I settled in comfortably on the couch and started the movie, and as usual these days, I started to relate the movie to my kayak fishing. It then dawned on me that I am about to hit the one year anniversary of the first time that I sat in a kayak and attempted to fish from it. My mind started to wander and I playfully thought about having Doc’s DeLorean time machine. I wondered to myself what advice I would bestow if I had the ability to go back and educate myself before heading out for that first trip on Lake Lewisville.
The first thing I would tell my past self is, “You better install an anchor trolley before you take that thing out on the water.” My first three months on the water I operated without a trolley, and never knew the difference it would make, until I finally installed it. Secondly, I would tell myself, “Do not go out and buy things just because you see other kayak anglers using them.” I had a terrible habit of this in the beginning. I would see another guy on the water and think that he could catch more fish than I could because he was using this-or-that kind of lure. Instead of just buying fancy lures, I should have taken the time to figure out my own strengths and weaknesses as an angler, before buying any equipment or tackle. The third little bit of knowledge I would tell myself would be, “You need to be patient.” In life, nothing comes easy and nothing comes fast, and I've found that is even more true in kayak fishing.
Obviously I could go on forever about the mistakes and hard lessons that were made in the first year, but this has to wrap up sometime. After all of the bumps in the water, I have never stopped having fun, and I have never stopped learning new things. Every mistake, every “oops”, and “uh oh” moment that I had along the way weren't for nothing. I am leaps and bounds from where I was a year ago. I learned that it is O.K. to ask other guys for advice, and most are more than willing to give it. I continue learn something new each trip out, even if it’s humility. The more trips I take out, the more my addiction seems to grow.