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p1386886473According to experts at Ohio State you should chew soft foods 5-10 times and denser foods, like meats and vegetables, 30 times before swallowing. Does anyone actually do that? Maybe it’s because we bite off more than we can chew? It’s part of the American culture really; we’re going to eat more, do more and do it bigger and better because that’s the kind of modern driven society we are, right. However, this phrase can help us become better anglers by applying it to three areas of the life of a kayak fisherman.

First off, I believe bass bite off more than they can chew as well, which is why I’m a proponent of fishing BIG lures to target the lunkers that we all hope for each time we drop plastic in the water. Think about it, do you want to catch big fish or small fish? If your answer is the correct answer then you have to think like a big fish. Put this in human terms…do you want a juicy steak with potatoes and corn for dinner, or do you want a bag of sunflower seeds? You won’t drive across town to that 5-star restaurant for a snack, it’s gotta be a meal to make you get off that couch and go get it. Neither will a big bass. You won’t stand for anything that isn’t hardy and going to give you the energy that you need. Neither will a big bass. A big bass will not chase down a sunflower seed meal, but at the same time if a potato chip goes right past its face, just like us, he’ll gladly take a bite. Big baits make a big bass move, small lures are like throwing darts blindly just hoping to hit a bullseye every once in a while. Don’t get me wrong, there are exceptions to the rules, like in clear cold water you may not get any bites unless it is a smaller finesse tactic. In most cases though, fish with the steak and potatoes meal to get the bass you’re after!

Biting off more than you can chew; the phrase can teach us a lot about safely planning our river float trips as well. As you may know, river fishing is my favorite way to catch bass; I’ve learned most all of my lessons first hand, by trial and error. The goal on every trip you plan should be to give yourself the most possible casts, in productive water, to hook into a big fish. You can doom yourself before you ever get on the water by biting off a longer float trip than you can chew. One time, my friend and I floated 14 miles in one day. Did we catch fish, sure, but could we have caught more fish had we done a 6 mile section of that river? Absolutely! Sometimes you can’t help where the access points are and you have to decide to go ahead with a longer float trip or reschedule to another location where you’ll get in more casts, instead of paddle strokes! It is the quandary of so many anglers, especially on the River Bassin’ Tournament Trail, because they have to finish up earlier than on a normal day. When it comes to float trip planning, be safe, and don’t bite off more than you can chew!

The last way this common phrase can help us is simply in our rbpersonal lives. I mean, you can’t go fishing if you have too much other stuff going on, or you’re not properly organized. When I was younger, and single, I just didn’t care. I went fishing, or worked, no matter what projects were left undone at home. However, over time that stuff will catch up to you and you’ll eventually lose that time you thought you were gaining! Most people, like me, always feel they can do more than they can. However, even if we actually do what we think they can, we don’t really “chew” as long as we need before we swallow. As the first sentence of this article states, this isn’t healthy. Even though we’ve “done a lot,” it hasn’t equated to the productivity that, in theory, “more” should. Last year my wife and I managed to put on 15 of the River Bassin’ Tournament trail events. It was great in terms of physically being all across the country, getting to see so many of you in person, show off our awesome line of Jackson Kayaks, and other cool products from our supporting cast of sponsors. However, it was not as great for actually getting on the water, other than when we filmed for the Hooked on Wild Waters show, or having time to interact via social media or even write as many cool articles like this that I really miss doing. We also bought a new home last year, and as you can imagine, never being physically at the home made it challenging to actually get settled in and organized!


I’m sure many of you know the challenges that I speak of; maybe you’re just finishing up college and on the job hunt, or just got married, had your third child, or lost a job, a loved one, your car broke down or you got hurt physically and are trying to recover. One thing I know is that there are seasons that we all must go through in life, and when you’re looking ahead to your 2017 just remember that more things will come up than you expect or plan for. Plan time to chew on the “un-planned” events as well, so that you can get that time on the water AND time with family and friends that you need. After all, it’s hard to catch a lunker when you aren’t even on the water, isn’t it! 

My wife and I are finally getting organized into our home and planning 2017. We’re excited to see so many of you again on the road as we put on 7 River Bassin’ Tournaments, and again film for Season 3 of Hooked on Wild Waters (you should totally subscribe if you haven’t already), and even though we’re going to be at a lot of weddings, family reunions and other personal life functions we are planning for the “un-planned” as much as we can this year so that we can fully chew all that we take in. We’re wishing the same for you and your family and hope that you get that time on the water so you can take your Jackson Kayak for a paddle and hopefully even catch that new personal best fish!

#jacksonkayak #riverbassin #hookedonwildwaters #orioncoolers