Jackson Coosa HD First Impressions

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Working part time at my local paddle shop Rocktown Adventures, I have been blessed with the opportunity to fish out of many different kayaks, so I can help a customer out to my fullest potential. With that being said there was still one boat in the arsenal of kayaks I have available that I hadn’t tried out yet.. The Jackson Kayaks Coosa HD.

I am mainly a lake fisherman, so I always resort to a pedal driven kayak. However in the past year or so I have been putting in a lot of time fishing river systems for smallmouth bass. I used to float the rivers in a small pelican kayak , then the Bonafide RS117, and the Bonafide SS127. However I felt these boats were just missing something when it came to floating down a river. I didn’t have the maneuverability I wanted. Well I think I found it.

This past weekend I headed to the local river with my good friend and co-host Jay Randall. He typically floats rivers out of the Jackson Liska. Well I’ve always wanted to float in the Liska, I decided to go a little different route and grabbed the Coosa HD. The Coosa was originally designed with river fishing in mind, by one of the pioneers of our sport Drew Gregory. With that said, I felt I couldn’t go wrong with the Coosa that day, and wanted to see what Drew’s design was all about.

First impressions before getting on the water….. The boat is light. Seat looked comfortable. Room for my Black Pack in the rear tank well. Nice storage compartment directly in front of me for some gear. Front hatch has a good amount of room to throw some miscellaneous things in, and you can’t forget the 2 built in rod holders.

First impressions while on the water….. From the first paddle stroke, I knew this boat was going to paddle with ease. It was swift in the water, and needed very little effort to paddle it compared to some of the other boats I have paddled in the river. Stability is definitely there. The boat has more of a rounded bottom hull, but when that secondary kick in you feel it wether you’re sitting or standing. I stood and fished from the boat quite a bit. Being that i’m 6’4” and about 250 lbs, the boat handled great while standing. The seat was comfortable, especially with the thermarest lumbar support. The only thing I didn’t like, but didn’t necessarily hate was the height of the seat because of my long legs. I didn’t struggle getting up and down, but it was a little more work(I feel this is mostly due to my size). There was plenty of room to move around and store all my necessary gear. I carried 5 rods with me total, the black pack in the back, and some bags of plastics with terminal gear in that front storage area I spoke about previously.

Final impressions…. I was totally happy I decided to grab this boat out of the warehouse that day. I loved being in the boat the whole time. It was an easy paddle, supported all my needs, and most importantly the boat turns on a dime. That maneuverability when floating up to an obstruction in the river was something I had been looking for. Also I can see this being a Great Lake boat as well, I don’t want to leave that out either. With the speed and ease of paddling, you can definitely cover some ground in the Coosa HD. I can’t say enough great things about this boat. At the price of $1799 the boat is worth every penny. If your in the market for a new boat be sure not to over look the Coosa HD.

Tight Lines and Smooth Paddlin!

Mark Twain Trail Stop- The Mental Melt Down

Where to begin….. Mark Twain was an interesting lake to say the least. The water had dropped 30 feet in the past two weeks prior to arrival. Leaving the lake as all rock and no variation other than depth changes. This was all new and foreign to me. However with some of the research I put in I was looking for some key features, but mainly long extended points into the main lake.

Two days of prefixing, I found fish and pretty quick on a few different patterns, but would they hold is always the question I have. I found fish on pitching jigs tailed with a Berkley Chigger Craw. I found them with a Googan Baits Bandito bug, and I even got a few bites on a TRD Craw by Z-Man.

Come tournament morning I showed up to a ramp in the Northwest part of the lake with a few other anglers there as well. I launched at go time, got to my spot, and anxiously awaited lines in. I started casting to the point I caught my biggest fish on in practice with no avail. I started to panic. I worked my way around the point and then finally connected with a 15” fish. Shortly after I had 3-15+” fish on the board. Then nothing…. I worked to some different areas and finally connected again right at the boat. I got lucky, but I’ll take it I told myself. Fished on and ended up missing my 5th fish. I started to scramble even more. No bites for the next hour, so I felt it was time to move to a different section of the lake.

As I drove to ramp two I started second guessing myself. Id this the right choice? At this point there is no real turning back. I am committed . I pulled into the ramp and instantly noticed all the kayaks in the area, and figured I should be able to get my 5th fish and lock in a top 10 spot. Well that thought went on to make me struggle even more. Cast after cast and no tug on the other end. I felt doomed, defeated, and just almost conquered as the clock wore down. I ended up short a 5th fish for a 20th place finish.

The mental anquish of competitive fishing is a struggle for myself, and many other anglers as well. Sometimes I let the AOY points race get to me, the wanting to finish good, and just come in with a limit of fish. I start to worry about all these things, and I end up forgetting about the most important part. Fishing! I get so focused one the other things, and I stop thinking about the fishing aspect of things. I need to change baits, look for different structures, and just relax and do what I know how to do. I think if you can just go out and fish, and forget about all the other things, this my friends will consistently put you at the top, and make you one of the best anglers out there.

So next time you are in a tournament, just go out there and fish, and enjoy what you love doing. The rest of it won’t be too far behind. Tight lines and smooth paddlin!

The Next Adventure.... With Rocktown Adventures

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I made many mistakes when I got into Kayak Fishing. Those mistakes were corrected when I found my local kayak shop. I remember very distinctly being treated by a friendly young guy named Travis. Travis taught me many things that I pass on too many still to this day. For example, Demo,Demo, Demo…. This was something I didn’t know was an option as a new guy to the sport. While I was there every question I could come up with was answered , or an answer was found. To me as a consumer, service is always a crucial key to shopping with any company. I wanted to be a part of that.

Some close friends used to think I was crazy for going down, and spending my free time hanging out in the kayak shop, talking kayak fishing, and helping customers. It always amazes me when I talk to folks that work or own kayak shops, how they have a hard time getting kayak fisherman to help or work in their shops. I love helping out at Rocktown. I meet a lot of folks, and help them get into the sport we love, the right way. After spending some time in the shop, and several conversations, Kevin the shop manager offered myself a part time position. He sees the direction kayaking in general is going, and what better asset to have on your team, a kayak fisherman.

Today many shops have the shop teams, Fishing teams, or whatever you may want to call it. I approached Kevin and Travis about starting our own shop team. We figured it would be a great way to promote the shop, and the angler’s that promote us. Because it was my idea I was offered the spot of team manager. I’m grateful for the opportunity , and look to take the role on full bore. The first thing I needed to do was start to look at the guys or gals that I wanted to put on the team. A team that would do great things for the shop, the sport, and themselves. This isn’t the easiest thing however as your choices have to be great ones for all involved. I knew of a few great choices right off the bat, which has made it easy this far.

So far we have two great guys signed up on the team Rodney Hicks & Titus Dominguez. These two sticks have been heavily involved with the local tournament scene. Rodney has a 1st place finish and Titus a 2nd place finish this season. Couldn’t be happier to have these two awesome fisherman as my team mates. the big question is “Who will be next?” I will update as we seal the deal with the next person to join the team.

Until next time, Tight Lines and Smooth Paddlin!

Mid Season- The Tournament Roller Coaster Thus Far

I don’t even know where to begin with this one. As the title states, it has defiantly been a roller coaster thus far. Did I really know what I was getting myself into when I started chasing this dream? How has the season played out so far? What Tournaments have I fished, and what ones have I missed that I had plan to fish? Whats next? Let’s get into it..

GLKFS Banner Marsh/KBL Sangchris

The season started out a little strange here in Northern IL. The first tournament of the season that I planned to fish was a local club event with KBL. The tournament was cancelled on my way down to pefish due to the upcoming weather conditions. I had put in a few weekends down on Sangchris lake where the tournament was to take place. I felt I had a solid pattern in place with a jig bite on certain structure throughout the lake. With the tournament being cancelled, I pulled an audible, and headed over to Banner Marsh in Central IL. There I meet Co-Host Jay Randall, and fellow Angler Glenn Miller. Their plan was to fish the Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Tournament which was to take place the day before the scheduled KBL Tournament. With only 4 hours of prefixing and no fish caught I figured I would be doomed, and not only that but look like a fool bombing the first tournament of the year. Low and behold it was a tough day for all, however the fish I found was enough to give me an 8th Place Finish. Top ten finishes have been my set goal this season. The Banner tournament gave me a boost of confidence that I wasn’t going to be far off from achieving such a goal.

Kbl had an online make up event due to Sangchris event being cancelled from weather. What a struggle this one was going to be. I decided to head back down to Banner Marsh as I had kind of put a pattern together that was working for some of the fish that had starting staging up on beds. Black/ Blue Flake Senko rigged weightless on a 3/0 offset hook was the ticket. I managed to catch three decent fish while down there, however I was 2 fish short of a limit and was trailing going into Sunday to make that Top Ten finish I was looking for. Sunday morning I headed out early before family came over for Easter Dinner, Yeah Easter dinner. This was the biggest obstacle around the whole make up event. I hit a local state park know as Rock Cut, figuring I could find two fish, but left with a skunk in the boat. While eating dinner all I could think about was where am I going to find two 12” fish. Thats all I needed. Went to plan C and hit the river where I had been putting in a ton of time figuring out the smallmouth bite. First cast landed me a 12 1/2” fish. Shortly after I kept bringing fish over the side of the boat and culling a few times. This ended up giving me a 10th Place finish, right were I wanted to be.

The Road to Kansas KBF Trail Event & The FLW/KBF Open

Kansas was not a stop I had planned on attending. The 12 1/2 hour drive, fuel cost, camping , etc… had me on the fence. In the end I decided to make the journey and participate as the lake looked like it was right up my alley. Big Hill Lake is a flooded valley with a ton of trees protruding right out of the water. Pitching to timber is one of my favorite things to do. Nothing beats a good jib bite. First three casts I had an 18 3/4” fish in the boat and felt I made the right choice to come down and contend with some of the best sticks in the central division. Practice went fairly well between the jog bite, and the weightless Texas rigged Senko. The day before tournament, I had found an area with many beds, and tons of big females in which I lost probably my PB Bass out of a Kayak that day. As I made a turn coming out of this area I saw two kayaks heading my way, and it was 2 gentleman I had met at the ramp that morning. Sam Jones and Alan Reed. These two guys have been a great part in my success this season, in which we will get into a little later. They went right back in there and saw the same things I saw. However the weather once again became a factor. Come tournament day we had sustained 30 MPH winds with a 2-3’ chop. This made things sketchy and that much harder to catch fish. The bed spot I had found was blown out and muddy from the wind so I went to scramble mode and hit all the other spots I had as backup plans. I managed to scrap together a decent limit with a few culls and managed a 10th place finish in the trail, and 4th place in the Pro Tour. Barely making it in there, but still managed to get my 10th place finish, and recoup some money with a $200 check for the Trail Finish. Feeling good, I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep much so I packed up the trailer, and headed towards Tennessee for the FLW/KBF Open

Tennessee is such a beautiful state to begin with, but to fish some of their water was an even bigger treat. Not to mention I was there to take part in some Kayak Bass Fishing history. I was there to partake in the first ever KBF/FLW Event. I had a week to breakdown a lot of water, and I mean a lot of water. Day 1 I managed to catch a few small fish, but it was nothing to write home about. Day 2 I was joined by my good friend Austin from Southern Lake Company. Austin had come down to pick up a boat from me and fish. We found a specific are where I had caught an 18” and he caught a 16 1/2” fish. I quickly stated we need to get out of this area, and leave it rest until tournament day. With the info I had on the specific area I knew I had to find more areas similar to it. This is what I focused on the rest of pre-fishing. I was looking for areas with current, steep breaks, and rocky bottom. I worked a Black/Blue Football Jig across these areas followed up with a Black/Blue Flake Chigger Craw trailer. Friday before the start of the extravaganza I went to check a spot with all of these features and 3 casts in I landed a 19” Largemouth. I packed up and headed out of there knowing this would be my goto area come day 1.

Day 1 was a roller coaster of emotions to say the least. I first started off hitting the spot Austin and I had found, pulling up 2 small 12-13” fish. I knew the spot was a bust and then headed over to the spot I hit Friday Morning. First few casts in I landed and 18.75” fish, and got it submitted to the leaderboard. I knew this was going to make for one of my best tournament days. Or so I thought…. about 10 minutes later I landed a 17 1/2” fish, took the picture on my red Ketch board, and then it happened. as I was going to type in the measurement of the fish, the fish flopped up off the board hitting the bottom of my phone. Up in the air it went, I tipped it, and then watched it slowly sink to the bottom of Nicakajack Lake. My stomach sank, the foul language rolled off my tongue , and my worst nightmare just became a reality. I was so beside myself I didn’t know what to do. I knew my tournament was over before it even started. I started heading back towards the launch thinking of what I could possibly do to get more fish on the board and then submitted to Tourney X. The GoPro!!! When I made it to the ramp, I found a local gentleman fishing from the bank who let me use his cell phone to call the tournament director. Spoke with him stating my problem, and the possible solution I had come up with. This was all fine with him however I had to return to my laptop to upload my photos prior to deadline which was over an hour away at the campground I was staying at. I did so leaving me short on fishing time, however I did manage to put a limit together which left me in 70 something place after day1. I wanted to quit and just pack up and go home after being on the road solo for a week and a half. I couldn’t forfeit so easy though. I stuck it out day 2 , caught my five fish, and moved up the leaderboard, and finishing in 65th place. I faced some of the toughest anglers in the country that weekend, and despite the phone loss, I think I came out pretty well being that I only got 1/2 day of fishing in on day 1.

KBF Trail Stop Madison Chain

It was redemption time, and this one was close to home. I had only fished the chain once before with Jay, and we had a pretty stellar largemouth bite. Going into prefixing I was aware that there were going to be several tournaments taking place during the tournament, but there waste lake off limits to those tournaments, and that was Lake Mendota. I focused on this certain area during prefishing, and as a matter of fact this is the lake that the tournament was won on. I focused on another steep break area that had a little bit of current, and some nice chunky smallmouth staked in the area. I was tossing the good ole Ned Rig. The color was key however. The color the sallies really enjoyed was called “New Money” by Z-Man. I would cast it out with a 1/15th oz. Ned Head and slowly drag it across the bottom where there were large boulders. The smallmouth would just annihilate the bait. I started off the day leading the tournament for most of the morning, but then my bite wore off. I couldn’t get another bite the rest of the day as I watched my name move down the leaderboard. It was a special feeling however seeing my name at the top for a chunk of the morning. I ended up taking 9th in the Trail and 2nd in the Pro Tour. Cashing in a nice chunk of change and an hourly big bass, I felt redeemed.

Paddle N FIN Ohio Meet-up

Meet-ups are much more for being with our fans, than it is more about the competition aspect. However when you throw a little tournament in there you have to feel competitive. I found a jig bite once again, and felt great about what I had put together going into the tournament. However I failed to land fish in the boat, and had two fish flop off the board when going to take photos. Those two fish would have landed me 2nd place, but I ended up in 4th. 2nd place was taken by my good friend and team mate for the event Mr. Jay Randall. Couldn’t have been happier for Jay though. The events we fished together this season he had trailed behind me, and it sure was a great feeling to see his name above mine for once. Well done Jay!!! This little story is partially crucial to the next and final installment of this post.

KBF Trail Stop Mississippi River

The Mississippi is definitely mighty and mean. What a struggle and a grind for an unfamiliar angler. I really struggled here with so many things in play, and on my mind. The week coming into this tournament the Central Division Angler Of The Year standings were posted and my name was in the 3rd place spot. This wasn’t something I really had expected. On the way to the tournament, I received a phone call regarding y grandfather being put in the hospital , and lastly I really dropped the ball on doing my homework on this body of water.

During prefishing I found a bite down south that was producing a 15-16” average. I felt this may be good enough for top ten after speaking with my room mates for the week, Alan Reed, Sam Jones, and Dylan Faqua. It seemed they all had a rough time finding the bigger fish. A majority of the field was fishing up north in Pool 9, and I was focused on Pool 10. I didn’t have any other competition down there like the others were facing in the North. I found some flooded out land that had fish holding to tree trunks and hitting my Creature Bait as I pitched it to the base of the trees.

Come tournament morning I started fishing my are with not another kayak in sight. As I worked my way over to the trees I had been fishing, I noticed a distinct water line on them. The river had dropped about a foot overnight, and pushing my fish out of the area. I scrambled, but made a decision around 8 am to head in, and pull out the Hail Mary play. I drove over an hour north until I found an area I liked and wanted to launch from. I launched the blue sky and headed toward a rocky bank . Just as I get close a local fisherman pulls right into the spot I am heading toward. Most of the time I would be frustrated, however this time I was thankful. I saw the older gentleman in the front of the boat land a decent bass on what looked like a white spinnerbait. Unfortunately I had to turn around, and head back towards the truck to get my spinnerbaits. At this point I have wasted a lot of tournament time driving, and going back to get a bait that I saw a random guy catch one fish on. I figured what the heck, as I am not doing any better with the program I had been using. Low and behold it was the lure that turned my tournament day around. Granted I only caught 12-13” fish, but I did manage a limit, and ended up in 33rd place instead of last.

Looking Ahead & Conclusion to the Madness

I have traveled all over the midwest, I have fished some of the most majestic waters in these areas, and I have competed with the best of the best, and had some of the biggest struggles one could have. I have learned many lessons not only about fishing, tournaments, but myself as an individual. The biggest thing I need to do is stay focused on the mental aspect of this game and not let all the little things get in the way. My main focus has always been helping grow this sport, and its community. I am trying to lead by example, and that’s exactly what I am going to keep doing, by pushing through these small hurdles and show others what can be done by a young guy from the midwest. Secretly I have had a mission to try and take Rookie of the year, and I am not far away. I have already achieved the goals of qualifying for the national championship, trail championship, TENvitational , and the FLW/KBF Cup. This is definitely to be continued, and watch for the midwest kid . Until next time, Tight Lines and smooth Paddlin!!!

Blue Sky... Kayak or Not??? Should it be Allowed in Kayak Tournaments???

There has been a ton of controversy over the Blue Sky over its inception. Is it a kayak, paddle boat, or pontoon boat? No one really knows however there has been an uproar on weather or not it should be allowed in kayak fishing tournaments. Is there really an advantage to this boat? Who is allowing it in their tournaments? Let’s get into the details.

The Blue Sky hasn’t really been classified as a kayak, however it’s inception was through a kayak company. Jackson Kayaks teamed up with Blue Sky Boatworks to make this boat a reality. It has a lot of modern day fishing kayak features. It runs off a Jackson Flex System Drive. It’s incredibly stable just like many other kayaks, but a little more possibly. It Features a higher seat than all kayaks, which makes it comfortable for all day fishing trips. At first glance however it resembles more of a paddle driven pontoon boat. When you really break it down I feel it has more features that fall inline with a kayak rather than a peddle boat.

The KBF has said it is allowed in all of its tournaments, but many of your local clubs have banned it. I think the reason small clubs have banned it, is because they really don’t know if the boat classifies as a kayak. However some of these same clubs will allow electric driven motors mounted to kayaks in their tournaments. In my opinion I feel this is a far greater advantage then being in the Blue Sky. You still have to exert energy to peddle the boat. Electric motors save the anglers energy, and also allows them to cover more water during a tournament compared to a paddle or peddle driven boat. I think this boat is just still too new to the market, and at some point more clubs will allow it to be used because it will draw larger crowds to their series.

Overall I love the concept of the Blue Sky. I would categorize it as part of the kayak family. I know from showing this boat at the Chicagoland Fishing show it really appealed to the older crowd, that couldn’t necessarily fish out of a standard fishing kayak. I am curious to see what the future will hold for this boat. In due time I feel it will be accepted, and rub off on folks. I love the thought and features behind it. I think we will see more great things from Blue Sky Boatworks in the future.

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More Content

2019 has set in, and I have a ton of goals on the plate for this year. The podcast and everything that comes with it has grown, and I feel the need to keep up with the demand. Keeping Episodes and Guests flowing on the podcast. Videos consistently uploaded to the youtube channel. Keep good posts flowing on the Instagram and Facebook pages. Keeping the relationship with my sponsors good and intact. Doing more for the community such as seminars, and Demos. This is just the start of the goals that don’t include fishing. It is going to be a great ride and here is the plan.

VIDEO

Most know already but we have a YouTube channel here at Paddle N Fin. I want to really buckle down and help grow our channel. If some of you haven’t noticed already I have been trying to stay consistent with Uploads. Videos are uploaded every Tuesday and Friday. Consistency seems to be key now a days for everything social media and YouTube related. Having your audience know when to expect content helps them know when to get it, and not to forget it. Come fishing season here in the North that is going to change a bit. I will be pushing myself to upload either every other day, or every day. This is a daunting task if you have ever attempted video editing. They say it takes roughly one hour per one minute of video editing which I believe is the case. The other struggle is not giving away too much when pre-fishing for tournaments. I may have to offset a little, I haven’t completely worked that out yet. I will get there though. I have and always will keep the content 100% true and hopefully get better and making it more than just entertainment. I feel I could teach a lot more in the videos, and just need to keep that in mind when creating them. So if you haven’t already please subscribe to the channel, and follow along

Social Media

If you haven’t already please give us a follow and like on our Facebook and Instagram page at @paddlenfin. We try to post at a minimum once a day. We try to keep you up to date with what we are doing on and off the water that is related to kayaking and fishing. What I would like to do more of this year is live streams. I have attempted a few so far, but just haven’t built up the confidence yet I believe. Live stream is a little different than youtube. Youtube I can edit out all the bad parts. Live it is what it is. Look for more of this though, as I am going to push myself to get over that hump.

Sponsors

Sponsorships and Pro Staff positions I hold very personal. I treat every company I work with as if it were my own. I recently recorded a Podcast on my personal pod (Slydog Fishing) about sponsorships and pro staff positions. You have to treat them as a job. I take a lot of pride in working with these folks, as they put their pride in supporting me. Through this year I am going to try to pick up a couple more that I have my mind on. Hopefully it works out, but if it doesn’t I will still stand by those companies and support them. It will also give me the motivation to work harder for them and help promote their great products. Some have told me I do too much for these companies, but I feel that the more you do, the more you will get noticed, and the more support you will get from them. Again I treat this as a job, and like any job the harder you work, the more the boss notices, and the better chance you get at moving up the ladder.

Seminars and Demos

There is nothing I love more about our sport than connecting with people, and helping educate them on our sport that I am dedicated too. I’ve always been a people person that has tried to educate through my experiences . Sure I think you can learn a ton from books and videos, but what better way to learn than getting out there and doing and showing folks first hand. Hands on teaching I think settles into the brain a little more. I’m currently working on an intro to kayak fishing seminar that I hope to hold at my Local paddle shop Rocktown Adventures. I would also like to perfect it, to the point I could present it at fishing show seminars a year from now. I’m a firm believer that through education we can grow this sport. If I can get a few extra people in kayaks to fish from this year I will feel accomplished . I want to grow that as well in 2020.

Demos are another thing I will be doing as well. Not only boat demos, but I would like to do fishing demos as well. Help others learn techniques in their fishing to better their experience on the water. Help folks find that right boat to suit their needs on the water is key to that. I don’t want to see others make the same mistake as I did when I bought my first kayak. Demoing boats has always been something that I have preached on the podcast. The boat may look cool but is it going to perform on the water as you need it to? That’s always the question, and if I can help people answer that, I feel it is going to help better their fishing experiences on the water.

Podcast

The podcast like I stating in the beginning has grown much larger and faster than I could have ever imagined. I remember when we hit our first 50 downloads. I got excited that people were interested in what we had to say, and what we were trying to do with the community. Our focus has always been and always will be to educate through our guests and our experiences on the water. I think we have done a pretty good job with that thus far. In 2019 this is only going to get better. We have already been talking with some potential guests, and to say i’m excited is an understatement. Not only the guests, but the listeners. We are holding our first roundtable podcast this next episode, and it’s all listeners. How cool is that? I feel that’s our way of giving back to those that support us. Let the listeners have a voice, and maybe help them out in anyway we can. I can not say thank you enough to all of you that support us along this journey! It is truly humbling!

Closing

With all of this being said you can expect just what the title states. More Content. I want to help grow and educate through all of this. It is a passion that burns inside of me, I know have to transpire that into the ways I just stated. I know it’s not going to be easy, but I know I will learn something along the way as you all are learning as well. So together I hope we can continue to grow and hone in on our skills. 2019 is going to be an epic journey. Get ready for the ride, and I hope it’s a good one for all of us!

Planning For 2019

Preparation starts way before the season gets close to starting for most. As tournament schedules come out for the upcoming season , it’s time to put a well thought out game plan together. 



  I’ve already started filling up the calendar with tournament dates, fishing shows over the winter, and pre fishing plans and accommodations .  Starting spread sheets to figure out tournament costs, camping fees, and estimated fuel costs for travel. The tasks seem grueling however it’s filled with excitement to know how much time I’ll be spending on the water next year.



  The tournament series I plan to fish are the KBL and the KBF Central division Trail Series. I may throw in a couple of KBF Open or Hobie Bass Open events into the mix as well. There are the occasional online events that will be thrown into the mix just to keep the AOY Points accumulating. 



  This will be my rookie year.  If I can get in contention for rookie of the year it would be a huge accomplishment even coming in the top ten. The biggest focus I need to have is just having fun and enjoying the fact that I have been blessed with a huge opportunity to contend in so many events this year.  I recently read an interview with KBF legend Jody Queen in which he stated his success can be attributed to the amount of time he spends on the water.



   After tournaments are marked down it’s time to figure out costs for the season. 



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In the charts above you see my breakdown for each tournament with dates, locations, cost of entry, cost of camping, fuel, food, etc. I believe a well thought out plan is the best way to accomplish anything. I tried to think of my expenses, and how feasible it was to make this my mission for the 2019 season. The things I haven’t included yet were the online tournaments along with fishing licenses. I believe this is just a start and I am sure things will change slightly as the season approaches. Hope this helps you all when planning out your tournament season.

Brian

Chasing The Dream

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The Background


Life is a gamble, and I'm going "all in" on the journey.  Driven by the passion that young child felt after landing a fish of a lifetime and that same 12 year old boy surfing through a Cabela's catalog, I'm going to dedicate all my time towards fishing and content creation.  The hope is to try to navigate my way through the sea of the fishing industry and hopefully land on my feet. I think this new adventure in the "game of life" is definitely a far fetched dream, but it is possible with determination. Do I want to spend my days thinking "what if"? Do I want to regret not even trying?  If it's possible, I believe it's doable.


    I've worked hard since I was 13 years old, dedicating a majority of my free time to work while missing family, holiday, and social events. We as a society have been taught over the years that you need to work a 9 to 5 and have the big house, and white picket fence, but is that what really makes us happy?  Slaving away doing something we aren't super passionate about?  Have you ever thought; "Would it be better to be poor and doing what I love rather than miserable and stressed out to achieve society's standards?"  If you're putting effort in to doing what you love and what you're passionate about, you can and shall succeed.


 Live The Story You Want To Tell


As most know, and for those that don't, I fish from a Bonafide Kayak. The companies tag line is "Live The Story You Want To Tell".  The story I want to tell, on my new mission in life, is "Follow Your Dreams".  Put yourself out there doing what makes you tick. Doing that thing that gets you excited when you get out of bed in the morning. Be passionate about it, and show others and teach others how to be passionate about it.  If we never shared our passions things would never grow.


  I've been a fisherman most of my life, however, when I found myself fishing from a kayak I found my true passion. The kayak community has been a pretty tight knit family that is starting to grow at a rapid rate across the country and over the world.  I've fished in many places, and on many different vessels, but the one that brings me more connected to the species I seek has been the kayak.  Kayak fishing is like a strategic plan from the first thought of heading out.  It's like a game of chess, and when you land that first fish it's like you just took your opponents Queen.  Checkmate comes at the end of a successful outing.  We don't always achieve checkmate, but that's the beauty of it.  It's what drives us back for more. It's what continues to teach us and better ourselves as fisherman.


The Plan


  At the end of April/Beginning of May next year I am leaving the company I started behind, and plan to fish full-time creating content, traveling, and fishing tournaments. I'm anxiously awaiting tournament schedules to come out for the 2019 season so I can start planning. Throughout the journey my plan is to document my daily endeavors of the journey. The good, the bad, and the ugly. The goal is to succeed and show people that if you follow your dreams and put in the hard work you can achieve that goal you thought was never possible.


  I'm nervous, excited, scared, and anxious all at the same time. However I know my keys to success will be from the love and support I receive from my family and friends, and the dedication I am going to put forth. 2019 is going to be a year that I will never forget regardless if I fail or succeed . The journey alone will give me strength, knowledge, and memories to last lifetimes. So I invite you all to join me along this crazy journey , and hopefully together we learn a lot and show that dreams are achievable.