Cheatamowski….just don’t call me late for dinner…

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I have spent my whole life with my last name.  One of those things I was born with, there is no cure for it.  It comes attached with family and all the history behind it.  I never gave it much thought, never felt a need to “carry on” the family name…guess I never felt truly traditional when it come to names.  My Joy did take my last name.  That does make me very happy, not in I needed to put a tag on her kinda way, but that she would even marry me. It makes me feel especially good.

Now, when she married me, I was had been fired from my job as a manufacturing engineer…rehired four months later to work in product support (now back in engineering) where I had to answer the phone; “Hello, this is Mike Cheatham”.

“How do you spell that?”

“Well, it is like Cheat and Ham slapped together” was my response.  It changed the tone of the call and also made it easy to use two small words people knew.  It kept Cheatum, Cheetum, Cheethum…and any number of other misspellings from happening. I still spell it that way when asked.

Then there is the long list of “Dewey, Cheatham and Howe” jokes; “Can’t beat’em, Cheat’em”, etc..  When I used to cut tobacco they would call me “Cheetah”….guess that was better than “punkinhd” in reference to my big ‘ole head looking back on it….

All this was ok….until a couple of weeks ago I was at the FLW tournament.  There in front of me was the legendary Jimmy Houston.  I had watched him forever, loved to see him catching fish…enjoyed the trademark laugh that makes him recognizable.  Jimmy freaking Houston was smiling at me!

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I had taken pics of Joy with him.  A good friend and fellow angler Arlie Minton had asked me to take a couple of pics also…then I turned away from Mr. Houston and he saw my name.

I heard that laugh that I love so much.

“That’s a (heck or hell…not exactly sure, plays like hell in my head) of a name for a fisherman.”

I turned around to see him looking at my jersey.

“I bet you have to take lie detectors after every tournament!”  That laugh again.  “Cheatham won again, let’s get him over here!”

“The only thing that would make this better was if you sold used cars!”

And there it was.  One of my heroes joking about my name.

“I told him they never ask me for a lie detector, cause I don’t win.  Then asked him if he was looking for a car, I could get him a very trustworthy version!”

Then we both laughed together because I have learned time is too short to take yourself and everything that comes by too seriously.  Now, don’t get me wrong…I would have loved for our first conversation to have been around fishing and some great new technique I had discovered, or during his fishing show (I am free to fish with you anytime Mr. Houston sir…just sayin…), but it was great to hear that laugh.  And it was fun.  We talked for a few more minutes and I had one of those fan moments I had always dreamt of coming true!

So….Jimmy Houston…if you ever need some company on your show, I am available.  I will run that used car on by….runs good, low miles…only driven by a little old lady to church on Easter…let me know.

 

 

P.S.  Bill Dance…or Hank Parker…same offer….just sayin….willing to take a lie detector….

bit of preaching….amen….

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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!

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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!

Guntersville’s Honey Hole……

I headed to Guntersville Alabama with the intention of camping somewhere, winning the tournament, then going to Nickajack to catch some fish I knew would be in a difficult place to get back from….three simple goals; I accomplished none of them.  We will get back to the camping in a minute – but when you plan to camp…CAMP!!!

First, I pre-fished on Friday and found fish with about everything I tossed.  I was ripping and running along the area I had chosen, stopping every hundred or so yards pulling fish.  Yamamoto Senkos, frogs, Rapala SkitterPop, white spinnerbait, swimbait…it didn’t seem to matter, they were biting.  The wind was pushing on the banks, and the fish were there.  I could see bass beds, blue gill beds…shad…I could see me crushing it on Saturday.

I loaded up and moved when the gusts reached in the 20mph range to a place I thought would be a bit more isolated with Kris Hummel.  We both caught a single bass.  When we were loading he told me that he was staying with Billy Reynolds, Steve Leaman, and Ryan Marshall; they had extra room….back to that in a minute…but, when you plan to camp….CAMP!!!

The day of the tournament, well, I did catch a 20.75 on my favorite spinnerbait.  And I could see the fish….and they did hit a senko, and a spinner bait…and well, I only caught three keepers and a bunch of short fish. I finished in (stammering non-committal sound here) place; goal number two = failed.

Skip to Nickajack on the way home.

Fished some spots, then launched just below the Chickamauga Dam and pedaled across to a small creek. Years ago, it was the spot I first caught a small mouth.  It was also where I caught what I described to folks I worked with as a “catfish with feet” (now I know it was a waterdog or mudpuppy)

…the same folks I told I had seen a western made with only little people…so my credibility was very low….but look it up “Terror in Tiny Town”…so no one believed me at all…I did do a lot of drugs way back then….so I still understand…but look it up!

Anyway…

I fished and caught a lot of small fish; smallmouth, bass, a few spots…a monster bluegill…and then headed back toward the ramp.  I knew the water had changed directions in the creek (it was flowing upstream), so it was a bit of an issue.  I took off toward the ramp and steadily headed toward downtown Chattanooga.  Not by choice, but by the currents demand.  I pedaled with all I had, losing ground as folks on the bank watched and pointed…then I finally hit a break in the current and was able to pedal the half mile back up to the ramp.  Loaded up and headed back to Clarksville…hugged my Joy thankful to be home!…took a nap – because I hadn’t slept (when you plan to camp…CAMP!!!).

Tear up Nickajack; goal number three = failed.

 

So back to the inevitable eventuality that is from now and for eternity known as “WHY YOU SHOULD CAMP WHEN YOU PLAN TO CAMP!!”.  Also known as failure number 1!

SOOOOOOOO….Kris Hummel got me a room at the inn with Billy, Steve and Ryan.  I had never met Ryan, so I had no expectations of him.  The other knuckleheads, well, we have crossed paths many times on the trails.  Billy and I had talked at three or four in the morning my first KBF Open will waiting to see how much I had won, Steve and I had talked a lot…we all shared a friendship with Rebecca – so I thought how bad could it be….

I love to learn new things. I absolutely love it.  Once I went back to college in my late twenties and thirties, I discovered that I would love to go forever.  But what I learned in the first twenty….no, five minutes, about this crew…no therapy, no drugs, no shock treatments…no lobotomy can erase.

I write on this blog a lot and try very hard to keep it clean – so I cannot replay most of the first day at the Honey Hole in Alabama.

I cannot talk about the boat ramp bet that was lost by Ryan.

I cannot replay the conversation at dinner (a meal that kept me in and out of the kayak all the next day, sick!!!) when the waitress came up to Ryan and asked if he was on youtube, if he was famous…for doing things at the boat ramp!  Billy had set him up.

I slept huddled in a ball on a small section of sofa missing my Joy softly whimpering.  She had gone to a wedding in Chicago, I had ended up here….with this crew….I will never go to a tournament without her again.  If I do, I will camp, or sleep on the interstate…or just not sleep…

Day two with them…

I tried to find a way to not go back…just go camp..I was sick, I was tired, I was scared of what might happen….what else I might learn…and it kept coming!

Again…PG13 at worst here….so no details….but…

I don’t know how they allowed us to stay in the restaurant.  I don’t know how, I really don’t know how.  Camp = failed.

…..ok….

I still have no idea how Steve can sleep through the alarm on his phone, how Billy paid off the fishing bet, how Hummel slept with Ryan snoring or why I will never be allowed to join the fat kid fishing team…..

I do know that I will never be the same and I will never go to a tournament without Joy!!!  And when the only room at the inn is in the stables….I ain’t sleeping with those animals again!!

 

So it wasn’t really that bad and am kidding, and I wish I was willing to say more about the weekend, but I will refrain and leave it at this EXTREMELY watered down version of events.

I had a freaking blast with them.  The reality is that they welcomed me in, I got to know more about them and their families. We joked, we laughed, we picked on me for being the only one in the group to not catch a limit…well, they picked on me.  We helped each other get ready for the day of fishing, we helped to get Hummel’s car running, we traded lures, line and lies.  It was not my best performance on the water, but it was definitely still a great tournament hanging out with them.

We share a connection with KBF, with fishing and being on the water.  Our memories of Rebecca, of the tournaments we have all attended together filled the night as we talked until we were totally exhausted, then slept.

I will have fond memories of Guntersville because of the two nights at the Honey Hole….thanks y’all.

 

 

 

P.S.

I know y’all expected me to write about it all…….ha…..half the fun was you expecting the worst.  Peace.

NSKA does it right…wish I had a backup-plan…

Before I replay yet another lackluster performance for 2019, I want to give a shout out to the guys of NSKA. It was great fun at the Boars Nest, and a very organized event.  I picked up a pretty cool lanyard from RoboHawk as a door prize.

I was impressed with the numbers in attendance, and the way they welcomed those of us from outside the area.   The table I sat at, with virtual strangers, allowed me to be a part of their conversations and introduced me to their friends, to their chicken coops, to information about the lakes around the area…and were not shy about what I had done wrong all day, as they joked with all who passed.  I absolutely love the family feel of our community.

Thanks to Jason Kincy for walking me through everything when I showed up late…congrats to Declan Mcdonald for a great showing by a young angler to win the NSKA event and to David Cruz for winning the Hobie satellite and getting a bid to the TOC!

Y’all at the NSKA are awesome, but then I seem to always find that in the kayak community.

….now to this….

Loaded up the Hobie Grail, grabbed Joy and set out for Rogers, Arkansas to fish on Beaver Lake.  Having fished the KBF open there last year, I was not totally blind (or so I thought) and was looking forward to fishing the same spot on Beaver…the creek below War Eagle Mill.

Well, Ben Spangler messaged me a few days before and warned me that it was raining…all day…and the water might be stained.  OK.  I am from Tennessee, stained is ok.

I watched the creeks and gullies as I got closer to Rogers.  The fields had standing water, the sides of the road we filled with standing water, parking lots had standing water….creeks were flowing in the trees; muddy, not just stained.

I held out hope.

I rounded a corner and could see the water above the dam at the mill.  And for the second time this season, my plans were in jeopardy.  I am pretty weak at extremely deep and clear water – the definition of Beaver Lake – so I held out hope that it would still be ok andf I would have some skinny water in my future; then I saw the creek.

I pedal my Hobie at least once a week – most weeks more – every week (for two years now) so I feel like I am in pretty good pedaling shape for an old guy…and the Hobie can forge through some pretty swift current…but I tossed a stick in to measure the current. Before the stick hit the water good, it was 10 feet past the point of entry at a point where the creek choked the water.  The engineer in me went to work…that was about a second…

(10 feet per second times (60 seconds in a minute)(60 minutes in an hour)) divided by 5280 feet in a mile…little under 7 mph.

…on my best day…I might be able to hold that for a second or two, but the water was also too shallow for the mirage drive….yep, I was in trouble.

I chose to fish around the dam on Beaver Lake first thing in the morning.  My first steps out of the truck were into my boots…while I quickly learned were filled with water, not the best start on a cold Arkansas morning.

I pulled some old smelly socks from under the seat of my truck and put my sneakers back on before launching. Not too often I sit in 15 feet of water and can count the rocks on the bottom, but the water was that clear!  I tried to stop thinking about my blown out creek.

Cast number two with a small Charlie Brewer swimbait, lost a 14 inch fish. Cast number four landed a 15.5 with that same bait…then the dink fest began…so after about 2 hours of littles (had I been on time, I would have known that 10 inchers counted for NSKA!!!)…I made a decision to drive 50 minutes back to War Eagle and take my chances.

Nothing of value to add here, I rolled the dice and lost….almost flipped when my drive snagged the bottom, almost lost my kayak to the 6 plus mph water when I jumped out to keep from rolling and lost a grip on the Hobie as the current tried to take it…luckily it hung on the bottom.  My calculations were fairly accurate – I could only beat the current in the widest parts and caught zero fish the rest of the day.

Reflecting on the way home, I played back the last months.  I changed my style this year, swinging for the fences instead of fishing for limits.  I could have easily pulled a limit on Beaver without moving…without almost flipping….

I said this out loud…and Joy said “maybe you should go back to what you know”….

…maybe I should.

On to Guntersville…..and catching limits.

 

naked men and pirates…thanks for the memories Ben!

So, how do you handle a conversation when it starts with the phrase; “have you ever had a naked man run and knock you through a wall?”

My first response is naturally (and fortunately!) “uhhhh, no”; but my second is to caution them about myself.

“Just stop.  I will never keep anything you say past this point to myself.  I will bring it up, I will write about it, I will share with all who will listen….are we clear?”

“I work with a guy who will never outlive his story of jello wrestling another dude…I am warning you! People do not tell me stuff for reasons!!!”

The third….”ok, so tell me the story”.

And the infamous Mr. Ben Lowry proceeded to relay the story to the entire group representing the Clarksville Area Kayak Fishing Group (and our adopted brother Trey Delk) at the National Championship during dinner at Crawdaddy’s Kitchen in Shreveport.  For a few seconds the table was silent, Boudin Balls were put down…no crawfish was consumed…as we learned about a rugby tradition; and a naked man (literally) barreling down the hall and crashing through a wall.  I learned that crashing through the wall was really an attempt to overachieve, running naked would have sufficed after the guy scored his first points…but then, our table would not have joined together in laughter at the story.  Most likely Trey Delk wouldn’t have regaled us with even more rugby terms and traditions (which I will never commit to writing on the blog!).

What a motley crew!

For that meal, Joy and myself, Trey Delk, Ron Himmelhaver, Jay Minor, Kirt Pequinot, Raymond Jones, the Matts (Duckworth and Lake), Ben Lowry and Marc Hurst; virtual strangers to each other a couple of years ago were sharing as a family.

We talked about past trips on the water together, about our kayaks, about big fish…little fish…fish we caught around rocks; fat fish, skinny fish…even fish from under docks.  Sorry…there is a hot dog tune in my head now.

We talked about all that we had shared, all the days to come – future tournaments, how to modify boats, trailers…our kids…Joy even shared embarrassing things about me as we talked affectionately about/to/for each other (they now know our R-Pod is called ARRR POD because we are cool pirates!).  Here are the pics guys…..since she shared my super secret identity…..

Joy and myself

Captain Dishrag and Steve

All of this while oblivious to the loudest, most crowded restaurant I have ever been in; oblivious to the time.

Then we left to go fish the next day.

And it was tough for us all.

Then on day two, Jay Minor and myself went out to fish for fun.  Raymond was supposed to go with us (we invited them all), but Jay left him behind! Ok, not really what happened…and Raymond knows what occurred was not intentional…but Jay did leave him…kidding…..but I didn’t leave him…and he got left….just sayin…

 Anyway….all the rambling above is to just say to the guys who were there….and to all the guys who fish with us in CAKFG…and to anyone who reads the mindless rambling of this blog….I am absolutely blessed to have you in my life.   We are only here for a few seconds, too few, and I am glad that we get to share experiences with each other.   Thanks!

But even more, thanks Ben; I couldn’t have lived another day without that knowledge…well, maybe I would have survived – but some images no amount of therapy will ever erase!

I will get back to writing about fishing…as soon as I catch fish….

…and the winner is….us!

Since I have written my pity post talking about my performance at the 2019 KBF National Championship in Shreveport/Bossier Louisiana, I will not rehash that at all.  I developed a solid pattern; launch, fish, come back empty handed – it just wasn’t a winning pattern.  (stole that line, think it was a Ron Himmelhaver quote)

Congrats to Mike Elsea for taking us all to school. A great tourney for our 2019 KBF National Champion!

It was just awesome to see the area community so involved with what we were doing; being so informed.  There was not a gas station, ramp or restaurant that I visited where someone didn’t ask about kayak fishing.  I spent hours just talking to folks about kayaking in general; where to get boats or how much they cost, how do weigh ins happen, where are we from, what we were catching and how – even suggestions about where to be or why the fish were not biting…it was the most welcoming bunch of folks I ever met!  They taught me what a chinquapin, sac-a-lait and white perch were (that the last two are the same), and how to say them correctly in spite of my Tennessee accent.

The Shreveport KOA was extremely accommodating to Joy and myself; suggesting restaurants like Sam’s Southern Eatery and Crawdaddy’s Kitchen, selling me too much ice cream.  Harrah’s Louisiana Downs casino was all too willing to take my money; but also provided a pretty cool venue for our check in and captain’s meetings. I did have some major wins!

I have been a part of the KBF family for two years and am impressed with the growth of the organization and the professional manner in which the staff conducts the events and just need to get some “thank you” love out there.  I have no idea what you all do during the months up to, or the days during the event; but I know that this ole boy really appreciates that I can show up and take part in this (and all events) every year.

  • Chad Hoover thanks for bringing this to the world stage, for having the vision
  • Kristie Hoover thanks for keeping him straight and raising the bar, for helping to organize the days
  • Joe Haubenreich thanks for all you do, for the shared conversations about points; for helping me poke at Brent Lanier (always fun!)
  • Richard Wohlwend-Penny thanks for the open and honest dialogues about tourney management and where we are headed with KBF
  • Amanda Brannon thanks for excellent judging and somehow managing to keep all of us straight – and for the kind words about my writing
  • Lynette Brentlinger thanks for organizing all of the stuff and the mail and all that jazz, has to suck dealing with us at times
  • Josh Martin thanks for the reports, the standings on Facebook
  • Scott Beutjer thanks for the shared enthusiasm for the sport and the passion – and the Westbrook Supply Ketch board I barely used. Look forward to seeing the photos and video; also look forward to sharing some water and conversations with you
  • To all the folks in the KBF organization that video, take pics….do stuff that I cannot begin to understand is required for an event this large..I wish I was better with names! Thanks!!!
  • Dwayne Walley and TourneyX; man, I love your software and its simplicity – thanks for the conversations through the year

If I missed anyone at KBF…I am truly sorry….I appreciate you all!

 

Thank you Caney Fork for hooking me up with my first, second, third, fourth and fifth kayak…or hooking Joy up – y’all still need to not talk about boats with her ever!  Thanks for the opportunity to represent you with the Hobie team this year.  Thanks for helping me to have the best gear on the water!

 

To all the National Championship sponsors – I am pleased to be a consumer of many of your products, proud to share this community with you all.  I look forward to opportunities to talk with you all, to meet the innovators and creators who make our lives on the water so much easier.  You guys don’t catch fish for me, but you make it easier for me to do it myself.  I mean let’s be serious, it wasn’t that long ago that the entire bass fishing community was geared toward bass boats, not us; now I can buy gear for my kayak that is made specifically for that kayak!

A special thanks to Jody Queen and Brian Aliff for putting me on some fish and helping me to lose the skunk on Caddo!  Thanks to Jay Minor for snapping the pic!

I left it behind because these two saw a brother struggling and helped him out when they did not have to do so…but then that is who this community is to each other!  Those two personify kayak fishing to me!  It is why I love this so much!

 

As always, I got to talk and laugh with old friends…made new friends…

 

Just realized this is sounding like some award acceptance speech, and I only won a door prize of some Gruv tackle boxes (thanks so much!). I will stop gushing like I am at the Oscars and naming all of the folks who made it possible….but I will not before I again say how proud I was to represent the KBF community on And off the water in the National Championship and was able to share that with all who asked…and give thanks that I can do that the rest of the year; not only for KBF and Hobie, but with those of us who live and breathe kayak fishing across the world.

 

Going to get out of here….see you all at the next tournament.

….3…..4…..5

If I were quite honest, I would say that I was disappointed with my performance in Louisiana.  And I usually am honest, even with myself when it hurts the most…and the weekend hurt.  I had dreams of driving to Shreveport and absolutely wrecking the place.  I have never felt more confident that I had a plan – spinnerbaits, top water, maybe even a crankbait or two….I was on fire!  This place would be mine…I would own it and come back with an NC title.  This was all in my wheelhouse….

Two days in, I felt like I imagined Roberto Duran did against Sugar Ray Leonard when he uttered “No Mas” during a boxing match before he walked away from the fight.  Well, actually a bit worse….more like the wrong end of a Mike Tyson fight…face down, count at 6, my corner man (lady)…..

…get up…and I breath out….eyes closed….

seven

…I said get up….my head rolled to one side…

…stop your whining!

eight

This daydream, a rolling ball of self pity, brought to you by the butt whooping the water put on me was interrupted by my corner reminding me that I have a nice home, a job, I never go hungry…

…yeah I know, but…

….And a woman who loves and supports my desire, my need, to be on the water as much as possible…

…suck it up buttercup!…

And just like that, she delivered the dose of smelling salts that brought me back to my feet (to myself).

Nine…they didn’t finish the count.

I backed into the corner, and the fight continues.  I am out on this one, but I am still standing and I will not stop trying.

Ok, so a bit dramatic. I am still licking my wounds, rubbing my aching joints and wishing I could do it again (and I will!!!); all while appreciating that fact that my corner always has my back.  She is always there with me, for me, in spite of me; supporting, encouraging me to work hard (telling me to catch bigger fish); asking me how it’s going….answering with empathy when I say not so well.  I came back to dinner, clean clothes and a hug.

The camper was clean and organized despite my incredible desire for organized chaos to reign.  She worked as my (pit crew/corner man) to clear out a backlash that I would never have been able to manage alone with my fat fingers. 

She tolerated my pouting/venting to a point that I would never tolerate from any human….and she loves me.

Like I said, I don’t get it…and it hurts to say she is right, so do not tell her I admitted that…ok? Or maybe you should, I could use the points….yeah, tell her she is awesome!

She takes care of me when I am up or down.  She rides with me to the corners of the angling world to attend virtually every event, and does so without complaint…well if I am pouting she complains about that, but that is on me….my Joy tells me it doesn’t look good on me, or for me, to be pouting publicly and that she knows that I am not going to quit fishing no matter how many times I stomp and say it!  For the record, I didn’t stomp…I am more of a whiny pouter…so…there.

But she is right.

  • I am very happy for the guys at the top.
  • I am not going to quit. I have been buried deep in a funk that I need to climb out of, but if it continues for a few months longer, I am still chasing the win….chasing the dream and am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this community.
  • I do believe I am better than this, and that I am not a below average angler.
  • No one can always be at the top.
  • I need to “suck it up buttercup!”
  • Milk Duds in popcorn is pretty good…just sayin.

I have no idea what karmic justice is being served that created this rut that I was stuck in (thanks Jody Queen and Brian Aliff for the lift out of it!) and I have even less of an idea what karmic justice stuck her with me!  I keep waiting for the day that she wakes up and realizes that the hand she was dealt is not a winner and moves to correct the situation.  I have told her and others that I would leave me if I could…no way someone else should deal with me.

And after the last week, when I said I am less than average as an angler…she asked me where are we going next week, not allowing me to let go of the dream.

And then, I come home to this!

She knows how hard it is to find a hat for my big head and how much I believe in Hobie products and the folks at Caney Fork Outdoors

So while a week of flipping black and blue Gary Yamamoto senkos against trees was not my plan, and I took two too many days to let go of my original fight plan before ssssllllloooooowwwwwwiiiinnnnggggg down…on to the next round…….local tournament, then maybe the Harris Chain Hobie event…then…well, need to pull up the calendar, because I am no quitter….ring the bell; let me out of this corner!

Plan to create a less selfish post about the entire event as soon as I get everything put away and ready for next week.  Till later…