I have never met a kayak angler that didn’t dream of big fish in exotic places. The fact that we ply waters in small, plastic, self propelled boats proves we have an appetite for adventure. Fish we have never caught and locations we have never paddled call to our hearts. Time, money and obligations often keep us from immediate satisfaction but thankfully we have the “bucket list.”
The bucket list is where you hold goals and dreams that you hope to attain before “kicking the bucket.” Mine is filled to overflowing with species I haven’t caught and places I want to fish or paddle one day. After I became a husband and father, experiences I wanted to share with my family started piling up as well. Adventures with my family crew are my favorite goals to add to the list.
I dream of taking my family on an overnight deep sea trip in the Gulf or fishing the waters of the Chesapeake Bay like I did as a kid. I hope to float the waters off of Alaska to fight halibut with them and fly in to a Canadian camp for walleye and pike. I can’t wait to see my bride hooked to a sailfish or see my son with his first mahi-mahi.
New species are always on the list for me. The tarpon that has beaten me on our last three encounters will grace it until I land one, so will the snook and permit. One full day of unsuccessfully casting monster spinners has convinced me that a musky deserves its place on the list. Peacock bass and snakeheads tempt me so badly I have an entire file of locations to try when I finally get the chance.
Not just new species, but new techniques also are bucket list fodder. I have taken a fly rod to the salt on multiple occasions to catch a redfish but have yet to fulfill that goal. I also have pursued the common carp on the fly with nothing but frustration and sun burn to show for it. A double digit striper missed my popper last year and left a hole big enough for me to lie down in. That kind of fish is what a bucket list is made for.
I hope you are compiling a list of hopes and dreams. I hope you have thoughts of fish and places that dance in your mind and pull at your heart. Remember to keep your bucket list full and keep living the adventure. That’s the best way to turn hopes and dreams into accomplishments and memories.