Team Member Profiles: (pictured left to right)
Jim Leisy – Jim lives in Wake Forest, NC and is passionate about promoting kayak fishing throughout NC. He is an active board member of NCKFA and regularly gives kayak fishing seminars at the Chapel Hill and Raleigh stores. Jim has been an avid fisherman his whole life but entered the world of kayak fishing in 2002 when he sold his 20 foot Key West boat. Kayak fishing opened a whole new world to Jim. He feels that you become a better fisherman on a kayak since you really have to do your homework first. This is because you cannot cruise around the whole body of water anymore looking for fish like he used to do with his outboard boat.
At first, Jim mostly fished the local lakes and the coastal backwaters. It wasn’t until he moved to Georgia and became involved with the Georgia Kayak Fishing Association that his kayak fishing experiences started to broaden with the introduction of chasing large striped bass in Lake Lanier and Carter’s Lake from the kayak. From that experience he started to head up to Kiptopeake, Va and tackle the large migrating saltwater stripers from his kayak. His largest is a 39 lber that he landed in 2010. The other species that he loves to fish for from his kayak is the flounder. In 2012, Jim won the Flounder Division at the NCKFA Oak Island tournament and then placed 2nd in the NCKFA Spots( Redfish) and Specks tournament the following month. You can contact Jim through the NCKFA website www.nckfa.com or come to one of his kayak fishing seminars at GOPC stores in Raleigh and Chapel Hill.
Jerry “Capt. Jerry” Dilsaver – Jerry is the newest member of the GOPC Kayak Fishing Team and came to kayak fishing after a very successful career in king mackerel fishing, where he earned a Southern Kingfish Association National Championship, a U.S. Anglers Association Angler of the Year Award and induction into the Southern Kingfish Association Hall of Fame. He finds the pace of kayak fishing to be relaxing, but exciting in its own way. It didn’t take but one time of being dragged down a small creek and bounced off a dock by a determined over slot puppy drum and he was hooked.
The determination and skills that earned Jerry numerous kingfish tournament wins have already propelled him to the forefront of kayak fishing in his home waters around Southport at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. He is new to kayak tournament fishing, but has a history of success that promises he will be a contender at any event he enters.
Jerry is also a well-known outdoor writer and photographer. His articles and pictures have appeared in numerous publications including North Carolina Sportsman, South Carolina Sportsman, FLW Outdoors and more. His weekly fishing and outdoor reports are heavily read in several North Carolina newspapers and on-line. He is also a prominent speaker at fishing seminars throughout the Carolinas and tirelessly strives to promote fishing. He really loves to share his enthusiasm and excitement with fishing, and especially kayak fishing, with all who will listen.
Mike Callahan – Hailing from Greensboro, NC, Mike’s earliest fishing memory is with his Granddad in West Palm Beach, Fla. His father in-law gave him his first flyrod a Browning Sila-Flex. He has been pretty much flyfishing exclusively for 25 yrs. Mike got his 1st kayak in ‘02 and 4 yrs later got a Sit-On-Top which greatly increased his options. From stripers & shad on the Roanoke to smallmouth on the New to redfish & specled trout on the coast, if Mike can get close, he can usually catch ‘em. New to the Tournament scene Mike hopes to become a worthy adversary, much like the fish we all pursue. Married w/2 teen girls (more interested in boys than fish) both girls love to paddle. Mike’s most recent favorite saying: “There’s no place like this place, anywhere near this place… so this must be the place”.
Bo Anders – Bo is a native of central Kentucky where he spent the first 22 years of his life chasing smallmouth in local streams, largemouth in regional lakes, and everything else in between. He relocated to Huntersville, NC, in 2004, but didn’t begin kayak fishing until 2008 when he purchased a small sit-on-top from a coworker on a whim. It took one trip to the lake and the discovery of a local fishing blog (ncangler.com) to convert him to a paddle fisherman. He’s fished every available weekend since, launching his excursions in driving rain, blistering sun, and skim ice conditions year round. He is married to his wife Amanda who is wonderfully understanding of the addiction that is kayak fishing.
Gwen Crabtree – Gwen resides in Charlotte where he is the assistant manager and paddlesports manager for the Charlotte location of Great Outdoor Provision Company. While Gwen has fished for as long as he can remember, he’s relatively new to the sport of kayak fishing having purchased his first fishing kayak about a year ago. However, don’t let his relative newness to the sport fool you. Gwen has entered four kayak fishing tournaments in the past year and recently won the North Carolina Kayak Fishing (www.nckfa.com) Battle in the ‘Boro fly fish division. You can follow Gwen’s kayak fishing adventures on Twitter, just look for @CLT_Kayaker
Jameson Redding – Jameson is a North Carolina native who has spent several years between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Gulf Coast. His passion for fishing and the outdoors is a life-long devotion. After meeting his wife and moving back to his hometown in Wilkes County, just a couple miles from the Yadkin River, it did not take long for him to realize the potential for kayak fishing in his own back yard. He has dedicated the last several years of his life exploring the sport of kayak angling by fishing tournaments, guiding, and promoting kayaking in and around his hometown. His goal is to catch as many different species from his kayak as possible. He currently spends his time fishing tournaments and launching his social website – www.anglershare.com – for anglers to share their fishing experiences. He seizes every opportunity to get on the water and embraces the challenge of each new catch. When not fishing, you can find Jameson working a few weekends a month at the Winston-Salem GOPC.