Fishing was always something I preferred to do alone. It gave me time to be with my thoughts and live in my head where I was the happiest. As I got older, finding the time to spend on the water got harder and harder.
Skip ahead a few years (giver or take ten or twenty years) to the present. I find myself finally finished with my educational pursuits, working a great job for my state's Department of Conservation, married and raising an amazing son. I needed a hobby to occupy my free time and allow me to reset my batteries. Kayak fishing gave me that hobby.
I upgraded to my current kayak, a Wilderness Systems “Tarpon 140”, and completed a few modifications to make it easier for me on the water. I was missing that competitive part of my life that I retired when I graduated and finished my collegiate softball career. My search then became to find a way to enjoy my hobby and release my competitive side. I found a small local kayak tournament, the Bayou La Batre Kayak Classic, and entered.
When the tournament came around I had only fished twice from my new boat, and had not yet landed anything respectable from the kayak. On top of my limited kayak fishing experience, my son wanted to fish the tournament with me. He had even less experience kayaking, and little to no real fishing experience. Off we went into the early morning light with visions of giant fish dancing through my son's imagination, and me hoping to simply be able to put us on some fish that we could enter.
That day we fished, and fished, and fished. The Alabama sun baked us, but nothing slowed down my son's enthusiasm – and that kept me going, too. I struck out on finding a fish to enter, but my little man got on the board and held a position until about five minutes before the scale closed. He was so proud of himself that day!
This same tournament is now just a few weeks away. Mom and son are going to fish it again, and regardless of whether we make the leader board I know we will have an amazing day on the water!