I also set some goals in January to take the sport that I enjoy to the next level by fishing in tournaments; joining some ProStaff teams and helping new anglers get into a kayak and out on the water. I also looked forward to getting the rest of my family in their own kayaks and getting possibly putting my oldest son on his first Striper.
The fishing year started earlier than normal for me this year when the whole family took a road trip down to the YakAngler and Kayak Fishing Radio inaugural Boondoggle in Jacksonville. We had a great vacation in sunny Florida and while the fishing was not the best, I did land my first Speckled Trout and Redfish ever. A month or so later I got a chance to return to Florida and fish with Dee Kaminski and finally land a nice sized Redfish with her tutelage.
Then in May, Striper season kicked off for me with the Jamaica Bay Tournament. The season was my best to date and I got to spend a lot more quality time fishing for them this year. I caught a lot of (for me) quality fish, and finished the year with a new personal best 41” Striper. I also got to fish in two other Striper tournaments, the Striper Shootout and the Hook the Cure Derby. During the Hook the Cure Derby was the highlight of my season when I got to take my son out to the salt water for the first time. Not only did he do well, but he landed the first striper he hooked and won the Junior division of the Tournament.
My freshwater season was also one of my best ones from a kayak, although I spent much more time out in the brine. The first highlight was on Father’s day when my youngest son caught his personal best Large Mouth Bass off of the Gator Hatch of my Malibu X-Factor. It continued with a great family vacation to Lake George, NY where I landed a handful of bass some over 18” and some nice pike as well. I also had a great impromptu trip prior to Hurricane Irene where I landed several nice bass.
The fishing season ended for me a little earlier then I had hoped for after the Chucktown Boondoggle. The Boondoggle was a great father and son road trip for me where once again I was out fished by my son. We got to see some friends we made during the first Boondoggle and made some great new ones, as well as well as seeing a great city. It was a great ending for my fishing season but shortly after that work came a-calling and I had to pay up for all the time I spent on the water.
During the year I joined the YakAngler and YakDaddy ProStaffs, and closed the year by joining Malibu Kayaks ProStaff as well. I also took several new guys out on the water and made several kayaking trips with the whole family and some good friends. And to close the year I remodeled my workshop with kayak fishing in mind.
Overall it was a great year for me as I got to fish in 6 states 3 of which I had never fished before. So if next year was similar I couldn’t complain, however, there are some things I am looking forward too for the next 12 months. The biggest for me is the beginning of the New England chapter of Heroes on the Water, this is a great charity that gives our service men and women who have been injured a chance to get out on the water. Thanks to the guys who have made this happen and I can’t wait to help out. I am also planning on using my new workshop to bring my readers a series of rigging videos and articles for the New Year. And finally, after getting a couple of GoPros for Christmas I am going to try to bring you some videos from out on the water.
Happy New Year YakAnglers, Stay Safe and wear your PFD,
See You at the Chokoloskee Boondoggle