Hooked: Stevenson’s Love For Kayak Fishing Has Landed Her Accolades And Trophy Fish

Jamie Stevenson with a smallmouth bass

Local lakes and rivers are filled with anglers speeding across the water in large and disruptive boats in search of their dream fish.

Quietly cruising those same lakes and rivers, and reeling in fish big enough to make any angler jealous is Jamie Stevenson in her Hobie Pro Angler kayak.

Raised on a farm in Merlin, Stevenson didn’t grow up fishing like many of North America’s other top anglers. In fact, she didn’t begin solo fishing until 2018 when she took up ice fishing.

Since then, her passion for fishing, both competitively and as a hobby, has left her hooked, and earned Stevenson some incredible accolades.

“I love learning how to target new species and learning fish behaviour. I thrive off of the challenge of becoming a better angler,” said Stevenson of what she loves about getting out on the water and casting in her line.

“Obviously, the number one benefit of being an avid angler is being
outdoors and exploring nature, but the amount that I love fishing is almost hard to put into words. I think about fishing all day, I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about my next trip.”

Stevenson was selected to represent Team Canada at the 2019 Pan American Bass Kayak Championship, and is now a member of Fogh Marine and a member of the Hobie Fishing Team.

For the gifted and determined angler, the opportunity to represent Canada was one she’ll cherish for years to come.

“I was honoured to be asked to represent Canada in 2019 during the Pan American Kayak Championship. The most memorable part was meeting anglers from other countries. Men and Women from the United States, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Honduras, and Dominican Republic all participated in the event. Tournament fishing is a lot of hard work but during the event in Tennessee, Canada was competing as a team as well as individually,” she explained.

“I learned a lot from my teammates during the event. Having the chance to fish with the top anglers in the country is a valued learning experience.”

Stevenson with a pike

Stevenson spends 5 to 6 days per week on the water, whether it be Rondeau Bay, which is her self proclaimed favourite spot to fish in Chatham-Kent, Lake St. Clair, or the St. Clair River.

For those who love fishing, Stevenson says living in Chatham-Kent, or Lambton County is a blessing.

“We are so lucky to live in an area like Chatham-Kent. I may be biased, but we have one of the best multi-species fisheries in North America.”

While many prefer fishing from a boat, Stevenson has abandoned that ship for her kayak. She finds the challenge of being closer to the water, and the accessibility of reaching areas boaters cannot as just some of the reasons she loves fishing from her Hobie kayak.

“I love the challenge of sitting that low to the water and fighting a big fish.”

“I currently fish out of a Hobie Pro Angler with a 360 Mirage Drive. I can move my kayak 360 degrees and offers a stable platform where I can stand and cast.  A kayak can fish in areas that boats can’t access. I spent a lot of time looking on Google Maps for creeks and streams in Chatham-Kent that most boaters would never think of venturing to,” Stevenson explained.

“It’s a great way to find areas that hold fish that most anglers on a boat overlook.  Hooking into a trophy fish on a boat is one thing, but hooking into a trophy bass or muskie on kayak is unparalleled.”

One thing is obvious, Jamie Stevenson loves fishing, and she believes the fishing community, in particular the kayak fishing community – which she calls inclusive and eager to help new anglers achieve their goals – is one that will welcome anyone.

She believes fishing is a hobby, and sport, that anyone can fall in love with, and that can benefit a person on so many levels.

“Fishing is a hobby that doesn’t discriminate on age, race, or gender. Anyone can pick up a rod and learn to fish and learning a new skill is what makes me so passionate about fishing.”

The next time you see someone fishing from a kayak on one of Chatham-Kent’s waterways, you’ll know it’s Stevenson by the smile on her face, and the huge fish in her hands.

“Nothing compares to the adrenaline rush of hooking into a trophy fish. When you’re on the water, stress and the daily grind vanishes, you forget the world’s problems just for a bit.”

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