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Heliconia

Road Trip Angler is Set to Hit US Airwaves, July 17th

Heliconia, the video production company behind the award winning tv shows Epic TrailsFacing Waves, Chad Hoover Fishing, and Great Family Adventure, is excited to announce that its newest series, Road Trip Angler, is set to premiere on Bally Sports Network July 17th.

Road Trip Angler, presented by Jackson Kayak, is an exciting fast paced TV series that follows Jackson kayak fishing expert and influencer, Jameson Redding. A regular guest on Chad Hoover Fishing, and the long-running Kayak Fishing Show with Jim Sammons, Jameson grew up with the outdoors in the foothills of North Carolina. After discovering kayak fishing over a decade ago, he took a leap of faith and dedicated himself to the sport. Over the years, he has held many positions in the industry, starting as a sponsored angler and moving from retail, tech, and sales to become the Brand Manager of fishing at Jackson Kayak. Through this, he has developed an unmatched connection to the industry and the community that surrounds it.

Jameson loves exploring new waters, meeting new people, and sharing his passion as much as he loves fishing itself. “For the past decade I have dedicated my life to traveling to, and exploring, new kayak fishing destinations,” reflects Jameson. “Some I check off, and others have become almost like a second home. But what I take away from each trip is new friends, memories, and usually a bit more slime on my kayak.”

In the premiere episode viewers will join Jameson as he visits the extraordinary fisheries in Corpus Christi, Texas. There, he tries out Jackson Kayak’s new pedal kayak, the KNARR, fishes for redfish and trout, and visits the legendary Roy’s Bait & Tackle.

Following his time in Corpus Christi, Texas, Jameson continues his road trip and visits the fisheries of Oklahoma City, Delaware, and Tennessee. Reflecting on the first season of filming Road Trip Angler, Jameson remarks that “the opportunity to travel to new areas, spend time on the water with both new and old friends, and explore a new fishery is such a blessing and one that I hope I never take for granted.”

ABOUT ROAD TRIP ANGLER: Jackson 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.

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.

Epic Trails Trip Report: Amazonas Region, Peru

The Amazonas region of Peru; A name that conjures visions of dense rainforests, wide rivers, exotic animals, and lush green landscapes. That is exactly what we encountered as we sought out a variety of archeological sites, cloud forests and towering waterfalls on our Epic Trails episode shoot in Peru.  

Below is an excerpt from Eric’s blog post about his experience:

A short flight northwards from Lima is the city of Jaen. Flying directly to the Amazonas region capital of Chachapoyas is also an option, but starting in Jaen allowed our team to see a bit more of the regional landscape during an adventurous 5 hour drive. José of Turismo Explorer, an Amazonas local and knowledgeable guide, was our driver and living History Channel, feeding us endless information about the terrain and sites as we stopped at lookouts and vistas en route to Chachapoyas. 

“Amazonas is one of Peru’s less visited regions simply because Peru is home to so many great spots. But that doesn’t mean Amazonas isn’t just as exciting as the more famous Cusco area or the absurd mountains of Ancash, both of which I was fortunate to have just explored.”  

– Eric Hanson

My goal for this trip was to explore the cloud forest of Peru’s north, trek to see the ancient cities of the region, and see the world’s third tallest waterfall, Gocta falls. This would be made possible with the planning and support of our guide José and the Turismo Explorer team. Since the pandemic began, he has been regularly visiting archeological sites popular with tourists to find them overgrown with the decline of foot traffic. Something we would soon see up close. 

After a relaxing day at José’s hostel, Chachapoyas Backpackers Hostal Boutique, we set off for the Belén Valley. Led along a rigorous trail that meandered up and over ridges and through valleys, I learned the histories of the many Inca and pre-Inca cities that were now being swallowed up by the jungle. Muddy, wet conditions did make the trail slippery and strenuous, with the myth of the Amazonas region as being flat was quickly dispelled within the first mile of the trail. 

After a challenging first day, the team descended down into a small village en route, where gracious hosts offered a room in their home with a cozy bed and shower. There was also an amazing show of true community spirit as there was a fundraising soccer game for a little girl in the village who was suffering from a cancerous tumor—a humbling experience putting the days challenges into perspective. 

The next day, José led us out of the charming village to on a true mission–climb 5,000 feet up, ascending out of the valley and back up into the cloud forest. Along the trail were more lost cities that without a worthy guide, you’d likely miss altogether.   

“Come over here.” José said as he peeled back a blanket of vines. “Look at this. It’s pre-Inca.”   

And sure enough, there was an ancient wall whose stonework was still impeccable even after all the centuries of earthquakes, pouring rain, and creeping vines and tree roots trying their best to consume the walls. 

“There were dozens, even hundreds of rooms here.” José said. “You can still see the levels of the city. The upper levels of course we’re for the most important people.”   

The Amazonas region is a haven for those who enjoy archaeology and history. Here, you’ll find many ancient cities, impressive tombs, and cities of the dead spread all throughout the region which hold sacred burial sites. They are a spooky yet beautiful reminder of the length’s humans go to honor the dead.   

Continuing the trip through the canyons of the cloud forest, we encountered a variety of beautiful waterfalls, including the towering Gocta Falls. It wasn’t until 2004 that a foreign traveler noticed the exceptionally large waterfall and came to find out that it is the third tallest waterfall in the world! 

The Epic Trails crew and I left Amazonas with an appreciation and wonder for the region. This diverse, and interesting destination is far more beautiful than you may expect. Peru does not disappoint. It only invites you deeper into our beautiful world and the next region around the corner.   

Read the full blog article here

About Epic Trails: Epic Trails is an exciting and inspiring adventure travel media series that follows host, Eric Hanson, as he explores the people, places, and adventures surrounding the world’s top hiking destinations. Each 30-minute TV episode airs on Outside TV, 27 regional networks, and internationally through National Geographic Channel—Asia and Extreme Sports Channel across Europe. Episodes of Epic Trails aired over 2,200 times in 2020. Learn more about the series at www.heliconia.ca. Networks interested in carrying Epic Trails are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Vice-President, Brendan Mark, at brendan@helipress.com.

Epic Trails – Trip Report: Ancash, Peru

The fifth film shoot for the upcoming season of Epic Trails took place a couple of weeks ago. The team headed to the Ancash region of Peru, where they explored the region’s fantastic mountains and hiking trails.

Below is an excerpt from Eric’s blog post about his experience:

“There are few places that truly stir my heart with a wild passion. Ancash, Peru is one of them. Ancash is a region north of Lima that is home to, in my mind, the most beautiful mountains in the world.“

– Eric Hanson

Huascaran, Peru’s tallest peak at over 22,000 feet is, along with this region’s gorgeous landscapes, why mountaineers and trekkers all around the world flock to this destination. The culture and feel of the town of Huaraz, where our adventure began, is a flock-worthy destination too. I was happy to be back. 

Driven by Jose to Huaraz, I was welcomed by Virgilio, the lead guide of our confidence-inspiring team from Explorandes. Explorandes is an award-winning company recognized for its commitment to responsible tourism. Over cerveza with Virgilio, we poured over our backpacking plans at a well-known climbing hangout, The Andino Café. There, we traced our fingers along the map of the Cordillera Huayhuash and the segment of trail we would tackle – a 4-day route (truncated from the classic 12-day version) in a remote pocket of rugged mountains that pierce the sky with the snow-covered needles of Siula Grande, Jirishanka, and Rondoy. 

Altitude in the Huayhuash must be taken seriously. To aid in our acclimatization, with only one day before our Huayhuash trek, we visited Huascarán National Park and Llanganuco Valley for a hike among the Cordillera Blanca mountains. Visiting lakes Chinancocha, Orconcocha and the stunning Llanganuco, that I describe as an azure lake that practically glows in a glacier carved valley of granite. Although only a ‘starter’ for the grand adventure ahead, this acclimatization hike was a worthy adventure of its own.  

After a breathtaking drive towards the Cordillera Huayhuash trailhead, Virgilio introduced us to two more local characters from our support team, our chef Gregorio (a.k.a. Chileno), and Rosalino, our muleteer. With the team assembled and camp set, it was our first moment to sit back and admire the peaks that make up the core of the Cordillera Hauyhuash.

“These mountains are more impressive and awe-inspiring than any I’ve ever seen. The verticality of them seems impossible.”

– Eric Hanson

We embarked on an early morning departure for Sambunya mountain pass. Starting as a flat walk and leading to a steep incline to the pass, our supports, Chilano and Rosolino, both surpassed us. This was something that one might feel slighted at, but in reality, was welcomed as it gave them a head start on preparing an amazing meal for our arrival. Before setting camp, we continued down towards the glacier lake, Solteracocha, hearing and witnessing heart-thumping avalanches nearby. 

Waking at camp near Jahuacocha Lake, we learned that Chilano and Rosalino would be making “pachamanca” that day, a meal cooked underground using hot rocks. The pachamanca tradition honors and celebrates our relationship with the earth. Celebrating our relationship as a team too, we enjoyed the pachamanca and honored the trail with a hike up to one of our guides’ favorite outlooks.

The morning’s frost covered tents didn’t freeze out our goal to hike over another mountain pass (Mancanpunta) to a nearby Pocpa village. Almost as a farewell, Rosalino passed us with the donkeys as we took in the views at the final pass of our adventure before leaving the trails for the city of Chiquan.

Read the full blog article here

About Epic Trails: Epic Trails is an exciting and inspiring adventure travel media series that follows host, Eric Hanson, as he explores the people, places, and adventures surrounding the world’s top hiking destinations. Each 30-minute TV episode airs on Outside TV, 27 regional networks, and internationally through National Geographic Channel—Asia and Extreme Sports Channel across Europe. Episodes of Epic Trails aired over 2,200 times in 2020. Learn more about the series at www.heliconia.ca. Networks interested in carrying Epic Trails are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Vice-President, Brendan Mark, at brendan@helipress.com.

Epic Trails – Trip Report: Cusco, Peru

epic trails cusco region peru (12)

The fourth film shoot for the upcoming season of Epic Trails took place a couple of weeks ago. The team headed to the Cusco region of Peru, where they experienced an amazing Peruvian adventure.

Below is an excerpt from Eric’s blog post about his experience:

Anyone who has considered a Peruvian adventure will be familiar with the city of Cusco–the former centre of the Incan Empire and starting point to so many tours to Machu Picchu. What they may not realize is that Cusco is also the name of a sprawling Andean region full of snowy peaks, extensive rivers, canyons and varied ecological zones. On a mission to seek adventures less traveled, the Epic Trails team began a month-long Peruvian adventure with a week exploring the central area of the Cusco Region. This trip was three years in the making, as our tickets were originally for early April 2020, right when borders began to close at the beginning of the pandemic. It had been a long wait, and we were ready.

Over lunch at Calle del Medio with guides Porfirio and Alberto of Apumayo Expediciones, the Epic Trails crew and I quickly learned we were in great hands with this team of enthusiastic explorers as we ran through our plans for the week. Our goal, to follow the route of the escaping Incans when the Spaniards had taken Cusco: a unique and lesser known portion of the Inca Trail.

After a brief stint exploring the main square and heart of Cusco right out the door of our accommodations at Andina Hotel, we ventured North by van along mountain roads flanking ravines carved by glacier-fed rivers. Happy to explore the rivers up close, we met with Pepe Lopez, owner of Apumayo Expediciones, for a rafting adventure on the Urbamba River. We put in just below the town of Ollantaytambo and paddled some adrenaline pumping Class III+ rapids. We were able to spy Incan ruins along the banks right from our raft–a very cool perspective that not all get to experience. We ended our day at El Mangal Lodge, a remote hostel, restaurant and agrotourism (cocoa plantation) getaway all in one. There we got to participate in all phases of cocoa production (AND TASTING!) and rested well before the multi-day hike from Yanama to Vitcos to come.

A broken-down truck caused a delay (a reality of travel in remote mountain areas) but once rolling, we enjoyed the views of peaks and passes covered in stunning lupin flowers. We watched dusk slip away as we were welcomed to the trailhead by a local family with a cuy (guinnea pig) dinner prepared for our arrival. 

Embarking on the hike, it was clear from the numbers of porters and pack animals that we were going to be well supported on this trip. After a scenic river crossing, the uphill began. As we pushed our trekking limits, the team of porters, cooks and arrieros (horse and donkey masters or muleteers) always amazed as they hastily sped ahead to set up elaborate meals. We thoroughly enjoyed the catered break after a tiring day of hiking the elevated areas in the region. The Apumayo team spared no expense or effort.

“With three, four, and five course meals prepared regularly, it felt like I was on a luxury cruise liner hiking through the mountains rather than a rough and tumble expedition, something I’m not quite used to.“

– Eric Hanson

The next day was the biggest day for altitude, crossing a mountain pass to get to another valley. Along this pristine section of the Inca Trail, rather than seeing masses of tourists, we encountered a shepherd on our way up to a 15,000ft pass in the mountains. It was at this pass that our guide Porfilio sang a song to honour his father and family. The last time he had walked that trail was with his brother 20 years previous. 

On our descent, there were signs of local inhabitants as we crossed farmers fields where the Inca trail disappeared under the thick soil and grass and where we spent the night. 

After wrapping up camp, we started on our way again, crossing fields and pig farms, and encountered a local farmer wielding an old tool for turning soil. Porfilio, a former farmer, enthusiastically encouraged me to try the tool—making me appreciate my trips to the supermarket all the more. 

During the last leg, we encountered archeological sites, largely former trade route meeting places, some with circular structures designed to honor Mother Earth. I learned about and admired the precise Incan stonework that reminded me that this trail was initially an escape route. Continuing down a terraced hill we came to the end of our trek and the last stand of the Manco Incan empire; the stunning ruins of Vitcos. 

The Cusco Region’s beautiful landscapes, mountains, ravines, and sacred sites have been welcoming travelers for decades, yet on this section of the trail, with the terrain seemingly untouched and local experience so authentic, it felt as if we had discovered it all over again.

Read Eric’s full blog article here


About Epic Trails: Epic Trails is an exciting and inspiring adventure travel media series that follows host, Eric Hanson, as he explores the people, places, and adventures surrounding the world’s top hiking destinations. Each 30-minute TV episode airs on Outside TV, 27 regional networks, and internationally through National Geographic Channel—Asia and Extreme Sports Channel across Europe. Episodes of Epic Trails aired over 2,200 times in 2020. Learn more about the series at www.heliconia.ca. Networks interested in carrying Epic Trails are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Vice-President, Brendan Mark, at brendan@helipress.com.

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.