Well….finally getting a second to write about my forty seventh place finish at Nickajack last weekend. I know forty seventh was far from where I hoped to be, but I caught limits of fish for three days!!! I haven’t done that since…last year some time. I had actually considered not fishing at all, at least not in tournaments….but here I am, back on my feet and swinging.
I made a decision to go back to fishing for limits. I had tried something new, and it had not worked. I have a bit of work to do to increase the size, but I fished a four inch green pumpkin with red flake Yamamoto Senko for three days and caught huge numbers of fish. At one point, I stepped outside of that to fish a submerged railroad track using a Zoom lizard; and that worked too. I feel so much better!
Now to the real significance of last weekend, way bigger than me not skunking.
I fished in the DeeZee KBF/FLW pro event on Nickajack Lake. The inaugural collaboration between FLW and KBF, and it was a great success!
Chad Hoover has done an incredible job building KBF and moving it to this stage. It was awesome to see anglers I have fished with over the last couple of years mingling with the guys we watch in what little free time we allow ourselves. It just had a different feel with the crowd, the city of Dayton and all the folks who came out to show support for fishing in general. I personally was incredibly moved by the number of people asking the kayakers questions; the interest level.
One of the greatest stories to me from the event is when Alan Reed posted after the event about a young man who had asked him for a sharpie. Alan thought that he was asking for it to get one of the regular FLW guys to sign his hat. He went out of the way to find a sharpie for the boy who immediately asked for Alan to sign.
I spoke with him and Sam Jones about the exchange. We discussed the new responsibilities that come with moving from fishing local tournaments in Indiana and Tennessee, to being on a bigger stage and having more exposure. This interaction should come as a reminder to us all to be “professional” in our conversations at events, in our actions at the ramps and on the water when boaters are not so kind….in our posts on social media – that is eternal. I mean, let’s be completely real for a second….those posts, those words kind or hateful…live on as us. If Facebook, Instagram or Twitter had existed when I was in my twenties…the way I lived at that time…I would be unemployable!!!
Gonna preach a minute….just a warning…..
These kids, these folks who just love fishing…our kids and grandkids…they are going to look at us a bit different now. We want to play pro….we have to be pro…. Like it or not, as adults playing in this arena, we have someone watching and learning from us. Let’s do our best to get as many folks interested and on the water as possible. I would have given anything to have found something like this before I found the shadows I chose to live in for over a decade…let’s make it possible for them to participate in a healthy environment.
We all have a responsibility to promote KBF, Hobie, local trails….us, the anglers….in the most positive light possible….ALL of us.
Sorry…try to keep this light, but I feel very strongly that we all have to be the best we can for this to grow. again, ALL of us.
Anyway….I had a freaking blast. Loved seeing the young man Bogdan win…..seeing familiar names and faces.
Late…been writing a larger recap of nick…and some other stuff for Anglr…y’all go over and check that out….peace…I am a bit tired!
As a side note…
Had a great stay at a cabin off of Hwy 41 owned by Jim and Emillie Cavin. If you ever head toward Chattanooga, check them out. VRBO for Jim’s cabin Part of the cabin has original wood flooring, it has cool stuff all around every room…and they are just great hosts! Super clean and well appointed place to lay your head. Since I always carry my wife, we try to make our trips little adventures, and this place will be on our list the next time we head that way!