A Season’s Highlights

When I reflect about over this past season I have mixed emotions. There have certainly been trying times over the course of this year. Time spent on the water has been fewer and farther between than I would have liked. On the other hand it has given me a bit of perspective and the ability to enjoy every minute on the water. For the sake of this article I’d like to focus on the latter, hope you enjoy!

This season like so many others started in the dead of winter where plans are made with friends to travel to every river and lake in the country. Alright possibly an exaggeration but every winter the plans grow and unrealistic expectations with it. After the rivers and lakes thawed and cabin fever subsided realization set in. Playing the game of balancing my work and family obligations along with fishing I quickly came to the conclusion there wasn’t enough to go around. So I sat and thought, I wrote in down a handful of top priority trips. I wish I could say every trip on that list was made but it wasn’t and after thinking about it, that’s okay. Some of them certainly were and those are memories I’ll keep. And some trips weren’t, they were random trips that were throwing together with little planning. Which in my mind made them that much sweeter.

My Favorite Tournament

I put a couple tournaments on my list and sadly didn’t make many. But number one was and will remain The Kayak Anglers of Western PA Battle on the bay. This event on Presque Isle bay Lake Erie is always a must for me. Lake Erie is my favorite body of water and Presque in spring is world class. For me it starts with prefishing, hanging out with friends catching monster smallmouth. What could be better than that! Prefishing has always been pretty good to me on Presque, unfortunately tournament day never has. This year was no different. Jackson teammates Ken Morris, Clayton Haske and I picked a promising spot only to find gale force wind and waves. We battled both wind and waves for a couple hours with not much to show. A Unanimous decision was made to head for the sheltered waters of the lagoons and finish out the day fishing for largemouth. The change looked like it would pay off for me after I was able to land a big female. But the bite quickly waned and I was stuck catching undersized fish the rest of the day. The thing that made this trip so memorable was the wild weather and time spent with friends both on the water and after the tournament at the check in.

My Favorite Trip

My favorite trip this year is an easy one, an overnighter on my favorite river the Grand for you guessed it trophy smallmouth. Add to it my good buddy and great fisherman Ben who like me has very limited time out the water, and you’ve got yourself the recipe for a smallie smackdown. This trip has quickly become an annual deal and has yet to disappoint. What made this year different was the raging torrent the river turned out to be this trip and amazing last stretch pulling out our best fish less than a mile from the take out. ( for the full story look at my previous article “Lakes, Rivers and smallies oh my”)

Random and short notice trips

These turned out to be the story of my season and some of the most productive. From quick after work trips to Lake Erie for monster smallies to hitting small lakes with friends and catching my personal best kayak Largemouth. These trips will always be remembered for the spontaneity and laughs. I really learned from this season that this is how time on the water should be. Spent with friends and fish! learning to enjoy every minute out there and not sweat the small stuff. When something doesn’t work out just roll with it and might be surprised with the results. As for next season, there’s no pressure I don’t need to make huge wish list anymore. I’m happy seeing where the season takes me!

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