Well here we are still moving forward at blog number 100. A lot has changed since the website/blog experience began. We've moved from one side of the state to the other, got married, got a dog, had a baby, and managed to catch a few fish in between it all.
Big thanks to Brandirawks for getting this going and taking the time to post each and every one of them. Working on the website/blog has extremely important for getting new opportunities in the fishing world. It isn't always easy to find the time to sit down and write these things or a lot of fun when you have to tell a story about not catching them. It's impossible for me to tell who reads these but if you have taken a moment to read one of them I really appreciate it!
With things just general chaos this fall and no place of my own to store the boat for the winter. I've already put it away for the year, I did get some amazing smallmouth fishing in before that happened. It felt good to do a little fun fishing, just me and a bunch of savage smallmouths biting whatever moved. But it looks like I'm stuck catching walleyes and whatever else comes in the channel the rest of the year (unless someone takes me fishing). It is a relief to not have to worry about winterizing the boat though. A big reason for that is I really want to just duck hunt with Hutch. He is crushing it in season 2 and we only have a 60 day season to work together. So while I am missing some of the best fishing of the season I'll trade that to watch my buddy do what he lives for.
Before I get into some thoughts on how the season went. I've had a chance to do a couple other fun things over past week and it was pretty chaotic. After I dropped the boat off at D&R I headed to Western Michigan University to speak at their bass club meeting. I had a great time and the guys had a lot of good questions, thanks again for the invite! From there I was headed to the east side of the state for the 3rd annual Reel n Smoke Taste of Freedom event. The event features a sporting clays competition, raffles, lunch, silent auction, and a ton of fun. The proceeds go to the Bob Woodruff Foundation which helps veterans and their families. So not only is it a great time but we raised quite a bit of money. I was glad to see a good number of bids on the fishing trip with me coming this spring. I am looking forward to taking the winners out and catching a bunch of bass!
About that season, it was far from perfect but we survived. Until that very last tournament of the year I can't say really anything that mattered came easy. Weeknight tournaments went really well which was a ton of fun. I don't practice for those or get too worked up about them, they are just one of the fun things about summer and a good excuse to hang out with my buddies every week. I do however put the work in to try and do well on the weekends. Practice and tournaments were mostly a grind from the very first weekend. All those details are in previous blogs if you want to check them out. If you take out the last tournament it was an ok year overall but didn't satisfy my expectations. That last tournament made up for all of the frustration throughout the season though! I will say I did learn a bunch this year and gained a bunch of confidence in doing some different things. I'm a better fisherman now than I was the first time I launched a boat this year and as long as I can say that at the end of the year I'm moving in the right direction.
One of the most important things this year was everything going on behind the scenes. With the arrival of little Mabel, it brought on a whole lot of new responsibilities. Everything was so new. different, and it was definitely survival mode for awhile for all of us (especially with Mabel's colic). Amanda is an amazing wife/mom and she kept it all together and made a lot of extra sacrifices to allow me to fish. She had to put up with not only me but Shaun at the house for tournaments and putting up with both of us is no easy task. She insisted I spend those before tournament nights on the couch and some other ones throughout the summer so I could actually get some sleep. I honestly don't know how she powered through all of that without a break and all the responsibility at times. Without her being superwoman, I'm not sure I stay focused enough to catch a limit of fish all summer.
That's what I've got for now, see you in the duck blind!