19 Things to Do in 2019

2019 offers the promise to accomplish new things and create another chapter in your personal stories. Here’s a few suggestions for 19 things you might consider in 2019. I’ll Be Tennessean Ya’ 

  1. Clean up your kayak. If you are participating in any form of social media a clean kayak sends a message. Replace old decals, add current sponsors and get the grim off from 2018.
  2. Add safety features to your boat, life jacket and mind set. Life jackets 100% of the time, I keep ropes front and back and have a whistle and a flag for alerting others using audio and visual.
  3. Restock your tackle boxes. I go as far as to have seasonal tackle boxes, species specific tackleboxes and technique themed boxes. Sharpen or change hooks, replace skirts and lost lures.
  4. Check your wardrobe. Not being a “patch pirate”, most often I wear a sponsor hat and a different sponsor shirt. Clean shirt, reasonable attire are important to send a message. TV, personal appearances, even photos allow you to “speak” to an audience. 
  5. Rod check. I clean the cork handles of my fishing rods, a little warm soapy water, towel squeeze and let dry. Run a Q-tip through the rod guides to check for cracks and damage.
  6. Take inventory, soft plastic for any species are invaluable. Restock and store. I have standard colors and new colors available for different conditions. Carry extra for your fishing friends or folks you meet. It leaves a super impression to give away a few soft plastic baits to fellow fishermen / fisherwomen and kids. 
  7. INTRODUCE SOMEONE TO THE KAYAK. I carry an extra life jacket and paddle to offer someone a chance “test drive” a kayak. Sometimes toting two kayaks and offering to go with someone for a short introductory paddle. Growth the sport, spread the joy.
  8. Break out the “different” rod. Expand your playground. Never flicked a fly, try the fly rod. Ultra-light spinning makes every fish feel big. Fear the baitcasting reel, give it a whirl.
  9. Investigate new water. We all have our favorite fishing holes (No, I’m not marking a map) but sometimes you discover a fresh fishing hole and new adventure.
  10. Don’t forget to help promote white water, salt and exploration. I sometimes forget there’s more opportunity than just fishing.
  11. Species Specific. Bass, bass, bass. Sorry but the green fish dominate many of our focus. Again anything that swims can be caught from a kayak. Crappie, catfish, trout, bluegill, walleye….salt water species and more. Try a different fish for the fun of it. 
  12. Learn a new technique. If you stand (Big Rig recommended) short range flippin’ for bass is exciting. A five pound fish on seven feet of line turns into a wrestling match. Drop shotting, jig fishing, trolling, Carolina rigging and so many more possibilities. New thing for the New Year.
  13. Paddle or Peddle? Do both! Try the new FD series, see if it’s a fit. The sport grows and evolves.
  14. Contribute in a new way. Write blog posts, do videos, try seminar presentations for a local boat dealer. This is a great way to meet new people and maybe open the door to sponsorship.
  15. Keep a Journal. For years I have kept a fishing diary. Weather and water conditions, catches, moon phases, patterns and seasonal occurrences all can be noted and make your catches predictable.
  16. Volunteer – Stream clean up, take a kid fishing. Local, regional and national causes can always use the help. You will be making a valuable contribution and paying it forward while leading by example.
  17. Happy Harvest. After years of advocating catch and release I, with no guilt, keep a few fish. Dense populations of bluegill, crappie, catfish and even bass can be managed by keeping a few to fry. An over populated pond or small lake is a good place to target. I do release most everything in the spring for spawning and repopulating purposes but later in the season I’ll “release to the grease.”
  18. Educate yourself and others to the values of the outdoors. Once people positively experience an outdoor adventure they’re more likely to participate and help conserve and protect the resource.
  19. Have fun. If your paddling and it’s not fun you’re doing it wrong. Anticipate, arrive, launch, participate and leave that spot better than you found it.  

 

Have a safe, successful 2019. I hope to see you up a creek WITH a paddle.

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