… for class to start, I was thinking about work, school, life and fishing. I am very fortunate to have a job that gives me the flexibility to do the things I enjoy. Yes, it can be a pain in the rear, and I do not always enjoy it but it could be a lot worse. School has never been enjoyable for me, but with almost 20 hours down this go round, I am finding it more enjoyable than ever before. On to my life, I am blessed with what I have been provided. I have been all over the world, experienced some very good (and also some very bad) events, made some great friends, and am doing things I never thought possible. All of this relates to my life fishing. Unfortunately, I do not get on the water as much as I used to, but I am more involved in the sport. I can talk, work and dream fishing, which seems to make my overall experience more enjoyable. All of this made me think about some of the milestones that I have made within the last couple of years.
- Caught a Citation Flounder
- Caught a Citation Sheepshead
- Caught a Citation Speckled Trout
- Caught a Striped Bass over 40″
- Caught a Red Drum over 30″
- Won a Kayak Fishing Tournament
- Made a Pro Staff
- Assisted in a Hero’s on the Water event
- Serve as an officer in a Kayak Fishing Organization
- Made some GREAT friends
- Organized a tournament series
- …and I am in the process of organizing a charity tournament
All of these things do not make me better than anyone else, but they do make me extremely proud. We are all lucky from time to time, and I would attribute most of these events to being in the right place at the right time. The one constant is PASSION. This is the passion that has helped get me through the bad times, fight through the pain of having to give something up in order to further my education, and put myself in a position professionally to do what I want to do for the rest of my life (I hope). I challenge everyone who reads this post to reflect on what makes them who they are. Look at both the good and the bad, be honest. This process has helped make me a better person and a better fisherman.
On another note, I was able to make it out on the water this weekend. After working the TKAA booth at BPS, and convincing someone to get into kayak fishing (I later got a call that they purchased their first kayak), I hit a local spot to try to get more Kayak Wars points for our team. The fishing was tough, and no points were earned that night. I did manage my first red of the year (a small 16″ specimen). I would not normally bother with a picture, but this one was special. The colors were amazing. This is one of the most colorful reds I have caught. The sides were gold, the belly extremely white, and the tail a brilliant shade of blue. It made me feel even better to let him go to produce more freight trains. It has been a while since i have caught a red, so while I was fighting him, I kept thinking “First citation speck of the year”. As this was not the case it was a nice consolation prize!
The following morning, I had the pleasure to fish with my friend and Kayak Wars teammate, Mark Lozier. We checked out another hole that is starting to show some potential. Normally I fish hard, but this morning was different. It was nice to paddle around, shoot the breeze and relax a little bit. Even though the skunk was with us the whole day, it didn’t matter. It just goes to show you that it doesn’t always matter if you catch a fish or not. The experience can make up for everything.
With the days getting longer and the weather getting nicer, don’t forget about safety. The water in SE Virginia is still on the cooler side. Stay protected form the elements, always wear your PFD, and have a visual and audio signaling device.
Until next time…