Recently, on a local message board, several members called others out, accusing them of being “elitist” on the grounds that several of the more experienced fishermen in the club had not publicly shared their “secret spots” on a public forum. The members were also upset that some of these people “chased” sponsorships. Another member pointed out that man had been concealing his fishing spots since prehistoric times.
I agree with him, and would like to add that fishermen who get sponsorships from companies don’t get paid to fish. They still buy the products, receiving discounts more often than not. The individual is responsible for producing photos, articles, videos and other content in exchange for his sponsorship.
The sponsored individuals also go out twelve months a year, even when they don’t want to, and fish hard even on sick days. It’s hard to explain how hard they push themselves. I’ve seen Kayak Kevin go fishing for weeks at a certain point in the tide, then rest for four hours just to go back or to, and so on for weeks, to get his trophy. In fact, it was weeks before he got his trophy, and he ended up catching more than anyone else that year. He was successful on account of the time and effort he put in, not because he considers himself better than anybody else.
I’ll tell you, right now there are many fishermen in the area who can catch more fish than I, but the almighty equalizer is that I push myself until I attain my goal. If that is “elitist,” then so be it!
I’d been out of town with the Marines, bidding my family goodbye, but I kept seeing trophy trout posted by my friends — Richie (hookline-sinker.net), Kevin (kayakkevin.com) and Billy (coastalkayakfishing.blogspot.com), to name just a few. Returning to the subject of “secret spots,” I don’t know where any of them caught his fish. I brought up the idea of reeling for tog at the island, but it ended up being trout week. As I waited, the winds picked up until I could no longer paddle the three miles for my quarry. I texted Kevin, and we decided to head out and scout for a couple of fall specks. I immediately began hooking spike specks, as did all the boaters around me. I anchored and began to catch spike. I just happened to have a fish with a blue back and a green belly. After a while, I thought I’d go see how my partner was getting along, but just then, out of the blue, I hooked into a 21-inch solid red, which I hooked up to a baby.
I pulled anchor and found Kevin having a good day by himself. We continued to fish off the flat and found some keepers, but released them all. I got a bite and drag ripped off as I set the hook — a sign that this was not another dink. The fish immediately rolled onto the top, and I yelled, “Oh $@^t, it’s a big one!” Kevin asked, “How big?”, and I yelled, “Maybe a citation!” After I tried to get the fish onto the boat, Kevin got impatient and yelled, “Leg it in, get it into the boga!” I did — and was I happy to share the cockpit of my Wilderness Systems Ride 135 with it! It wasn’t a citation, but a trophy trout in my book, at 23¼ inches. After we took some pictures of me and the fish, I let it swim off for the next lucky angler.
It was a great day. I hadn’t been out in months, and this was my welcome home present! If you want it badly enough, get out there and make an elite of yourself, you’re the only one who can do it! Tight lines, everyone!