Waterways Staff Series: A New Perspective

Morgan Cole Dean shows off his latest catch.Being raised next to the Mississippi river delta in Southeast Missouri, I took my first cast with a Zebco 33 at 3 years old and haven’t stopped fishing since. From bank fishing for catfish in the summer with friends to crappie fishing the spillways in the spring with my grandad, I cherish each memory made in those moments.

As a child, being raised to catch and clean our own game were fundamental parts of our family traditions. Passed down through generations, these teachings are what I consider my foundation to be built upon. Moving to Florida to attend college in my early 20’s, outdoor recreation turned into more of a lifestyle than a hobby. Surfing and fishing daily, I knew this was where I belonged. With coastal estuaries teeming with powerful red drum, snook, trout, and tarpon, I was completely engulfed by such a place with unlimited sport fishing potential.

Through my six years of living down in the tropics, both on the east and west coasts of Florida, It was easy to see why this state has gained the reputation for being an angler's paradise. While the fishing overall was superb, I found myself constantly fishing the same areas time and time again. I felt limited by having to rely on public piers and docks in order to fish. 

Dean holds a recently caught redfish.

As a lifelong angler, nothing gets my blood pumping like exploring unfamiliar waters and finding new fishing spots. I figured the only way I could accomplish this regularly would be able to get a boat of my own. It wasn’t until years later after moving to Englewood, FL that this dream of mine would finally come to fruition.

While working a shift at a local restaurant in town, I was serving a couple gentlemen from North Carolina that claimed to be opening a kayak shop down the street. Me being the inquisitive business major that I am, I asked about all the questions I could come up with at the time, leaving me with the lingering thought of, “How can I help these people?” Weeks later, while working at the restaurant, one of the guys from the Kayak shop strolls in again, this time sitting alone for lunch. It gave us time for a good conversation that ended in him asking me to help with a shipment lifting and unloading kayaks. This conversation answered my question of how I could help while, in turn, kick-starting my career in the paddlesports industry.  

Dean dons the Lure 11.5 OD for this catch.

Needless to say, I was in a world I knew nothing about. With no prior experience, I was all ears when it came to learning about  how each different model is designed and for what specific functions. From top of the line fishing kayaks to playful recreation boats, it didn’t take long to recognize how fun and exciting this industry was. With an extensive background in angling, I was very eager to get on one of these fishing kayaks out for a try. The Seastream Angler 120 PD was the boat I took on my first voyage onto Lemon Bay. While a bit apprehensive at first, I was told it was as easy as riding a bike.

With the help of Sam and his associate Colby, I was on the water casting lures in no time. Now, having tried several of the kayak models, I’m confident in saying these brands don’t make a bad boat, only ones that are better suited for each individual’s lifestyle. Nothing beats the perspective of being low and stealthy, cruising the grass flats and casting for sea trout or redfish in the daytime or fishing dock lights at night for snapper and tarpon.

Cole Dean
Sales and Rental Associate
Waterways Englewood, Florida