Between pre-registrations and folks who participated in the daytime activities, more than 600 kayak fishing enthusiasts were in attendance. They came to check out the kayak fishing boats, gear, accessories, and apparel on display in the Vendor Village, to attend the workshops and demonstrations, and to make new friends.
Boondoggle weekend festivities began Friday night with a Meet-and-Greet at the Big Lagoon Amphitheater, where first-time Boondogglers met and veteran Boondogglers renewed their friendships. After a hot breakfast prepared by Boondoggle staff members, kayak anglers hit the water for a morning of chasing fish.
Spencer Jones of YakAngler.com "What a great experience for my first boondoggle, my first sleigh ride with this doormat".
Tony Hart of FeelFree Kayaks called the Kayak Fishing Boondoggle™ a "Rip-roaring helluva bash spent with like-minded individuals coming together to have a good time".
Many fished the entire day. Others returned to attend the educational workshops and demonstrations or visit the Boondoggle’s Vendor Village, where exhibitors displayed their products and talked shop. Meanwhile, members of Heroes on the Water (HOW) grilled up burgers to raise funds for the local chapter.
View of Vendor Village from the ampatheater
Vendor Village street view
Boondogglers enjoyed a hot dinner catered by Sally’s Island Catering, followed by a raffle with prizes including kayaks, paddles, fishing gear, and a variety of accessories. A portion of the proceeds from the raffle helps Heroes on the Water provide our nation’s injured military personnel with the rehabilitating benefits of kayak fishing. Country music singer Caryn Womack entertained the crowd for the remainder of the evening.
Caryn Womack playing during dinner Saturday night
Boondogglers getting pumpped during the raffle
“Since we started the Kayak Fishing Boondoggle™ in 2008, our goal has remained the same: to provide a fun and educational experience for kayak fishing enthusiasts, and expose newcomers to the adventures of camping and kayak fishing,” said Mark Watanabe, one of the Boondoggle’s founding members. “This is the first time we’ve offered additional activities like the workshops and exhibitor booths, and we’re pleased that they’ve been well attended.”
Jerron Wosel from Austin Kayak commented, “If I could ever recommend a family-style event for kayak anglers of all experience levels, the Boondoggle is the one I would encourage you to attend.”
Thank You Kayak Fishing Boondoggle™ Sponsors and Exhibitors
The Boondoggle staff would like to thank Tina Morrison, Director of the Perdido Key Chamber of Commerce, for reaching out to us and sponsoring the event. We also very much appreciate Big Lagoon’s park manager Geoffrey Davidson for his warm welcome and hospitality. Heartfelt thanks to the generous organizations who signed on as Boondoggle sponsors and exhibitors. The Columbus Day weekend sponsors included: Platinum level – Hook1, Native Watercraft and Unfair Lures; Gold level – Austin Kayak, Hobie Kayaks, NRS, and Southern Vacation Rentals; and Silver level – Bass Assassin, Bending Branches, Bull Bay Rods, Feel Free, Fish Wraps, Hurricane Kayaks, Ice Mule Cooler, Jackson Kayak, Feel Free Kayaks, Manley Rods, NuCanoe, Pensacola Kayak & Sail, Redzone Apparel, YakAttack, and Yangler.
The next Kayak Fishing Boondoggle™ will take place at Crooked River State Park in St. Mary’s, GA over President’s Day weekend, February 2014. For complete details, visit www.kayakfishingboondoggle.com.
View all the event photos on the Kayak Fishing Boondoggle™ Facebook Page
About the Boondoggle™: The Kayak Fishing Boondoggle™ is a premier, four-day kayaking, fishing and camping event with several hundred participants. The extended holiday weekend provides an escape for kayak fishing enthusiasts looking to relax, hang out, and fish with like-minded individuals. The Boondoggle venue allows us to provide you with the opportunity to engage an enthusiastic group of kayak anglers from across the nation, to broaden your reach, and to build lasting relationships with potential customers.