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H2O GO Life Changer

Social media and opinion influences each of us. The vision of blasting down the lake in a boat powered by lots of horsepower appeals to those with the need for speed. The video view of someone boating a BIG bass excites every angler and sunrises as well a sunsets give a visual of serenity and peace. I believe the sight of a body of water or even an aquarium is medicinal. For years after I discovered the power of water sports I was on a crusade to introduce people to the magic of on, in or around waters both wild and those close to municipalities.

Myths Abound. “I can’t afford a boat”, my first boat was won in a raffle for an entry fee of five dollars. “I don’t know the first thing about boating / fishing”, no one starts out as an expert. The internet changed everything. What it took years to learn previously reduced the learning curve drastically to literally months or weeks. Still experience is one of the best teachers. “I don’t want to compete in tournaments”, you don’t have to! I always say, “that’s why there’s chocolate and vanilla ice cream, everybody likes something different”. “I never drove a boat, paddled a kayak”, and at one time you had never driven a car. As a rule, I suggest people start slow and learn as you go. Don’t equate spending a lot of money with being an expert. Find someone to mentor you and teach you basics and eventually finer points.

Don’t fear the “first time” and don’t let one bad experience destroy the possibilities. My first day in a kayak I fished a tournament on a large lake in February. How’s that for jumping in headfirst? For decades doing personal appearance I’ve heard people say, I quit fishing because I never caught any fish”. Combine a little research with a little luck and then practical application and before you know it you’ll catch a few AND the fishing fever.

Bank or Boat –

After being relegated to the bank as a kid I longed for the freedom of moving from spot to spot sure that the mobility would lead me to more and bigger fish. A leaky 10-foot Jon boat lead me to my first bass over four pounds. I’m quoted in my book I’LL BE TENNESSEAN YA’ as saying “the boat is just a place to stand”. It’s true. After having caught fish from every (I do mean every) conceivable watercraft I can tell you the feeling has always been about the fish and the successful catch. Getting there and back is minimally the purpose. The amount you spend to join the ranks of boaters is a matter of several criteria; 1. How much can you afford? I suggest mid-price range and entry level equipment. Keep in mind the eventual desire to upgrade and resale values. 2. What’s your goal? Time on the water, fishing for food, fun or competition all are possibilities. 3. Last but most important is safety. I use one point to prospective boaters of any type, would you comfortable putting your children / grandchildren in that boat?

A Few Tips –

Things to avoid, bad weather, this circumstance has the potential to ruin the experience for captain, company or associates. Be prepared if / when the weather changes to load up and leave. Crowded waters, from launch ramp jitters to being buzzed unexperienced boaters can have unpleasant experiences due to lakes loaded with people especially on weekends and holidays. Perfect your paddling skills on smaller waters. Know the “rules of the road” and understand every state can be different but there are national regulations about operation and necessary safety equipment. A little research goes a long way in this aspect of boating of any type. Rule #1 Life Jackets 100% of the time regardless of regulations. Error on the side of safety. You Don’t Have to Be the Expert Angler. Equip yourself with minimal equipment, learn and expand your playground as you go. I do a daily radio spot (WILD SIDE RADIO) and offer details about water temperature, moon phases and the best baits to use now and next week. A few sizes and colors will serve you well. Master a new technique occasionally and fish in a way that best suits you. If you’re fishing and not having fun…you’re doing it wrong.


Once you achieve a certain level of expertise it’s rewarding to pass on what we know and have come to love to others. Blessed to have several avenues to inspire new folks I never miss a chance to speak to kids of all ages. I lean on my sponsors to supply me give-away products to help the newly introduced to catch a few fish. In a world that can be complex it’s fun to simplify an approach to make it easy to understand and implement. For years being part of anyone’s “first fish” has been a rewarding experience. I avoid using the statement “it’s easy”, if it was easy everyone would already know it.

My goal in any media presentation whether it’s radio, TV, personal appearances or the written word is for someone to say or feel like, that looks like fun, I think I could do that, I’d like to try that.

There’s a newfound freedom in water sports like no other. Sights, sounds and smiles are available to everyone regardless of any description or label. Game changer, no, it’s a life changer.

All you need is H2O and GO!