Monday, June 3, 2013

My Lucky New Hat!

So, a few months ago I was named to the Werner Paddles Fishing Team.  Needless to say, I am still on cloud 9, and coupled with Hurricane Kayaks, I work for the two best companies in paddlesports, period.

Some folks may laugh at fishing superstition, but I am extremely superstitious.  I believe in the Banana myth, and wont have anything related to Bananas before I hit the water.  I have a lot of fishing superstitions, and recently I added new one (a good one) to the long list.  Shortly after my appointment to the Werner team, I received my team hat in the mail.  For many people, it is just a ball cap, but to me it meant more.  It meant that I was finally a part an amazing company I had coveted from the beginning of my pro staff days.  It also signaled an internal trigger for me to step my game up.  Even though I may have had some hiccups in trips since that fateful day, I will say that every day on the water was rewarded me in some way, shape, or form.  Below are some brief descriptions of some of those days, the days that my lucky new hat brought me.

Tourney Time - 6-1-13

A last minute decision was made to fish the Fanatic Kayak tournament out of Nags Head in the Outer Banks.  The wind wasn't so lucky, but my first fish of the day was.
First fish of the day
I tried to upgrade, but all that wanted to play were lil' rats.  I met up a bit later with my buddy Matt, and after a 17" red, we left to chase some flounder.

While looking for flounder, I hooked up with more rats.  With time running short, I decided to troll my way in and hooked up to a 15-17" flounder.  I would normally post a pic, but of course, my hatred of flounder was renewed, and he got off at the boat.

Only one 8" flounder was caught, and my mistake without a doubt cost me first in the flounder division.  My first fish was good enough to snag me 2nd place Redfish in my first Saltwater event of the year.

Notice the Hat
This tournament benefitted Project Purple.  This is an amazing charity.  Please check them out, as this benefits and supports our future!

Bluefish Bonanza - 5-24-2013
From left to right: Jay Brooks, Me, Lee Williams, Alex Britland
(Photo: Tommy DeWitt)
This morning, a few of us had visions of Chomper Bluefish running through our minds.  With the day off, Tommy and I got on the water early, rigged up, and waited for the others to show.  We were all focused on Bluefish, except for Jay.  After Tommy, Lee, Alex, and I all hooked up with Blues over 33", Jay changed his tune and got in on the action.  It was an amazing morning with weather in the low 80's, then a strong cold front blew through, but not until we had all reached personal bests!
Tommy's fish just under 36"
Alex's Chomper
Lee's Quick Release (I need some camera practice).
My 34" Blue - Notice the Hat!
That same week prior, I was able to fish with my fellow team member - Rob Choi, in his search for a paper blue (his best was just shy of 36"), Joe Underwood (again just shy of 36"), and Jay's wife Allie (34" I believe).
Joe's Monster!
Rob Choi's writeup @ Angling Addict
Jay Brooks' writeup @ Virginia Kayak Fisherman

April Specks and Reds

Not much to say here other than April was my best Spring fishing for specks ever, with over 40 ranging from 19-23.5"  I was able to get on some awesome fishing with some great friends!

A solid 23" - And again, notice the hat! 
Alex with a solid, overslot red.
And a fatty speck!

Seth with big fish honors @ 26"
I was also out to experience two of my friends reach new Personal Best's (Tommy w/ a 22" Speck, and Erik with a 30" Blue)

Check out Seth's account of the evening @ Bowed Up Chronicles

Bull Riding 5-27-2013

Not a lot of talk here, just Pigs!
A nice ride out!
(Photo - Tommy DeWitt)
45.75" - Again, there's the hat!
Hobie Pro, Joe Underwood
Rob's account of the day over @ Angling Addict

Mad Man Luther Cifer's (Yak Attack) son Tyler also got a Graduation Present in the form of a 42" bull as well!

I will leave you with a shot I took at the Wild River Outfitters Demo Day a few weeks back.  It was taken form our newest kayak, the Skimmer 116.  This is an awesome boat I cant wait to spend some more time in!

Hurricane Kayaks - Fornt and Center

Needless to say, I dont think I will leave home without my lucky hat anytime soon!