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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:

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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.

2015 is over so here’s a look back at my (outdoor) year in pictures.  Click on any pic to read more from that day.

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The year started off solid, with my first ski trip with a big group of friends.  It was a ton of fun and really set the bar high for a non-fishing trip.  Then came a personal best brown from Memorial Day weekend, which was actually the same pb brown I caught last year – what are the odds?  I think the high point though will be the Wyoming Cutt Slam trip in August.  Five days of incredible dry fly fishing with a great friend is tough to beat.  It was a fine year and like any other year it had its share of ups and downs, but I’m ready to see what 2016 brings.

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

July – Had a great trip to the marsh on July 4th, dodging storms and catching specks and reds. Followed that up with a trip with my cousin and his father in law for some offshore specks where we landed some solid fish. At the end of the month Amanda and I played tourist in St. Francisville, I then made a trip back south for some oversize redfish.

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August – Fished the marsh early in the month and landed a cajun slam on the fly. Then I finally made it back on the river in a kayak with Kevin Andry where I landed a really nice spotted bass. The end of August brought Hurricane Isaac and and extremely large amount of rainfall.

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September – Got on the water, with a friend that built his own skiff, post-Isaac to see what was what and we found out the reds were hungry, and the bulls were on the move. The neighborhood pond was still fishing pretty well too, but the real focus of September was on Blake and I’s trip to Colorado. Fished Rocky Mountain National Park and surrounding areas for greenback cutties and brown trout, it was an amazing experience.

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October – Still in awe from Colorado I started October off with a short wade trip. At the end of the month were two planned trips to the marsh. One was with a bunch of friends from Alabama, the other a tournament. The trip with the Bama guys went well, not as many fish as hoped, but still more than when they came down last year. The tournament was even better as I had the best day I’ve ever had kayak fishing and landed myself atop the leaderboard of the cajun slam category.

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November – Had a few awesome trips to the marsh in November. I didn’t take a lot of pictures, but I did take a lot of video. I can’t remember a time when the redfishing was better than this past November. Amanda and I also took a trip to Georgia for Thanksgiving, had a great time with the family, but didn’t do a whole lot of fishing.

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December – Early December brought a continuation of marsh fishing success. Unfortunately as the month progressed good weather windows became shorter and more limited. I spent that limited time fishing in the neighborhood. I was able to accomplish a goal I had set out for myself at the beginning of the year, 12 different species on the fly in 12 months.

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It’s that time of year again; time to revisit the fishing trips of the year. 2011 was a tough year to follow, but I’ve got to admit 2012 was pretty awesome. From cutthroat to swordfish, I’d do it all over again if I could. Plans are already coming together that might have me pretty busy through Spring; fishing more new water, targeting all kinds of new fish. I’m definitely looking forward to what’s in store for 2013. So, here’s to the new year and all the exciting possibilities that come with it. First a look at 2012, click on any picture below to read the accompanying report.

January – I didn’t do a whole lot of fishing in January, we moved into our new house that month. The fishing I did do was in the neighborhood pond where I caught a few nice bass and my first catfish on the fly.

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February – I went public with this blog back in February and finally got back on the water in the kayak for Mardi Gras. Had a pretty good trip, catching redfish, sheepshead, and black drum.

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March – The bass fishing in the neighborhood really heated up in March, started catching more bluegill as well. Spent my birthday over at Hodges Gardens and made the first wade trip of the year for spotted bass. Squeezed in a day of fishing while on a work trip to OBX and some marsh fishing in preparation for Paddlepalooza, which was March 31st. March was a very busy month.

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April – April Fool’s Day was a great day for reds and drum, but the highlight of the month was the swordfishing trip I went on over Easter break, it was pretty wild. Finished out April with an IFA tournament and JazzFest  down in New Orleans.

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May – May was a pretty diverse month, starting with a trip to the marsh with Pops, the reds weren’t so cooperative but the drum were. Next up were the cats in the neighborhood pond. Then I made a couple of wade trips for spotted bass and hit a private farm pond with a neighbor. Finished the month in North Georgia on Memorial Day weekend wearing out the wild trout on dries.

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June – Fished a good bit locally in June, sticking to the neighborhood and local ditches looking for roughfish. Made a wade trip later in the month and found the longear in full spawning regalia.

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