Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Year of Firsts

People are hating on 2016 left and right. It's hard to blame them in a year where we lost both Prince and Bowie and got dragged through a ludicrous election cycle. But I'm focusing on the good things. I'm fortunate to have my health, a growing family and a steady job. I'm also lucky to have spent a bunch of time on the water this year doing what I love.

After three decades of doing this, it's still fun to experience "firsts" in fishing. This year I was able to check off a few things I had never done before. In February, during a winter with less than ideal ice conditions, I landed my first muskie and my largest fish ever on hardwater. I owe my buddy Matt big time for making that happen. 

Muskie Magic

When spring rolled around, I was hellbent on doing something I had been talking about for years--catching my first weakfish. I put in a few consecutive nights during a good tide at a proven spot and was finally rewarded with a squeteague. Size didn't matter, I had slayed my unicorn...then let her go.  

Unicorn Slayer
Fast forward to fall and I was able to tap into another incredible run of false albacore. As in 2015, it was awesome to find them in good numbers in my local waters. Catching them in a boat will always be cool, but catching my first-ever little tunny from shore was hard to beat. It was a crazy fight and a memory that is etched in my brain. A big shout out goes to my friend Aaron for putting me on that fish.  

Terra firma Tunoid
Between those three firsts and many other enjoyable outings, I had a rewarding year of fishing. With a two-year-old angler-in-training at home and another on the way, time on the water will be more limited next year and never more appreciated. Tight lines in 2017!