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Heliconia

Season 2 of Great Family Adventure is Set to Hit US Airwaves, July 9th

Heliconia, the video production company behind award winning tv series such as Epic Trails, Facing Waves and Adventure Cities, is excited to announce Season 2 of Great Family Adventure is set to premiere on Bally Sports Network July 9th.

Recently awarded a 2022 Silver Telly Award, Great Family Adventure is a 30-minute TV series that follows husband and wife world champion kayakers Nick Troutman and Emily Jackson and their two young kids, Tucker and Parker, as they explore new destinations and unearth the exciting outdoor, and off-the-beaten path experiences, that family-friendly destinations have to offer.  Their goal is to inspire families to explore and get outdoors.

In the Season 2 premiere episode viewers will catch a glimpse into the daily lives of this thrill-seeking, fun-loving, adventurous family as they make their annual pilgrimage up to Beachburg, Ontario – Nick’s hometown. Just in time for Canadian Thanksgiving, the episode follows the family as they explore the Ottawa Valley’s signature orange, red and yellow-leaved bike trails, paddle on the Ottawa River where Nick’s love for whitewater paddling was born, camp and go mushroom hunting, as well as enjoy quality family time with Nick’s family.

There will be plenty of opportunities to catch the crazy as Great Family Adventure is distributed to over 100 million US households across the US on the 20+ regional sports networks that make up Bally Sports Network, as well as Outside TV. Between airings, viewers may access inspiring content on the Great Family Adventure’s Facebook page and Instagram account.

Tourism destinations interested in being featured on Great Family Adventure are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Tourism Partnership Manager, Stefanie Manton-Ward, at stefanie@helipress.com. Brands interested in partnering with Great Family Adventure can reach out to Heliconia’s Brand Partnership Manager, Malvin Young, at malvin@helipress.com.

ABOUT GREAT FAMILY ADVENTURE Great Family Adventure is a 30-minute TV series that follows husband and wife world champion kayakers Nick Troutman and Emily Jackson and their two young kids, Tucker and Parker, as they explore new destinations and unearth the exciting outdoor, and off-the-beaten path experiences that family-friendly destinations have to offer. Each 30-minute TV episode airs on Outside TV and the 27 regional sports networks that make up Bally Sports Network. Networks interested in carrying Great Family Adventure are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Vice-President, Brendan Mark, at brendan@helipress.com.

ABOUT HELICONIA: Heliconia’s goal is simple – to get more people outside and to help them become lifetime outdoor participants. The award-wining video production company does this by showcasing outdoor adventure and adventure travel through inspiring and educational content with industry-leading influencers. Heliconia currently produces seven unique media projects, providing authentic storytelling opportunities for every adventure and every destination. These series include: Epic TrailsEpic Trails: Mountain Biking, Facing WavesAdventure CitiesGreat Family AdventureChad Hoover Fishing, and Road Trip Angler. Heliconia has a proven formula that marries inspiring video production with guaranteed television and digital distribution, ensuring that your message is heard in a unique and impactful way. For more information, visit www.heliconia.ca.

Season 9 of Facing Waves Set to Hit US Airwaves, July 2nd

Heliconia, the production team behind the award-winning television series Facing Waves, is excited to announce that the new season of the hit show is set to premiere on Bally Sports this July.

Facing Waves is an exciting and inspiring TV series that follows world champion whitewater paddler, and globally respected paddling instructor, Ken Whiting, as he discovers the cultures, landscapes, and adventures of the world’s most amazing adventure travel destinations. In Season 9, Ken hits the road and travels to the Southern US, exploring the waterways of St. Louis, Missouri, Guntersville, Alabama, and North Carolina.

Facing Waves, North America’s first and only paddlesport TV series, is broadcast through Outside TV, Bally Sports, and Nautical Channel to over 140 million households across 40+ countries. Between airings,fans may access inspiring content on Ken’s Facebook page (@GoPaddle) and Instagram account (@Paddle365). Subscribers to the show’s YouTube Channel, PaddleTV, will enjoy a steady release of new content including unbiased gear reviews through Ken’s “Buyer’s Guide” and “Best in Class” review videos, paddling instruction and tips, and episodes of Paddle Tales an exciting digital series released in conjunction with Facing Waves.

Tourism destinations interested in being featured on Facing Waves are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Tourism Partnership Manager, Stefanie Manton-Ward, at stefanie@helipress.com. For more information on the series, visit www.heliconia.ca.

ABOUT HELICONIA: Heliconia’s goal is simple – to get more people outside and to help them become lifetime outdoor participants. The award-wining video production company does this by showcasing outdoor adventure and adventure travel through inspiring and educational content with industry-leading influencers. Heliconia currently produces eight unique media projects, providing authentic storytelling opportunities for every adventure and every destination. These series include: Epic TrailsEpic Trails: Mountain BikingFacing WavesAdventure CitiesGreat Family AdventureChad Hoover Fishing, and Road Trip Angler. Heliconia has a proven formula that marries inspiring video production with guaranteed television and digital distribution, ensuring that your message is heard in a unique and impactful way. For more information, visit www.heliconia.ca.

Season 5 of Epic Trails Set to Hit US Airwaves, June 30th

Heliconia, the video production company behind the hit television show Epic Trails, is excited to announce that Season 5 of the Telly Award winning series will premiere on Bally Sports Network on June 30th.

Beginning with South Dakota, Season 5 of Epic Trails will feature one awe-inspiring destination after another, including: Utah, Mexico, Peru, British Columbia, and Montana. The adventures range from hiking through the awe-inspiring Badlands National Park, packrafting through newly exposed canyons in Lake Powell, Utah, summiting the fifth highest mountain in Mexico, camping along the Southern Gulf Islands, and exploring the varied and beautiful landscapes of Helena.

In addition to the North American adventures, Eric travelled overseas to Peru for a month-long backpacking trip through three distinct regions: Cusco, Ancash and Amazonas. This trip was three years in the making, having been postponed numerous times due to COVID-19. As Eric described one leg of the Peru trek, “to hike along a corridor of pristine Inca Trail is a true pleasure, and I don’t know how to describe it other than to say it is a hiker’s dream.” Needless to say, the Peru trip was worth the wait.

Between airings, Epic Trails fans may access inspiring content on the Epic Trail’s Facebook page, Instagram account and blog (www.in4adventure.com). Subscribers to the show’s YouTube Channel, BackpackingTV, will enjoy a steady release of new content including unbiased gear reviews, backpacking tips, and episodes of Trackin’ Dirt – an exciting digital series released in conjunction with Epic Trails.

ABOUT EPIC TRAILS: Epic Trails is an exciting and inspiring adventure travel media series that follows  outdoor influencer, Eric Hanson, as he explores the people, places, and adventures surrounding the world’s top hiking destinations. Each 30-minute TV episode airs in the US on Outside TV,  nationally on Ball Sports Network, nationally on PBS, and internationally through a global network of channels in Europe and abroad . Episodes of Epic Trails aired over 2,200 times in 2020 in North America alone. Learn more about the series at www.heliconia.ca. Networks or partners interested in Epic Trails are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Vice-President, Brendan Mark, at brendan@helipress.com.

ABOUT HELICONIA: Heliconia’s goal is simple – to get more people outside and to help them become lifetime outdoor participants. The award-wining video production company does this by showcasing outdoor adventure and adventure travel through inspiring and educational content with industry-leading influencers. Heliconia currently produces eight unique media projects, providing authentic storytelling opportunities for every adventure and every destination. These series include: Epic TrailsEpic Trails: Mountain BikingFacing WavesAdventure CitiesGreat Family AdventureChad Hoover Fishing, and Road Trip Angler. Heliconia has a proven formula that marries inspiring video production with guaranteed television and digital distribution, ensuring that your message is heard in a unique and impactful way. For more information, visit www.heliconia.ca.

Jackson Kayak’s Road Trip Angler – Trip Report: Delaware

For the third shoot of the season, I was excited to pack up my gear and hit the road to the first state in the United States – Delaware. What better place to begin my inaugural visit to this beautiful region than Lewes, the first official town in that first state. Being a coastal state, Delaware is full of diversity when it comes to fishing. I was eager to try my hand at both fresh and salt while in the area. Home to Delaware Paddle Sports, another one of Jackson Kayak’s premier dealers, and home to anglers Matt “Trucks” and Matt Campbell, I knew this trip wouldn’t disappoint.

After settling in and having a few drinks with Trucks, we hashed out a plan for our first morning on the water. One of Jackson Kayak’s original Fishing Team members, he has this area dialed in and suggested that we hit one of his favorite saltwater creeks to target striped bass. Inshore fishing has always been one of my biggest passions, especially in the tidal creeks because it reminds me of river fishing. You have to play the tides and the currents, which here on the east coast change every six hours. You really need to plan around them. I also know how aggressive even small striper can be, so together it makes for a deadly combination. Even though this day was set to be some of the worst weather we would have the whole trip, with cooler temps and high winds, I could still barely contain my excitement as we set out early the following morning.

Armed with my medium-heavy Rainshadow Judge, 30lb Seaguar Smackdown, 20lb Seaguar Gold Label fluorocarbon leader, and some white Z-Man swimbaits we hit the water. The tide was still moving in, so we made our way into the creek with it. It didn’t take us long to start marking fish with our depth finders. Enticing a bite, however, was a whole other story. As the day went on and the tide started to flip and come out of the marsh, water temps began to warm up. This caused the fish to become a bit more active with Trucks and I both hooking up.

Hooking up doesn’t necessary mean reeling in, and whether it was the new location, semi-lethargic fish, or simply my incompetence, I only managed to bring one fish to the side of the kayak before losing it. Trucks, however, seemed to have no trouble landing fish after fish. I have to admit I fully expect the people that I fish with, being locals and great anglers, will ‘out fish’ me the majority of the time. That, however, doesn’t change my desire to figure out a fishery. But knowing that the fish were eating while I was struggling was a hard pill to swallow.

After battling it out for a few more hours it was time to throw in the towel and head over to Delaware Paddle Sports to meet up with Matt C., and shop owners Brian and John.

As I mentioned, Delaware Paddle Sports is one of Jackson Kayak’s premier dealers and it did not disappoint to see it in person. With a huge selection of kayaks, and a dedicated and community-oriented staff, it was no surprise to see it so busy when we arrived. I think one of the coolest things about being there that first day is that they had just received their very first shipment of the brand-new Jackson Kayak Knarr! On top of that, one of the first Knarr owners was on his way to pick up his kayak. Rudy Yarworth, a chapter coordinator for Heroes on the Water, had seen that the Knarrs were arriving at Delaware Paddle Sports that day and he drove up from Maryland to snag one. Being able to be a part of that…seeing his excitement…was for sure a highlight of the trip.

Rudy in his new Knarr.

After hanging out for a little while at the shop we decided to grab some dinner and hash out a plan for the following day. Matt C. would be taking over as guide, sharing one of his favorite small lakes for largemouth bass.

I try not to set any expectations when I’m on a fishing trip and to always keep an open mind. The next day of fishing, however, blew me away. One of the coolest things about kayak fishing is that it allows you to access to unique locations that bigger boats can’t reach. We drove for about an hour we reached the small lake accessible only by kayak. To be fishing a small lake full of cypress trees this far north, was something very special.

The entire lake was littered with cypress trees which all looked encouragingly ‘bassy’. I spent some time throwing a Chatterbait and topwater before swapping over to a Z-Man Zinkerz. I finally began to find success by casting as close as possible to the base of the cypress trees, sometimes even bouncing it off the trunk of a tree. Matt C. and I both landed countless fish including a few of my least favorite species, the chain pickerel. Slimy, stinky, and toothy, it is one fish I do not mind losing next to the boat! Most of the bass were small, although Matt landed a pretty nice one at around 3lb. With the scenery and the abundant wildlife, this beautiful location made me realize that kayak fishing is really is not only about the fishing.  

The following morning it was time for something completely different. Joined by Rudy in his new Knarr, Trucks, Matt C., and I launched off the beach to chase a “new-to-me” species. Tautog, or Tog for short, is currently the only known member of its genus and is found on the stretch of the east coast from Nova Scotia to South Carolina. I literally had to do a web search because until this trip I had never heard of Tautog before! You can imagine my curiosity and excitement at the opportunity to catch a new species.

There were a couple of rock jetties, or walls, creating breaks from the Atlantic Ocean to the shoreline that we had to go around on our way out. These were tipped with lighthouses that made for a very scenic and historic peddle out to sea.

Knowing nothing about this species of fish, I put all of my faith in Trucks’ knowledge and he had me step out of my comfort zone of mostly throwing artificial baits. That morning we had stopped at a tackle shop before launch to pick up sand fleas. Sand fleas are small crustaceans only slightly larger than a quarter that apparently Tog love. Having teeth very similar to a sheepshead, practically human looking, the Tog feeds on crustaceans that live in the rocks making these sand fleas a delicacy to them. Feeling totally out of my element jigging a live bait directly under my kayak along the rock walls, it’s no surprise that Trucks was the first to hook up on the target species. Matt C. was able to hook and land a toadfish, or what the locals call an “Oyster Cracker”, which I would’ve been hesitant to touch. I’ll let you use google for that one.

I was left fishless watching Trucks catch Tog after Tog. He was the only one fishing that had a motor on the back of his kayak and he was able to use his Torqeedo to maintain perfect boat position. I believe this, combined with his knowledge and experience, allowed him to stay in the strike zone longer. After watching Trucks for a while I decided to focus on holding boat position the best that I could and it paid off. I was finally able to bring one of these tasty Tog fish to the net! Having the skunk off the boat, it didn’t take long for me to catch my second and much nicer Tog of the day. At this point the weather and current was beginning to pick up, and we knew it was time to make our two-mile trip back to shore. We made our way back to the house and shared fish stories over tog tacos.

The next morning Matt C. and I met up to hit the water with Delaware Paddle Sports owners, Brian and John. I couldn’t help but want to redeem myself after my lack-luster performance on the first day of fishing on this trip. The weather was much more favorable with warm temps and lower winds, and we hit the water with high tide. After making our way into the creek a bit we stopped at the first major intersection, and after a few casts it was official…. I had caught a striper in Delaware! Using a mix between Z-Man Diezel Minnowz and a white Chatterbait, we proceeded to have an epic morning full of laughs and juvenile striped bass. Every intersection and small creek mouth produced a bite, and my revenge was sweet. I must admit, I found it difficult to get off the water that day, but I did enjoy the afternoon spending a bit more time at the shop and having dinner with the staff and everyone from the trip.

Delaware did not disappoint. Whether you’re looking to explore cypress tree filled lakes, or go offshore to check off a new species, you should consider adding this diverse fishery to your bucket list. Also, be sure to check out Delaware Paddle Sports. They truly have every kayak and accessory you can imagine, and they are experts in rigging it to fit your needs.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I found success on the same setups I’ve used all season. One of the realizations I’ve come to over the years is that I can pretty much catch anything on the same six, or seven, rod and reel combos. For the live bait Tog fishing my go-to was a 7’2” medium-heavy, fast-action, Rainshadow Eternity with 30lb Seaguar Smackdown braid, tipped with a 30lb Seaguar Gold Label fluorocarbon leader. On this we ran heavy jigheads with live sand fleas. For everything else, I threw a mix between this rod and a 7’ medium-heavy, mod-fast-action, Rainshadow Judge with 30lb Smackdown braid, tipped with 15-20lb Gold Label fluorocarbon. I found success on the wacky rigged Zinkerz at the bass lake and white Diezel Minnowz and white 3/8oz-1/2oz Chatterbaits. I exclusively fished out of the Jackson Kayak Knarr in every location. With changing weather conditions, and cool water temps in the Atlantic Ocean, I was able to stay super comfortable and safe wearing my NRS Sidewinder Bib Waders and the new NRS Sawtooth jacket. Being able to layer the NRS gear and stay dry was key with the changing conditions.

It never ceases to amaze me how awesome the kayak fishing community is. Both Trucks and Matt C., as well as Brian, John, and staff at Delaware Paddle Sports, went out of their way to share a little piece of their paradise with me. They made this trip one that I will never forget.

About Road Trip AnglerJackson Kayak’s Road Trip Angler is a multifaceted media project designed to help showcase brands and products to a dedicated and engaged audience of avid anglers and outdoors lovers. Leveraging host Jameson Redding and Jackson Kayak’s significant dealer and consumer distribution channels to reach markets across the US, this show hits the road to find the best fishing in America in the coolest regions. Jameson Redding will explore the many fisheries across the US with the businesses and angler influencers who call these regions their home. Each 30-minute TV episode airs nationally across Bally Sports Network. Brand interested in partnering with Road Trip Angler are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Partnership Manager, Malvin Young, at malvin@helipress.com.

Heliconia Wins 7 Medals at the 2022 Telly Awards!

Heliconia, the acclaimed adventure-travel video production company, was a big winner at the 43rd Telly Awards, bringing home seven statues in recognition of its excellence in television and digital productions.  

Established in 1979, the Telly Awards celebrate the top productions in the TV, film, commercial, and digital space. Last year, with the world in ‘pandemic mode’, the Telly Awards shone a spotlight on those overcoming the challenges posed by COVID-19. This year, the awards are honouring the re-emergence of the industry in a world transformed by the pandemic. Awards winners were shown to have “embraced a new global point of view” and demonstrating “tenacious creativity”.

Heliconia was a top winner in the 43rd Telly Awards, bringing home seven statues for four different media projects, including the new television series Adventure Cities. Other media projects that won big include Epic Trails, Great Family Adventure and Paddling with Ken.

SUMMARY OF AWARDS:

Adventure Cities: Geneva and Québec City won GOLD for General-Travel/Tourism for Television

PaddleTV’s Best in Class (Paddling with Ken) won SILVER for Series-Webseries: Non-Scripted for Online

Trackin’ Dirt: Hiking to the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda won SILVER for General-Nature/Wildlife for Online

Great Family Adventure: Rock Island, Tennessee won SILVER for General-Entertainment for Television

What Makes Zürich a Luxury Lovers Paradise? (Adventure Cities) won BRONZE for General-Travel/Tourism for Promotional Video

PaddleTV’s Buyers Guide (Paddling with Ken) won BRONZE for Series-Webseries: Non-Scripted for Online

Epic Trails: Backpacking Urban California won BRONZE for General-Travel/Tourism for Television

A great big congratulations goes out to Heliconia’s entire team for their incredible effort in bringing these productions to fruition, as well as to their tourism and brand partners without whom these projects wouldn’t be possible.

For more information, please visit www.tellyawards.com to check out all the incredible winners in the class of 2023.

ABOUT HELICONIA: Heliconia’s goal is simple – to get more people outside and to help them become lifetime outdoor participants. The award-wining video production company does this by showcasing outdoor adventure and adventure travel through inspiring and educational content with industry-leading influencers. Heliconia currently produces eight unique media projects, providing authentic storytelling opportunities for every adventure and every destination. These series include: Epic TrailsEpic Trails: Mountain BikingFacing WavesAdventure CitiesGreat Family AdventureChad Hoover Fishing, and Road Trip Angler. Heliconia has a proven formula that marries inspiring video production with guaranteed television and digital distribution, ensuring that your message is heard in a unique and impactful way. For more information, visit www.heliconia.ca.

Adventure Cities – Trip Report: Poznań, Poland

The Adventure Cities team recently returned from an absolutely incredible film shoot in Poznań, Poland!

While there, the team experienced a wide variety of adventures including a hands-on visit to the Rogalowe Museum (a Croissant Museum), an intense 6-kart race at E1Gokart (an indoor-karting track), and toured the Museum of Armored Weapons. Here, Jonathan got to drive a SdKfz 6, a Second World War half-track military vehicle that used to transport troops and tow a howitzer. The vehicle, which had been set on fire and fully submerged in a swamp, was fully restored by L. Col Orgrodniczuk’s team, which manufactured some parts from scratch as they were no longer available.

The history didn’t stop there. Jonathan also visited the Potato Museum (Poznańskie Muzeum Pyry), the Enigma Cipher Centre (Centrum Szyfrōw Enigma) and toured Cathedral Island tour in a 1972 Fiat 126.

Poznań is also home to a surprising number of high-adrenaline adventures as Jonathan quickly learnt. He reached deep to face his fears and jumped into a 150 ft high swing over the soccer pitch at Stadion Poznań courtesy of Joy Factory at City Stadium.

Jonathan also jumped out a airplane at 17,000 feet with the crew at Sky Camp. He experienced 1.5 seconds of freefall before the parachute was opened.

High adventure with feet on the ground, Jonathan got the full medieval experience at Pobiedziska Stronghold (Gród Pobiedziska). Here, Jonathan and the Adventure Cities crew quickly learnt that when the host told them “no soft play”, he wasn’t kidding. Jonathan dressed up in early medieval armor and took part in an ‘epic battle of the bridge’, followed by a traditional medieval feast.

From engaging museums and historical tours to adrenaline pumping extreme adventure, and everything in between, Poznań, Poland has proved itself to be one of the most surprising and exciting Adventure Cities to date.

ABOUT ADVENTURE CITIES: Adventure Cities follows award-winning travel journalist Jonathan Thompson as he searches for outdoor adventure and reveals the wonderful cultures, allures, and attractions of the world’s most fascinating urban centers. Each 30-minute episode is comprised of two, 10+minute Features and is broadcast into more than 130 million US TV households through Discovery Channel and Outside TV. Tourism destinations interested in being featured on Adventure Cities are encouraged to reach out to Stefanie Manton-Ward at stefanie@helipress.com. Learn more about the series at www.heliconia.ca.

ABOUT HELICONIA: Heliconia is an award-winning video production company that helps destinations and brands reach the US adventure travel audience. The company produces eight unique media projects, providing authentic storytelling opportunities for every adventure and every destination. These series include: Epic TrailsEpic Trails: Mountain BikingFacing WavesAdventure CitiesGreat Family AdventureChad Hoover Fishing and Road Trip Angler. Heliconia has a proven formula that marries inspiring video production with guaranteed television and digital distribution, ensuring that your message is heard by the adventure travel community in a unique and impactful way. For more information, visit www.heliconia.ca.

Season 11 of Chad Hoover Fishing presented by Fishing Chaos is set to Premiere June 5th

Heliconia, the award-winning video production company behind the beloved Chad Hoover Fishing television series, is excited to announce that the newest season is set to premiere on Bally Sports Network June 5th.

Chad Hoover Fishing presented by Fishing Chaos follows host Chad Hoover as he takes viewers on hilarious, bass-filled fishing trips. The 11th season kicks off with Chad exploring the epic fisheries and off-road adventures of Ogden, Utah.

Subsequent episodes will feature a variety of unique fisheries including those of Kissimmee, Florida, Kentucky Lake, Tennessee, Polk County, Florida, and Stafford, Virginia.  Special guests join Chad on screen throughout the season, and the rivalry between Chad and good friend Gene “The Flukemaster” Jensen makes an appearance.

There will be plenty of opportunity to watch Chad Hoover Fishing presented by Fishing Chaos this season, thanks to the show’s expansive distribution via the Bally Sports Network group of regional sports networks. Between airings, Chad Hoover fans can head over to the Chad Hoover TV YouTube Channel for a continuous release of content. Over 116,000 subscribers strong, Chad Hoover TV is home to thousands of hours of entertaining and education videos tailored for both new anglers, as well as for those who have been kayak fishing for years.   

ABOUT CHAD HOOVER FISHING: Starring funny-man Chad Hoover, Chad Hoover Fishing presented by Fishing Chaos is an engaging and entertaining fishing show jam packed with thrilling kayak fishing action and valuable fishing tips. The Telly Award winning TV series is designed to excite and educate viewers—whether or not they have ever considered fishing from a kayak. Each 30-minute TV episode airs nationwide on Bally Sports Network. Brands interested in partnering with Chad are encouraged to reach out to Brendan Mark at brendan@helipress.com. Learn more about the series at www.heliconia.ca.

ABOUT HELICONIA: Heliconia is an award-winning video production company that helps destinations and brands reach the US adventure travel audience. The company produces nine unique media projects, providing authentic storytelling opportunities for every adventure and every destination. These series include: Epic TrailsFacing WavesAdventure CitiesGreat Family AdventureChad Hoover Fishing and Road Trip Angler. Heliconia has a proven formula that marries inspiring video production with guaranteed television and digital distribution, ensuring that your message is heard by the adventure travel community in a unique and impactful way. For more information, visit www.heliconia.ca.

Jackson Kayak’s Road Trip Angler – Trip Report: Oklahoma

The second film shoot for Heliconia’s newest media project, Jackson Kayak’s Road Trip Angler, wrapped up last month. Show host Jameson Redding packed up his fishing kayak, rods, tackle box and gear, and drove from his home base of North Carolina to Oklahoma to experience their legendary fishing opportunities for himself. Below is his trip report.


When planning the filming schedule for this inaugural season of Road Trip Angler began, and Oklahoma was named as one of the film shoot destinations, I must admit I was intrigued. I mean… I knew that it was home to one of Jackson Kayaks largest dealers, Oklahoma Kayak, but I had never thought of it as being a fishing destination. As I do for every film shoot, I began researching and I discovered that not only does the state have a huge paddling community, but it may be one of the best kept secrets when it comes to casting a line in the water. Home to more than two hundred lakes and over one million surface acres of water, Oklahoma has more shoreline than the non-tidal East and Gulf Coast combined! That alone got me pumped to learn more.

Dave Lindo, owner of Oklahoma Kayak, and I began to plan out the trip and it became clear that the state is super diverse when it comes to the landscape and the fishing. To do it justice we would need to do some traveling. I wanted to pack as much as I possibly could into the limited amount of time we had, so we kicked it off by stopping in Broken Bow and then headed from there to the Wichita Mountains.

Broken Bow, located on the southeastern side of the state, is the gateway to Beavers Bend State Park. Home to Broken Bow Lake, as well as to beautiful rivers and tributaries including the Mountain Fork, it is no wonder this is a popular destination. The lake is full of Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted Bass, and the Mountain Fork that feeds it is loaded with the same, but also has several species of trout making it perfect for fly fishing as well.

Any time I travel to a new destination I try to curb my expectations. In some cases, I only have a day to figure out a pattern and get a few bites. This is where local knowledge is key. Joined by Richard Penny, the territory sales manager for Jackson, and his son Jake, who had never fished the area, we were lacking in that department. Dave came to the rescue by connecting us with one of his friends, Joel Pritchard, who had fished the area often. After getting a plan of attack together, it was time to hit the water. Armed with kayaks, tackle, and Joel’s local intel thanks, it didn’t take long to start putting a pattern together and finding some fish!

The water temps were in the mid 60s and this had the fish staging up and pushing into the bull brush to spawn. I opted to try and catch them on top and did just that. It is not often you get to hit the water on a new lake for the first time and get on fish right off the bat, but that is what happened. I never like leaving fish, but with some weather pushing in we made the safe decision to leave them biting and get off the water. That evening Dave joined us, and we hashed out a plan to try and explore the river a bit the next day, but again weather was playing a factor.

Hoping for a window to get on the lower Mountain Fork we did some exploring and found a launch that would allow for single access. This would keep us from being stuck between a put in and take out if storms kicked up. I must admit, that as I look back this small window to get on a river was one of the biggest highlights of the trip for me. I love river fishing and it is where I am most confident as an angler. Add in the fact that this river is home to my favorite freshwater fish, Smallmouth Bass, and it makes for a deadly combination. The Mountain Fork was also one of the most beautiful rivers I have had the pleasure of fishing! Lined with cypress trees and littered with boulders creating shoals throughout, it is truly a unique fishery.

Dave, being more of a kayaker than an angler, was the first to hook up and his contagious excitement set the tone for the morning!

We all landed several spotted bass, and after switching again to the Z-Man Toadz, a topwater frog, I was able to connect with my two best fish of the day. A decent Smallmouth and a toad of a spotted bass! The fish were amazing, but spending time with friends, watching someone that doesn’t get to fish a lot get excited about it, and exploring such a beautiful destination made me regret that we had to move on to a new location. With weather moving in, however, it proved to be the right decision. We loaded up and hit the road, driving four hours to our next stop.

The plan for the following day was to head west of OKC into the Wichita Mountains to fish some of the lakes that call the mountains home. Again, local knowledge on new water is so important, and Dave had arranged for us to meet up with some knowledgeable kayak anglers that hit these lakes on the regular.

I feel this is a good time to share that you will notice I am a bit vague on the exact locations of some of our launch spots. This is because I truly feel that when someone is kind enough to share a location that they have spent time putting the work in to learn and perfect, it is not my place to give out every detail. What I will say is that everywhere we fished is public and if you are willing to do a little work and research you will likely stumble across these areas, or the people that fish them, yourselves. Now that that is out the way, back to the fishing!

After meeting local anglers, Delbert Patton and Mike Archer, we decided to hit Lake Lawtonka in search of protection from the wind. This paid off quickly! Within sight of the ramp, we were hooking up! The water temps had the bass up shallow, and I managed several nice Largemouth on top again with the Goat Toadz. This was starting to become a theme. We all stuck several fish in this area, but I could not resist the urge to explore. This made for an awesome day on the water that proved to be very productive. I have to say even Dave was becoming quite the angler! This is where a newfound father-son rivalry began to spin up.

The next day we planned to head back into the mountains once again and hit a lake that had been a bit too windy to fish the previous day. A much smaller body of water, this lake only allows for smaller craft and electric, or people-powered, boats. Perfect for kayak fishing! Water temps here were much colder and the bite was different from the top water I had become used to on this trip. Father and son duo, Richard and Jake, began to have some luck and a bet was made. Now, I must be honest that I am not a finesse angler and nothing I was trying was working. The water was super clear and a bit colder than the previous day, so the fish had not moved into the shallows as I had gotten used to. I had to make some adjustments. After playing with some color combinations, I found success with a chatter bait and, while the window was small, the bite turned on!  It was short but sweet.

After losing my best fish of the day I was a little bitter, but it was time to head back to the launch and see who had won – father or son. Being named judge in the little tournament I looked over the fish and declared that while Jake had bigger fish than his dad, and Richard had caught more. I, however, had out-fished them both. It was only fitting that they both endure the punishment. What’s the punishment, you ask? Well… you’ll just have to tune in to see.

Dave had one more adventure up his sleeves and lead us on a short hike into the mountains and through a field of boulders that proved Oklahoma would live up to everything he had told me about. Such a diverse and surprisingly fishy state.

To quickly touch on what worked for us on this trip it was mostly topwater with the Goat Toadz from Z-Man paired with 30lb Seaguar Smackdown Braid tipped with Seaguar’s 20lb Gold Label fluorocarbon leader. I threw this on a Medium Heavy 7’ 2” fast action Rainshadow Eternity blank. My other go to was a 7’ medium heavy Rainshadow Judge which has a moderate/fast action. The bait I used on this setup was the 1/2 oz Z-Man Jackhammer Chatterbait in various colors on 30lb Seaguar High Vis Smackdown and I tipped it with 20lb Gold label again. We mixed in some various finesse presentations as well, but those were the top producers from me by far! We fished out of a variety of Jackson Kayaks, but I found myself in the JK Knarr which handled all the different scenarios perfectly.

Throughout the years, kayak fishing and spending time on the water with friends, old and new,  has always filled my heart, and this trip did just that. If you haven’t yet loaded up your truck with some kayaks and gear and put Oklahoma in the GPS, I strongly encourage you to consider it the next time you are looking for an adventure! I know I will be back.

About Road Trip AnglerJackson Kayak’s Road Trip Angler is a multifaceted media project designed to help showcase brands and products to a dedicated and engaged audience of avid anglers and outdoors lovers. Leveraging host Jameson Redding and Jackson Kayak’s significant dealer and consumer distribution channels to reach markets across the US, this show hits the road to find the best fishing in America in the coolest regions. Jameson Redding will explore the many fisheries across the US with the businesses and angler influencers who call these regions their home. Each 30-minute TV episode airs nationally across Bally Sports Network. Brand interested in partnering with Road Trip Angler are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Partnership Manager, Malvin Young, at malvin@helipress.com.

We’re Hiring! Sales Assistant (Part-Time)

Interested in joining a cutting-edge production company that produces adventure travel television shows around the world?  Heliconia is currently looking for:

Sales Assistant

Part-time (20 hours per week) with potential to full-time, starting at $20/hr

Location: Beachburg, ON (in house position) with opportunity for hybrid work

Start date: Immediate Start

Job Purpose:  Acting in a supporting role to the Tourism Partnership Manager, the Sales Assistant will be tasked with searching and locating pertinent information to help progress the sales and sponsorships of various Heliconia projects. In particular, the Sales Assistant will do research, using various sources (mostly online) to locate new sales leads and opportunities, and to obtain the appropriate contact information for the sales department. The Sales Assistant will also be responsible for helping with sales automation, database upkeep, and other various sales-related duties.

Sales Assistant Job Duties:

  • Research to find new sales leads and opportunities for the sales team
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date database
  • Create sales flow templates and coordinate the automation of email campaigns
  • Work collaboratively with sales & marketing staff
  • Report directly to the Tourism Partnership Manager
  • All other duties as assigned

Skills/Qualifications:

  • Motivated by finding vital information. Must have a “hunter” mentality
  • Excellent ability and use of the internet
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Strong organization (task/time management, prioritization, ability to quickly locate information as requested)
  • Knowledge of global geography
  • Knowledge and interest in outdoor activities a bonus
  • Sales interest and/or expertise an asset

Please send your resume and cover letter to the Betterteam online application portal by May 30th :

https://helipress.betterteam.com/sales-assistant

Only candidates considered for an interview will be contacted. Candidates who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, a person of colour, LGTBQ2S+, and/or a person with a disability are encouraged to apply.

About Heliconia

Heliconia is an award-winning video production company that helps destinations and brands reach the outdoors and adventure travel audience. The company produces a varied and growing number of unique media projects, providing authentic storytelling opportunities for every adventure and every destination. These series include: Epic Trails, Facing Waves, Adventure Cities, The Great Family Adventure, Chad Hoover Fishing and the Road Trip Angler. Heliconia has a proven formula that marries inspiring video production with guaranteed television and digital distribution. For more information, visit www.heliconia.ca.

Chad Hoover Fishing – Trip Report: Stafford, Virginia

Filming for Season 11 of Chad Hoover Fishing has officially wrapped up with the last episode captured in Stafford, Virginia.

In this episode Chad is kayak fishing on rivers, creeks, and lakes in search of that addictive spring bass bite.

While in Stafford, Chad is joined by local anglers to float down the meandering Rappahannock River where they hook up with some smallmouth bass. The historic and scenic river brought the kayak anglers to spots with whitewater, creating some entertaining moments and an opportunity for Chad to share some safety tips.

Also while in Stafford, Chad connects with the YakAttack crew to find out what new products they are working on. Together, they hit the water and get their scales ready to weigh in 7-pound large mouth bass! 

ABOUT CHAD HOOVER FISHING: Starring funny-man Chad Hoover, Chad Hoover Fishing is an engaging and entertaining fishing show jam packed with thrilling kayak fishing action and valuable fishing tips. The Telly Award winning TV series is designed to excite and educate viewers—whether or not they have ever considered fishing from a kayak. Each 30-minute TV episode airs nationwide on Bally Sports Network. Brands interested in partnering with Chad are encouraged to reach out to Malvin Young at malvin@helipress.com. Learn more about the series at www.heliconia.ca.