2012 is all but a faded memory for me now. As I look back on the year that was, I still have a hard time comprehending the amount of time I was able to fish with the many demands my family and I have throughout the year. As most of you are aware, I am a loyal and regular volunteer with the Central VA and Tidewater HOW chapters. I found myself often times participating in no less than three events each month, and in a couple of cases, events for each chapter on the same day at opposite ends of the region. I also am an assistant coach on my son's baseball team which requires at a minimum two days each week associated with practice and sometimes a third or fourth day for tournaments. Add in the weekends for the YakAttack, CBKA, Peninsula Area Angler's Club Challenge, TKAA and HOOKED Benefit for Cancer tournaments and every weekend starting in February of last year through October was booked.
Even with this type of schedule, I was able to accomplish a few of my informal goals last year, including:
- I competed in several tournaments, winning two of them and placing in a third.
- I learned more about fishing the tunnel and bridge complexes.
- I caught my first spadefish, tautog (a quick release :) ) and almost boated a sheepshead.
- I had a brief chance at a big striper (slow to make the hook set - my own fault).
- I learned a little more about Speckled Trout.
- We fished as a family using kayaks on multiple occasions and caught fish.
- I was afforded the chance to join Powerteam Lures as a Pro Staff member.
- I was selected to present a discussion on Speckled Trout to local area kayak anglers.
- Be a supportive husband and grow as a father to my son and expectant daughter.
- Be competitive in the tournaments and challenges I participate in.
- Continue to represent HOW when my schedule permits.
- Improve my sight fishing skills and techniques.
- Target citation class fish in both fresh and salt water (specks, bass, sheepshead primarily)
- Add a Hobie Pro Angler to my kayak flotilla.
- Continue to lean out my gear to only what I will actually use.
- Help people learn more about the Hobie brand of kayaks
- Hone my skills with the Powerteam Lures line of soft plastics
I am in the process of fulfilling one of the goals by adding a Pro Angler 12 to my home. While I do have my beloved Revolution 13 currently advertised for sale, I am confident that it will not be too long before I add another Hobie to the home for my wife and son to use. If I am unable to re-home my Revolution 13, I will just keep it and try to sell my son's kayak. He's already big enough to where he can use my Revolution, so he won't miss his old one at all. I'm sure he wouldn't mind a Hobie Revolution 11 of his own either. IF that comes to fruition, then a trailer will most certainly need to be added to handle our little Hobie armada.
Another one of the goals I have set for myself will be tested in short order next month. March 14th-17th is a two event challenge for me. The first event on the docket is the KBF Open where I will be competing against a field of over 200+ kayak anglers from across the country on the Santee Cooper chain of lakes in hopes of placing high enough to earn not only the respect of my peers, but also a chance at a payout. Following the two-day Open is the Invitational which I also qualified for from last year's YakAttack Tournament win. This event is limited to only a handful of kayak anglers and will be even more competitive in my opinion. This event will be held at a privately managed facility in the South Carolina and should be an awesome challenge.
So as the year gets underway, I am already pumped for what will be a year full of of change and new challenges. As the saying goes.......change is inevitable.