As 2016 has finally ended and 2017 begins, it bring a new year of possibilities both in fishing and in life. While for some our kayak fishing season has ended, but for others it is starting to heat up as fish will be making their way to beds within the next few months. Whether you are able to fish or not, there is always something to do. Lately I have been cleaning reels, organizing tackle, and replacing rusty hooks. While these tasks might not be as fun as getting on a school of toads, they are crucial tasks that need to be done to ensure proper and efficient use of your time on the water. I would much rather do this stuff now, to allow me to be on the water as soon as everything unthaws!
|New PB, 21.5 inches, from 2016!|
Now let me preface that I have never been a huge goal type of guy. A lot of times I make decisions as they come to me rather than a long distance goal that I could lose motivation to accomplish. My kayak fishing goal for 2016 was to make the KBF National Championship. While this was my first year in the kayak fishing scene, I was very thankful for the opportunities I have been given and the friends I have made. I look forward to 2017 and the many adventures it holds as I attempt to take a run at the KBF AOY through the KBF Trail and online events.
Now for what's new in 2017!
As 2017 begins I reflect back upon everything I did in 2016 and came up with a few major areas that I think I could vastly improve on.
|First ever Smallmouth Bass!|
- Don't sweat the small stuff. This is something that use to eat me up when I would go fishing. Even when fun fishing, I would get furious with myself when I would forget stuff. Instead in 2017 I fully intend on making list to make sure I don't leave the essentials at home!
- Sticking with your strengths. One thing that I have realized while fishing many live tournament events is that you can't try to do too much. There were many times when I tried to make a bite happen that simply wasn't there. I also tried to fish tactics that I had no previous practice with, when there was money on the line. In 2017 I have a goal of adding more techniques to my strengths during practice and trying new and revolutionary tactics to give me a larger background knowledge when I need it, but when money is on the line I will work on sticking to my guns and doing what I already excel at.
- Explore new places. In 2016 I hit the water a lot...I mean a lot a lot. One thing I keep kicking myself about is not exploring new places. I would say 3/4 of my fishing was at one small community lake. Towards the end of the season I started exploring some other creeks and rivers and found some massive fish in them! In 2017, I fully intend on exploring more of these hidden gems in search of some giant bass!
|Don't be afraid to take a break from fishing to share some laughs|
Photo credit: Jay Randall
- Don't forget to have fun! In lieu of the countless online tournaments you can be in at any given time, it can be over-whelming. Many times you can let your competitive edge get the best of you. I found that in many instances this past summer. No one likes losing a big fish but in the tournament mindset it can make you feel like the world is going to stop turning. Many times you just gotta learn to shake it off and remember that THIS IS SUPPOSE TO BE FUN...better said than done!
Overall 2016 was an amazing fishing year for me! I managed to spend over 100 days on the water, met a ton of amazing new friends, had some high tournament finishes, go the great opportunity to write for this blog, and completed my major 2016 goal of punching my ticket to the KBF National Championship! What more can a guy ask for in their first year of kayak fishing! I have super high hopes for 2017 and will continue to strive to be the best fisherman, friend, and promoter of the sport to anyone I meet along the way! I have big hopes for the 2017 season as I make a run for the 2017 KBF AOY! Follow my journey on here as well as my personal instagram and facebook. Be sure to say hello if you see me at any KBF Trail events! If anyone ever wants to go fishing, drop me a line! I'm really looking to meet new people and fish new places! Good luck to everyone this coming season! I wish you the best of luck ;).
|Cheers to more toads in 2017!|