Ontario is filled with amazing anglers. When I first found Kelly M on Twitter, I knew right away that she had an amazing passion for fishing. I also saw how she represents the companies that sponsor her and knew that there was a lot to learn from her. Kelly was kind enough to do this interview. Without spoiling anything, I will say this interview is a must read for any fishing father with a daughter. Her dad has set an example for all of us fathers in the importance of introducing your children to fishing. Also, Kelly could teach a class on how to represent companies as a pro staff. Her sincere passion for the products she uses and represents is second to none. So read on and you will enjoy as much as I have getting to know Kelly.
When did your passion for fishing start?
My passion started when I was a very young child. My grandparents and parents always had me at cottages or out on the lakes and on boats. Basically from the day I was born I was lucky enough to grow up learning and being outdoors.
Who are your biggest fishing influences?
My daddy is my biggest influence for fishing!! I grew up in my father’s passion for fishing. Every second my daddy could be out fishing he was. He took the time to teach me and give me the knowledge that was passed down to him from my grandfather and great grandfather. So so many of my greatest childhood memories include fishing with my dad.
What are your favorite waters to fish?
I love fishing any lake. I enjoy finding new lakes and trying new techniques. My heart however belongs to 2 Lakes for sentimental reasons. Both are in Northern Ontario in the Muskokas.
The first is Lake Dalrymple near Orillia, Ontario. Simply put, I grew up on this lake. My entire childhood and teen years were on this lake. It is beautiful, and the wildlife on and around it can take your breath away. From the Osprey flying over your head to the Loons and their babies floating alongside your boat to the turtle families and beavers. When I met my husband I took him there, it was instant love for him as well. The fishing is good, bass, pike, musky, and tons of sunfish.
The second is Pigeon Lake near Peterborough, Ontario. A lake found by my husband, myself and my parents. Again a stunning beautiful lake. I love it here because we spend our time there with family and great friends. My husband caught his first Musky there…an experience I will never forget. He continues to have success catching Musky on this lake and I do very well catching Bass. A lot of great special times have been spent at Pigeon Lake.
What is your favorite species of fish to go after?
I love catching all species to be honest. Every species reacts differently, I love learning what fish go after what lures etc. If I have to pick a favorite I guess it would be Bass.
Largemouth or Smallmouth. I love the way they hit, I love the way they fight, I love the way they jump, I love trying and learning new techniques to catch them. I love the challenge in finding what they want..what type of lure, what colors, what technique.
You obviously like Dunamis rods. What do you like about their rods?
This is gonna be a bit of a long answer…lol. We weren’t real happy with the rods we had. I won’t go into details. We were talking with a couple friends we met through twitter, Derek Herring and Joey Randall. Both of them kept telling us to look into Dunamis, with the promise we wouldn’t be disappointed.
We started researching Dunamis, and the more we learned the more we knew this was what we were looking for. Their 100% Lifetime Warranty told us immediately that they stood behind their rods and their quality. The look of the rods, the fact that they will work with you to make sure every rod they put in your hand is exactly what you want and need.
Then we got on the phone with Josh Phillips. The man behind Dunamis Rods. His passion is what stood out first. His passion for fishing, his passion for his rods, his passion for making every customer 100% satisfied. His knowledge, his care he puts into each rod, his desire to make the best rods out there and not make people have to take out a mortgage to buy one. The time he spent on the phone with us, the questions he asked. So many questions to get to know us, to get to know what we fish for, to get to know how we fish, where we fish, when we fish. All of these questions mattered to him so he could build us the perfect rods.
I remember the one day he called me out of the blue…lol. “Quick kell..your 3 favorite colors…go…” I replied “um ok, but why?” his answer was “GO”. So I replied “ Pink, black, grey”. Josh said “Thanks, gotta go, bye!” When our rods arrived, pink, black and grey!!
He is truly a master rod builder. He told us to take each rod, hold the handle in our hand, put the tip to someone’s throat and have them talk. You should feel the vibration in the handle. Well weren’t we blown away when it was true. The sensitivity in the rods are mind blowing. The strength of the rods are mind blowing. You feel everything with his rods.
I could go on for hours about “Why Dunamis”. I will sum it up like this. They stand behind every single rod they put out with full warranty for life. They support all Military, Fire, Police, EMS personnel and offer a 20% discount to them. They are constantly coming out with new rods and ideas. The Dunamis family and team is hands down the best bunch of people you will ever deal with and get to know.
Being asked to join the Dunamis Pro Staff family is one of my proudest moments. To represent this amazing company and the people is dear to my heart.
Who are your other sponsors?
I proudly Pro Staff for Sasquatch Lures, Drophook App and Fishbum Outfitters. It’s still funny to me. My husband and myself always said we weren’t interested in pro staffing, etc. We just loved fishing. We met the people behind these products via twitter. As we got to know them, we started buying and using and wearing their products.
I will start with Sasquatch Lures. We met Matt Meyers on Twitter. Matt is the genius behind every Sasquatch Lure made. He sits and designs and then hand makes every single lure. What first caught our eye was that he makes Musky lures. My husband’s interest was caught immediately.
So we started talking with Matt. What an awesome incredible person to talk to. His passion and his pride in what he made was amazing. He took the time with us to ask a lot of questions and also to answer a lot of questions from us. We finally had it all worked out and our first order was placed.
When they arrived, I was in complete awe. Beautiful lures, amazing quality and best of all…they catch fish. We became great friends with Matt and he even came up here to Ontario in the summer and we camped and fished with him. Being Pro Staff for Sasquatch Lures and Matt Meyers is an honor. Helping to get his lures into the hands of fishermen/women is amazing. I love people’s reactions to his lures when they see them and when they catch fish with them. Sasquatch and Matt have my love and loyalty for life.
Drophook App. Again I met Randi Barry and Daryn Dalton on twitter. They immediately stood out as incredible people. They were still at that time building the Drophook App and I became a tester for them for the app.
The Drophook App is simply awesome. You can post pictures, create and join in tournaments, they have a tackle box section where you can log all your equipment to keep track of what you have, there are tons of amazing features to this app. It is extremely well made, extremely user friendly and easy to use. The Drophook App has become a community, a group of people all share the passion of fishing, it has become a family.
The customer service if you have questions or problems is immediate thorough and friendly. I LOVE being part of this amazing app and the community it has created. Becoming Pro Staff for Drophook, I was humbled and honored that people as awesome as the Drophook Family wanted me to be part of the team. Again…love and loyalty for life.
Fishbum Outfitters. I am new to the Fishbum team. I am not new to the Fishbum apparel. When I was asked to join the fieldstaff team for Fishbum I was blown away to be honest. Fishbum is special to me. It is not only a Canadian company it was born in Northern Ontario in the Muskoka region that is dear to my heart.
The clothing Fishbum makes is so unique and amazing. Each design carefully thought out and hand drawn!! Top notch quality in every shirt, jersey and jacket. The Fishbum team….family. Best way to describe it. I am honored and proud to be part of this team.
How about the companies you field staff for and like to support?
Simply put: any company, product and person/people that I use and believe in I will support. I don’t have to Pro Staff or Field Staff for them. I do have to believe in them 100%.
Two perfect examples are Lockjaw Jigs and Line Cutterz. I own and use products from both of these companies. I believe in their products because they have proven themselves to me. I have spoken to the people behind both companies on multiple occasions and like the companies I pro staff for the people are amazing, helpful, passionate and caring. I often promote both of these companies for the simple reason that everyone out there should have the opportunity to try their products and deal with these amazing people.
As a female angler, what have you found to be the keys in successfully gaining sponsors?
Sometimes I guess it can be a bit harder to be a female in this industry. However, I think the same rules apply to everyone. I believe you have to show your passion. Passion for the sport, passion for the industry, and passion for the products you use and believe in. If you want to gain sponsorship with a company, research the company, learn about them, buy the product, use the product, know everything you can about them then promote them. Stand out as an honest person who believes in the product you are promoting.
What are your fishing goals for 2017?
My first fishing goal this year is to master the art of topwater fishing. I made a promise to a friend of mine that I WILL catch a fish using a frog topwater.
I also want to try some new lakes this year and I am considering trying to catch some big toothy critters called Musky this year.
How will I reach my goals? First..research, watch videos, talk to people who fish topwater or have fished different lakes. I will question them, pick their brains and learn from them. Then I will set my mind to achieving my goals and do so.
Finally…a big goal I work at every year is to take at least one child out on our boat fishing. There is nothing more exciting to me than watching a child catch fish. There are a lot of kids out there that for whatever reason may never get that experience. My husband and I make sure every year we get to give a child that experience.
Thanks Kelly for the fantastic interview!