To level with you, talking about myself has never been easy. The connection I have with you, is met on our mutual love of the outdoors. Conveying that passion through writing my adventures, sharing a big fish, or discussing a fishing tactic, is light years easier than telling you who I am. However, for you to fully understand me it is important to know where I am came from, what made me who I am, and what drives me.
I grew up on a horses back in the blistering hot farm fields of Papillion, Nebraska. Riding onto neighbors shaded land to catch a passing glace at a whitetail, to hear a chickadee's call, or to be anywhere but inside. It wasn't till I was in high school that I was introduced to everyone's fishing fire-starter-- the bluegill.
Soon pond hopping in an old Ford FX4, I learned of a lake newly stocked with an interesting toothy fish. Never fully expecting anything but the unknown was the calling. What could be lurking under the water's turbulent surface? Hooking up, and breaking off on what would have been my first pike sparked a drive that has only intensified.
Consumed by learning and researching new species, techniques, and local lakes, I began collecting gear with the money from my first job to target something bigger and badder.
My first day muskie fishing was on a humid May afternoon. Though I was a complete novice I had researched Nebraska stocking reports, contour maps and picked a bay with good structure (a bay I would later only ever take my closest friends to). Burning a double bladed cowgirl, I kept my expectations low. However, 30 minutes into my first time ever muskie fishing, I saw her-- mouth open and head turned to take my lure.
Nothing has ever been the same since that day, and my drive has now pushed me harder and farther than I ever would have thought I'd go. Thousands of miles, immeasurable hours, and many fish later, I still feel that same fire.
Kayak fishing is more than just a means to get on the water. A kayak is versatility, maneuverability, and a closeness to the water that otherwise could not be possible. The way I read water has been greatly influenced by the days spent gliding seamlessly over a rocky point, shallow sandbar, or submergent vegetation.
Muskie fishing has always been my primary target; the reason I puchased my first kayak was for that reason. Catching a muskie from a kayak proves more challenging, but also more rewarding. The adrenaline of being in close quarters with an apex predator and watching them inhale your lure just feet away is an experience that has no equal.
Currently, I fish out of a Hobie Revolution 13. This kayak has taken me there and back again. Scary situations with a freak hail storm and three foot waves crashing me against a rock wall, to lazily peddling down a misty river, my kayak has become an extension of myself ever bit as much as my rods.
Pike & Muskie Fishing
Esox, or better known as pike, muskie and pickerel, have completely consumed my focus. While that's not to say other species don't get my attention, something about these fish just gets me.
The tactical aspect along with the work that goes into just one fish, as well as facing the king for freshwater fishing, with hand just inches from rows for razor sharp teeth cannot be beaten. Aggression, stealth, and intelligence- battling these fish head to head is a game of stamina and wit.
Tiger muskie being hands down my favorite. A hybrid of my two favorite fish, combined into one, these silver and gray ghosts have captured my heart.
"If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you."
You know that first cold day in September? That is the day I get excited for ice fishing. As silly as that sounds, knowing full well that first ice is months away, I know I am not alone when I say ice fishing is an absolute blast!
From first ice, with the only kind of report being the one you make yourself, to those last 50° days that destroy shorelines, force you to take layers off, and bring the big gals shallow, I will be ice fishing.
Though ice fishing on certain years can only last a month or two, at least half of my biggest fish are caught during this time. There is absolutely no reason to take a break from fishing during the winter months. The hard-deck will always be one of my favorite ways to fish and I encourage every angler to give it a shot.
Although nothing in the world can beat catching your favorite species, change and diversity really does make you a better angler. For me I still get a kick out of going to swampy Nebraska ponds and catching giant bluegill on ultralight tackle.
Since moving out west, bass and bluegill, have been replaced with trout, and char. The hybrids of which, have really hooked me. Tiger trout and splake taking front and center.
Whether its sight fishing for trout in the mountains standing on a kayak, hopping a top-water frog in August as the sun begins to set for thick largemouth under a matt, or grabbing my auger, ice rod and a couple tungsten jigs for panfish, there is no fishing I do not love.