Saturday, January 18, 2014

Back on the water, finally!

After over 18 months this past Wednesday was my first charter since becoming to sick to operate my boat, and just 3 months after having my double lung transplant. 

My charter was with two long time clients, great, fun guys...Matt and Stacy. I was nervous taking these guys out because I had only been on the lake once prior to taking them out, and my very first outing was a tough day with only catching 4 fish. I am obsessed with making my charters worth my clients pennies, so I do lose sleep at times when fishing gets tough.

We started in the late morning around 1030 am... Had a really slow hour and half with two fish. I then moved to a spot that just always produces fish, and we did...about 6 smaller bass...nothing really over 15 inches, but we were getting plenty of hits and fish in the boat. The air temps cooled and the winds picked up as the day went on, but the bite remained constant. 

Towards the end of the day Matt and Stacy landed 20 bass, all on artificial baits, missed another 10-15 opportunities as well. It was a great start for me personally. I am still able to locate fish and put clients on those fish. 

Matt caught 2 really decent fish, one 3 lbs and another right at 4 two huge crappie all with zoom flukes. 

Stacy did ok, he managed to get 5 fish in, and lost two really decent fish. 

For me I was so thrilled to be back doing what I love. I will continue to ease into the guiding, only doing a few a week and gradually increasing and my health continues to improve. My body still has a lot of recovering to do from the surgery, but I am amazed how quickly things have come together. 

I have held at least 3 simultaneous jobs at once, I still do that now, it's a little different. First, my health is literally a full time job, then my family and being a dad and good husband is my second full time job, and now fishing again. 

I am looking forward to some warmer weather, the cold we have had has really dropped the lake temp down to mid to low 60's, but the bass have already began the spawn. Several of the bigger fish we caught were shallow and in places where they would normally bed. If we get a few really warm days, and the temps start to rise, the spawn will be on.

Here are some photos of Matt's catches.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

3 month LUNGiversary / my own custom bait

This week marks 3 months since my transplant. It's crazy to look back to a year ago at how sick I was, how depressed I was. It's even crazier to think I had a major surgery only three months ago and I am already getting back to fishing. This week was intense between doctor appointments and tests, then all the different pieces I had taking place for my business finally all came together. 

On the health front, all my tests came back great. No infection, no rejection, and was able to stop 3 more meds. I was anxious all week for today's Bronchoscopy to be completed and thankfully everything looks great. Physical therapy continues to make me stronger and my drop foot is improving each week. So I am doing great!

Business wise things have been great this week. My boat wrap was completed and honestly looks amazing thanks again to Fresh Ink Signs and Graphics in Orlando. All my reels where re-lined since most of them haven't been used in 18 months. My gear is all organized and the only thing that remains is cleaning the boat. Saturday will be the first launch with my boat in 18 months and excited to be doing it with some great friends. Then next week the charters begin, starting with some loyal clients I have had since my first year as a guide. I will be easing into these charters only doing a few a week as I continue to build strength and endurance again. 

The best part of the week and totally unexpected was the creation of my own custom soft plastic worm by the owner of Cache Custom Lures' owner Kent Thomson. Kent has a daughter battling cystic fibrosis and has done so much to support me with amazing hand poured soft plastics that put my clients on fish each charter. Today he revieled the "KP Craw". It's pretty bad ass that I have a custom bait named after me that others can buy. A bait I haven't fished yet but guarantee you it will catch trophy bass especially here in Florida. 

Like I said this has been great week for what has been a long and emotional ride. Stay tuned for some more photos and video from this week.