Friday, October 30, 2009

176 days until next tournament

I was checking out FLW outdoors website today and saw that you got a free hat for signing up with a membership. I went to the membership page and saw that you can now sign up for the tournament package for next year. Not just the rest of this year like the last time I tried to get my membership.

I started to sign up for the free hat but saw at the last minute that the hat is only for signing up for the non-tournament package. I will wait until next week when I have a little extra spending money to sign up.

Now I will be able to register for the Buckeye league when registration begins on Dec 9th. I have a little over 300.00 saved up for the series so far. I will need to crunch down and save the other 250.00 in a little over a month to pay for all the entry fees. I hope to have next season gas and all saved for before the end of winter.

I'm still not sure of the cost of the club tournaments. Hopefully this will be the highest cost for any of the series. The elite series is only 35.00 a week for 9 tournaments. The clubs website showed 10 tournaments last year so I assume it will be close to that, and hope it is not much more than 40.00 a tournament. I will find out more on Tuesday when I go to the club meeting.

Here is a list of the lakes and tournaments I hope to be competing in next year.

April 25, 2010 Alum Creek Elite
May 16, 2010 O'Shaughnessy Elite
May 22, 2010 Grand Lake St. Mary's FLW
May 30, 2010 Griggs Elite
June 12, 2010 Indial Lake FLW
June 13, 2010 Alum Creek Elite
June 27, 2010 O'Shaughnessy Elite
July 11, 2010 Griggs Elite
July 24, 2010 Ohio River/Maysville FLW
July 25, 2010 Alum Creek Elite
August 8, 2010 O'Shaughnessy Elite
August 21, 2010 Ohio River/Carrollton FLW
August 22, 2010 Griggs Elite
August 29, 2010 TBA Elite Fish Off
Sept. 25-26, O River/Tanners Creek FLW

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dean's Wedding and Parents Visit

I made it back to Kansas last week for my friend Dean's wedding. I felt a little out of place going back to my old stomping grounds I had not been to in the last 12 years. Amazingly, very little has changed. The things that did change were probably for the betterment of the town. If betterment is a word.

I recognized a few guys we had hung around with but most did not make it back. I thought my freshman roomate would make it to the wedding. He had other obligations with his wife's family and was not able to. I did meet with his Mother and her boyfriend for a couple hours during the reception.

The rest of the evening I felt out of place. I went alone and did not know anyone besides Dean's family and his friends in the wedding party. After several rum and coke's I started talking with a few more people and ended up having a great night.

Shawn, Dean's roomate for a few years and I talked quite a bit. He invited me back next spring for some walleye fishing. I will probably take him up on that. He has a nice brand new Ranger and know's the lakes around there pretty well. Dean and his father said they would be able to do a weekend so now all I have to do is plan it later this winter.

On a different subject, Mizike crushed a deer 2 nights ago on his way home from a bar. Luckily he doesn't drink and drive. He was out with his fiance watching a band from the Kansas City area that she knew. On the way home the GPS said to go down Broad Street. He didn't want to go through that area since it isn't Columbus's best so he went down to I-270 and would bring that back. Turned out that his gamble didn't pay off. The deer broke out the driver's side headlight and crunched in the whole drivers side of the car. It even took out the whole back door handle. His car was able to make it home but had to be towed from there since his new tire's he just bought last week were rubbing on the wheel well. He has a 1000.00 deductible so he is understandably upset.

That is 2 deer for the household this year. Maybe we should take up hunting instead of fishing.

My boat is still ready since I didn't know if Dad and I would be able to make it out this week while him and Mom were up. It didn't work out since I didn't get to use the vacation that I requested. The person that was going to cover for me couldn't because his grandmother passed away Sunday night. I wish him and his family all the best.

The week hasn't turned out too well at work. I have put in late evenings all week and have barely seen my parents. I hope this isn't affecting their vacation.

I saw yesterday that FLW has added the schedule for next years BFL. I can register for it on Dec 9th I think. I don't have the yearly membership yet. I tried to get it last week but it only lasts through the end of this year. I'm not doing tournaments this year so I might have to wait until January 1st to register.

So I have the schedules for 2 of circuits next year. Now I just need the schedules for the club tournaments. So far there are not any conflicting schedules. I'm pretty worked up about next year.

I have been watching the weather for this weekend. It is supposed to be raining and chilly. I really need to get out on the lake again. I might just tough it out and go. Hopefully the duck hunters don't get me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


These posts are about to get shorter as we pass through fall and get closer to winter. I am going to try to keep this blog about fishing and my adventures. Those 2 kind of slow down throughout the winter, so there might be a little more rambling along the way.

This week has been a little warmer than the last couple with highs today near 70. It makes it hard to be at work. With it getting dark so early I really don't have time to stop after work to fish, and with everything else going on this month I don't think it matters anyway.

Tonight I have a parent teacher's conference for my son who is 3 in pre-school. Saturday I fly to Kansas for a friend's wedding. I fly back Sunday, then my parents will be out to visit the rest of next week.

Thursday I will probably get a haircut and Friday I will be packing for my trip. I might make it out next week with my parents if they want to fish.

Monday the 2nd of November I have an invite to sit in on a monthly bass club meeting. I'm pretty excited. I have e-mailed 6 bass clubs and only 1 responded. It sounds like a good club of guys that join to fish the club tournaments and have fun.

With winter approaching there is one good thing, I can fish under the spillways here most the winter. Since the lakes are all built on river systems a lot of saugeye get washed over and can be caught below the spillways, especially after rains or snow melts. It's usually not real productive and can be extreemly cold but I can still get the joy of fishing.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Money Management

Since the last post I have painted the kitchen, mowed the yard, disassembled the poker table and moved it into the basement, put up a chandelier and a foyer light, as well as a few other small things around the house. I have not been fishing since we returned for Kentucky/Barkley lakes. I guess if that is the last fishing trip of the year, it was a good one to go out on.

I have decided that to void my emptyness of not fishing this winter, I will get back into playing some online poker and maybe a live tourney or 2. If I get some deep runs in tournaments it may just pay for next season. I have 30.00 in my account at this point but should be able to use that and play some low buy in tournaments. I can usually make the cash and have had some success recently getting close to a final table in MTT's.

One thing that I have learned with poker that will help with fishing is money management. You have to have that in any tournament setting to do well. In poker you will not win or do well a majority of the time. In order to increase your bankroll you have to use your bankroll so that you will not run out of money. For me, I don't like to do tournaments that are more than 5% of my bankroll at the time. That allows me to lose some tournaments and still turn a profit in the long run. That 5% is pretty risky but with the amount of money in my bankroll I need to take the risk for potential higher rewards. If my bankroll were to increase substantially I would decrease the percentage in order to maintain the bankroll.

With professional fishing there are some other variables but the concept is similar. If I want to fish for a living I don't want my bankroll to deplete to where I cannot fish any longer. Most pros say to take small steps and move up when it is time for you to move up. That entails your skills as well as your financial situation.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Looking at Next Season

I am trying to join a bass club this fall so I can talk about my withdrawels from fishing over the winter. I think my first meeting will go like this. "My name is Rhett Hickert, I'm a fishaholic. I've been off the bass for 3 weeks now." Then there will be a round of applause. Ha ha! Really, Im joining so I can fish with different people next year so I can learn more in the clubs tournaments.

It seems pretty crazy, but it looks like, to get into most circuits you have to start planning for next year already. They will start accepting entry's in November. I don't know if they fill most of the spots right away but I don't want to take the chance. I pretty much know the circuits I'm going to try to get in, since I don't have a partner that can make most tournaments, and my boat is not necessarily a bass boat. I will probably fish the FLW Bass Fishing League as a non boater (5 Saturday Qualifier tournaments + 1 regional), my club as a non boater (? tournaments), and a boater only series that is put on by the guys who did the Thursday night series we fished this year (9 Sunday tournaments + 1 Championship).

If the schedules all work together and I can save the rest of the 1200.00 in entry fees by November, I will be set up for next year. Then I can save over the winter for fishing supplies, trips, gas, and boat expenses. I don't look forward to the winter but it allows me the time I need to save for all this and get prepared for next year.

I was hoping to make it out some more this year but it doesn't look promising. This weekend we are painting because my parents are driving out to visit in a few weeks. Next weekend we will be organizing the house for the same reason. The following weekend I have a friends wedding in Kansas to attend, then I come back and my parents will be here for a week. That is the rest of October. I might get a little fishing in with Dad and maybe a touch in November. I am going to try to fish until the lakes freeze this year.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Look Back at This Fishing Season

Fall is definately here as the weather has changed for the worse and the leaves are starting to change color. This is the first week I have had to wear long sleeves to be comfortable. I could have possibly used a coat scraping the frost off the windshield the other morning.

In this season of fishing I have learned a lot and realize that there is so much more to learn. Especially for fishing the lakes around here, where you have to catch every bite in order to get a limit of bass.

I have gained experience on different techniques as well as gaining confidence in some baits and learning when and where to use them. I have learned some basics on bass movement throughout the year and am able to find them a little easier than at the beginning of the year. I have even targeted specific bass and been able to catch them.

I am excited that there is still so much to learn, but I am also excited because I can catch bass regularly now. The results of my learning are definately paying off in catching bass.

I am going to continue fishing local tournaments next year. There is a new series put on by Team Bass Xtreme next year that will be a one on one tournament. That works well for me as I have a hard time getting somebody to commit to a whole series. Mizike works 2 weekends a month and Gene doesn't like paying to fish in tournaments. I can fish these without worrying about anybody but myself.

I am also looking at joining a bass club in the Columbus area. I had been in contact with a person in one club but have not been able to contact them for a couple months. They might not need any new members or he has just been really busy. I really want in a club so I filled out a form on the B.A.S.S. website and was contacted by somebody with e-mail addresses for a few clubs around Columbus that are B.A.S.S. affiliated. I am going to send them e-mails and see if I get any responses back. I think the experience gained by fishing with other people would be invaluable, plus I would like to a chance to fish the Federation. I am still a little confused on how the circuit works but by joining a club I might get the information I would need. The FLW is a little more clear cut on how to work your way up.

I would love to be able to make a living fishing. This year I have been looking at our finances and coming up with a plan that would allow me to leave the working world in pursuit of a fishing career. My wife is very supportive. The time that seems the best at this point is when my kids both start school. If I am able to pay down all of our debt besides the house as well as build a decent savings my wife would be able to cover the living expenses and keep us at our current standard of living. I wouldn't consider it if those conditions didn't work out. Four years will also give added experience on and off the water.

Whether I end up fishing as a career or not, I had already been working on getting our debt on track. Shortly after my first son was born I developed a 5 year plan to have all debt besides mortgage paid off. The plan has taken a couple hits but for the most part is still on track. We have been able to clear some college debt out as well as some credit card debt. That has allowed us to start saving to buy things instead of relying on credit.

I am anxious for the time I will not have that debt but I am not in a hurry. Time goes fast enough on it's own. That time will come and I might or might not have the opportunity to fish professionaly. For now I will enjoy the local tournaments and fishing when I can make it out.

With all of the cold weather we have been having I thought about winterizing the boat and waiting until next year to continue fishing. I took a couple weeks off without fishing since the Kentucky trip and have realized there is no way I can wait until next year. I am going to try to make it out this weekend. Maybe the Sunday morning tournament at Deer Creek is still going on. If it is I will fish it. If not, I love fall bass fishing, so I will go out anyway. The lakes are pretty much left to the fishermen this time of year.

I told my wife last spring that this winter I will start working on projects around the house when I cannot make it outside. She took this last weeks weather as it is winter and she wants me to start on the projects this weekend. I still think it's fishing season. I have put things off long enough. I guess I will paint the kitchen Saturday as long as I can still get out Sunday to fish.