Remember when you were a kid and your parents said that you could be anything you wanted to be, if you tried hard enough? That sounded great to a twelve or fourteen year old kid, but as you aged and you had not found a direction you might have heard your folks or others say just do something! You may be wondering why I would start a fishing blog post with a those sentences? Well, I feel that in our sport, kayak fishing; we need more people daring to dream the impossible.
As I cruise and talk to folks on the road I always hear, “Man, I would love to be able to make a living at this outdoors, kayak fishing thing.” That dream sentence is smashed less than ten seconds after it’s said by the one who has the dream. That is a shame! Others will say to the dreamer, “there are only 5 people in the world who make a living riding a kayak”. These folks need to stop limiting hopes and dreams of those who want to climb the rope and make it to the top. So there are only 5? Is there room for more?
Dreams are great things and they are yours, don’t let the haters, trolls and others who prey on stealing your joy get you down. Those people wish they had the intestinal fortitude to give it a shot. One thing I have learned about haters and trolls is that they lack heart! When you have the heart and the courage to pursue the mission through to completion, no one can stop you. Dreamers who dream the big dream have to be focused and stay the course or else it remains just a dream. Here a five tips to help you stay on course:
1. Write down your end goal. How does it look when you achieve the dream?
2. Step through your dream detail by detail – call it a strategic plan.
3. Be willing to put the ground work in and stay on course even when you feel that you are failing.
4. Seek wise counsel & surround yourself with a team of encouragers.
5. It’s your dream and you have to nurture it. No one can deliver it for you.
Remember the kid who wanted to be the Astronaut, policeman or Professional Kayak Angler? It’s still in there and may just need to be unlocked. There is plenty of room on the stage for as many people who have the courage, the dream and the desire to help grow a limitless sport!
LIVE THE ADVENTURE!
Last week I had the opportunity to sit down with Xcite Baits pro, James Biggs. As a weekend warrior and amateur outdoor media guy I was excited to hear from someone that is competing at one of the highest levels in bass fishing. This year James finished seventeenth in his first Forrest Wood Cup, so obviously he has skins on the wall and knowledge that we can all take with us to the water.
My biggest questions seem to center around techniques and baits. As you all know, I have a small tackle problem and am easily swayed into the popular tactic of the moment. Putting that front and center I asked James how he developed his skills in fishing different styles. The first thing that he said to me was fish with what you are comfortable and confident with. Well, examining my tackle selection that can change by the minute. In drilling deeper in the question of how do you get comfortable and confident he said practice. When you aspire to be a great tournament fisherman you have to be versed in mucho tactics. His advice to me was to only take the bait that I wanted to learn and throw it for an entire month. During that month you should gain the knowledge of how it works, how you can modify it and the best conditions to throw it in.
The next topic was about learning and listening. When you are coming up in the sport don’t be afraid to ask questions, go to demo days and seminars. To master anything you have to put the time in. I think that a lot of us, me included, just expect to roll up to lake, throw the bait in and hold on for the Double Digit that is assured to bite. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. In order to fish at the level of touring pros or great club guys you have to do the research, ask the questions and spend the time on the water learning what you’re doing.
It is always good to sit at the feet of the master, but it’s what you take what you have learned from the meeting and better yourself with the information. Here are my three quick takeaways: Be Confident, Never Stop Asking Questions and Put in The Time! These three things will make you a better person and also improve your bass fishing. We’d love to hear from you guys and what you think so feel free to drop us a comment.
KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!
Stalking Shallow Water Bass In Silence
There is something about getting up before the sun and heading out to the lake. For me it really doesn’t matter if the fishing is hot or cold, but what matters are the surroundings and beauty of what the morning brings. People ask me why I kayak fish. Here are three reasons why kayak fishing works for me.
First, the kayak I use is the Hobie Pro Angler 14 and the way that it glides across shallow water is critical for my style of fishing. With the mirage tucked against the hull I can cruise some pretty skinny water. Kayak fishing allows me to stalk the fish in pure silence. It allows me to see nature unfold in slow motion waiting for the moment of impact.
Secondly, kayak fishing keeps you in shape. Whether you decide to paddle or pedal it doesn’t matter, you are active and burning off the bad decisions from the start of the week. By loading, unloading, standing and sitting it builds your core muscle and helps with balance. Those few things there contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
Third, the moment of impact is why I kayak fish. When you are working a grass line with a top water frog or stripping an Xcite Baits Ubershad through grass or pads the blow ups and violent strikes are out of this world. Pure Adrenaline!
We would love to know why you kayak fish and what you’re doing to support and grow the sport. Feel free to leave a comment and continue to do the great work of promoting a healthy life style that is awesome on the environment.
KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!
For the last 2 days I have had to live without a wireless signal. I never gave much thought to just how many things need to be connected in order to perform properly. That gave me some thought about just how connected our culture is and how it’s gets to freak out mode when you can’t run your TV, Computer, Social Applications and the list goes on. I had to work it old school the last couple of days and it gave some clarity. The clear vision is that I am spoiled to technology and want my wireless router back, quickly. So as I write this, using bootlegged service from the neighbor, patiently waiting for the UPS truck to pull up. Luckily, my Hobie Pro Angler 14 doesn’t need a signal and so if the router doesn’t arrive today you can find me on the water.
No WiFi Required!
The largest sport fishing show of the year just concluded yesterday. ICAST is the place where all products fishing make there way into the market. Hobie has always made a splash at the ICAST show and this year was no exception. Check out this video and see the world of kayak fishing change before your eyes with the Hobie Pro Angler 17 – tandem.
Look for it in your local Hobie dealers shop by the end of 2014. If you are in the DFW area we hope to have one available for show in October. This is going to take kayak fishing to the next level.
There have been numerous conversations, articles and blogs tossed around regarding pro staff positions. After reading Chris Payne’s article yesterday I thought I would chime in and give you my .02, for whatever it’s worth. Full disclosure here, I am a member of a few pro staffs and I believe in and use each product that I promote. As most of you know I am not a professional angler, but a professional promoter of outdoor equipment, all related to the kayak fishing industry. Promotion is the key to obtaining the pro staff position. Here are few things that I have done and continue to do in order to grow my product base. Here are the top three:
Relationships are the key to your success in obtaining a pro staff position. I was very fortunate to have a great friend, Rob Milam, who took me under his wing and introduced me to people who could help me achieve what I wanted to achieve. Networking is the key to building your pro staff resume.
Define your skill set. All companies are looking for an edge in the market. Most field representatives are challenged to grow their territory or market segment by 10-20 percent annually. Find those representatives and let them know what you do best. This could be writing and reviewing, shooting video that demonstrates the product and holding classes or seminars. Should you find yourself being more of a technical person offer to help set up for demo days or install rigging. By identifying the field representatives and making their job easier it will give you higher visibility when they are looking to add to their pro staff.
Build your social influence. The opportunity to promote and talk about products is huge on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest and many other social sites. The folks that are making decisions about pro staffs are going to look and see what kind of audience you have and if you could be relevant to their products. Once you establish your audience you can take larger steps into videos, websites and possibly webcasts. Companies want face time with your contacts and by being relevant and active in social groups you have influence that will give them additional visibility.
Always remember that when you are making attempts and applications for pro staff positions things will be expected of you. Chris did a great job talking about the discounts, compensation and perks of the pro staff. Something important to remember is to not over commit and try to do too much. I find myself in this position and sometimes stretch myself to thin. You also have to realize that over posting promotional messages will turn your social influences off; you become the over poster! I have fallen prey to all of the above and strive to find the correct balance that benefits the companies I represent.
The hardest thing about the pro staff world is keeping it fun. With all the responsibilities of the blogs, videos, sponsor mentions and so on it can take the joy out of what your passion is. My advice is to have fun, enjoy the ride and take every opportunity to meet new people and further the sport of kayak fishing. Lastly, when someone asks you about how you became a pro staff member go ahead and share it. There is nothing like paying it forward!
Good Luck & Keep Living The Dream!