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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All You Have To Is Ask

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Who says all kids do is hang on the phone and hover around video games? All it took to get this guy out on the water was an invitation, turned out he’s a natural. The next generation depends on you.

First Time Kayak Trip

The stars aligned and it all came together for myself and a good friend to hit the water. I have fished with Eugene before, but he had never used a kayak due to his concerns about stability along with not being a great swimmer. I figured the best way to get him on the water was to let him have an opportunity to use the Hobie Pro Angler 14.

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My goal was to get Eugene as comfortable and confident as possible so he could focus on fishing. After a brief demo of the Mirage Drive, Vantage Seat and Rudder controls we were off.

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All I can say is that Eugene is a natural! He was able to put the kayak where he wanted to go and hold his position allowing him to catch his first kayak bass, in short order.

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All his concerns about getting wet, being unstable and having to do a lot of work left the building and he just kept on catching fish.
People ask me about how we can grow the sport and increase participation on the North Texas tournament scene. My answer is to always be talking, posting and inviting others out to experience what we already know. This was an excellent case of a guy loving to fish and having no way to get of the bank. The Hobie Pro Angler 14 changed that for him. For more information about Hobie Products check out http://www.mariner-kayaks.com

KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!

Great Times On Lady Bird Lake

I spent eighteen years in the Austin area. All of those years were spent doing everything but fishing “The Bird”. As I always say, it’s better late than never. This day trip to mecca of urban fishing started early and had the glow of anticipation.
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I want to say thanks for those that gave me some direction as to tactics and places to start fishing. Without a community of good people giving great advice the trip would have not turned out as well as it did. Thanks to the Keep Austin Fishing Group, Guillermo Gonzalez and Ken, who I met at the AHS launch.
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What I enjoyed most about my time on Lady Bird Lake was the people jogging, bike riding and hanging out on and around the bridges that span over the river. At one point I was fishing under the bridge with a group of no less than 75 people looking over me. I thought to myself what a great time for a giant hook set and on cue it was delivered. The crowd went wild and for a split second I felt like Randy Howell fishing the classic. That experience was cool!
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All in all it was an awesome time and I would encourage those that are thinking of making this trip to do it. There are some giant bass in that lake and the scenery is unreal. I have had a ton of great fishing experiences and this one rates with the best of them. Looking forward to heading back down sooner rather than later.
KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!

Let’s Talk Tackle!

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Let’s talk tackle! It is well documented that I have a tackle addiction. All I have to do is look at forums, facebook ads or any fishing magazine and I have to try it or at least acquire it for my collection. This leads me to another problem. Tackle organization, what to carry with me on the trip and how to store it. If I have learned one thing from tournament fishing is that you have to be organized and have a plan. When I first started fishing tournaments I had my tackle everywhere. You can call it inexperience, but my kayak was a mess. When I first took up kayak fishing I wasn’t fishing in a platform that allowed me much storage or much stability. The old yak was much like a counter balance system, anything that was added needed to be added with equal weight to the other side. I never knew what they might be interested in so I carried a little of everything. As you would figure out whatever I had the least of is what the hot action was on and thus once that bait was gobbled up the action for me went cold.

The start of the 2013 season found me in the Hobie Pro Angler 14. This kayak has ridiculous amounts of storage. Hobie thought forward and included a compressed tackle deck at your feet so now I could keep things organized. Yak-Attack came out with the Black Pac so I could really be organized. However, old habits die hard and I found that my tackle was in the same shape it was when I was paddling the big box store kayak. Yes, I once paddled. Even though I had great resources for a management system I failed to act and spent more wasted time digging thru my new organizational system to find anything. This equaled less fishing time, less fish and more frustration. Yes, I had a great tackle collection, but that’s all it was. I decided to research how the top guys organized themselves and why they organized themselves. With that information collected a change had to be made.

This off season I spent several days taking all pieces of tackle: soft plastics, hard baits and terminal tackle out to formulate a plan. I found out that for me to be organized I needed to use the Plano water proof boxes, that come standard on the Hobie Pro Angler 12 & 14, as my terminal tackle boxes. This gives me quick access to hooks and weights and C-Rig set ups. I then turned my attention to my Black Pac and organized the hard baits by size and function, clearly labeling the Plano boxes. The giant hurdle was the soft plastic situation. What on earth am I to do with the several dozen soft plastic bags? Enter the Plano Molding 3600. This roomy soft sided tackle system afforded me enough room to place all my soft plastic, separated by bait type in zip lock bags – thanks Mike Whitaker for the tip. It also affords me the ability to carry extra terminal tackle. This tackle bag is loaded with pockets, Plano boxes and has helped me conquer the tackle organization situation that I needed. With all things organized I found myself with more tackle so I went further and broke it down by season. So now when I hit the water in the Spring I’m not loaded with my winter or summer gear. We’re keeping it simple in 2014 and so far it’s paying a great dividend.

Final note, last week my brother asked me about where to find fishing information in the Austin Area. I directed him to the Keep Austin Fishing Facebook group. I spoke to him this morning and he referred to it as his fishing church. He wanted me to say thanks for the information and tips on the local lakes, as well as welcoming him to the group. That is what this community is all about!

KEP LIVING THE DREAM!