Archive

Tag Archives: Year end review

It’s late December which means it’s time for the annual year-end review, so let’s look back at the posts of 2016 – click each pic to see more:

img_7191_zpsx9okfdos

img_7312_zpsqjkviqhh

img_7368_zpsk6628rbx

DCIM100GOPRO

408f4c3c-f17b-4f99-91f3-859beb6ed530_zpsqiysz56u

2nd_place_zpskcy5rjai

img_7896_zpsp8ymvrju

img_8188_zpsa20n4mua

DCIM100GOPRO

img_8589_zpsiiuunvwr

img_8627_zpsdolo5m68

img_8887_zpssycad7y9

img_9288_zpsv3pcxyes

img_9349_zps6tpnemq7

img_9366_zpsdvbma5o4

img_9831_zpsefk3t5jl

img_3455_zpsfca2jpbe

img_0299

Fishing-wise 2016 wasn’t a bad one, I took some nice trips, fished a lot of new water, and had plenty of run-ins with some big redfish.  Outside of fishing it was tough here in Baton Rouge and for that I’m ready to see 2016 go.  I already know 2017 is going to be better as my wife and I are expecting our second child in January.  I’m excited to see what being a dad of two is all about.  Things may slow down here at the blog, but trips are still in the works and I’m sure I’ll continue to find a good balance between family, friends, and fishing.  I want to wish everyone who reads a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and hope you’ll find your way back next year.

I try to do a year end review every year because I like to do it and it is fun to look back at how the year went.  I already know before even putting this one together that this year was probably my lightest on fishing and writing content in eight years.  The priorities in my life have shifted and although I’m not getting on the water as often I’m still having a good time.  This year was a busy one, hard to believe it is already over.  Free time comes at a premium now and fishing trips sure eat up a lot of it. It is safe to say I’m a pretty fair weather fisherman now.  Without further ado, 2014:

January – I was 2/3 on redfish trips in January, unfortunately that lone dud happened on a tournament day, which set the tone for my tournament fishing in 2014 – I didn’t really dedicate the time necessary to compete and honestly it didn’t bother me one bit.  I focused on having fun when I fished and each trip I took was just that, fun.  Now that fishing trips happen less I think they mean more, funny how that works.

IMGP8499

IMGP8503

IMG_2103

February – My kayak fishing trip of a lifetime was in February when I got to tag along with Jim Sammons and crew to Panama.  Fishing in more than a foot of water was refreshing.  I got the nod in a roundabout way, but I’m really glad I was able to go as I doubt I’ll ever be able to do something similar again.

March – When Spring rolls around in Louisiana and it gets to be shorts weather again it never fails that the kayak demo days and boat shows soon follow. Mardi Gras too. I fished a couple events in March, a redfish tourney down in St. Bernard and a new kayak event on Bayou St. John in conjunction with the City Park Big Bass Rodeo – nothing to show for in either, but they were good times.

IMG_2484

IMG_1101

April – If there is one thing I can talk about for hours it is sightfishing redfish from the kayak and that is just what happened at Pack & Paddle one day in April when John Williams asked me to come give a seminar. Hopefully everyone in attendance came away a little more knowledgeable on the subject. Paddlepalooza was also in April and was another success. BCKFC has their two big tournaments dialed in and I recommend anyone with a little interest in kayak fishing to try and attend. Got to see some new water as well when work had me up near Simmesport. I ended up catching a choupique on a fly that established the fly rod record for that fish in Louisiana – got to start somewhere.

IMG_2516

May – I entered the world of fiberglass fly rods in May with the arrival of a 3wt CGt. Put it to use on some neighborhood fish, it has been a lot of fun on the bass and cats. Fished the first Louisiana stop of the IFA kayak series. Pre-fishing went as planned, but tournament day was a bust.

IMG_2690

IMG_2190

IMGP8633

IMG_2819

June – I fished the Trout Challenge in June and caught a bunch of redfish, go figure. Hammered the bream in the neighborhood pond too, then trips became few and far between. I got a bit nostalgic talking about Blake’s spotted bass record and did my own version of Facebook’s “throwback Thursday” re-hashing my kayak ownership from day 1.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fishing_08004

IMGP4027

July – We vacationed down in St. John in July and had a really great time, pharyngitis though had me in pain for most of the trip, it was a major bummer. I gave Paul Lebowitz some of my video content in June and he put together a couple little videos that were published on the Kayak Fish site. It was cool to see my stuff somewhere other than here.

IMG_2151

August – I made my way to the Northeastern part of Louisiana for the first time for work in August and found myself with time to kill for a day – of course I found somewhere to stretch the fly line. Followed that up with a slow day with Blake at an oxbow lake north of town.

9bf4cf60

IMG_3236

September – It was obvious how things had changed come September as I made my first wade fishing trip of the year then. Spotted bass use to be my favorite target, now they are merely an afterthought, which is a shame because I really enjoy those trips. I also provided a tutorial on installing a Power Pole on the Cuda 14 with the new mounting bracket from YakAttack. It’s a good thing I did as I have still yet to use the darn thing. Power Poles need power and I’m too stubborn to wire it up. They are supposed to have a battery pack for it available in the Spring – hopefully it will see the water after that.

IMG_3384

IMG_3420

October – I figured out in October that the neighborhood catfish have gotten to the point where they follow you around the pond waiting for you to feed them. They have become fat and domesticated and are really a blast on the glass rod – I’m not ashamed. I also made my way back to the Jackson factory in October, where I shared some musky water with Chris Funk and Josh Tidwell. It was a lot of fun and reminded me that it isn’t always about catching fish. I did a poor job of following up that post with another about the Dealer Summit. In short we had a blast and my enthusiasm for kayak fishing, which was down a bit since June, was restored.

IMG_3530

IMG_3538

November and December – My cousin’s brewery opened in New Orleans in November and if you like good beer they are worth checking out – Courtyard Brewery. Then I met up with some good dudes from Alabama to hang in Grand Isle and fish for some reds. Everyone caught fish on the trip and James and I had one of the most productive days fishing I think I’ve ever had. It was almost literally every cast. I also got around to posting about a hike I did in Jean Lafitte NHP, which is a beautiful park that is often overlooked in the New Orleans area.

IMG_3963

IMG_3650

That’s it for 2014 and looking at the year in it’s entirety it was actually pretty awesome. Before writing this I’m thinking that the year was somewhat of a dud, because I felt like in years past I had so much content. The quantity of the content may be down, but the quality is there – Panama, the Virgin Islands, big trout in Georgia, musky hunting in Tennessee – 2014 was badass, here’s hoping 2015 rocks too!

Another year that is; 2013 is in the books and it has been another fantastic year, a life changing one at that. No doubt the highlight was the birth of my daughter Marin in November. That’s a moment in time that will be hard to top for the rest of my life. A lot of other good memories were made this year as well, follow along as I rattle them off below.

January  The year started off slow, it rained a ton that month and kept me close to home. When I did make it out though I had some quality trips. One day in particular was epic, I landed my personal best redfish and black drum on the fly, along with a few other bull reds. I doubt I’ll be able to duplicate the success of that one trip. What a day it was.

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

February – The bull red party continued into February and one trip we were lucky enough to get Blake on a couple monsters of his own.

IMG_0571March – The focus was on freshwater mid-March with a fun trip in the Atchafalaya with Kurt and Dad, then an exploratory trip to the Bonnet Carre spillway with the kayak. I finished the month off right with a 3rd place finish at Paddlepalooza X.

IMGP7850

IMGP7857

plaque3April – I was holding out hope I’d be able to find bull redfish into early April but all I came across were big black drum on the flats on one trip down to the coast. The weather had warmed enough to merit a wade fishing trip to a creek, though I didn’t catch a whole lot of fish it was good prep for a trip up to North Georgia later that month. The North Georgia trip was a lot of fun, caught a bunch of trout on streamers and got to watch Dad slappin’ ‘da bass at Bear on the Square. Finished the month with a successful golf course outing and a frustrating Redfish Rumble.

IMG_0668

IMG_0717

IMGP7880

IMGP7913

May – In early May the neighborhood bass began to hit topwater more readily which made for some great after work outings. A demo day with Massey’s Outfitters on Bayou St. John meant a chance to try for carp in some of the local New Orleans ditches, but I had no such luck. Then I fished the first stop of the IFA Kayak Tour’s Louisiana division down in Empire and actually came away with a top 10 finish. Finally Memorial Day weekend brought another North Georgia trip. Blake and I were like two kids in a candy store catching trout that weekend.

IMG_0785

IMG_0792

IMGP7966

IMGP8025

IMG_1490

IMGP8085

IMGP8105June – Two trips stood out in June. The first being a trip with Steve to the swamp to try for big backwater largemouth bass. I didn’t come away with any bass, but I did land a good sized choupique and had a nice time paddling in the shade in an almost surreal environment. The second was helping out with a filming of a kayak fishing episode of Sportsman TV.

GOPR2763

July – Starting in July a fair amount of my time was spent down in Grand Isle working and fishing which has been nice because staying down there overnight provides incentive to fish areas I didn’t want to try on just a day trip. The Independence Day holiday however was spent over in the Hill Country of Texas, saw a lot of cool sights and got to check Guadalupe bass off the list.

IMG_0941

IMG_0990

IMG_1121

August – This was a busy month; a trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone was bookended by kayak fishing tournaments. The LA 1 Slamboree was held by LKFC in Leeville early in August while the 2nd stop of the IFA Kayak Tour in Louisiana was in Grand Isle at the end of the month. I didn’t do so hot in either, which was a little disappointing since I had been spending so much time in the area. The trip out West more than made up for any tournament disappointment though as we had a blast playing tourist at two of our nation’s premier parks.

IMG_1154

IMG_1167

IMG_1004

IMG_1324

IMG_2683

IMG_1077

IMG_1549

IMGP8269September – Labor Day weekend was kind to me. I made my first trip “offshore” in Louisiana and was rewarded with a pair of Jacks that gave my tackle a good workout. The next day I ran into a school of specks and was catching them one right after the other. I tagged a bunch of those fish and made a video showing how effortless it is to tag fish when you’re on ’em. Later in the month I took another largemouth trip, still looking for that monster I needed for the Massey’s CPR tournament only to come up short once again.

NewJackCity12

TroutKilla1

IMG_1611October – October has always been a pretty good month to fish the marsh and this year was no different. I was catching them two at a time on a trip to the coast in early October. Then the IFA Championship came to town and brought the weather with it. I had fun fishing with Jameson for two days and managed to land another top 10 finish. I was actually the highest finishing paddler in the tournament, making it somewhat of a moral victory for me. The month ended with a trip to the new Frenchtown Conservation Area for the wife and I which ended up being significant because it was our last little outing as just the two of us.

IMGP8352

IMGP8371

IMGP8392

IMG_0040November – As I mentioned earlier, November brought us Marin and our lives have changed for the better. I’ve actually managed to get out and fish a couple times since she was born too. I had to make it to Fall N Tide to try and defend my title from last year, however I fell way short of doing that and had a somewhat lousy day fishing. I also worked on another TV show with a friend that hopefully I’ll be able to share more about next year – it should be a good one.

IMG_1824December – Finally this month BCKFC held it’s first annual end of the year awards banquet. I was lucky enough to place 4th in the year long Massey’s fish pics CPR tournament and came home with a check. I also won a special prize, a Bending Branches Angler Pro paddle for being the only person to turn in a fish in every category. Persistence pays off as nearly every trip throughout the year I worked to upgrade my fish in that tournament. It was a fun format that I look forward to fishing again next year.

I look forward to what next year has in store for my family and I and can’t wait to see what Marin is like this time next year. I think we hit a milestone recently as she has really begun to interact with us. We’re now seeing smiles that aren’t just associated with milk comas and gas. I’m sure as she gets older I’ll find time to break away and go fishing again, but I’m not trying to hurry that up. The wheels are in motion though for a big trip in February, I’ll fill everyone in on the details when everything is set in stone, but it’s looking like it could be a trip of a lifetime.

I want to thank everyone for reading and commenting here at Mountains to Marsh. This blog has become an excellent outlet for me, I’ve really enjoyed writing it. I’m not sure where I’m headed with it, but I’ll keep it up as long as I have things I feel are worthy enough to post. See you in 2014!