While many enjoy the outdoors activity as a past-time, Kalon Johnson says fishing is his life’s calling to help others. Born and raised in Thibodaux, Kalon is an Outdoor Ambassador with Explore Houma, owner of KDJ Fishing, and a content creator who describes himself as a country boy with a passion for fishing. Kalon discovered his passion for the outdoor activity very early on. “I started fishing at a very young age; my uncles used to take me fishing as a kid. Just like everyone else back in the day, you start off on the side of the road sitting on a bucket catching catfish and bass. My uncle kept bringing me out and I picked up a love and passion for fishing. It wasn’t until I got into college at Nicholls that I started looking at it from a different perspective and on a competitive level.”
Kalon decided to create a YouTube series, KDJ Fishing, documenting and sharing his fishing adventures, most notably catfish and redfish. He recently announced his partnership with Explore Houma, part of the Houma-Terrebonne Convention and Visitors Bureau. In his role as an outdoor ambassador, Kalon shares the experience of outdoor activities in Terrebonne Parish and educates the community on the benefits of fishing.
“My passion for fishing and giving back to the community is what led me to the role. I feel that whatever God blesses you with, it’s important
to give back and not just keep it to yourself. Some way, somehow, you should dig deep down and find out what it is you can give back with the talent you’ve been given. Reaching out to people in the community, young and old, and teaching them how to fish and the good things nature in Terrebonne Parish has to offer is my way of giving back,” Kalon shared.
As a fisherman, reaching youth and positively impacting their lives has been the most rewarding aspect of Kalon’s current role. While fishing can be a fun pastime activity, Kalon says the positive effects fishing can have on someone’s mental and physical health is much more rewarding than the feeling you get when snagging your first fish. “This role has helped me help keep kids out of trouble and keep them active and going. People don’t realize how much of an outlet fishing is; if you’re dealing with depression or anger management, fishing can help you on a mental and spiritual level because it allows you to get a different perspective on life,” the angler explained.
Although Kalon has established a fulfilling career as a fisherman, he didn’t always see himself sailing down his current career path. The angler said that as he matured, it became evident that fishing was more than just a hobby, it was his life calling. “I didn’t see myself in this position but I’m very thankful that I am. Now that I’m older I understand that it’s not my passion and my love for the outdoors, it’s about helping others. I enjoy helping people deal with their problems and helping them better themselves,” Kalon said.
The biggest lesson fishing has taught him is to overcome his fear of what’s waiting on the other side of the lake. He shared, “My biggest challenge over the years has been my fear of the unknown. Whenever you’re growing and maturing as a person you try to figure out why, what is my calling, and what is it that I’m here to do. I realized that whenever you’re called to do something, it can feel very overwhelming. You feel like you have so much weight on your shoulders and so many pieces to a puzzle to make a beautiful picture. I overcome it by keeping my faith in God and understanding that he’s going to lead me. It’s not about me, it’s about him. Having faith in God helps you see life in a positive light and that’s what fishing does for me. It allows me to teach people not only with my words but with my actions, my videos, my pictures, it allows people to see my life from my perspective and my adventures with fishing.”
Kalon plans to continue to be present and involved in the community by sharing outdoor adventures and using his passion to inspire and assist the community. “It feels great to know I’m positively influencing people.” Kalon encourages those who are searching for their “why” to keep fighting and rely on the faith of God. Kalon explained, “When you wake up you have a choice. You dictate how your day goes and you have to greet everything in your life each day with a smile on your face. There’s no use in complaining, you have to just take control of your day, don’t let the day take control of you.”