I had the pleasure of meeting Chris long before the new Aquabatics in Edmonton existed. In fact he bought my new to him Perception Pilot when i went a different boat route. Chris is a stellar angler and passionate blogger. He documents most of his on water and ice fishing adventures with his personal blog, its definitely worth a gander. Were stoked to have him on board the ambassador team this year and look forward to what the season will bring for Chris as he goes about his outdoor kayak fishing pursuits. He's a fount of knowledge when it comes to fishing and kayak fishing and were stoked to read up on his adventures in the upcoming season. Check below for twenty questions with Chris.
1. Who the heck are yeah?
My name is Chris Fonos, and I’m a kayak fishing enthusiast!
2. Where yeah from?
I’m based out of south Edmonton, just a few kilometers from the Aquabatics shop.
3. When did you start paddling?
I started paddling a kayak 5 years ago as a way to get off the shore and find more fish.
4. What are you looking forward to this upcoming season as an Aquabatics Ambassador?
I am really looking forward to being involved in the community and promoting something that I’m genuinely enthusiastic about. Kayaking, kayak fishing, and just being on the water is what I love.
5. Why kayak angling when there’s so many other ways to get on the water?
I’ve tried fishing from almost everything that floats and the humble kayak is the best. Being so close to the water and to the fish is a very intimate experience. You develop an appreciation for where they live, the changing water conditions and how the current affects things. I am much more excited for every fish I catch because I feel like I’ve earned it. Plus, actually having to paddle and invest some sweat makes it feel like a sport.
6. Do you remember what your first fishing kayak was? colour?
My first kayak was an Ocean Kayak Trident 13 in camouflage. It was a fantastic paddle boat and really hooked me on the sport.
7. If you could build the perfect fishing kayak what would it look like?
I enjoy fishing big lakes and touring kilometers with the pedal drive. My perfect kayak would be long, stable enough to stand and fast, like Wilderness Systems A.T.A.K. 140 for its long hull and many angling features but with Old Town’s tall gear ratio pedal drive.
Dad, Dad over to the right that's where the fish are!!
8. Where’s your favorite place to get out on the kayak and fish, well one your comfortable sharing with the world anyway?
I really enjoy William Switzer park by Hinton, AB. My wife and I spend at least one weekend there each season. There are so many lakes and rivers to explore that it is a paddlers playground. The fishing is pretty good too.
9. What's the longest commute you’ve made for a weekend of kayak fishing?
My family lives near a lake in northern Saskatchewan, making my longest commute with the kayak 7 hours one way. All for a day of fishing.
10. Do you enjoy overnight expeditions in your kayak? Why?
I’ve done many backpacking and overnight canoe trips into the wilderness but I’ve never taken the kayak on an overnight trip. I guess I’ve been too focused on the fish!
11. How are you pushing yourself as an angler?
I’m constantly trying to learn. When I’m not actually fishing, I read fishing articles and research new techniques to try. To anyone that will listen, I talk about fishing a lot and am always curious about the latest fishing conditions. I also write a fishing blog, StringTheoryAngling.ca, that focuses on fishing in western Canada.
12. Do you enjoy kayak fishing tournaments?
The Western Canada Kayak Fishing Trail is amazing. When I was first getting into the sport I heard rumors that a kayak fishing tournament existed in the province. At first, I wasn’t sure the tournament circuit would be for me. Based on my experience with other fishing tournaments, I thought the competition would be very serious, along with serious entry fees. After attending my first tournament in 2017, all those misconceptions went away. Everyone is super friendly and supportive, entry fees are minimal, and they are very family friendly. There is even a youth division! The kayak tournament trail is the perfect venue to meet some new friends and test your fishing skills.
13. Any new skill or technique you’ll be adding to your fishing arsenal this fast-approaching season?
This year I will be focusing more on fly fishing, especially for pike, walleye and whitefish.
14. What’s your dream kayak fishing trip?
One of my bucket list trips is to complete the Bowron Lake circuit on kayak. It’s a series of four lakes in the mountains of B.C. with great camping, views and some portages in between. If you haven’t heard of this canoe route you definitely need to check it out.
15. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen while paddling or pedaling as the case may be?
I love getting up close and personal with nature. Last year I came upon a family of Otters playing and having a great time in the weeds and on the shore. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to get so close in a regular boat.
16. What’s the best advice you would give to someone brand new to kayak fishing?
My advice would be to not let doubt hold you back. There can be a lot of unknowns when getting into kayak fishing, especially if you're coming from a boat. No, you don’t need that much gear, and yes, a kayak can take you just as far and be even more fun than fishing from a bigger boat.
17. If you could get out on the water with anyone in the world past or present who would it be?
I would most like to fish with two Canadian legends, Gord Pyzer and Aaron Weibe. They are on opposite ends of the spectrum as far as personalities but in my opinion, they are among the best anglers in Canada. I’m not sure I could get them into a kayak though.
18. Is there anything you would change about sport?
Kayak fishing is one of the fastest growing segments of the fishing industry. I am really excited to see where it's going to take us and I don't think I would change anything right now.
19. If you had to describe yourself as a fishing lure, what would it be and why?
Oh, I would have to say I would be a trusty Len Thompson spoon. Maybe not the flashiest lure the the tackle box but always gets the job done!
I would encourage anyone getting into the kayak fishing game to come to a kayak fishing tournament day. You will get a chance to meet me, Andrew, and a bunch of friendly and knowledgeable anglers.