This year has been absolutely nuts from the start. I don’t even know where to begin. I guess I’ll begin with my good friend Justin Marshall, who was on the Paddle N Fin round table episode. By him being on that episode, it has helped me tremendously by getting my foot into the kayak fishing scene. Jay and Brian both gave valuable information on what it took to become part of a kayak team so I decided to go for it. More on this later.
I was on the fence at the beginning of the season about tournaments. I didn’t like the idea of paying to go fishing. That all changed after I attended my first tournament at Cowan Lake in Ohio. I got skunked that day as well as more than 60% of the other anglers. Only 15 anglers caught fish that day. It was cold and windy. Water temps in the 50s. It was miserable. But I still had a blast out there. I met some great guys that first tournament.
The second tournament I fished was supposed to be a little Miami River tournament but due to the river levels in Ohio being blown out, it got changed to Cowan Lake yet again. The day before the tournament was Loveland Canoe and Kayak’s fishing day. That’s where I met Jason’s Ricketts for the first time. We talked about his awesome Blue Sky Angler 360 and also what it took to become part of a fishing team. That opened up a lot of doors for myself. I guess Jason liked the fact that I just walked up to him and started talking to him like we knew each other. Awesome, I made a good first impression which is usually a game changer. First impressions are huge.
Later that evening, I attended the captains meeting and met some guys as they went over tournaments rules and such. The raffle was great and the company was great.
Next morning tournament day, I didn’t expect much since Cowan Lake has always been a Lake I don’t really care much for. Conditions yet again were terrible. Windy, rainy, cold, 50 degree water temps but this time, I pulled it off. I got my first tournament win in my second ever event. I was the only angler to limit that tournament day. 1st place out of 37 anglers. I’m still shocked to be honest. Yet again, I feel like I impressed Jason with how I conducted myself and winning that tournament. A few short days later after keeping in contact with Jason, I get a phone call from him asking if I was interested in joining the Loveland Canoe and Kayak fishing team and jumping into a Bonafide kayak and repping that brand for them. I was absolutely in. This is what I was working toward and it was already happening for me. I was blown away and still am. I am so thankful for everything Jason and Mark from LCK has done for me. It’s been a blast and a blessing.
Around Memorial Day, I decided to put in an application for Team Bonafide. Shortly after, I got an email from Greg Timmer, Bonafide’s team manager letting me know that I made the team and all he needed was to talk to Mark over at LCK. We got it all squared away and I was finally added to Team Bonafide! Another goal checked off the list. I’m learning more and more everyday how great of a decision it was to join Bonafide. Their customer service is amazing and they make a great product. It has definitely been hard work being on LCK and Team Bonafide but I throughly enjoy it all. I get to fish and rep a brand I believe in.
I have fished a few more tournaments throughout the year placing 19th of 28 in May Ohio KBF monthly, 18th of 41 in June Ohio KBF monthly, 11th of 38 in Cincinnati Kayak Fishing Trail, 5th of 15 in Paddle N fin Meetup on cowan Lake, 1st in team at that same meetup, and currently 6th of 27 in July KBF Ohio monthly. I have a few more tournaments I’m looking forward to and hope to try to qualify for the KBF national championship at some point. Lots of hard work ahead!
One other thing, how could I forget, the Paddle N Fin guys asking me to be part of their podcast doing my own segment for nationwide tournament recap! I have had a blast doing this for the 3 episodes we have done. We have a lot planned so stay tuned into The Reel Down!
Sorry all for the long blog post, but it’s my first one and had a lot to share. I’ll try to keep up with this weekly! Stay tuned!