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As the days get longer and spring slowly inches closer, a lot of anglers are starting to get ready for a new season of fishing. Old gear has been sold and new gear is in hand or on order. Tournament folks have been studying the schedules and locations trying to formulate plans to fish as many as they can. For me though, over the recent years, my focus has turned more from tournaments and more to my fishing “bucket list”.

Chasing my bucket list has infused a new enjoyment into my kayak fishing. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy going to tournaments for the camaraderie, catching up with friends, and trash talking. What eventually turned me away from tournaments was the amount of time I spent preparing. I felt I had to be practicing for the upcoming events rather than fishing the way I wanted to. Now I just set a series of bucket list goals I would like to accomplish for the year and try to achieve it. My bucket list isn’t just reserved for fish, but also new locations and the two go hand in hand.

So far I have been able to check a few fish off my list such as Redfish, Snook, Chain Pickerel, Shoal Bass, Suwannee Bass, Black Warrior Redeye Bass, Striped Bass, Peacock Bass (not out of a kayak yet), and Walleye to name a few. In the pursuit of my target fish, I have also landed many other species such as Creek Chubs, Caravelle Jack, Ladyfish, and many others. For me, the rush of the first catch has become the addiction. Traveling in search of these fish has allowed me to see some beautiful places around the southeast and meet great folks that I am happy to now call friends.

For this year I have a few fish I hope to check off. I want to try and catch all seven Redeye Bass (Black Warrior, Coosa, Cahaba, Tallapoosa, Chattahoochee, Altamaha, and Savannah) over the year on a fly rod and a catfish over 50 pounds. We will see how the list shakes out, I may catch them or I may not. One thing is for sure, there are good times ahead.

So what are the bucket list fish or locations you would like to mark off your list this year? Post them in the comments below. You just might meet a contact that could help make it happen.

“You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis

Tight Lines,
Robert Brown