This past weekend Kayak University, a get together for kayak anglers, was held at Squam Lake in Holderness, New Hampshire. The weekend was open to all comers, industry professionals, kayak fishing pros, and kayak anglers of all experience levels fished and socialized all weekend.
Kayak University is the brain child of Tim Moore; after attending Clam Outdoors Ice University, he decided to put together a similar event for kayak anglers. Unlike a tournament, Kayak University focuses on sharing the experience of kayak fishing both on and off the water. Tim’s goal was to create an event where kayakers of all skill levels could fish and talk fishing, forging new friendships in the process.
The event was held at Cottage Place on Squam Lake in Holderness, NH. The Cottage Place accommodations were comfortable with both Cottages and rooms available and the seminars were held in the spacious Lodge. The lodge was the meeting place every evening and a well stoked fire in the fire pit kept everyone up late talking fishing every night. Cottage Place is on Little Squam Lake and provided guests with easy access to the water.
In addition to guests signing up for the event, Tim invited kayak pros from all the major manufacturers, Hobie, Hurricane, Old Town, and Wilderness Systems were all represented. Staff from On the Water Magazine and Mountain Road Trading post also showed up courtesy of event sponsor Mountain Road Trading Post who provided their accommodations. Tim limited the number of attendees to keep the event intimate and allow them to have more one on one time with the kayak pros and industry representatives.
Friday night started off with a fish fry and a meet and greet followed by seminars introducing everyone to the area. Local guide Mark Beauchesne added some local color with stories of Squam Lake; he also provided helpful tips to target smallmouth bass. Mark was followed by Sue Smith, the owner of Cottage Place, Sue gave us the history of the property and passed along the local lore.
Saturday morning saw the attendees rising early and getting their gear loaded up and ready for a day on the big lake. Tim led a caravan to a private launch on Squam Lake; Tim and Sue arranged the private launch so everyone could launch in prime smallmouth bass territory.
Squam Lake is well known for its beauty, and despite some overcast weather, it didn’t disappoint. With spectacular views of the mountains and the lake’s many islands, everyone took pictures as well as fished. As the wind came up during the day, the kayakers hung around the lee sides of the lake’s many islands, finding smallmouth along the shores.
Smallmouth were up shallow and were found all along the shoreline and fishing was good despite a strong wind. Early morning quite a few fish fell to topwater baits and as the day wore on, plastics and small jigs were consistent producers. Daddy Mac Lures was an event sponsor and many attendees had success with the whisperer baits either unweighted or on a small jighead.
Saturday evening found a tired crew back at the lodge sharing a meal and talking about the days fishing. After dinner, seminars were presented by Why Knot Fishing’s Joe Gugino and On The Water Kayak Corner columnist, Eric Harrison. Holding seminars in the intimate setting of the Lodge enabled attendees to better interact with the presenters and people talked fishing late into the night.
Sunday morning saw most getting up early and heading out on Little Squam Lake; some went on an unsuccessful quest for lake trout while others targeted the reliable smallmouths. Everyone launched from the beach at Cottage Place and Sunday’s weather was less breezy which made for an easier day of fishing.
It was a great shared weekend of fishing where new friendships were forged. All the attendees promised to return next year to do it again! Tim has already scheduled next years’ event for June 1-3, 2018 and Cottage Place has already received its first bookings!