You can get to know more, and be more up to date from the websites I currently have. Grassflatsmafia.com and kayakfishingvero.com
Born in 1968—that makes me 45 at the time of this posting. I have lived in Florida most of my life, with a couple of years in Washington and a few in Texas. But, enough in Florida that I consider myself a true native. I can pronounce Matlacha, Micanopy and Oaklawaha. I know the oldest settlement in the US is not St. Augustine, and I know why the St. John’s runs north. I think that qualifies as native.
My grandfather taught me to fish, and sparked the passion that was always inside me. From the time I could get into trouble for being someplace I was not supposed to be, I was fishing. I cut my teeth in both fresh and salt water, and still deeply enjoy both.
I am college educated and have a gifted level IQ, but rarely use either.
Very importantly, I rarely proofread anything I write, so be prepared for typos. I use grammar and punctuation as literary devices, so you might see a comma where you thought there was no need—but I need you to pause, so there it is.
I’m not new to forums in general, and certainly not fishing and boating forums. I have been a contributing member to other forums since about 1994. My user name has changed from time to time, when my team changed or when I divorced. So, don’t let my # of posts fool you. I’ve been around for a long, long time. I may have used different user names, but I'll never hide behind the keyboard.
I am incredibly shy, but I do love to talk about fishing and during a 1 hour seminar, I will usually talk for 2.
I fished my first bass tournament in my 20’s with a partner who made his own lures. I started to seriously tournament fish a few years later. In the late 1990s I got the IGFA bug and chased records for a few years, gaining 7 of my own and one for each of my sons and two for my (then) wife. At the same time I was married—for 13 years, we fished as a family in countless tournaments and rodeos and began fishing on the pro tour of the SKA as well as big game tournaments. If it swims in the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic off the coast of Florida, there is a good chance I’ve caught it. I might not have fished with every technique out there, I have experience with most—deep dropping, electric reels, teaser and fly, kites, trollies, surf casting, full-combat pier fishing, drifting, oil rigs, live bait trolling, high speed trolling, jigging, on and on.
I worked in the tackle business for a short time—part time. My first career was engineering. I think my approach to preparation comes from this background. I am now ‘retired’ from engineering and work in the family business of citrus.
More than anything, I don’t consider myself a gifted angler by a long shot. I do like to think I am well prepared. For this reason—preparation, I have been fortunate in my angling. This is something that I truly hope people will take away from posts, seminars and conversations, even if they don’t agree with the information—when I discuss something I provide my feedback based on knowledge that I have gained and with the critical eye of an engineer and someone looking for the most efficient and profitable return on effort.
I can be opinionated, but don’t take what I say too seriously. I don’t take myself seriously anyway.
I enjoy tournament fishing, not necessarily to prove anything but I enjoy the fellowship and competition. I don’t watch sports on TV, so this is my athletic and competitive outlet. No matter the argument, there is little doubt that competition drives innovation in every sport and fishing is no exception. While I do enjoy and would like to see more professional level kayak tournaments, I will always promote having families, kids and ladies involved at every level.
While my kayak angling experience is limited to only a few years, those years are filled with hundreds of hours on the water. I try to fish 3 days a week. Some weeks only a day or two, but some weeks it’ll be 5 or 6. My decades experience with other angling has shortened the bell curve with everything I have been able to do in the kayak. It’s the same fish, the same water, the same equipment. Transferring this knowledge into the kayak, with a little modification, has certainly helped with the successes I have been blessed with.
I’m comfortable in income, and could ‘afford’ to tournament fish without any assistance from any company, but I actually enjoy promoting the products I use. I have the time, I am fishing with the products anyway so it’s an easy shake to promote the things I really dig. I don’t, however, promote something that I don’t like, don’t use or don’t believe in. My reputation in the community and industry means a whole lot more to me than any product or endorsement. I’ve been around a long time, and I intend to be around for quite a while. I’d much rather be known for the guy that tells the jagged truth, than someone who will hush up and walk a sponsor’s line.
I’m glad to discuss anything at any time, but as a professional I might prefer to do so in a private manner, or in person. Arguing on the internet really a game for low brows and schoolboys. I will, however call a spade, a spade.
I have been likened to Tred Barta. I must say in some ways that’s sort of a compliment. Tred speaks his mind—damn the consequence. I think that’s the end of the comparison thought. I’m much better looking and a whole lot less angry at the world. I’m not arrogant, but I am very confident. Don’t confuse the two. For that reason, I do have my misguided fans. When you are gracious enough to be vocal and provide opinions and input, this is always going to happen.
Hopefully in the preceding 1100 words, you have an idea of where I’ll be coming from. And agree or not, at least you’ll know my head and my heart are pointed in the right direction.