Heating Up as it Cools Down: Reflections on a Hot Streak

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“Don’t take it for granted.” It’s what I kept telling myself after waking up from an unexpected surgical event two months ago. I sat around the house for nearly 6 weeks, resting and thinking about fishing. The one time I went to fish, I lasted fewer than four hours and had to leave. Lifting the kayak was a task that required assistance. I wasn’t ready for the grind.

And then I was. Rest, some light exercise, the support of family, and that feeling that you got a new start: those were the ingredients that have gone into these past 6 weeks of my renewed tournament season.

In 5 events, I’ve had 3 top 10 finishes that include two consecutive 1st place finishes, all on different lakes. I also fished two team events in that time span. I landed limits and placed scoreable fish on the leaderboard in both – in one of the two, I was the team’s top angler.

If that’s not a hot streak, it’s a very good run. It could continue; it could end with the next tournament. I could blank at my next event and win the last four after it. You can’t know, so I don’t care.

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The Extraordinary Complexity of a Fishing Life: A Review of Janet Messineo’s Casting into the Light (2019)

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by Hank Veggian

What holds a book “together?” Many readers will look for a theme or a message, a “take-away” that makes a “point” over many pages. I call them the miners, because they look to extract something useful from a book. Other readers read for the story, and take pleasure in moving with the tides. I call them the swimmers, because they go with the flow. A third type of reader: the editor. These readers take pleasure from a book’s style, and admire how the words are assembled, above all.

There are always exceptions to the types, and other types. Can they all co-exist? How many personalities can inhabit a reader? What about a single life? And can they all be captured in a book? Janet Messineo’s Casting into the Light had me wondering about these questions. Did the book answer them? Maybe, and indirectly, but not because it sought to. And that’s why I enjoyed reading it. It’s a raw book in some ways, without major goals or some splendid architecture to showcase. It’s nonetheless a collection of stories that add up in some way to a portrait of a life, and an interesting one at that.

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Kayak Fishing: Wading, Portaging and Fishing in Fast Water

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Introduction

How do you navigate fast, shallow water in a fishing kayak? And how do you fish that water? It isn’t always simple or easy. Prior to a recent tournament on Falls Lake in North Carolina, I consulted the USGS gauges for the rivers on the north end of the lake. There had been some rain, but not too much, and I wondered if some of the resident fish might be active due to food and oxygenated water flowing downstream. So I decided to give it a shot.

I prepared for some expected obstacles and eventualities, and improvised along the way. The result? A 7th place finish in a field of 57 anglers. Afterward, I made a short post about it on social media. The response was extensive and positive so I decided to expand the post in order to share more details about the effort, problem solving and safety tips involved in fishing this particular type of water.

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Form and Void: A Review of the Wilderness Systems Kayak Krate

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“Everything dies, baby, that’s a fact
But maybe everything that dies some day comes back.”

That’s a Bruce Springsteen lyric from the song “Atlantic City,” but it applies to this product review, too. An earlier version of it was first posted to the Get Outdoors: Pedal and Paddle blog. That blog has since come down, and with it several of my reviews. I  have since decided to update the review, and it has now been re-published by Basstrail.com, which is emerging as the best all around site for kayak fishing industry and tournament new son the web.

https://basstrail.com/articles/article/form-and-void-a-review-of-the-wilderness-systems-kayak-krate

© 2022

Kayak Fishing in Carolina Country Magazine

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As more anglers take up paddles and fish from a kayak, more companies take notice. Outdoors media now regularly feature kayak anglers in their publications, a sure sign that our sport is growing and reaching new audiences.

In North Carolina, we have one of the oldest and most well organized kayak fishing scenes in the United States. The sport has grown here at a grassroots levels through clubs and trails and tournaments, attracting the attention of outdoors writers.

In this article below, outdoors writer Mike Zlotnicki interview me for a profile in the January 2022 issue of Carolina Country magazine. It’s a profile of me, but also our sport. Click the magazine title or the full link below, and please share it to spread the word!

https://www.carolinacountry.com/issues/2022/departments/nc-outdoors/quiet-competition-the-joys-of-kayak-fishing-tournaments

Jackson Cruise 10: Product Review

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My review of the Jackson Cruise 10 focuses on the kayak’s simple, multi-purpose design. I also note other features such as comfort, tracking and portability that make the Cruise a great option for both recreational paddling and fishing.

Link to full review: https://jacksonadventures.com/2021/07/the-jackson-cruise-10-a-recreational-kayak-for-all/

Full Disclosure: I am a member of the Jackson Kayak Fishing team, and this review appears on their website. I wrote this article after several months of paddling the Cruise 10. I have fished from many kayak brands and models, and I always do my best to write unbiased, honest reviews.

Rebel’s P-71 Rejuvenates the Pop-R: Product Review

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Introduction

When I heard the news that the Rebel Lure Company was going to release a new version of its Pop-R model in 2021, my hair stopped greying and I felt ten years younger; when I heard the lure was a throwback to Rebel’s legendary P-70 design of the early 1980’s, I felt like a kid again.

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Getting Started with the Tactacam Fish-i

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I recently assembled an instructional guide for beginners who are learning to film their catch using the Tactacam Fish-i camera on their kayaks. Thanks to Basstrail.com for publishing the guide, and to Tactacam and Kayak Bass Fishing for the video resources embedded in the text.

For the full article, click here.

Full Disclosure: This is an independent review, not a sponsored review or paid ad. I do, however, write for the KBF website, who are sponsored by Tactacam.

Late Winter Bass Fishing

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In this blog post for the Jackson Kayak website, I describe how paying attention to clues in the natural world (a deep water fish kill, buds growing on trees) led me to the winning bass bite at a tournament on a cold February day.

Late Winter Tournament Bass Fishing in the Bite FD

Jackson Bite FD: Product Review

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My review of the Jackson Bite FD focuses on the kayak’s inviting and easily modified “Open” design. I also note other excellent features that should be considered (price point, material quality) for what is the best all around fishing kayak on the market.

Link to full review: https://jacksonadventures.com/2020/05/the-jackson-bite-angler-and-bite-fd-accessibility-comfort-and-stability/

Full Disclosure: I am a member of the Jackson Kayak Fishing team, and this review appears on their website. I wrote this article after several months of using the rig, and while revisiting it I am pleased with how well the review stands up. I have fished from many kayaks and have used other models at demos, and I always write unbiased, honest reviews. Scroll to the comments section of the site, below the article, and you will see an additional point I made about the fixed skeg, for example.