VIDEO: Meet Nate Ferguson | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
Jason Self/Pacific Outfitters

This young angler might be the future of kayak fishing.

"I guide hundreds of kayak tours and teach lessons in Trinidad, CA for Pacific Outfitters," said Jason Self. "At the beginning of the summer this kid started showing up on the beach running a fillet station for anglers. A few power boats launch from the beach to fish the area, but 95% of the traffic there is kayak anglers, launching and returning with their catch. I thought it was a genius lemonade stand-type idea that would actually make money.
I was initially just impressed by the idea and follow through by an 11 year old. The next thing that caught my eye was the dedication. I launch off that beach more than anyone, and every time I was there, Nate was there running his fillet station. The dedication, and work ethic impressed me. Over the summer Nate and I got to know each other, and I learned he had started the fillet station to save up for a kayak.
He made a deal with his parents that half of his earnings would go to college savings. I was also impressed with Nate's social skills, drumming up business with a smile. All summer long, Nate never missed a day, never messed up a fish, and ran his fillet station with the efficiency and professionalism few adults posses.
I asked Nate to run his fillet station at our fifth annual ocean kayak fishing tournament, Trinidad Rockfish Wars, where I met Nate's parents. They explained to me Nate had sever ADHD but was hyper focused rather than distracted, and the object of his focus was the ocean; kayaking, surfing, diving, fishing, filleting fish, helping out the local charters as a deck hand...anything he could do on or in the ocean, he absolutely loved, and with his ability to focus, he excels in pretty much what ever he's in to.
I was impressed by his parents strategy of supporting his strengths and interests rather than fighting his weakness or medicating him to be "normal." At this point I saw an opportunity to contribute. It's a unique situation to find someone as young as Nate who is driven and focused. I decided to invite Nate to become a sponsored athlete for Pacific Outfitters, supporting him with gear, and logistics for events and tournaments, and providing training and opportunity to hone his skills as a waterman.
After the tournament, I introduced Nate to Mike Mowrey of Ocean Kayak, who saw in Nate what I see and sponsored him on the spot. Nate and I set up his blog and Facebook page recently, and shot this video to introduce Nate to the world as well as potential new sponsors. Werner Paddles, Keen Footwear, and Stohlquist Waterwear have also enlisted Nate as an ambassador. 
Nate and I are going to work together to develop his skill as a waterman, kayaker, kayak angler, surfer, and diver over the next few years. This kid is going places, and I'm excited for our adventures to come."

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