Tried fishing as a kid and just didn’t get into it. The worm and bobber intro I had as a kid at the local duck toilet turned me far and away from fishing until I was in my mid 20’s! I always loved nature and wildlife, being out in it… but I didn’t start fishing until after surviving years of less than desirable life choices and losing some close friends along the way. I knew I had to find something positive to devote myself to. While laying in bed sick, I stumbled upon a tv show I remembered enjoying as a teenager, “River Monsters” and decided to give it a watch, I watched and rewatched every episode again and again. I live within 5 minutes of Mississippi River Pool 5a. This got some gears turning …. I went and bought a bunch of random tackle out of the discount bin at the local hardware store and went to try my luck, all I really knew about fishing then is what i had seen on River Monsters and a handful of YouTube videos. Hours of standing alone in the hot sun, swatting mosquitos and cursing under my breath, turned to days, weeks.
“People do this for fun!?” I would say to myself, what is wrong with them! I laugh at this now but it’s how I started fishing. Late September of that first summer, I went out with my girlfriend at the time to what is still one of my favorite fall fishing spots to this day. We must have caught 200 or more 8-10″ Largemouth Bass, it was litterally EVERY cast, you’d catch a fish. not big fish, but fun fishing, No doubt.
Then the moment that changed my life forever… something big hit my jerk bait and started peeling drag like nothing I had ever experienced before! It was no secret to anyone within earshot that I was hooked into something big. After a solid fight, I netted the biggest fish I had ever caught up to this point, a 4.8lb largemouth bass. This was the fish that changed me, my life was decided, I knew I found what I had been looking for. The emotional, mental, and physical thrill ride that is fishing. If that didn’t seal the deal enough, I no sooner released the bass than my girlfriend hooked into a 22″ walleye on her $5 walmart pole pre-rigged with 4lb test! Somehow she managed to get it close enough for me to net. The first walleye I had ever seen! The last fish of an already epic day, we ate good that night. I have caught many more and much bigger fish since then but those are the fish that really hooked ME! I will never forget those fish.
It’s been 3 years since then, I get more and more into fishing every day. I plan to combine my love for travel and adventure with my love of fishing and just keep adding new experiences and species to the list! What more could a guy hope for?!
Images from Cory Harders
Always a slight bummer to finally see your fish and realize it's just a Little Tunny when offshore, but fighting them on my 7' St. Croix med-heavy action rod i generally use for targeting pike and walleye on the Mississippi River is right up there with sky diving!!! Never have i gripped my rod so tight!!! I'm still amazed it didn't snap or start on fire!
12 miles out from Rudee Inlet, Virginia Beach, VA. Amazing rod bender on light tackle!!!
First walleye of the year! Always let that first keeper go, for good fishing karma all season long!
My protest to Ice Fishing! Just drive 3 days south and it's summer all over again! Monroe County, FL!
After three years of talking about a 36" Pike - here she is!
Crew Member Seaturtle Jackson is coordinating a deep sea kayaking trip via https://deepbluekayakfishing.com/ open to all Crew Members. Costs will be split amongst all attending to make it more affordable for all.