Farewell, but not exactly Goodbye

Farewell, but not exactly Goodbye
Collecting my thoughts and preparing to write, there is a weight of sadness in my heart. You see, it is the case that this will be my final article as the author of the Kayak Fishing Chronicles for Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine. Much has changed in my life and my job; (supposedly) the level of success we all hope to one day achieve when we launch into a career. Success does, however, come at a price. And, in this case, the afternoons of getting home early enough to sneak in a quick fishing or hunting excursion, and hunting being the only thing that competed seriously with fishing on weekends – all I can say is there have been a lot of changes.

Three and a half years ago I reached out to Everett with an idea to present a column styled for the everyday kayak angler – some destination pieces highlighting where to fish, launch sites, eating places, campgrounds and motels, the kind of stuff that's always nice to have figured out before hitting the road. I also pitched including some how-to pieces on kayak rigging, paddle selection and paddling technique, and of course lots of fishing related topics. Lo and behold, he thought it was a great idea and as they say, the rest is history.

My first column was a report and summary of a trip I made to Galveston-East Bay, fishing from Stingaree Marina. I have to give credit to my buddy, Mark, who really got me interested in kayak fishing and first suggested we fish there. Not long after the article printed I remember getting a call from Stingaree. They wanted my permission to hang a copy of the article on the wall in the restaurant. I was so proud.

As the months started going by I began to get reader emails and text messages. People asking my opinion of this or that, from where to launch or what kind of kayak is best. Some of the fishing photos that readers have sent me are still on my computer because of how impressed I am by their achievements. Over these last few years it has been a blast sharing fishing stories and tips with everyone.

Forty-two months and magazine issues later, I have met many great people through this little writing job and paddled many, many miles. I have greatly improved my knowledge of shallow water fishing and caught a lot of fish. The Texas outdoors folks and fishermen of all ages and occupations who enjoy this type of fishing have made a great impression and provided memories I will cherish forever. Having set out to hopefully encourage and educate newcomers to paddle fishing, I have to say that I also learned a lot. I also learned a lot about myself, another treasure to carry with me the rest of my life. Maybe someday, with a child or grandchild on my knee, I will reminisce and say, "Yeah, I used to write for a premier fishing magazine back in the day!" Ha-ha.

With that said, even though this is the last official entry from me, the show must go on. I am certain the next kayak chronicler will take the column to an even greater level. And I won't ever be far away. In some respects I will not have ever left. I will still be out on the water with you, doing what I can to find that next bite.

Thank you Everett and TSFMag for the chance to be a part of the team. Thank you also to my pal and fishing partner, Cliff, for your support and encouragement in my writing. Most of all, I want to thank all the readers, you have been great. I truly appreciate all the emails, shared photos, fishing hints and tips. It has been a great run. Good luck on the water!