Well another year is already upon us and I’m still wondering how it got here so quickly. It seems the older I get the faster time goes by, but I guess that’s just life. This past year has certainly been one to remember for me and I am thankful for everything I got to experience.
For starters, fishing this past year had its ups and downs. Spring and summer proved difficult in the marsh, more sightseeing than catching many days. However, fall and early-winter turned out to be some of the best fishing I’ve had and certainly made up for the slower months. On top of that, Sabine has finally started to produce some solid trout, which is great to see. The past few years have been tough when it comes to finding quality trout but they now appear to be making a strong comeback.
The coming of the new year brings opportunity to start fresh with a clean slate. I personally am already looking forward to it and am excited to see what it holds. Moving forward, I have thought about a few things that I want to do to make my new year better than the last. A few of these items I believe pertain to most of us and I would like to share them.
TAKE SOMEONE NEW FISHING
A few months ago, my buddies and I headed for a weekend getaway in the south Louisiana marsh. One of the guys that joined the trip was my buddy’s brother-in-law, Chris. It was his first-ever time to make such a trip and, in fact, had only picked up a rod and reel a handful of times beforehand. The next morning at breakfast we started to devise a plan for boat pairings. I suggested Chris should jump on my boat and assured him that even if we didn’t catch any fish, we will at least have some fun out there. We pulled up to our first pond and within the first 20 yards we spotted a nice red cruising down the bank. He made a perfect cast and landed his first redfish. As soon as we let that one go, here came another one taking the same path as the first. Once again, he hooked up and we began to laugh and high-five the situation. To say the least we had a monumental day of fishing and I know now that he is hooked. There is something absolutely joyous about sharing that type of experience with someone new to the sport.
On top of that, the importance of bringing someone new is getting them to engage in a brand new outdoor experience. If they become interested, it means that fishing licenses are being purchased, fishing equipment, bait, etc. All of the revenue from licenses will go towards TPWD and odds are, if you are buying bait, it is coming from a local shop. Even some of the most popular soft plastics are produced by Texas small-business owners. All of this goes back either directly or indirectly to support the Texas recreational fishing industry – which is a win-win all the way around.
CLEAN UP OUR WATER
I remember being in Boy Scouts many years ago; we were taught to “leave no trace” and that continues to stick with me. We would go camping and before we left, we had to pick up every piece of trash in and around our campsite, even if it wasn’t ours. I try to be conscious about this while I am out on the water and without failure, there is usually some kind of trash to pick up. One of the things I have begun to find more and more of recently are birthday balloons. I honestly think that within the last year I had more trips where I picked up balloons than not. Other places that could always use a little picking-up is our boat launch ramps. Believe it or not, I have seen several great kayak launches over the years being gated because of the amount of trash discarded there. My hope is that users will become mindful of this and not only hold on to their own trash but remove that left by others as well.
FIND NEW FISHING
I could be wrong but I am willing to bet that most anglers are just like me when it comes to their regular spots. We know they are tried and true and know exactly the best times to fish there. I’m also willing to bet that on the way to and from these spots you pass areas that have always looked appealing. In the back of your mind you have always wanted to stop and fish but you never do. I am certainly guilty of it but this past year I have made it a practice to finally pull in and check them out, even if only for 30 minutes. More often than not I have discovered these spots worthy of being added to my regular hit-list. Like the old saying goes; “you’ll never know unless you go.”
Besides just fishing local, it is always rewarding to head out and explore other bodies of water. Thus far for 2022 I have already made plans to fish places I have never been, much less fished before. Uncertainties of what might be found there and memories that might be made fuel my desire for fishing adventures and I cannot wait to get on the road.
These are just a few things that I am looking forward to for the coming year. I hope that sharing my thoughts will help others engage in something that will help our community and you as an angler. I want to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year and I hope yours is filled with lots of fishing success.