Author Archives: Trent Jonas

I love fishing, cookies, and being a dad. Most of the time.

Christin Kruger: Bringing People Together with Fishing

When Christin Kruger (@ckrugerr on Instagram) was visiting Zimbabwe a couple months ago, she hooked into and boated a couple of 90-pound vundu — a catfish and the largest freshwater species in southern Africa — on Lake Kariba. “I don’t want to brag or anything, but I’m pretty sure they were bigger than the one that […]

Ken Tanaka has a wish4fish

Ken Tanaka (@wish4fish on Instagram), who grew up in North Carolina, has been reeling since he was four years old. “It was a major thing I did with my father,” he says. “And I’ve always been very technical about fishing — even with conventional gear.” As his career — as a DJ and also in […]

Bull reds with Brandon Simon

“A tuna just jumped right in front of me!” Brandon Simon exclaimed over the phone. I thought he’d told me that he was fishing from the beach. “I am,” he said. The pharmacy manager from Santa Claus, Indiana — who now lives in South Walton, Florida — explained that blackfin tuna come in close to […]

Deneshia Larson has a Natural Addiction

Deneshia Larson (@TheNaturalAddictionTV on Instagram) lives in Georgia — just north of Atlanta — but she grew up outside of Savannah. “My parents divorced when I was two,” she says. “And I was the oldest grandchild, so my Papa started taking me out fishing and then hunting when I was 4-5 years old.” Despite her […]

Emma Brown: Rocky Mountain Fly

Emma Brown (@EmmaBrownTrout on Instagram) has been fishing since she could walk. “Well, I’d stand in the river next to my dad, anyway” she says. “I was always outdoors, always near the river.” Emma didn’t pick up her own rod and reel until she was eight years old. Of course, it was a fly rod. […]

Happy Payne’s Happy Place

Although Happy Payne (@thehappypayne on Instagram) was born in White Plains, New York, she grew up in Houston, Texas and settled in the Nashville area more than two decades ago. Nashville is where she met her husband, photographer Adrian David Payne, who also happened to introduce Happy to fishing. “I started fishing about 10 years […]

Jess Pless: Fishing to soothe the soul

As a native of Central Florida — “just south of Ocala National Forest” — Jess Pless (@bikiniwahine on Instagram) grew up reeling in freshwater. “I think my dad taught me when I was like two years old,” she says. “We’d hit the local ponds and go up into the Ocala Forest to fish.” Jess got […]

Fly/Fishing with Courtney Gandy

Courtney Gandy is an avid saltwater reeler. She loves both inshore and offshore fishing. She grew up fishing in the ocean and has been doing it her whole life. And Courtney (@Quart_nay on Instagram) lives in… Phoenix?! But wait — there’s much more to this story. You see, Courtney just moved to Phoenix a few […]

Feelin’ the reelin’ rush with Emma Calantoni

Emma Calantoni (@EmmaCalantoni on Instagram) was “accidentally born” in Lakeland, Florida. “My parents were on vacation and my mom went into labor,” she says. Once Emma was ready to travel, the family headed back to their home in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. “I’ve been fishing for as long as I can remember,” Emma says. “I remember fishing […]

Reelin’ (and releasin’) sharks with Morgan Matson

Although she was born and raised in Miami, Morgan Matson (@morganmatson on Instagram) has only been chasing sharks for the last couple years. “I’ve fished for most of my life, but I didn’t start fishing for sharks until 2016, when I met my boyfriend [@acksharks] on Nantucket. I was at the beach and saw him […]

Hannah Kramer: The Redheaded Angler

Growing up as a kid in Colorado, Hannah Kramer (@redheaded_angler on Instagram) fished but would “get bored after like 20 minutes.” It was not until after her father passed away three years ago that Hannah picked up a rod again. “He was a huge fly angler,” she says. “About a year after he passed away, […]

Krysten Potega: Chasing the Next Big One

Although Krysten Potega (@KrystenPotega on Instagram) has hooked into a 20-inch tiger muskie and pulled a 40-incher up through the ice, she isn’t satisfied. “I want to get a decent-sized muskie in open water,” she says. The Northern Illinois native — now a resident of Wisconsin — has been fishing “since before I could walk, […]

Yak-in’ it up with Chris Santoro

“If I could only ever fish one body of water,” says Chris Santoro, “It would be the Susquehanna River. It’s different every time you go out, and each time I’m fishing it, I have to re-learn it.” Chris (@yakfishChris on Instagram) has been fishing  since he was five or six years old. He started with […]

Sarah Ball: Local Reeler

Sarah Ball (@chimmyfish on Instagram) was born and raised in the Sarasota, Florida area. Today, she still lives across the street from her childhood home. “I grew up in Sarasota, my whole family was from the area,” Sarah says. “But my parents didn’t fish. They didn’t even like the beach.” Sarah didn’t start fishing until […]

Shelby Callison: A ‘reel’ cowgirl

Although she just earned a BS in Agriculture (with honors, no less) from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC), Shelby Callison (@ShelbyCallison_ on Instagram) wants to work in the marine industry. “I’m planning on moving to South Florida in a few months, and I’m hoping to find something down there,” she says. “If I don’t find […]

Reeling In Amelia Island’s Treasures with Drake Bordnick

For the past three years, Drake Bordnick (@DBordyFishing on Instagram) has been a guide on Amelia Island — a spit of sand off Florida’s Atlantic Coast near the Georgia border. Amelia has a long history of pirate occupation — Luis Aury, Jean Lafitte, Captain Kidd, Blackbeard — and tales of ghosts and buried treasure abound. […]

Abigale DeVane: ‘Reel’ Blonde, Real Angler

Before settling down in the Tampa, Florida area, Abigale DeVane (@ReelBlondeAngler on Instagram) “lived all over the place,” including gorgeous fishing hotspots like Montana. “I was an Air Force kid,” she says. “But I’ve lived in Plant City the longest of anywhere.” Abigale has been fishing almost all her life. “I would go out all […]

Lolo and Alex: Ambassadors for African Sport Fishing

Alex and Laureline Houdaille (@sportfishingduo on Instagram) make their home in Douala, Cameroon. Laureline — who goes by “Lolo” — is originally from France. “I was born in France but I’m the second generation living in Cameroon,” says Alex. Alex doesn’t remember how he exactly he got started fishing: He’s been doing it his whole […]