WTBY….or the continuing saga of skunk boy…

Woke up at two, drove two hours and some change.  I fished a tournament, but I did nothing to write about. 

There is no technique that proved successful, there is no lure that stood out.  I didn’t learn anything to improve me as an angler.  I was cold, unfocused and out of it early in the day.  A trend I hope turns soon…very soon…but for now….I feel a need to share some things in my head….maybe I should just take a nap…hmmmmm…anyway…

….

I have a small fireproof box where I keep important “stuff”.  It contains a letter my dad had with him on the day he died, some old pics, a tooth the “tooth fairy” picked up from my daughter, a craft project she made, softball pins and other (to the casual observer – trash maybe) items that are priceless to me. It might surprise some to learn that I am a bit sentimental about certain things, others will understand.  It isn’t the thing that matters but the memory of that gift (or the day it came into my possession) that provides value. I mean let’s be serious, if something happened to me today, the contents of that box would end up in a landfill and the world wouldn’t be less for it.

As I sit here on the couch typing, I realize that most of our (my Joy’s and mine) house has become a “memory box” too.  We have printer trays filled with items collected during our seven (almost eight) years together….

…from our kids, from our vacations, from our adventures; the pirate mood ring I gave her in Gatlinburg (we were married in two months after our first non date!) the logo from the cooler we blew up on a fourth of July, the voodoo doll we picked up when we went to New Orleans to see the Dalai Lama….all kind of stuff.  Lately, since I have committed to an extremely busy schedule of kayak tournaments we have added rocks from Lake Erie, sand and shells from Melbourne (FL) during the Stick Marsh tournament, driftwood from Santee Cooper, old lures….trinkets we pick up traveling the us….memories collected and captured in the tiniest of tokens.

Today, I picked up a memento from the WTBY tournament that I plan to carry with me through the next chapters of my life.  Instead of putting it in a box on the wall…instead of setting it with my fishing mementos; the trophy for CAKFG AOY (my first year in tournaments) or the awesome driftwood/copper piece Joy gave me during our anniversary (month long is how she celebrates), the prize she picked up after the National Championship – my old Hobie skateboard (see the story about that!…Skateboard for 7th)…

…I will be using the award I was given for “skunking” during a tournament.  It is a small sticker that the guys have decided to hand out during all of their tournaments.  At first I thought just rub it in!!  But I knew that was not the intent of the gesture, so I gladly accepted my skunk vinyl.

I am not keeping it because I am proud of the fact that I stunk up the entire county, nor am I keeping it because I have done that same thing at every event since the Dale Hollow tournament in December of last year…

….nope…

I am placing it next to the duck I carry (a gift from Joy to keep her close when I am on the water) because it will remind me of today and the fun that this great group of folks have during their events.  It will remind me of the laughter we shared before the launch…It will remind me of the joking after the tournament (pretty sure some was at my expense??)…it will remind me to not take everything too serious and that I am a part of something that is pretty awesome!

If you guys get to fish with any Kayak Angler’s Society of Tennessee group…do it.  I fish primarily with the CAKFG guys, but highly recommend that everyone take the time to head over to West Tennessee and fish with Matt, Trent, Donnie, Russel, Michael, Brandon, Justin, the Shea’s (I know I am spelling one of your names wrong!), Mark, Ashley….congrats on the win today Ashley!…and others that I will leave off unintentionally…

…you will get a skunk badge if you have a bad day… and they will laugh and joke with/for/about you….but it will be done with the spirit of fun, fellowship and encouragement…and you will leave having experienced a great tournament with an exceptional bunch of anglers.  They welcome you in, leaving you feeling a part of their family!

Thanks for having me today.  I always welcome new things to sit on the porch reminiscing about when I can no longer hobble down to the water.

oh yeah…I am also keeping the sticker because I was told it would end the great skunkfest of 2019….If that sticker doesn’t get the skunk off my back Trent…I am going to be disappointed!!

 

 

Author: Mike Cheatham

Me…Mike Cheatham email…mikecheathamfishing@gmail.com something to know……….fished my whole life; now from a kayak….

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