In The Beginning

In The Beginning

In the beginning there was a kid who wanted to fish. That beginning turned out a determined, knowledgeable and formidable competitor at the highest level of the FLW, the Forest Wood Cup. Before we tell you about the greatness achieved and the single largest contributing bait to his success; let’s take a minute and follow the trail that leads to the top of the world in bass fishing. The professional angler I speak of is James Biggs and we had a chance to catch up during one of his many appearances. During this session he expressed to me exactly where he had come from and where he wants to go in fishing.

James was introduced into fishing by his dad. They loved hitting small ponds and lakes around their home. James told me that from a very early age he wanted to become a pro. I looked at him and said that I had the same feelings and what had propelled him and stopped me? The answer is passion and a thirst for knowledge and the commitment to take it to the next level. When James turned sixteen he began fishing TBF tournaments as a co-angler. According to James it’s amazing what you can learn from the back seat, if you just listen? The drive for knowledge made him understand that you have to be confident in what you are throwing and how you are fishing it. This quote from James summed it up for me “It doesn’t matter if you fish super slow or have the trolling motor up to a hundred miles per hour; fish to your strengths!”
We have all heard the term, Jack of all trades and master of none. To be a pro angler you have to be a master of all. James Biggs is versatile, but it didn’t happen overnight. He told me that growing up he would pick out one technique a year whether it’s cranking, jigging or Carolina rigging you keep fishing it and learning the conditions that are great or not so great for the presentation. James goes on to say that by practicing and learning the modifications on leader size or jig weight you get the confidence that you can force feed a bass the Carolina Rig in two feet of water in forty degree weather. If there was one thing I grabbed from James during our visit it was confidence, confidence and confidence. To be the best you have to believe that you have the knowledge, the knowhow, and the equipment to get the job done. You add extreme confidence to that recipe and you have a champion.
We had a great time rolling back and forth and talking fishing. The things I took away from our visit were have I been studying techniques enough to know they will work? Have I ever been throwing something I had no clue how to fish when cash is on the line? I have many more questions, but times running short. Standby for the next installment where James Biggs tells us about the ups and downs of fishing at the highest levels!

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Dare To Dream Big!

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!

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Learn Something New Everyday

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!

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No Wi-Fi Required

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!

No WiFi Required!