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Back in March I had the privilege of helping out Massey’s for a day at this year’s Louisiana Sportsman Show.  This was my first time at this show and I was amazed at the sheer size of it and the variety of goods and services offered for those that attended.  If you have any outdoor interest in the state of Louisiana, this show has you covered – from bird watching to bow fishing.  It was very cool to talk kayak fishing with lots of different people, not your typical boat show crowd – from folks who’d never even seen a kayak to guys who knew it all.

It was also cool to finally see the production model Coosa HD.  Massey’s may still have one in New Orleans if you want to check it out.  I got to paddle the prototype at the Dealer Summit and came away impressed.  Despite the name, this is a completely different boat than the Coosa.  I love the old Coosa, I’ve always said it is the best river boat out there, but I feel like the HD may be a better fit for Louisiana waters.

More about the show from their website below:

The 36th Annual Louisiana Sportsman Show and Festival, Louisiana’s largest outdoor show and boat show, was held March 12-15, 2015, at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, Louisiana. Louisiana’s premier outdoor show featured acres of boats, fishing and hunting equipment, ATVs, tractors and lawn equipment, and activities for the entire family.

Show highlights include:
• an indoor boat show featuring all the major boat brands and dealers from throughout the Baton Rouge area
• acres of fishing tackle and hunting gear for sale
• an extensive display of ATVs and off-road vehicles
• a dedicated tractor and outdoor power equipment area
• the Louisiana Sportsman Big Buck Contest, with display of some of the largest bucks killed during the 2014-15 season in Louisiana, Mississippi and across the country
• Cabela’s 3D archery range
• Splash Dogs, where participants can enter their dogs in retriever competitions
• a Kids Zone, with free admission to the show for kids on Sunday
• a Yamaha ATV test track
• a bass tank, where pros will be giving regular seminars
• fishing and hunting outfitters from across the United States
• an improved food court featuring three times the selection

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The Outdoor Retailer show is happening this week and we are starting to see/hear a lot more about what is being offered from Jackson Kayak next year.  We knew they planned to introduce four new kayaks – two being the Kraken and the Realtree Kilroy – which were featured on the site last week.  The other two I’ll talk about this week.  One is a boat that is sure to excite the river crowd, but has my interest peaked for inshore use as well, that’s the Coosa HD.  I really enjoyed the old Coosa, had one for a couple years, it was the best river boat I’ve ever been in.  It wasn’t the boat you want for inshore fishing though and when the Cuda came out it was an easy decision to make the switch.  But seeing the new Coosa HD has me rethinking that logic.

Coosa_HDMainly because this new Coosa will be 4-6″ longer than the last and that center console you see is removable and opens up to a flat deck – standing room galore.  Other features/tweaks include better tracking, multiple seating positions, tweaks to the JK Elite seat, twin camera mounts in the rear, YakAttack rails all around, a molded rear handle, a bungee-less hinged front hatch, the tube style rod tip protection you find on the Big Rig, plus it is Powerpole ready.  Looking at the top view I can see why some folks are dubbing this the Big Rig Jr.  That’s a ton of features packed into a 12′ boat.  Drew did a short walkthrough on the boat at the OR demo day, check it out:

It is still just a prototype for now, so things can change, but I’m pretty excited about this boat.  For more on the Coosa HD, check out this Kayak Fish article.

Update (02-26-15) – Now that the Coosa HD is shipping a new walk through video has been produced.  It is worth a look if you are considering this boat: