Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Praying for a friend and one of my founding board members

Today, all my thoughts and prayers are for a good friend, board member to my foundation, and fellow Cystic Fibrosis patient; Erin Taylor. Erin, like me, has battled CF her entire life, and being in her late 20's the disease has put a huge beating on her lungs. For the last few weeks she has had trouble breathing, and has been coughing up blood. Just a few weeks ago she finished the extremely long process to become eligible to be place on the lung transplant list. The tests require hospital visits, everyday for 2 full weeks. This past weekend, she was again admitted to the hospital for coughing up more blood, and being short of breathe. Last week, they also said she was number 4 on the list, but number 1 in her height requirement. Last night at 1 AM, she received a call to drive up to Jacksonville, FL because they had lungs for her. As I am writing this she is on the operating table for what will be a 8-10 hr long surgery. She is incredibly strong, so I am asking that all your prayers go her way. Besides being a key person for my foundation, she is the first CF patient that I could share (really bitch too) about how much CF sucks, and she understands what I go through because she deals with the same stuff. Erin you are an amazing person, and hopefully this will be a huge success and you can tell me how great it is to Breathe normally for the first time in your life !!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Finally, awesome fishing !!!

The past few weeks has been hell on the water. Fishing has been slow, low numbers and nothing with any size. Yesterday Mark only landed a few fish...I was mad as hell and honestly lost sleep last night over the poor fishing. Thankfully today was awesome. I fished the same areas I fish all the time, areas that always hold fish. The conditions were they same as it has been the last three weeks, hot and 10-15 mph winds out of the southeast and southwest. The only change I did was fish the same areas but at completely different times.

The day began slow but Brian from Illinois stayed focus and fished hard, and at 930 he landed a 5 lbs 13oz bass on a Texas rigged sinko, again the same baits I have been using. Brian retied the hook, next cast lands a 4 lbs 10oz bass...2 casts later another fish at 3 lbs 13oz...then the very next cast another 3 lbs 9 oz fish. It was such a rush for both of us....in total Brian landed nearly 12 bass in 4 hrs, plus several that shook of the hook.

Again a awesome day and proof that my lake still has big fish, you just have to fish hard and stay focused when the water temp is 86 degrees.

On a health note, lungs seem to be improving, but I am now on 2 iv meds and 1 oral antibiotic for two separate bacteria infections in my lungs. Plus the 10 other meds I take daily.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The summer truth

For the past two month I have been battling a lung infection, plus tough fishing conditions. As for my lung infection; I have to take all my normal daily meds (12 different ones multiple times during the day) plus a IV medication 3x a day. Normally these infections wipe me out physically to the point that I get tire just by being awake, i have had a few of those days during this infection but I have been forcing myself to do something physical, usually working on or outside the house with various projects. I am also doing as many charters as I physically can do. This activity is helping me physically but more so mentally. I have several friends that are going through the painful evaluation to be added to the lung transplant list. It is a long, painful 2 week evaluation to become a canidate to receive a transplant, it is also tough mentally plus add the incredible financial burden pre and post transplant. Seeing my friends go through has really brought be down mentally. It has made me push harder to keep my lung function from becoming lower then 29%. Hopefully I will finish this run of antibiotics this week and start doing some serious excersing, like swimming and biking. Poor health has kept me from being able to do a lot of things, and I want to get back some lung function so I can do more with my wife and son. Something I haven't done for over 4 years because of health reason is fish a bass tournament, but this week I a night tournament. It starts at 5pm and ends at 9 pm. It's team style tournament, so my friend, a former guide with me at disney, asked me to fish it. My friend Mike is an amazing angler, I consider myself to be very good, but Mike has this special ability to make things happen. After the first 30 mins of fishing, Mike hit the jackpot spot. In five casts he landed 4 fish. The rules are 3 fish limit, no smaller then 14 inches, and only 2 can be over 21 inches. Top weight from 3 fish win. In those casts, Mike landed one that was just short, then one about 2 lbs, then a massive 8 lbs 9oz lunker, and immediatly after that fish, he lands another one about a pound and a half. It happened so fast, I had to catch my breath, and was just blown away by what he had done. We were unable to get a single bite after that, and came in 2nd losing by 5 oz, in a competition against 30 other teams. This has pumped me up so much. Now the tough news about my charters. I tell everyone this time of the year the truth about how my lake fishes. You will catch fish first and for most, but getting fish with size is hit and miss. Currently my lake temp is 87 degress, these temps are usually common mid to late August not early July. These hot temps make the fish sluggish. It doesn't mean they won't bite, but the big fish focus on moving very little and when they do, its for something big, so they don't have to feed as often. Now all my clients have different levels of experience, but I start their charters with me, all the same. I use weightless flukes and sinkos. These baits will allow the angler to get a feel for all the under water hydrilla (grass), and the suddle way the fish bite. Once they get a few fish in the boat, I will change to what baits and techniques they are familiar with, and focus on getting those trophy bass to hit. That has been the tough part of the job this summer. Latley more charters havent been getting that big bite and it really frustrates me. I expect to give my clients the best, that is why I am on this private lake, no one else fishes it. I assure you the lake has plenty of trophies, but the intense water temps plus the unusually strong winds out of the south have made all the fish so sluggish. Even when a big fish bites they are not holding on to the bait long enough for my clients to set the hook, or we get then near the boat and they spit out the tail of the bait. Again it has been frustrating me more then probably most anglers would be.This report might turn away potential clients and I understand that. I am very up front with how the fishing is, because as much as I want you to fish with me; It's more important to me that you have a good time, and that those that fish with me come back again. We have a long way to go before we see cooler temps, but I will continue to make all my booked charters fun for my clients.