Kayak fishing is the fastest growing segment in fishing today and it makes perfect sense since there is a low cost barrier to boat ownership and an angler can use a kayak in coastal areas, lakes or rivers. It makes perfect sense then that it Nissan is the first truck manufacturer to make a commitment to partner with an internationally- known kayaker and announced it at the nation’s largest trade event, ICAST – the International Convention of Allied Sport Fishing Trades – in Orlando.
Eric Jackson has won more than 100 international freestyle kayaking events, the most of any competitor in history and has just qualified for the 2017 USA kayak team. (No surprise since he was a member of the team from 1989 to 2015.) He has also represented the USA in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. In 2003, he founded Jackson Kayak which in just over a decade has become a leading maker of competition and recreation kayaks globally. So, what does a kayak pro do next? He becomes a professional angler and joins the Fishing Leaague Worldwide (FLW). He also teams up with a company that has its US headquarters in his home state of Tennessee.
The linkage to anglers is not unique to Nissan, although this is the first-time kayak fishing has taken a front seat. Toyota has had a long-term relationship with bass anglers and hosts the Toyota Bassmaster Elite tournament in Texas.
With his pick of the Nissan Truck lineup, Jackson selected the flagship of the Titan line, the Nissan Titan XD diesel with the 5.0-liter engine made by Cummins Diesel in Indiana. The truck is built at Nissan’s Canton, Mississippi plant. He sees the 4×4 as the right choice for getting to whitewater and off-road locations.
In making the announcement, Fred Diaz, division vice president and general manager of North America Trucks and Light Commercial Vehicles, acknowledged that it is a rare occasion when Eric Jackson is on dry land.
Story by Linda Water Nelson