I'm Adam Nickel, born and raised in NW PA I have been fishing as long as I can remember. Got into Bass fishing specifically and tournament kayak fishing around three years ago. I mainly fish the KBF and KA trails as much as possible. I love the fact that I get to travel so much to fish lakes that I probably never would have gotten the opportunity to fish if not for the tournament trails. My favorite place to fish is lake Erie chasing those smallies. I also enjoy archery and waterfowl hunting. I am looking forward to the 2019 tournament season and can't wait to get back on the water!
I have been fishing as long as I can remember. I have a picture of me as a 6 year old holding a couple of bass I caught in the Florida Everglades. Fishing has kept me out of a lot of trouble growing up and provides a source of relaxation for me currently. I have been kayak fishing for eight years. My first kayak was a $350 sit in, and I upgraded to a SOT the next year. My third year, I broke the bank of a fully rigged, big time kayak and I haven’t looked back. The reason I got into kayak fishing was to get off the bank, plain and simple. I loved squeezing into places that most people can’t get to from shore, or even a boat. As the years have gone by, I now kayak fish to fish new waters, enjoy the comradery with fellow anglers, and to promote the sport to others. Fishing for me, as a kid, kept me out of so much trouble. I cut my teeth as a little boy fishing the Everglades. When I moved to Western PA, I did a lot of river fishing as a kid. I moved to Northern Vain 1987 as a 7th grader, and would fish drainage ditches and small ponds that I would access by sneaking onto the property of Dulles International Airport. The last 10 years have consisted of me doing a lot of kayak fishing during the warmer months and chasing steelhead on the Erie tributaries during the winter. If I had to pick one favorite moment, it would be the first time I fished out of a kayak. I was able to get off the bank and to places that others just couldn’t get to. I had an epic day on a paddle-tail frog, boating 10-12 decent fish. From that day on, I was hooked.
I was one of the lucky ones to grow up with a farm pond full of bass and bluegill in my backyard. This is where my love of fishing took root and one of my earliest childhood memories was catching a giant bass from the pond one summer. In my memories, it was at least a five pounder but the years may have added a few ounces to that fish. My passion for fishing and hunting led me to a degree in Wildlife with an emphasis in Fisheries and I put that degree to work by developing a career in fish hatcheries and stocking fish for anglers and fish restoration projects. My career provided many opportunities to live in great fishing locations around the country and fish from the warm saltwater of Florida for redfish, snook, snappers, and groupers to cold Alaskan waters fishing for salmon, halibut and cod to my home waters of Pennsylvania fishing for black bass, trout and other species. I started competing in kayak tournaments in 2014 and this has become an obsession for me. I love the fact that I get to fish so many new waters, meet new friends at the tournaments, share information and have a healthy dose of competition to increase the challenge level. I’m easy to spot at tournaments because you’ll see me with my Jackson Cuda 12 strapped to my truck and I’m hauling a NuCamp teardrop camper which is my home away from home while camping, kayaking, and fishing.
Chad grew up in Carlton, PA where he spent most of his summer months on a buddy’s 10 acre pond catching crappie and Largemouth Bass from a jon boat. Chad’s passion for kayak fishing started in 2014 where he competed in his first Kayak Angler’s tournament on the middle Allegheny River. He finished third overall and has been hooked ever since. Chad is the Tournament and Chapter Director for Kayak Angler’s of Western PA. Chad is on several pro staffs including Team Bonafide Kayaks, NE Regional YakAttack Team, Gamma Fishing Line, The Original O-Wacky Tool, and the Raymarine Regional team. He is a fishing team member for The River’s Edge Canoe and Kayak and Fishing Online. Chad enjoys competing in several KA chapter’s tournaments and the Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) PA monthly online challenges.
Growing up on the shores of Long Island New York, I have been fishing since I was a little kid for fun. It wasn’t until my time in the United States Marine Corps that I began to take fishing seriously. I had been a fly angler for many years until an accident at work left me unable to walk correctly anymore. From that day I thought my enjoyment of fishing was over. Until I was introduced to Noah Heck and the Kayak-Anglers community. It was love at first cast. For the past 4 years I have been competing in the Kayak-Anglers Western PA chapter tournaments learning to hone this craft. Since starting out I have traveled across the country to fish in various tournaments on the National level. From Toledo Bend Reservoir, Kentucky Lake for the KBF National Championship and even tight back here to Northwest Pennsylvania for the Northeast regional open on Lake Erie that was hosted by none other the FISHingONline. But my passion will always be Pennsylvania either on the big lakes like Erie or the flowing creeks like the Kiski and famed Susquehanna River there is no shortage of great water here. While I love competing in tournaments my greatest times on the water are the ones I spend with my fiancé Tonya fishing for fun. She competes as well and is an accomplished angler in her own right but just seeing her enjoyment makes it all worth it after a long week at work. As they say, there’s no such thing as a bad day on the water.
I grew up just outside of Pittsburgh in Bellevue. I've been fishing as long as I can remember. I bought my Jackson Big Rig in the summer of 2016 and it's been my preferred method of fishing ever since. I tend to fish mostly lakes but I've started to get out more on moving water lately. I do have an admitted addiction to Whopper Ploppers which I'm trying to work on without much success. I've been married to my beautiful wife Carol, who's the most supportive woman in the world, for 41+ years. We have 4 children and 2 grandchildren. When I'm not spending time with my family, fishing, or hunting I work as an instrumentation tech at the nuclear power plant in Shippingport Pa.
I was born and raised in Monongahela, PA, but I have fished Presque Isle Bay in Erie for the majority of my life. I started fishing when I was extremely little with my Dad, but I didn’t start getting into the sport until a couple of years ago. I started kayak tournament fishing last year, and it was a perfect fit, especially because of my competitive nature and love for fishing. Kayak tournament fishing has been so rewarding with all of the new friends and their constant support, fishing experiences, and bodies of water that I would’ve never fished before. When I’m not competing, I am most likely fishing in Presque Isle Bay or fly fishing on nearby creeks and rivers!
Hi my name is Heath Mullins I’m from Alderson West Virginia I’ve always loved fishing and tournament fishing has made my love for the sport grow even more and a lot more fun I currently fish out of a Jackson Coosa FD on the rivers and fish from a Nucanoe unlimited on the lakes last year was my first full season of kayak fishing fishing in 2 tournaments I was able to put together a Roy in MSKA club and won AOY in SWVKA I also got my first win in a tournament last season and a few 2nd places finishes fishing these clubs has been amazing and led to many new friendships I’m extremely excited for this season coming thank you for such an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to help grow the organization. God gets all the glory I have a few sponsors they are venom lures which was my first sponsor, quantum fishing, and yack-it thanks for everything.
Jake grew up on the shores of Lake Erie. Fishing and the outdoors have always been a huge part of his life and made even more so with the introduction to kayak fishing 8 years ago. His favorite kind of fishing is done in his Jackson kayak chasing world-class smallmouth on Lake Erie and its tributaries. When not fishing his local waters he loves traveling around to Fishing tournaments, exploring new waters and making new friends! When not on the water he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter and two dogs hiking, camping and just being outside!
Originally from Belle, WV. Grew up fishing the Kanawha River. We basically fished for anything that would bite. I borrowed a kayak from my dad about 3 years ago to do some scouting for a boat tournament and fell in love with fishing out of it. That's when I jumped right into doing kayak tournaments. I won Cincinnati Kayak Fishing AOY 2 years ago. Last year I finished 14th in the AOY race for the KBF and 8th in the Hobie BOS. I fish out of a green Hobie PA 12 360
Being born and raised in Monongahela, PA, I grew up fishing with my Dad and friends on the Monongahela River and other nearby bodies of water and have always enjoyed fishing more than any other hobby that I have ever been involved in. In 2013, at the age of 41, I bought my first kayak and started fishing local tournaments soon thereafter. Doing so, I have met some of the most grounded and skilled anglers and have been fortunate enough to win Angler of the Year in the Laurel Highlands Chapter of Kayak Anglers in 2017 & 2018. In 2018, I also introduced my daughter Hannah into the world of kayak tournament fishing and we have been blessed to be able to spend a lot of time together doing what we both enjoy. When we’re not out competing, you’re likely to find us out on Presque Isle Bay in Erie or floating the Youghiogheny river chasing smallmouths!
I started kayak fishing in 2009 and began tournament fishing in 2013. My passion for kayak fishing really took off in 2014 with the inaugural season of the Central PA chapter of Kayak Anglers where I met a lot of folks who went on to become good friends. I also volunteered at my fist Heroes on the Water event in September of that year and that was a fantastic experience. I found out that I truly enjoy sharing my passion for kayak fishing and introducing anglers young and old to this sport.
Kyler Storm Branaum
Kyler is a Software Engineer part of the week and a kayak tournament angler the rest of the week. I live in Central Kentucky, and I compete on the Hobie Bass Open Series, BASS Kayak series and is a tournament director for the Bluegrass Kayak Anglers tournament trail in Kentucky. I grew up in Eastern Tennessee, stealing my dad's spinning rod to fish the pond on the back end of the trailer park after school and not be home till after dark. Eventually moved to western Kentucky and living near a wildlife reserve that had multiple ponds to fish from, I was able to continue fishing whenever I got the chance to. Got my first kayak 8 years ago and it quickly became an addiction that skyrocketed into competing against the best kayak anglers in the country.
I have been fishing for bass for over 20 years. Only 4 of those years fishing out of a kayak. The rest I mainly fished out of canoes/boats and did a lot of wade fishing. With most of my time spent on local rivers. With the occasional lake or pond mixed in. I would have to say river fishing is my favorite type of fishing. With not looking back threw log books I would have to say I have over 50+ citation bass out of rivers and close to another 50+ out of lakes/pond/streams. I may not be the best angler in the world, but I have spent my fair share of time on the water studying these elusive creatures we call bass. I am a pretty easy going guy willing to help anyone that needs it. So don't ever be afraid of asking questions. I know I'm not. LoL. I could go on for hours and talk about fishing but I'm not so that's just a little something about me. And for all of you who don't know me... If we share water together and you're not having a good time(not catching fish ext..) I will find you and make you have a good time(help you catch fish/make you laugh). I think everyone who knows me will vouch for that. lol Till next time, Tight Lines!
Mel Russell Ashe grew up in the Carolinas fishing farm ponds with his Dad, Melvin and his grandfather Russell. After working many years around the US he landed in Kansas City, MO. MO has so many wonderful ponds and lakes, and Mel went out on many with his friend Matt Clark and his canoe. Matt is the one that came over one day and said ” You gotta see this guy fish out of a kayak” on “Knot Right Fishing”. That was 2012…and in 2013 he was in a kayak fishing Santee Cooper in the KBF Open. He was hooked…line& sinker. Mel travels all over the Midwest, South & East (still haven’t gone West, maybe 2019) fishing KBF events and Midwest Kayak Bass Fishing Series events as well as his local club NEKKA. When not on the water, he loves spending time with his wife, Toni, and his three amazing rescue pit bulls-Remington, Dixie, and Zima. Saturdays during football season, if he isn’t fishing, you definitely will find him on the couch watching his beloved Clemson Tigers.
Growing up in rural Appalachia, it was nearly impossible to not find myself wandering around the outdoors. I picked up fishing at the early age of 4 pond hopping with a bobber and worm side by side with my father. After that, I slowly watched it consume me and become a part of who I am. I bought an old jon boat before I bought a car. Rods, reels, and tackle became more important than a new pair of school shoes or having the latest clothing brand. It wasn’t until college that I discovered kayak fishing and I’ll never look back. Whether it be musky, smallmouth, or any other species that swims there is no greater satisfaction than targeting them from a kayak. It's just you and the fish out there and may the best man win. Along my journey, I have been able to partner up with some of the absolute best companies to work with. I am a Jackson Kayak Fishing team member, 412 Team member, Fishing Online member, and the National Kayak Team Director for Bayou Bug Jigs. With the help and support from these companies I have been able to expand my fishing opportunities, make some amazing friends, and fish waters I may have never had the chance to otherwise. I'm excited about the future and can't wait to see where I end up fishing next.
Shawn spends as much time as he can outdoors, hunting, fishing, and camping. He grew up wading the creeks and streams in Western and Northern PA fishing for bass and trout. Like a lot of people, he started fishing from a canoe and then transitioned to a kayak. He started doing Kayak Bass Tournaments three years ago and loves to chase smallmouth bass, especially on moving water. He enjoys meeting new people on the water and at events and tries to promote and grow the sport of kayak fishing. He is a member of Kayak Anglers (KA), Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF), and is on The Rivers Edge Fishing Team and Fishing Online Fishing Team.
This is going to be a tough one for me, I don’t like talking about myself. But here goes. I was raised in a small coal mining town of Clifftop close to the New River in southern West Virginia. I have been told that I started fishing when I was around 3, so that would give me about 59 years experience at this amazing sport. My Dad showed me what the outdoors could provide, not only enjoyment, but food for the table. He started me out on this path trout fishing small streams where I grew up. He was an awesome man with the patience of Job when it came to teaching me. When I was 10 or 11 my uncle Frank let me fish in his private little farm pond for Largemouth Bass and that gave me the biggest infection for this sport. As I got older my competitiveness started taking over and I started fishing bass boat tournaments and I still fish a few with my sons. Then in the summer of 2016, some of my coworkers got me to fish out of a kayak. That bug bit me so hard that I can’t describe how much I enjoy this new found love. I fish with several local clubs including the Mountain State Kayak Anglers, West Virginia Kayak Anglers, and the Southern West Virginia Kayak Anglers. Also on the national level, I fish with Kayak Bass Fishing, Hobie B.O.S., and the Yak-Bassin clubs. I’m currently fishing the Pro Tour Division with the KBF also. Oh yea I’m 62 years young and I retired last November. So maybe I’ll have a little more time to fish.