Cape May Jamboree the Non-Tournament Tournament E-mail
Written by Chris Parson   
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 21:36

I Cape_May_NJ An aerial view of the waters near the jamboree.t may be the unique challenges and/or rewards that are specific to kayak fishing that brings kayak anglers together, no one really knows. One thing is for sure, pass a fellow kayak angler on the water or a launch area and you'll almost always find friendly conversation, shared experiences, and usually, a new friend.

Those with a passion for kayak fishing are able to continue in this spirit of camaraderie on the internet. Websites and forums have been developed that cater to groups of enthusiasts by locality, by region, and even by species sought. On these websites kayak anglers openly share their experiences, rigging solutions and even some of their honey holes. Plans for gatherings, events and even a simple get together can be found on most sites. One such site, Jersey Cape Kayak Fishing (JCKF) is a local group of kayak anglers that simply enjoy kayak fishing and promoting the sport within extreme southern New Jersey. (Cape May County has some of the best fishing on the planet) The group itself is just a gathering of friends and likes itself to a poker room and has no commercial ambition. JCKF donates 100% of its profits earned to Casting for Recovery and other charities.

Lately, some events have become far too commercially driven which almost feels like a clash with what the sport of kayak fishing is about. That doesn’t mean  these events themselves aren’t great or that participants won’t have a good time. JCKF simply feels that the event shouldn’t be centered on which company has the biggest banner.  capemay_042420102 A recent JCKF outing in the Cape May Inlet eckfs_2 The inaugural winners Judy and Jose.

Prize donations and sponsorships are a great incentive to raise money for charities and play a major role in these events. Coordinators need to show value in their event to entice some sponsors into donating. That could include anything from product or brand exclusivity to product placement. Even logo and banner sizes are scrutinized. Some companies in the kayak fishing market believe that the greatest value is in growing the sport with events like the Cape May Jamboree. These companies realize that by doing so, they expand their customer base and product branding. These companies donate freely for this reason and to support an affiliated charity. Many new items will be on display and have been donated as prizes and raffles for this year’s Jamboree.

JCKF has aligned itself with these companies for its Cape May Jamboree in October. The event focuses more on the camaraderie and friendship found in the sport and less on the event being “a competition”. Calcutta’s, prizes and various challenges are still present for those with a competitive spirit; however the main focus is to create various elements within the event that celebrate the camaraderie itself. Not just a competition.

One such element is the Captains Meeting bonfire held Friday evening. This is a non fishing night for the event and has been coordinated as a social. Participants are encouraged to bring the beverage of their choosing and mix in. The Jamboree organizers will be openly sharing all current honey holes and launch locations. The purpose of sharing info is to help put everyone on some fish while they are fishing in a new area.

sitting inside Good eats and awards. Lake Larue We fished the campground lake one afternoon.

90% of participants stay at the Lake Laurie Campground which is the Jamboree headquarters. The campground is centrally located among the best launches and honey holes. The campground setting has become a favorite among many kayak fishing events as anglers often have show and tell sessions that are the equivalent of mini rigging clinics.  It's a non-stop rotating BBQ as people circulate and share stories and laughs. Practical jokes are also the norm with the JCKF crowd.

During the Jamboree, an area will be sectioned off and participants can bring their used gear and equipment for sale or swap. There is no fee associated with this program. It’s simply another element that brings everyone together to swap ideas and items. The campground provides an indoor facility that can hold over 1000 people. JCKF uses the building for the catered seafood lunch and ceremony on Sunday afternoon as well as some workshops, clinics and the sale/swap all weekend long.

bananas The great banana mystery. Practical jokes are part of the camraderie. Race_1 We had a kayak race on the lake.

Lake Laurie Campground has been named so because of the stocked lake within the campground. Fishing the lake is strictly catch and release and is a great activity during down time from the salt water. During the Jamboree, there will be a heads up comparison of all major electric kayaks. Participants will have the freedom to test each of these models. There will be several pros on hand to handle the Q & A!

The Jamboree this year will be held from Friday, October 21 – Sunday, October 23, although many participants will arrive on Thursday and stay through Monday. Details can be found at www.jckf.net. This event is a great time among friends and for a worthy cause. The fishing is world class and the memories are hard to beat!

3_amigos Good times on the lake in the campground.

 

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