For many anglers, transitioning from shore fishing to a boat means that the places to fish become endless. Shore fishing is a great place to start and is certainly preferred by anglers that are fly fishermen or float anglers. However, at times it can be congested and nothing brings freedom than hitting the open water.
Canadian X Zone Pro Staff Josh Hedden just purchased his first boat and we caught up with him to find out how this change will impact his fishing this season.
Q: Who taught you how to fish and how old were you?
A: My father and Grandfather always took me and my brother out fishing when I was around 6-7 years old. Panfish was the fish of choice as it was easy for us to catch them and from that point I fell in love with fishing.
Q: What are some of your fondest memories of fishing?
A: Some of my most fondest memories have to be being at the cottage and waking up at dawn to go out with my Dad when I was really young. That is always something I will remember, the smell of the lake, the sound of nature, there was something about it that I couldn't resist. Some more recent memories I have is seeing the smile on other peoples face when they catch fish, I think I get more excited than they do.
Q: What was it like as a shore fisherman? How did X Zone Lures help you? Any highlights to mention?
A: Being a shore fishermen has its challenges. Driving from spot to spot in hopes that it isn't blown out or full of garbage. Walking miles to find the perfect spot, then to return the next day and have 10 other people there. But being a shore fishermen is great to get out with people and build bonds while out enjoying something together. I found when the body of water was extremely pressured with other anglers that is when I tied on a drop shot rigged with a #309 Slammer that I was going to crush them. I think the best highlight I've had shore fishing was a few years ago in mid September. I was casting out a LIVETARGET golden shiner rattle bait and ripping it back. I ended up with 22 largemouth bass 3lbs-5lbs in one hour.
Q: How did you get into tournament fishing?
A: A couple of years ago I was out fishing with my friend Nick Galotta. I had asked what it was like fishing tournaments and he offered to take me out with him for one. That day we had so much fun and the sense of competing was like no other. It wasn't just you and the fish anymore. Trying to figure out how to catch them is one thing but catching them better than the other anglers was another. I was hooked! I still have much to learn when it comes to tournament fishing, but I love the sport and always have fun when fishing an event!
Q: You are making the transition from co-angler to angler this year, tell me a bit about your boat and why you made the switch?
A: I recently purchased my first boat, which is extremely exciting! I made the switch so I could take my family out on the water more. There is only so much you can do from shore and everyone knows some of the best fishing you will do is out on the lake! The boat is a Starcraft select 160 V Hull. I originally wanted a bass boat, but after only using tinners when I was a kid I wanted some practice. I knew I'd be getting some dings on it so I favoured getting an aluminum boat. And the Mod-V is to handle the Great Lakes and Niagara rivers a little better on windy days. I made sure to fully rig this boat with a 21 gallon live well, 2 Humminbird Helix units and a Minn Kota Terrova with spot lock and i-pilot. I can't wait to see what this boat can do!
Q: Why do you like X Zone Lures compared to competitive products?
A: I prefer X Zone Lures for the way they move in the water and it drives fish insane! With so many colours to choose from I have an option for every condition I face out on the water. I have complete faith in these baits and it is always one of the first things I throw out there to catch fish. The hand poured plastic are soft and very durable, which is key at saving me some money by not burning through a pack of baits. They have not let me down yet!
Q: What are you plans for the 2017 season.
A: I plan on getting some serious time on the water with my family as a boater learning as much as I can! I also plan on stepping up in the tournament field doing some TBBA and LETS tournaments, I'm very excited to step up and see what the year is going to bring!
Take a look at the video that Josh made last season fishing with X Zone Lures from shore.
Written by Shelley Langley, the expressions and opinions are that of the author's.