Thursday, March 30, 2017

When You Get Involved

    I love fishing. I love all aspects of fishing. I love the chase, I love the hook set, and the fight, and the release. I also love to take my daughter and my son fishing and pour into them my passion for fishing and all things outdoors. It makes me proud when my friends want to learn to fish and they come to me to get them started on the right path. I also love it when I have the opportunity to contribute to the community that has accepted me and made me feel welcome since day 1. 

I am not going to chain myself to a tree but I firmly believe in protecting our resources and passing down the knowledge and natural resources that were passed down to me. I have a local pond that is within very close walking distance to my house and it is the perfect place within the city to take my kids fishing, and feed the ducks, and share my love of the outdoors with them. The last few years I have noticed an increasing problem of illegal keeping of fish at our local city ponds. I have noticed a significant drop catch counts and fish activity in general in the last couple seasons. I have seen on multiple occasions’ bank fishermen with large ice chests keeping any and all species they catch. I have walked passed and seen crappie, bream, catfish, and large mouth in their cooler.  When you’re talking about a half-acre body of water it doesn’t take long to disrupt the ecosystem and allow turtles to overpopulate.
After seeing this I decided to write an email to the head of my local parks and recreation department about posting catch and release signs at all city ponds. To my surprise I received a reply email back within a few days with a positive response to my proposal. The parks and rec dept. was concerned about the fish being taken out of ponds because the city pays to stock the ponds with taxpayer money. I am proud to report that I received an email just four days later with pictures of my catch and release signs being cemented in at every city pond.
This may seem like a small victory and might not deter anyone from keeping fish, but I feel like I have made a difference in my community. I feel like I have taken small steps to ensure my children can continue to fish our local pond for many years to come. More than anything I hope and pray that my children can learn something from watching me confront an issue that I’m passionate about.

Friday, March 10, 2017

HOW event

     Once again I had the privilege of volunteering with Heroes on the Water for an event outing. Fishing in the presence of men and women that have seen, experienced, and survived situations that I could never imagine is humbling to say the least. It's all my pleasure to be able to share the water and swap fishing stories with these heroes. I urge you to find your closest HOW chapter and volunteer for their next event. You certainly will be happy you did so. Here are a few pics and a short video from the day.

Monday, February 27, 2017

It's Not Always About Fishing

   This past weekend I have the privilege and the opportunity to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.  This experience was one of the most rewarding events of my life. Not only did I have the chance to serve with great friends and church mates but I was also blessed to be able to meet and talk with the woman who will live in the house that I had a hand in building. She was incredibly thankful and appreciative of the work we were doing and spent the entire day cleaning up messes and bringing the volunteers bottles of water. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity and the men and women of my church that started this team of volunteers that go wherever there is a need for volunteers to serve.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Kast King Royale Legend Review

     As a family man with two young children I am constantly on the look out for great and cant miss sales. With my family as my top priority and diapers trump every other purchase, I simply am not at a place in my life where I can spend $200 dollars on a fishing reel. A friend of mine had recently purchased a KastKing Royale Legend and seemed to be pleased with its performance and quality. I have been fishing with four clearance sale Daiwa Laguna reels that were starting to decline in performance. I read several reviews and and talked to a few friends that had personal experience with the KastKing brand, some positive and some not so. The bottom line is that you're never going to get 100% rave reviews on any product, and the complaints here seemed pretty generic that can happen with any brand. I heard that these reels were cheap knockoffs from China and I heard that they were a great company that had high quality products with low prices because they cut out retailers and sold directly from Amazon. I'm guess the truth lies somewhere in the middle, which I am ok with. For $39.98 it was worth the risk and if it worked out then great if not then it was only a small loss.

     I'll dive right into my experience with the Royale. Just out of the package definitely has an aesthetic appeal to it. It has a very streamline, stealthy design to it that gives it the appearance of a higher end or higher dollar reel. I immediately got it on my Platinum Series from Manley Rods  and got it strung up. One of the complaints that I read more than once was the reels difficulty to properly dial in and prevent back lashes. Firstly, I have to admit that I'm not one to usually open reels and really change any factory settings on the braking systems or anything like that. I took the Royale out to my little practice pond by my house and gave it a proper sling. Huge birds nest! Not exactly surprising for a first time cast on a reel so I adjusted the spool tension and gave it another fling. My usual "dial in" time is about 3 or 4 casts and I'm good. I admit this reel took me about 10 casts to get it right without opening it up and messing with the brake. Once I got it set it cast like butter, and add another 20 yards from my previous aging reels. 

     I now have 3 Royal Legends and I've taken them out about 10 times now without any issues. I admit that they aren't top of the line but I believe they are a great value for the price. I can cast smoother and farther than before, but only time will tell if these reels have true longevity. I have no affiliation with KastKing whatsoever and I may come back with an update in six months with them falling apart, however I am a happy customer right now. 


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Qalo Rings Review

       I have a physically demanding job that often requires me to be outdoors. When my job demands I be outside in the Texas heat for long hours and consecutive days, my hands tend to swell and my wedding ring gets uncomfortable. I also am required to do some lifting of heavy boxes and coolers in my career and I've had to skin around my wedding ring pinched more times than I can count. After about six or seven years of this I stopped wearing my wedding ring all together. 

     Ive been wearing Qalo rings for about a year now and I can honestly say that they have all but replaced my traditional wedding rings. I have two Qalo rings and I can comfortably wear them while doing any activity. I wear them at work, fishing, working out, and mowing the lawn. I have worn my ring through an full day of paddling and fishing and not even notice that I was wearing a ring at all. 

     There is no better product on the market for a comfortable, all purpose wedding ring. The good people at Qalo have finally created a wedding ring with the outdoor enthusiast in mind. Qalo has also partnered with various organizations and charities to benefit military, police, fire, paramedic, breast cancer, and Lupus foundations. If you fit the same mold as me with an uncomfortable wedding ring, I encourage you to visit Qalo and choose a color, pattern, or charity of your choice. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

My top 5 Christmas Gifts under $50

     Fishermen in general are pretty tough to shop for because, lets face it, we pretty much buy ourselves what we want and need throughout the year anyway. As I do every year, here are my top 5 gifts under $50.

    1. LineCutterz ($12) - If you didn’t already know Line Cutterz was featured on a recent episode of Shark Tank and actually received an offer from one of the sharks. This device is a wearable and compact solution to traditional fishing line cutters. It’s a ring that’s worn on your finger and has the capacity to cut even the toughest braided line with ease. The convenience factor alone makes the Line Cutterz the perfect for any angler.

     2. LuckyTackle Box ($43.17) – LTB is a monthly subscription box that contains lures targeted towards your choice of fish species. I actually have had this for the last 6 months, and I could not be happier with it. I get a box full of bass lures every month. The largest advantage to a box like this is that there is always one lure in my box each month that I probably would have never bought myself, it’s like the ultimate way to try new things with low risk. You can get a three-month subscription for under $50 and can cancel or choose to extend your subscription.
     3. YakAttack Gift Certificate ($50) – OK, this one is kind of cheating but to be honest, Yak Attack has so many kayak fishing accessories under the $50 price point that a gift certificate is the only logical solution. Yak Attack is known for their high quality, American made, kayak fishing accessories like the Rotogrip paddle holder, LeverLoc Anchor Trolley, and BlackPack. If my wife or mother in law is reading this, hint hint, the search is over.
     4. LifeProofNuud iPhone 6 case ($39 on Amazon) – Yes the LifeProof case is almost $90 on their website, however I have purchased two of the Nuud cases from Amazon for under $50 and they were over a year apart. I have searched high and low for a better and cheaper waterproof, dustproof, and drop proof iPhone case and have yet to be successful. As someone that spends a great deal of time on the water this case is invaluable for my communication and ability to continually take pictures with my phone. (Link for Amazon price)

     5. Lifestraw ($25) – I have included this on my list in the past and I’ll list it now because it makes such a great gift and can literally be a lifesaver in a pinch. I have two personal Lifestraws and I have been in situations where I needed them. Two separate occasions I was so excited for my upcoming fishing trip that I forgot to pack bottled water and my options were to cut my trip short or risk dehydration. Luckily I keep my Lifestraw in my front hatch dry bag with my first aid kit and the day was saved.

I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!! Tight lines

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fishing the Brazos

     I won't waste a lot of words in a long post about this trip, there are plenty of pictures and video to tell the story. I will say thank you to my friends Barry Jones, Daniel Reach, and Jay Pershin for making this one of my most memorable fishing trips that I've taken so far. My gear for this trip was the ATAK 140 kayak from Wilderness Systems, Manley Rods gold & platinum series rods, 12 can soft pack cooler from Bison Coolers, and all kayak accessories from Yak Attack.I hope you enjoy the pics and video.