Kayak fishing pioneer, Jon Shein, passed away on Wednesday, September 28. Shein owned the first online outfitters that catered to kayak anglers. He was a regular volunteer with charitable organizations and worked tirelessly to promote kayak fishing. After attending a Heroes on the Water, he took a nap and never woke up. Kayak Angler contributor, Richie Moschella, remembers his friend and mentor.
At the end of the 1990’s Jon purchased his first kayak and that was all it took. He told friends at the time he wanted to access fish beyond the breakers. He began to share information that he gathered on the water through message boards and became a moderator on many kayak fishing sites. In the late nineties he was disappointed in kayak shops and the industry for ignoring the sport and it’s potential. Jon took it upon himself to lead the kayak fishing movement. He worked in retail opening up shops that catered to kayak anglers and their specific needs. Never one to just sit on the sidelines, Jon got involved in the innovation aspect of the sport and from all those long hours on the water was able to come up with new ways to rig kayaks and improve on the fish ability of these vessels. Jon did it all and also contributed insightful articles to numerous magazines and online publications. In 2010 Jon published Kayak Fishing to share his knowledge of kayak fishing.
His resume is simply impressive, fishing out of over 100 kayaks and catching fish from Alaska to Baja to the Caribbean and New England. He travelled the world in pursuit of fish and sharing knowledge. His impact on the sport and his legacy will live on forever. NJ Heroes on the Water - Jon volunteered with HOW often and he touched many lives in and out of the kayak fishing community including many of the kayak fishermen and women who volunteer with us. It’s a huge loss to the New Jersey Chapter and we send our sympathy and heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
My Personal Reflection on Jon Shein
I am saddened to learn of the loss of a good friend and angler Jon Shein. Jon was and always will be a big part of the kayak fishing industry. For those who knew him or had the chance to chat with Jon about kayaks or kayak angling could tell you, you better clear about an hour off your schedule once you asked Jon a question. He wouldn't just give you a quick answer and be on his way, he would give you the answer and a whole lot more! He was like an encyclopedia on the sport and was there to depart his wisdom to everyone. I remember telling him my wife and I we're moving to Rockaway to a lake community called White Meadow Lake. On move in day, Jon pulled up to the house and jumped out of his car. He told me that he lived directly behind my house on top of the hill that sloped down to our property. He said he could kick stones at us from his yard! We chatted about the community and he helped me get familiar with the lake. Again always giving of information and his time. The last HOW event I worked with Jon was a show he put together this past spring in Parsippany. I remember a lot of phone calls and conversations about this idea and how excited he was to bring a kayak show to the area. I'm saddened that he was taken from us way to soon. I did hear that before he passed yesterday he volunteered at a Heroes on the Water event that would be his final trip. Always giving of himself and his time, he was simply a class act. He will be missed and I'm happy to have called him a friend and always cherish our times together. I know right about now, god his clearing his schedule and he's hearing a lot about kayak fishing. God speed brother, rest easy my friend.
(Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received-only what you have given: a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.) - Saint Francis of Assisi