kind of pull you down. People are crabs in a bucket, right But just producer Doice, he has some good one liners or what I mean. I know they're old school stuff, but I like it. I gotta bucket, dude. I have not heard crabs in bucket, but I am all about crabs in a bucket right now. The number one quote that has probably gotten me to this point is, um, the best way to create the future is or the best way to predict the future is to create it. There you go. I mean, you're you're definitely you know, the pioneer kind of this at least from around our area to my now college. But being that the kayak world, you know, I mean, it's it's a really big small community, right like the different kayak things, some of the stuff that Fish USA does, and especially because all the social media and all that bs that we've got going on, good and bad. Are there other places like Lake Huron or Lake Michigan where they have some of the other people doing kind of what you're doing on some of these other bigger bodies of water. Um, not really in the Great Lakes. Uh. There is one guy up on Lake Michigan that you know, seeing what I was doing, and UM decided to kind of start it there. I haven't talked to him. I don't know how that's going. UM, but you know, their fisheries not as predictable as ours. I'm just we've got more fish. On a fun fact, we have more catchable sport fish in Lake Eary. Producer, do you remember this from one of our other podcasts that all of the rest of the Great Lakes put together by a lot a lot. So yeah, if you're gonna catch them, and you're gonna have to be kind of limited on your resources a little bit for travel and all that, and and distance covered here in the right spot right now in saltwater. Uh, this has been pretty common for UM, at least a little while. There's Uh, well, Robert Fields is out of Los Busos, Panama, and those guys go after marlin and some pretty gnarly fish. But don't they I see I've seen this now too. I'm a film a fish and counoisseewer like. But they kind of cheat a little bit don't they go out in big giant boats and drop them off of those, so that that's kind of cheating a little bit. Well, it's a safety thing because they might have to get to the fish twenty miles off shore. Well, if you're twenty miles off shore in a kayak, that's gonna take you twelve hours to get to shore. Sounds like a hot mess because you want to figure. You know, kayaks can move four or five miles an hour depending on the you know, the power of the of the operator. But can you do that consistently for an hour or two hours? You know, consistently you're gonna go about two to two and a half miles an hour. I tell everybody to look at two miles an hour as a as a constant pace. So if you're two miles off shore, you going two miles an hour, it's gonna take Wednesday an hour to get back. So these guys they're twenty twenty miles off shore, that's you know, ten hours, and a lot can happen, especially on the ocean, in ten hours. So that's why they have the pongas to take them out there. Um and also for example, the one guy, I think his name is Adam Fisk. He caught a five pound marlin the drugging, like thirty miles off shore, and the punga had to chase him down, you know, just to bring him back afterwards. So it's it's some people call it cheating. I call it just making...

...sure people stay alive. Um. And then there's uh, there's guys out in Florida. Um, Rob will Uh how do you pronounce his last name? But if you look up Rob Will at Antidotes sport fishing charters or Antidote Charters. Um, he does kayak fishing charters for like sail fin and stuff like that out there. Um. I have a buddy that uh that actually kind of gave me the idea to get into the guide uh, the guiding thing and kind of see it as possible because I took a trip to Florida and you know, we paid him to go out for some spectro trout and stuff and and uh it was a really cool experience. You know. He was living the life, you know, and I told him, I said, you have a really cool job. He said, it's not a job, it's a lifestyle. And at that time I loved that, but now I fully understand it. I mean there is nothing else, you know, look at you Ross, what do you think about other than fishing? I mean there's one or two, maybe small things, But you always say what do I get asked all saying what do you do when you're not fishing? When you run the type of business I am with the different elements. I mean I fished all day today and I here, I am sitting here talking to you. I love doing the podcast, but no offense. Like, honestly, when we schedule these things because we have to do them, you come home, man, and you're beat, and I've got a list. My phone's blowing up as we're sitting here right now, and it's it is a hundred percent of lifestyle. Like it's not an inspirational quote. It's not something for a T shirt or something painted on the wall. This is what you do. And if you cut these different elements out, it doesn't work. Like you can't make you know what I mean, you can't make it just doing one thing. And and you've obviously done a pretty good job at this. And I think you'll learn a lot more as things proceed, you know, because to get the guide clients, you do the other things because you can't afford or it just doesn't make good sense to waste the resources or our money to get them to you, Like, how do they show up? And so you're doing podcasts like this, or you're doing other things. You're doing your own podcast where working sports shows me and you have shown up at a bunch of the same places. Um, you know you work with companies like Fish USA and yeah, it's it's it's a hundred percent of lifestyle. Like I then that's why I'm a little grumpy, Arni producer. Is that fair? Sometimes something? Sometimes he said? Sometimes say sometimes sometimes you're sometimes you're you're a joy to work with. Oh wow, wow that you know what we're there's many things we are learning today. But you know there's just some of the I see the kids, and I say kids, even young adults, and I think there's a lot of people and the hell, it's been expressed to me by other people in the industry that there's a lot of people that feel like it's a cool thing. Like maybe Timmy's not six ft nine, so he's not gonna play basketball, and fishing is a thing that doesn't really require you know, to to participate, doesn't require certain physical things or even maybe mental things. You don't have to be crazy smart or whatever. And so there's a lot of people that get into it for those reasons. But I think there's a lot of people that get into it for the wrong reasons from a business standpoint, not pleasure fishing. You know, they're wearing tournament shirts around because they want to be, you know, part of something. And that's where I get grumpy, because it's like, no, this is my lifestyle I've earned, you know, It's like it's my blood, sweat and tears, like those companies and those relationships and the work that I do for them. So I guess I do get a little grumpy. And I would imagine you're getting there yourself too, because you just see the different end of the business stuff, which brings me to something that I have to find out. Producer Dude, he doesn't know this, but so we've had I mean, i'm not gonna say you're in tall cotton here, but we've had Alander, Larry Dulb or Gary Roads, like, we've had some ballers. I'm not even sure how we did all of it. Producer DoD we're not allowed to tell him, right, but producers who comes to me and I don't literally listen to most of the things he says. He usually as it's like he's my water wife. We don't listen to half of him. And he said, do you know Chuck girls, you need to have him on the podcast as true story? And little did you know we...

...were already talking about it, but here we are. Then he hits me with did you know that the Fish USA such situation? And I'm like, producer, what are you talking about? So once you fill us in here, producer dude? So yeah, So I don't know. I don't know if Chuck remembers me or has put it together. Um. I actually came across Chuck Ross when we started working together again. Um on the YouTube stuff, I came across Chuck and I reached out to him, uh, and I wanted to see if he wanted to do somewhat the same thing that we were doing with Ross. So I was kind of two timing New Ross. I was looking for somebody else. But um, I may or may not be responsible for connecting Fish USA and Chuck. And I don't know if you put that together, Chuck, that I was the one nice. Well, thank you for that you know, there's a funny story. Um. I remember the day that they sent me that email. And a lot of people don't believe that you can manifest things. But I'm on the water and I think it was it was like a Thursday. I'm on the water, and all of a sudden, I thought I should reach out to Fish US a and and see if we can work together, you know, because I've always um, I've always appreciated their their service and the company. And Friday came along. I didn't think about it, and then here comes an email from Fish USA asking for the same thing. There you go, yeah, because if you remember, we talked to I think on Facebook a little bit, you know, and I actually I grew up in Avon Lake where you launch from, so and i'd come across your videos. I think I think I first came across your dry suit test video and I actually asked Ross if he would try that, and he said no, or come on, true story. It is true story. Most of the things he suggests, I say, hell no, um story in most of them are ridiculous. But he he he is a good producer. I mean, we we bicker like you know, cats and dogs, But um, the end result he usually works out. So yeah, I mean, dude, I always did. Since you're big on one liners, I always say, it's not what you know too, you know, but what you do keeps you there, you know. And and that's a lot of tag at people all the time, saying hey, can you give me a rep with you know, Phish USA or sim whoever that company is. And I'm like, dude, don't step up the plate till you're ready, because you're gonna get one shot at this with these people. And then what people don't realize, I think in this kind of getting off topic, but you know, the guy that's at Company A at some point moves up or maybe moves out because people and personalities, and then he goes to Company C. And all of a sudden, you got an opportunity Company C. And that's the guy you piste off at Company A or maybe that you had a great relationship with. And you know, just like producer dude, you know he works with somewhere people there we produce things, you know for Phish USA. UM, And so it's just it's it's it's a business. People don't look at it as a business because they don't really think you know what me and you were doing. That's a hobby. To them, it's always going to be a hobby. But for us it is that lifestyle. But it still is a business because ultimately that's how we feed ourselves. So yeah, we couldn't do what we do, you know, if if we couldn't pay our bills, right, So yeah, I mean, you know, along that that lot side of it. I mean, because I have no guys like, for example, I won't say names, but guys you know, made the jump to the bass Master Elite Series and or or some of the other ones like Major League Fishing and and all these guys. What people don't realize is like a guy that quote unquote sucks on the bass Master Elite trail back home on his Tri State area one every damn tournament every freaking weekend, you know what I mean, And people are like, oh dud, that guy sucks, like well, in the Try State area back home, he's going to clean your clock every single day, one thirty tournaments in a row or whatever, you know what I mean, And and sort of things kind of relative and where I'm going with us as...

...several of these guys that I have really good relationships with if they've said to me, hey, you know, my fishing is kind of where I think it needs to be, Like I'm I'm I'm working there, but I'm struggled with the business end. Or the business end is amazing, but I can't quite get my fishing switched over from away from northern stuff into southern or title fishing or whatever that may be. And so with you, you know, the kayak things huge, so you've got good timing right and you've got your little niche deal. Has the business end of things been difficult or more of a struggle trying to learn that? Because who the hell are you gonna ask? Well, Um, I grew up around business. You know. My dad had home repair of business growing up, so I was, you know, five six years old putting light covers and just to help. Um. So I always had that business mindset. And I've had a lot of jobs over the years, a lot of different jobs and a lot of different segments, um, different fields, you know, everything from rebuilding, giant injection show machines, um injectually moting machines too, running independent retail stores and businesses for other people, and and it just all kind of evolved into the toolbox that I use now. UM, is it hard. It's the most difficult thing you will ever do. UM, But how bad do you want it? Right? You know? Um, there is no give up. Every every day you're gonna have a reason to give up. But you just have to you know, remind yourself while you're doing it, or you know, just use certain certain next positive actions that are going to continue to move on and do things like the expose, you know, and and the podcast and the other little stuff that you know is going to continue to push the cart forward, even though right now it seems like it's the most impossible thing in the world. Um. Luther Ceifer said on my podcast, he said, Uh, you know, giving up is never an option. You might get a t k oh, you might get knocked out. Um, hopefully you just get knocked down. You can pick yourself up, but giving up is never an option. You know. So because of that, and because of I feel the tools that I've had along the way, the mentors that I've had along the way, it all just kind of works itself out one way or another, maybe not as fast as I wanted to. Um, it never helps happens that fast, you know, But eventually it just always works. It always happens sowhere do where do you think that the next focus is going to be for you? As you you know, because again the guiding things great and it opens doors and allows you to stay out there and keep your craft rolling and getting better, you know, and every day you're getting far away from somebody be able to be your competition. But at the same aspect, you've got to be thinking about other things in the fishing business. Well, you know, it's it's hard to just make money on guiding, especially on lake erie. Not everybody's crazy. Not everybody's gonna come out even if they do have a dry suit in the winter months. Um, that's going to take a special type of person. So you have to have other ways. Um. I call them other piles of pennies. You know, you just build another pile of pennies, because the pennies eventually grow into piles and nickels and nickels of dollars. Um. But little stuff like that. So for example, I do uh kayak rigging, you know, so in the wintertime people can't get on the water, I can rig out their kayak and get it ready, so they're just ready to hit the water in the springtime. They don't have to try to figure it out and maybe make mistakes and and you know, have those frustrations. Um, they can come to...

...me. I can advise them on how to set it up depending on their fishing style, UM, what to use, and I can set it up and get it ready for them. UM. Also speaking gigs and uh, you know, just doing seminars for people. UM. I do do some um private coaching and stuff like that on the side. UM. What else, Well, I'm working on the lake area, Walleye Trail, the kayak division UM, and the kayak division in the fall brawl. UM. That's not a that's not a profitable thing. That's just something you know, to boost to push the the kayak fishing sport forward and um bring some new stuff to the community. But producer, did you feel like you're ready to go kayak fishing? Now? I do because I'll feel safe, will feel totally safe. Well, he's I'm gonna throw him under the bus. Since he throws me under. I don't really want to fish either. I just would like to go out on the kayak. See, I was just gonna say he's not really gonna fish. Number one number two second slap for anybody that's like, oh, producer, dude's the best. He's a jet skier, conscientious jet skier. He is you are now I am, well I didn't have him then, back before I fished with you. Really well, that's another fun relatively interesting So in closing hair chuck, because we could talk about fishing for till oh my gosh, or bitching about things, because god, we're good at both of those things, Grandpa, but one of us is anyhow, leave us with something that you think like your one tip or whatever. Always ask guys this, And we just did one of these other day and it was like, you know, guys either freeze up when I asked him this, or they have like some great philosophical ancer. So we'll see which one it is. For you. I think I already know which one's gonna be. But you know, for somebody that's listening to this that's either thinking about getting in the kayak fishing, or maybe they have and they feel a little lost or like there, you know, their heads spinning with us. What is something that you would tell that you know, your your clients or somebody that you're consulting with to kind of keep them in the game. Um. Well, when I first got the first kayak, the guy that I bought it from, um Wade Nicholas. He told me, Chuck, leave the fishing gear at home, get the kayak out when the water warms up, obviously, flip it over, climb back in it. Learned self rescue and and learn the limitations of the kayak. Um. It's gonna do a couple of things. That's gonna prepare you when you do get in that situation because you are new, um. And it's also going to build your confidence, you know, and you know a lot of it is a mindset thing. So once you build that confidence that it's not a fact of what can I get back in where you know you can? And that's that's the most important thing. Because it can be dangerous. Um. You can always find yourself in a dangerous situation. But if you prepare properly for it, you take that danger and you bring it way down to where you can manage it and you can work through the situation and get back to your family. You know. That's that's first and foremost. I like it. I think that that's a good tip. That's a good tip for any type officially is you know, master, learn how to back up a boat or your trailer or whatever before you go out on a Saturday when everything is crazy. So simple. But I would say the second thing, um or I mean it should really be lumped along with the first thing, is always dressed for the temperature of the water. You hear that you're gonna go in it's when I'm not going in the water. Ross, Well, we're gonna put Ross in a dry suit and he's coming swimming with me this winter. He wouldn't do it. He wouldn't do it. We're gonna have a challenge raise some already...

...or something. Oh, I like challenges. Producer dude is is he is Sally. You don't know this. He's salivating right now for a video. He's just like this is any time, any time I can make Ross look dumb. Here hear this, This is my partner. Unbelievable. You'd be glad you didn't get hooked up with him. What a horrible human that That was an evil Smither's laugh too. But that's a good one. That's a good one to close in. And I like that, Like I said, we could talk about this stuff forever, and I can't thank you enough for your time, and we'll have to do when these again and check in and see where you're at, because I feel like you're you're moving and shaking and gonna keep going in the right direction. So thanks again for giving us your time, and we'll have some of your contact stuff in there if somebody wants to get ahold of you and do some kayak fishing on Lake Erie. So um, producer dude, could you help me since you're I'd probably have a cheat sheet in front of you. Wishing dot com, yes, YouTube, yes, Instagram, book, Big water Fishing, Yes. Podcast, Big water Fishing dot com a podcast, because you have us everywhere. If there's a digital we're on it right Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcast, Apple Podcast, Amazon Music, pod Bean. I think I saw us on I don't know. There's there's probably others, but those are the main ones. And if you're getting a pinch, you can obviously you can watch me and Chuck here live and direct on YouTube. Um. But then if you're working out sweating to the oldies like a producer dude does on a exercise bike, you could go onto Big water Fishing dot com and click right there to see all that stuff for the links, so thanks for tuning in. Until the next episode. We are out. We're going to the lake. I got some more work to do before the sun goes down.

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