(AKA Prof. Salt)
YakGear Brand Ambassador Glenn Madden grew up on the Texas coast and has always loved fishing. He fished offshore from powerboats for 30 years in all capacities before realizing that kayaks could be used to catch all the fish a person could want. For the past six years, Glenn has worked to hone his craft and teach others how to do the same.
As an associate professor of surgical technology, Glenn runs the Allied Health department and Surgical Technology program at Del Mar College (hence the “Professor” part of his nickname). It’s a demanding job, but it allows for a relatively flexible schedule. And that means the best fishing days can, at least in theory, be spent on the water. This job flexibility, paired with his constant longing to heed the call of the open water, has meant 250-350 offshore paddling miles each year. Yes, that’s a lot, but Glenn said he loves paddling in the solitude and harshness of a place that most folks never choose to visit. The beauty and clarity of the open water is matched by the big fish and mammals that can be found there. From his kayak he has been lucky enough to encounter manta rays, whale sharks and many of the toothier shark species, along with a variety of game fish. He is constantly on the lookout for new experiences with wildlife that can be encountered offshore.
At one point, Glenn and some friends were comparing fishing reports on the beach. A few of them, jokingly skeptical of his stories, suggested he use a video camera to back his words. He liked the idea. Well, one camera turned into two (and sometimes three) and a new hobby developed. As Glenn learned how to edit video, his audience grew from a few friends to a much larger circle. YouTube served as a great launch point for his videos, which have helped him reach out to more people he ever dreamed possible.
Until 2016, there were no electronics on Glenn’s kayak. He relied solely on what he knew about the fish to locate and catch them, and there was rarely a shortage of fish coming aboard the yak. Then he began using a fish-finder/GPS unit. The added information helped him target fish much more efficiently and selectively. He always packs a large insulated fish bag in his kayak, and frequently returns with heavy loads of fish. At one point, when the family freezer became full, he started sharing his catches with needy folks. That has proven to be a truly rewarding experience. Next time you catch a bunch, Glenn encourages giving this a shot. You’ll not only earn some great “feel-good” points, but you’ll help out folks who could really use the assistance.
One day Glenn received a phone call from a well-known friend in the kayak community who asked if he would be interested in working with YakGear. He said he was happy to accept, and that he knew the company made quality products — many of which he was already using on his kayak.
“They employ local workers and listen to feedback from the folks who use their products on the water,” he said. “YakGear truly is a family of kayak enthusiasts, and I am proud to be counted as a member of that family.”