Wednesday, October 27, 2010

End of Season Reflections and Next Years Aspirations

Fishing season is coming to a close for me fast. Tournaments are over, the weather is taking a change for the colder, and I have a lot to do at home that has been neglected all summer.

Time for a little reflection on this season. I think I did decent for my second year of tournament fishing. I stuck with each series and fished every event I set out to. I made the fish off in the club and the regionals in the BFL. The money I made was not great. I'm starting to see that unless you are an exceptional fisherman you'll be lucky to break even. I made just about enough to pay for my entry fees this season. The expenses were more than the entry fees and I had to eat that cost.

I'm not disappointed though. I got to fish almost every weekend from the end of April through the end of October. I saw a lot of different lakes and fished a lot of different types of water. The most important factor is the amount I learned and the confidence I gained this season.

I'm kind of happy winter is coming this year for the first time in years. I'm ready to take a short break from fishing. I'm sure by Thanksgiving I'll be complaining already that winter is taking too long.

Next seasons plans are already being decided. I thought I had some time, but just saw that registration is open for the American Fishing Series next year. I wanted to enter the Central Division if I made the top 40 in the BFL this year. I did that, now I started crunching the numbers. My wife and I have decent jobs but decided to overspend coming out of college. Now I have about 50.00 a week spending money. I usually put it all back for fishing the next year but it would not come close to what I need for next season in 22 weeks. I estimate that between entry fees and expenses I will need to have 5430.00 saved by spring to fish all the events I want too. That amount would be sleeping in a tent or in the van at the overnight events and eating pbj sandwiches.

My plans are to fish the BFL's again. I will also fish the club tournaments. I also made plans with a guy in the club to fish the Wednesday night tournaments here in town. With just those tournaments I am estimating 2330.00 between entry fees and expenses. The American Fishing Series is the one in question and the one that needs the soonest decision. With the payout structures they have next year it is hard to pass up. I would love some experience on the lakes they fish as well.

The main drawback I have - it will take all of my vacation to fish all the tournaments in the series if I make the Championship. My family is in Kansas and I am in Ohio so I need some time to visit them. My wife and I are also trying to get the last of our debt cleared out. That money would clear a good chunk of debt. We are looking at having all of our debt besides the house paid down by the end of next year.

There is still a couple weeks to register before they open the registration to everyone. I have already pulled the money out of savings and am real close to entering the AFS. Christina has given her approval and said that I should do it. At the same time, she was talking about getting a part time job in the evenings to help pay down debt.

I am barely an amature in fishing. I can't imagine what pro's have to go through. This is something that I don't want to put off for a year or two. Unfortunately, I'm not getting any younger and I have aspirations to keep moving up, so there is no better time than now to get started.

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