Isaac is an up and coming angler in the kayak Fishing community and is our North West Regional Editor. He currently is a member of the YakAngler Staff, winner of the 2009 Oregon Rockfish Classic, runs a kayak fishing Blog, and has been featured in other online publications. Check out our interview below with Isaac.
YakAngler (YA) How did you first get into kayak fishing?
Isaac Miller (IM) I knew there were people out there that fished from kayaks, but I had never seen them out fishing. I was a bank angler and would routinely see kayaks cruising up and down the river. I always thought "what a waste, they could have a rod going."
One weekend I was with friends at their family cabin on the Puget Sound (Washington). The cabin included a pair of SIK Old Town Dirigo kayaks. I went out for a paddle with my rod, checked the crab pots, and enjoyed being out right on the water. I had to get one of my own.
I then discovered the NW Kayak Anglers, used a SOT for the first time, demo'd couple others, and finally got my Ocean Kayak Trident 15 close to a year later.
(YA) Where did you come up with the name “The Nothing”
(IM) "The Nothing" became my username sometime in 2001. The name itself comes from the movie "The Never Ending Story" where "The Nothing" is the evil character that technically doesn't exist. It just is. I won't get into the whole story of how the name suits me, but it was pretty much given to me by friends. Guess everyone thinks I'm some sort of evil guy for some reason.
(YA) Tell us a little bit about winning the Oregon Rockfish Classic
(IM) That experience was amazing. Many of the guys are thinking I'm all beginning luck. The Oregon Rockfish Classic was supposed to be a saltwater event, but was redirected inland because of 13' seas and bar closures.
I had only had my kayak for 6 weeks, and you could probably count the number of times I had been out on it with both hands. I had only been out in the Big Blue once, but wasn't sure how well I was going to be able to fish it. But with the move to fresh water I felt like I had the chance.
First thing that morning I caught my first fish from a kayak. It was also my first largemouth bass (mostly smallies here in the PacNW). The bass weighed in at 2.75#. Only one other bass was checked in that day, and it came in at under a pound. After that it was an all day battle trying to find big trout. (there's a full report in the forums - check it out!)
The win didn't set in right away. There were the congratulations all evening, the dinner, the awards, but it still didn't sink in. It wasn't until the next morning, on my drive back over the coastal range, that I did it. I had won.
(YA) How did you start working with YakAngler
(IM) There I was, on some website, looking around, made a post, then two guys batterfanged me. I was to work for them or else! Dunno what the work is, or what I'm doing, but I'm here...
(YA) What are your future goals in Kayak fishing
(IM) Oh man. Some days it can be difficult to decipher between the goals and the dreams, like when I found a kayak rental shop in Costa Rica for sale. Mess of kayaks, rods and reels for less than the car I just bought.
I definitely want to help spread the word of kayak angling. With the second kayak, I have invited many people in my area out to fish with me to show them what kayak fishing is all about. This is why I do live video feeds from my kayak when I'm out fishing. I'm still trying to figure that whole bit out, and trying to bring more useful information while I'm on the water.
I'd also love to compete in more tournaments. I don't care what type of fish they're for. Tough part about that is the salmon and sturgeon tournaments here in Oregon are team events, usually consisting of three or more anglers. That gets pretty tough on a kayak, and I'm still working with local coordinators to find a way to get kayakers eligible for their tournaments.
Finally, fish more. I only get to fish twice a week if I'm lucky. I'd love to get out and fish Alaska with Howard McKim, Baja, Chesapeake Bay with Kayak Kevin, Costa Rica, the big stocker bass in Japan, Australia and New Zealand... the list goes on.
Ideally I'd like to find a way to make kayak angling profitable for me too...
(YA) Heres a good chance for you to plug your blog site.
(IM) Oh the blog... The Blog is not where I'd want it to be just yet, because I'd rather be fishing than sitting around playing on the interwebs.
http://yakfish.isaac-online.com is a place where I pretty much keep myself, and others, paying attention to what's going on with me and kayak fishing. You'll find I post much of the same information on my blog as I do here on YakAngler.com.
The blog is a great place to check out the videos I do while I'm on the water. I hinted earlier that I do live video feeds. People can be alerted to when the video is live by following me on Facebook or Twitter. I try to keep the videos less than 10min long so that they can be backed up and posted to YouTube. In turn the videos are posted on my blog, and occasionally I remember to load them to YakAngler.com as well.
(YA) What line of work are you in?
(IM) hehe. I'm a Fish Monger... no... really.
(YA) What are some of your other interests besides fishing and kayaking.
(IM) Before I started fishing again, I was really into photography, and I still am. Two of my favorite subjects are cars and reptiles - which lead into my other interests. I currently keep about 20 reptiles (half are my wife's), mostly snakes. I guess my hobbies are cold blooded.
(YA) You seem very active in your community, with regulations and conservation can you elaborate?
(IM) I try to keep active. There is a lot of politics around fishing in the Pacific North West, and it can be very confusing. I'd say some of my activity is just so I can remember where and what I can fish for on Wednesday, and then what and where I can fish on Thursday. It does make a difference.
Conservation is extremely important to me. I firmly believe that what we do now will affect everything in the future. Look at where are fisheries are at today. The splitshot anglers have been using for generations are wiping out water fowl with lead poisoning. Bonefish and Tarpon have been beaten down by anglers in the Keys. Salmon and Sturgeon have been struggling because of dams and over-fishing. In 2009, I only brought home two fish. I believe wholeheartedly in Catch and Release fishing.
I support organizations like Recycled Fish (www.recycledfish.org), Coastal Conservation Association (www.joincca.org), and the rest because they believe in the same things I do. The only way we'll be able to continue fishing, and introduce the next generation to fishing, is if we pave the way. Keep waters clean, and our fish will be healthier. If they fish are healthier, they'll produce more fish for us to fish for. The chain continues on...
(YA) Country or Rock and Roll?
Ok, I'll expand on that a bit more. I'm about the rock-and-roll. I usually listen to podcasts like The Fish Schtick while I'm on the water (or some KMFDM). And I'm pretty sure salmon prefer country.
We here at YakAngler would like to say thank you to Isaac for his many contributions and continued efforts to grow the sport of kayak fishing.