By Todd Corayer
Special to Outdoor Enthusiast Lifestyle Magazine
This week, Ryan Dubay and one very excellent reason to celebrate survival. Ryan is once again hosting his Yak Patrol Kayak Clash in Fairhaven, Mass. to benefit the Jimmy Fund.
Kayak fishing’s popularity has exploded in recent years so naturally, tournaments have been created in the spirit of competition, comradery and prizes. This is the fourth year for the Clash, a creation of Ryan Dubay, Team Member for the Feelfree Kayak Fishing Team, Pro Staff at NRS and Accent Paddles, avid outdoors-man and real life survivor.
“They saved they my life,” said Ryan rather casually. “Without them I wouldn’t be here,” he said. The Clash is his way of giving back; all monies go directly to the Jimmy Fund to support Dana Farber.We first met Ryan when he took to the south side of Block Island with Big Game Charters to kayak fish around a summer’s day and is one of only a handful of people to fish Southwest Ledge from a kayak. More than all that, he’s a survivor with more spirit than my words could express. Diagnosed with leukemia in 2009, he fought hard but relapsed in 2011. The Dana Farber Cancer Institute helped him with a bone marrow transplant which is why he’s alive and fishing today.
“It’s really a shoestring event, I foot the bill for everything,” Ryan added. In a sign of how this event has grown and how much his love for and promotion of kayaking is appreciated, the top prize is a donated Feelfree kayak. With a limit of 85 entrants, that’s certainly something to consider; Ryan gets a chuckle when people roll up in a Hyundai with a kayak tied to the roof, knowing they just might leave with second one.
There are categories for striped bass, bluefish, fluke, black sea bass and, as is all the rage these days, sea robins.
The winning striper will be measured by length and each category has three prizes, with the exception of the temporarily lowly sea robin, which has but one. Catch and release is always encouraged with a proper picture, which is why the winning stripers will be measured, not weighed.
Early notice is given here because the event always fills up quickly and should not to be missed. The day is all about fishing; there is no captains meeting, there are no restrictions on bait or lures and there is no rain date. Cumbersome are the mechanics of rescheduling so if the weather turns to hell, Ryan will randomly generate some numbers to give away all the prizes at 8 a.m. The Yak Patrol Kayak Clash happens on Sunday, June 10 at 5 a.m. at Fairhaven’s West Island Town Beach because the fishing is solid and because he’s worked hard to avoid burning anyone’s best spot.
The cost is $65 through PayPal only and you can add $15 for a t-shirt which are sold at cost. For more information or just to meet the man, email him today at [email protected]
And please buy a t-shirt to support the Jimmy Fund and cancer research for all the good guys like Ryan Dubay who hope to live a long life of fisherman, hunter, family man and survivor.