Eric Atkins 25/01/2016 | Posted in Big Tuna, Fishing
2015 was an incredible year of fishing from a kayak. I fished new water, met new friends, acquired new boats, and caught new species of fish.
The year was full of ups and downs. I missed a largemouth bass in the double-digit class in Florida earlier in the year. The fish annihilated my top water frog and to this day I’m wondering how the big bucket mouth missed the lure. It happened about 8-feet away from me so maybe I spooked the fish during its attack. It would have been my personal best bass. I also lost a 4 or 5-pound fish on the day of my club’s last fishing tournament which would have won me Angler of the Year. Since making the switch to fishing all braided line, I lost few fish in 2015. Ironically, one of the few that did flop off came on the most important tournament day of the year (you’ll see that fish come off at the very end of the 2015 recap video).
Despite not adding those trophies to the bookcase, I’m not sure I would change much about 2015.
I was fortunate to strengthen relationships with fishing partners as well as industry partners. I fished with more different people this year than ever before. Camping, the road trips, and the shuttles to and fro even had their moments off the water. I also saw the realization of a North Alabama’s first organized fishing trail where we saw over 100 different anglers participate, including one event in which had 60 unique anglers (a record for the state of Alabama). The kayak fishing community in North Alabama is strong and we’ve seen the spawning off of other clubs that will help grow the sport.
Personally, I lucked into some nationwide recognition with a GoPro Photo of the Day seen by millions of people and in making the cover of Kayak Angler Magazine’s Summer 2015 issue. I added a 2016 Coosa HD and Kraken 13.5 to the arsenal. I hooked my first bowfin (at about 30-inches long) and caught a trophy redeye bass. I look forward to 2016 and continuing to work with the likes of Jackson Kayak, Bending Branches paddles, and Power-Pole shallow water anchors. But if it were all taken away tomorrow, I’d still be having the most wonderful time fishing with friends and floating around some the planet’s more beautiful natural wonders.