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As a new year dawns it is inevitable that we look back at the one that has recently passed. For me this meant looking at the kayak fishing tournaments that I competed in, and deciphering the cryptic messages the waterways of the Southeast had left for me along the way.

Long ago I had made the decision that 2012 was going to be about honing my kayak fishing skills in a competitive format. With so many kayak fishing tournaments, both salt and fresh, springing up around the country there’s no better time to get involved in one. I look at each tourney as a chance to further educate myself on things like fish behavior, lure selection and how to approach different types of water. The best thing about kayak fishing tourneys is, perhaps, meeting some of the most amazing people. I have yet to leave an event without making a new friend and being a batter person for having interacted with such great individuals.

My Jackson Coosa accompanied me from Virginia to Alabama, and literally everywhere in between. Whether fishing for an online event, or standing on a half frozen ramp with 30 others in the “way too early” hours of the morning, each day was an adventure. I started to add up distances and mileage to and from each live event. When it was all said and done I was quite surprised. I had covered nearly five thousand miles and fished in 6 states. After spending almost 80 hours in the car I wish my drivers seat was as comfortable as my Elite seat!

Whether fishing for recreation, or for competition, my Jackson Coosa was on the water over 140 days this past year. Each gallon of gas, mile marker sign, hour of lost sleep and cup of gas station coffee was part of an amazing year. I think my next install on the Coosa will be an odometer…