Dude…I am fishing here…

I realize to you, I am just some other person in a little boat.

I realize I don’t appear to be as serious as you without a 20ft, 250 hp fiberglass boat.

I realize that you cannot see the hours I put in learning to fish the same patterns as you, to catch the same fish as you, to learn the same craft as you; that more than likely, I study the bass I search after more than you ever will.

I know there is no way that you could be aware that I have a boat in my garage but I choose to be in a kayak because I love the fellowship and competition; I love the purity of this form of fishing.

It seems obvious you are not aware that by placing high enough, we qualify for the chance at a $100,000 prize in the KBF National Championship.

Maybe you didn’t know I was fishing in the KBF tournament on Chickamauga Lake last weekend with 59 other kayakers?

But, you could see there were four other kayaks fishing the same area – because I could see them most of the day.

Five kayaks in a creek; five. I lost count of the number of you that passed, but it became a constant wave.

Not once (in all of the 8.5 hours I fished) did any of those kayakers cut off another kayak or boat, not once did they toss a lure at the back of a bass boat, not once did they cut off another person fishing; some even quietly carried kayaks off to the side to allow other boaters to have quick access to the ramps.

In that same 8.5 hours; I saw a boat come within 10 feet of one of us at full speed, had three lures chunked toward me, had a jet ski idle past in a narrow spot – only to immediately spin three times – within feet of me – before running off into the distance, had my path cut off twice….then sat after I pulled to the ramp only to have a ski boat back down and block my ability to leave while they tried to charge their battery.

Now, let me be very clear; many people shared the same courtesy we showed them. We respected each other’s right to fish, to boat; to just enjoy the day we were given. For a few seconds, with a simple head nod or a “catchin’ any” we connected and then moved on.

Like I said, I realize that maybe you don’t know how important fishing is to me and others who paddle or pedal across the same water as you…

…but I hope you will understand when one of us stands up in our kayak and reminds you that we are fishing here too……and we are only growing in numbers…and while we cannot out run your boat, some of us can definitely out fish you…so back up and respect that we have as much right to fish that dock as you.