Sharing The Water

Owning our safety on the water applies to all levels of angling whether you are a boater, kayaker, or wader. Angling is becoming more and more popular and many times the more popular locations can have a lot of traffic from all user groups, making accidents more likely. At the same time, accidents can happen in even the most remote location between the only 2 users in the far reaches of the bay on a weekday.

Just this year alone several boaters have already lost their lives. Whether it be from a mechanical failure or the disregard of personal safety, these accidents can mostly be avoided. Not only do we need to make sure we are wearing personal safety devices, we need to inspire, and be passionate about their use of safety equipment.

Safety awareness also requires all parties involved to stay alert on the water. It doesn’t matter what user group you personally fall under at this point, each user has to own his own safety. For the wade fisherman that may be wearing a bright orange fishing hat or fishing shirt. A kayaker may take it a step further adding an orange flag at the rear of the craft 2-3 feet off the water. While this doesn’t seem like it would be necessary because the color of most kayaks are orange or yellow, the boater driving a meandering marsh cut would certainly appreciate the more vertical display that stands above the marsh grass. And once the 2 are in such close proximity it’s going to come down to visual cues, not sounds. A boater cant hear his own fishing buddy over an outboard, no amount of whistling or hollering is going to get the drivers attention. It has to be bright and movement helps A LOT.

This also brings me to a point about responsibility. It’s easy to say that one user group shouldn’t do ‘xyz’, but none of this is going to improve the situation. If you thought that someone on a kayak was possibly your own son, would you treat them differently? Everyone is someone’s son or daughter. Would you be more assertive, looking out for their safety and experience on the water. The shoe can be on the other foot as well, if you are paddling a small craft would you put yourself in the center of a boating lane if you knew it was your 68 year old grandfather driving his boat from the back of the canal? Everyone on the water is likely someone’s dad or a future dad. Give each other a wide berth if you can while at the same time making sure you remain safe by your location, depth, and your speed. Own your safety on the water and when someone makes a mistake or isn’t where the ‘should’ be, remember how you would talk to them if they were your son or grandfather.


My Story. Born right on the water in Southern Louisiana, I was fishing with a Snoopy pole while still in diapers. Fished Freshwater until the end of college catching large mouth bass in the 8, 9, and 10lb range. Decided to give the saltwater bays a try and my first attempts I got my 'butt' handed to me even though I was a good bass fisherman with numerous fish over 8lbs. That was 20 years ago. So to say that we understand your saltwater fishing frustration is to say the least. We've been there, and we've figured out what works and what doesn't. I started diving into the knowledge and using my skills from Ecology and testing those hypothesis to find what works and why as it pertained to where the fish actually were, and then also to find them the day of. I was lucky enough to find some great fishing guides along my journey... those that think fishing guides don't have your best interest in mind haven't fished with the guides I know and how quickly they forgot the guides and articles that they learned from. Guides are a valuable collective of people in our fishing community and I feel like finding a couple good ones after use the best learning resources will greatly shorten your learning curve. I know we all want to do it on our own, but there is also something to say for utilizing, and partnering with guys that are on the water everyday, to Maximize your putting that education into practice. With our DVDs you can do it on your own, but you can also learn to do it faster combining the resources of the community. Over the 20 years that I fished saltwater I have fished all Texas Bays and into Louisiana, Florida, and South Carolina. Not only that but my understanding of how each estuary and bay system works, and how I can simply teach it to you is also something I've been very fortunate, and blessed to be able to deliver to you. I now mostly help you guys and develop new tools for you. I am forever indebted to my customers for the life and chance I've been given. It's something I don't overlook. I don't fish as much as everyone would like to believe, running and making sure you guys come first takes a lot of time and resources. But I still go when I can and when I do I like to go to different areas and fish new water every chance I get.