Fishing for Christmas Answers

With the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season it sure is easy to get caught up and neglect key things in our lives.  As Christmas rapidly approaches and renewing sponsorships crank down at the end of the year.  Lets not even think about taxes! Work commitments, shopping and meals coming up often times the real reason for the season gets pushed to the back of our minds.

The traffic in good old Glasgow KY has sure increased since Thanksgiving.  What is usually a ten minute drive is now more like 30 minutes. I know I am Blessed by such an easy commute.  I can only imagine what some of you all have to deal with.  However to us Barren County folks it can be frustrating. I have not ventured into any of the local stores in weeks.  I will have to make the trip today, but it is begrudgingly that I do so.  The boost to the local economy is a welcome site, but I had just as soon set here on the mountain like the Grinch, and grumble.

Tis also the season to see if we can get our sponsors back on board for next season.  I am very Blessed in that aspect as well.  I have the best sponsors to work with.  These folks took a chance on me and now into my third year are still with me.  I am sure proud of my sponsors.  The folks at Barren Outdoors in Glasgow are jumping on board and helping me with Fishers of Men as well.  That is where I have been putting in the most work this fall, learning and trying to grow the reach of the West Ky division.  Also the great folks at A.F. Crow and sons funeral home are helping out this year.  We also have Mark Miller Marine on board as our local Bass Cat Boats dealer. We will be adding more folks to that list very soon.  I would like to thank them all for supporting me, and Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail.  If any of you are interested in a sponsorship or helping us out in any way, or fishing with us give me a call or an email.

With more traffic and the beginning of the year on top of us at the college we have seen more traffic.  This is a good thing but often can mean more hours at the office.  It is another Blessing to have a good job and be busy.  Although it can add to the stresses of day to day this time of year.  It also provides a means for us to go buy Christmas gifts, turkeys, hams,  and other Christmas delights.  While all this is in our minds, added somewhere in the back is income taxes.  Nothing can quiet strike fear into our hearts like the dreaded IRS.  Almost like the boogie man he leers in the dark corner of our imagination to strike in the late winter and early spring. He will come and it will cost us, Ha.  Maybe I should be writing a horror film.

With all these factors, and how we tend to grumble about such menial things this time of year.  We all truly know the reason for the season is Jesus.  The complaints, the grumbles, the excuses all come from the Devil.  I know it and if you look at it you will know it.  Why would satan not attack this time of year?  Millions of people are gathering in across the world to Celebrate Jesus, the one who will stand with us against the accuser.  He hits our finances, he hits our transportation, he hits our families,  he wants us to suffer and be Grinch-like.  It takes away from the Glory God is showing.  Think of all the Angel tree kids, the Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, soup kitchens, and countless other ways people help out this time of year.  All in the name of Jesus.  We need to proclaim it all in the name of Jesus, and when we get to feeling these frustrations turn to Prayer and Praise instead of anger and curse words.  I am as guilty as anyone.  I have a tendency to grumble about how commercialized and consumer driven Christmas has become.  I think Jesus would scoff at me for this.  The money I spend never was mine anyway.  Without Jesus providing I couldn’t have it to complain about.  Without Jesus providing family and friends we complain about “dealing” with we would be alone.  Without Love where would we be?  Christmas time calls for a bit more Grace at times but slow down folks enjoy it.  Pour yourself out and fill back up with Jesus.  Yes it takes effort a times, I promise it will be worth it.  For Me to increase I must decrease, and make Jesus number 1. John 4:4 says You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.  My friend Jason Brooks has this tatted on his arm.  This verse has so much power in it for us.  It has became one of my favorites.  april 14 ky bass

In closing today, I hope each of you have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!  I Pray each of you are safe, warm and happy this Christmas.  I am very thankful for all of you who read, share and reach out.  God Bless you and Merry Christmas from my family to yours.

 

Fishing report for Barren River Lake

Its been cold this week.  That is good for us!  The crappie have been really eating.  Live bait in wood about 10 to 15 feet deep.

Channel Catfish have been caught in good numbers.  Mud points throw live shad in the channel and wait.

Bass have been doing pretty good on jigs, they are a but scattered, I like bluffs but some nice ones have been caught on flats and points lately.

My next trip will be Lake Cumberland I hope to have you a nice report there soon.

Good Luck and God Bless!Lane at lake

Fishers of Men

A few years ago I began a journey.  Well I guess that journey started a long time ago.  Fishing has been a huge part of my life as all of you know by now.  This journey however really jumped into motion when I began fishing with Ross Anglen.  Ross is absolutely one of the best outdoorsmen I know.  Ross introduced me to competitive bass fishing.  I was hooked instantly.  The rush of the blast off to the exhilaration of putting good fish in the boat during a tournament, lets face it thats what keeps hoards of people coming back and what drives a multi-billion dollar industry.  Anyone can compete and anyone can win, and there is nothing else on earth like it.

This journey led me to a calling.  I felt I was supposed to have some sort of ministry through fishing.  A way to bring bass fishermen to Christ. I had no clue what that would look like.  Over the years Ross pulled away from competing,but we have remained and will rmain dear friends.  Ross helped me grow as fisherman and as a Christian.  Ross prayed for me and has probably known longer than I have a way was being made for me.

So as time goes on this year to be exact, I had a tough year on the water.  I just could not build any momentum.  In competitive fishing momentum is important because of confidence.  If you start strong your confidence is boosted and you fish much better.  You don’t second guess anything.  So with the lumps I took this year I trudged into the final tournament of the year thinking it may be my last.  I had lost some of the drive for tournament fishing that I had.  I made a great showing in that last tournament.  It is a good way to end a year for sure.  Going into next year I had decided I would fish some but not as much.

Then here comes God.  I have had so many blessings through fishing. Sponsors, great folks I have met, these articles, and all the people who have reached out and I have enjoyed helping to catch fish.  A few weeks ago I got approached by the Fishers of Men tournament trail about being a director.  I instantly got excited and scared.  I was not sure if this was right or if I wanted it for reasons that were fleshy. I began to pray.  I talked with my family, and finally I called Ross.  Ross said he would pray but as we talked he said dude, it os a no brainer it is what you have prayed for, for years.  I needed that encouragement, so with friends and family in prayer I decided to take the position.

So now here I am.  The Director for the KY West Division of Fishers of Men Tournament trail.  I pray to God uses me to do some great things.  I pray for a place where all people are welcome, and shown love. I pray for good volunteers and sponsors.  I pray for growth. Most of us as guys don’t always enjoy the formal setting of church, we would rather be in jeans a t-shirt and a cap.  This will be a place to come have fellowship, hear Gods word, compete with some great folks, and catch some fish.  Go check out the web-site.  Look at the KY West schedule.  If you have questions let me know, and come out and fish with us!

Fishing wise we went to Dale Hollow today,  we caught one fish and it came unbuttoned.  It was beautiful out there. Water temperature was 58 degrees.  Most folks were fishing with live bait on points about 20 to 25 feet deep.

(pictured is Ross Anglen)

(top photo by Leslie Kidd Photography)

God Bless!image

And Here Come the Holidays

Hello from Barren County KY!  It has been an outdoorsman’s month here in the Bluegrass state.  Modern gun season for whitetail deer is in full swing.  Crappie are turning on.  A lot of game will be harvested over the coming weeks. I hope all of you get in on the action.

 

I think we hunt and we fish because there is a almost primal urge to do so.  For the millions of us who do these outdoor activities a bond can be formed just from the commonality of the hunt.  A brotherhood of like minded people.  We enjoy the fellowship with other outdoorsmen the discussions, understanding and support.  This is also a primal need we all have.  We all want to be accepted, we all want to feel valid, and worthy.  This fellowship of support can transcend borders, beliefs, races.  It is a beautiful thing.

 

The time spent discussing fishing, or hunting is comparable to family.  The Holidays are upon us and we all look forward to spending time with family and loved ones.  This fellowship that is also bound from commonality. The commonality of blood, the stories of the past Holidays and things only your family can understand.  Your family picks you up when you fall.  They understand your failures, and still love you in spite of your downfalls, or blindspots.  The good thing about family is you may not see a brother or a cousin for years.  When you see them you automatically go back to where you left them last.  How is this possible?  Family.

God is another way we are all brought together.  Our Church family is much like our blood family.  We have all kinds in it, yes even a Cousin Eddie from Vacation.  If you think you don’t have a cousin Eddie then he is probably you. I joke, but it is true that Gods family is made up of all kinds and all are welcome.  Just like it is important to spend time with family (even the ones who get on our nerves) it is important to spend time with our church family.  Church is not about legalistic views and rules.  It is about Jesus, the Cross and what he came for.  Just like any family you are not always going to agree with each other, there will be hurt feelings, anger all different kinds of turmoil that can happen.  Just because we are Christian does not mean we are perfect.  The only time the human element can be removed is when we all get to Heaven.  So until then lets all try our best to have respect and love for each other.  The Church family is to have like minded believers to lean on in times of trial and tribulation.   Hebrews 10:24-25

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 
25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

 

I am excited to extend my family a bit more.  No we aren’t having a child.  I am now the Director of the KY West Division of Fishers Of Men Tournament trail.  I look forward to spending time getting to know all of the competitors and great folks involved with this organization.  I would be glad to answer any questions any of you may have about competing or anything else.  I haver the schedule for the 2018 season posted on the Fishers of Men web site.

 

God Bless each of you.  Thank you for reading! Happy Thanksgiving.image

 

 

Want to Catch Big Crappie?

Hello folks!  I hope all is well with each of you.  I am doing great.  Lane and I went to Lake Cumberland on Monday this week.  We met up with my father and went to catch some crappie.  True to my dads’s form we were on fish almost immediately. These fish were not the fish we are used to seeing here on Barren River Lake.  The first crappie out of the water was over 17 inches long.  IMG_3307

I went thinking I would throw my trusty NED rig for some bass, preferably spotted ones.  When dad pulled the monster crappie out I changed my mind.  Minnows it was from then on.  With Lane and Dad catching the fish and I was the net man.  When you have a two pound crappie on a number four gold hook you better have a net.  Lane and his grandpa had a double at one point.  I love seeing people catch fish as much as I love catching them.  It was so much fun spending time with my dad and son.  I explore all of you to take your kids fishing, and take your parents.  Dad is in his 70s and can fish circles around me.  I learn from him every time we go out.  Lane is no slouch himself.  Lane I think gets tired of bass fishing which is my life in the warmer months.  He looks forward to this time of year.  He loves to crappie fish.  IMG_3305

We did put together a few spots before the trip was over only one real good one.  I caught two about 13 inches long they were fairly shallow about 8 feet.  The bigger a two pound fish was in about the same depth.  We cheated on these guys as we were crappie fishing.  they cam on minnows too.  The action was fast we caught around fifteen fish.  I caught one crappie which happened to be the smallest at 11 inches.  Out of shame I threw it back! Well not shame but when you have 6 over 15 inches there is no reason to keep an 11 inch fish.IMG_3315

If you want to catch a trophy crappie go to Lake Cumberland.  The numbers are not what you may find on other bodies of water.  Ten fish is a pretty good day.  Twenty fish is a great day.  When the fish are 12 to 19 inches it is worth the wait to me.  Yes Cumberland is deep, yes it is clear, yes it can be a tuff fishery.  It is worth the work, or one could hire a guide.  I may be biased as I grew up crappie fishing Cumberland, but I remember days of 60 fish that were small.  We had them.  The size limit of 10 inches which we hated, has truly paid off.  Go up and give it a try.  Good Luck and God Bless!IMG_3311

What an Awesome October!

It is one of my favorite months.  Its my birth month.  The crappie fishing heats up, and tournaments wind down for me.  I cut my teeth on crappie fishing and I always enjoy getting back to hitting Lake Cumberland with my Dad.  However this October has not held much fishing for me.  It has been filled with Blessings of another kind.

For starters I got the opportunity to take my son to Florida for fall break.  We finished the last tournament on September 30th and headed out that day.  It was a long drive but a good chance to cut up with my two favorite people, Leslie and Lane.  We went to central Florida and it was a long drive.  We got there tired, but anxious to see the water.  Almost immediately we were greeted by a manatee.  I had never seen one nor had Lane.  It was windy and over cast but absolutely beautiful.  God was everywhere.  We experienced our first trip out on the ocean in a boat, we encountered dolphins, manatee a nurse shark, numerous other types aquatic life.   photo4below you can see a manatee pictured is Lane My brother in law Troy Stephens and myself. you have to look to see the shadow and his nose sticking up. He swam right up to us.imageThe next thing that happened in Florida Was the pond Behind Leslie’s Aunt’s house.  It is a big pond it has everything a bass needs to get huge.  The only suitable rod Sherry had was an old Zebco with rotten line and a cheap old top water frog.  Troy said I don’t think there are any fish in there I said oh yes there are. I cast out and on about the third twitch a five gallon bucket opened under the frog and I set the hook.  The fish ran and then the old rotted mono snapped.  Troy’s eyes looked like saucers, I said I knew it!  So in the truck and down to buy some gear after a 250 run to the store we were set to hit those FL bass, and we did. We did some night fishing and some day fishing.  Troy has some photos but I did not get any of them. I believe Troy caught his PB that week.

However the biggest and best thing that happened in October was the wedding.  I never expected to be married again or even to date seriously.  God sure has a way of showing our plans up!  I met Leslie and after months of trying to get her to go out she finally agreed.  From that point on we have been inseparable.  She is a rock, supportive, Christian, hard working and loving.  The fact that she Loves God and seeks His Will is her best attribute, and she has so many.  My walk with Leslie has brought me closer to the Father, it has made me a better man.  For the first time in my life I have a small understanding of Ephesians 5:25 Husbands Love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.  Together seeking Gods will with a spouse who you have entered the covenant of marriage with is one of the most amazing things I have experienced.  To be evenly yoked with Leslie is such a help.  Genesis 2:18 The LORD God said, “it is not good for the man to be alone.  I will make him a helper who is just right for him.”  Thank God for this, it is faithful of us to wait on her, it is faithful to trust she is there, it is faithful to follow God seek his will and submit.  Don’t fight it guys if you are questioning if, pray and be willing to listen, honestly listen and obey.

On October 22, 2017 Leslie Ann Kidd and myself along with God entered the Covenant of marriage. A chord of three strands are not easily broken.  We descended on the Kidd farm for a picture perfect day.  We were blessed to have the talented Tiffany Kokal do the photos.  We celebrated the union with a lot of our family and friends.  We were blessed by the out pouring of love and support.  It could not have went off so well without the help of our friends and families so thank all of you.

Fishing well honestly I haven’t had time to do much fishing the last little bit.  I would look for bass to be 10 to 17 feet deep. Moving up creeks, look in pockets and secondary points.  Crank baits would be my go to.

Crappie are going to be 10 to 15 feet deep on trees or brush. Live minnows.

Of course on Cumberland it is time to hit the old NED rig. I intend to do that this weekend!

God Bless all of you, thanks to all my readers who have reached out ask questions and sent warm wishes about the wedding.

The Fall Bite is Here!

Hello my friends.  I hope all is well with you.  I have had a big September with some ups and downs.  Competitive fishing can be a roller coaster ride at times, one can be flying high one day and lurching through the next.  Two big tournaments in two weeks, in the back of the boat for one in the front for the next. I fished the BFL and the Skeleton Cup.  I learned a lot from both tournaments.

The BFL was a wash. I caught some fish but not the right fish.  That makes for a long day. If any of you want to know what its like to have a bad day at my office stand on a drive way in 90 degree heat and cast and reel for eight hours.  By 1:00 you will be ready to go home I promise it is not much fun.  How do I cope?  I have learned to enjoy the view, to pray and talk to God.  If I am in the back of the boat I will fish and watch the depth finder.  I take mental notes of brush, bait fish, stumps, schools of fish.  This can provide a wealth of knowledge. So I went to the weigh in with nada but made the best of it.

The Skeleton Cup was a different story.  I was in the front of the boat and knew where some fish were. Now the question was would they bite?  I drew an early boat number went straight to them and sat down.  By the first hour in we had caught four.  That is a good day in the office.  If you want to know how that feels, there is only one way and thats enter a tournament and experience it. We had a camera boat with us some, that was another awesome experience.  I would like to thank GLoomis, Shimano, Power Pro Line, Jakall, and Barren Outdoors for that opportunity.  I also want to thank Trevent Hayes for his passion for the outdoors and commitment to bring a local tournament to the people on KySports.TV check them out look for the coverage.  Ended up 15th place in the tournament and took home 400.00 worth of fine GLoomis rods.  While we would have loved winning it all we went out to have fun and we sure did.  We were tickled with our placing.

After a hard tournament season.  I felt I could not build momentum this year.  I caught fish but just couldn’t put it together on tournament day.  This was a great way to close the season out.  Rolling into next year on a high will be a big boost.  It is more proof to be still, and trust God.  God will make good on his promises, however he only does so in His time.  Do not be discouraged by the struggle.  The struggle means you are still in the fight.  It never fails when I willfully submit to Gods will blessings always show up.  We must walk in Faith and not in Flesh.

Now to fishing

Bass are fair crank baits on flats with pockets 12 to 20 feet deep.  Shad colors are best early in the morning.

Crappie have really picked up.  Early morning bite is on as well. brush or lay downs 8 to 12 feet deep.

Hybrid have been really good around Baileys point I have picked some up on Red Eye Shad. Live bait and trolling are more effective.

The weather is nice get out and get on the fall fishing folks. Please be careful as the Corpse of Engineers has began drawing the lake down.

Thank You for reading.  Good Luck and God Bless!

imageimageimage

God Had a Plan For Me

Good evening folks I hope everyone is doing well.  We have had some wet weather as of late in the Barren River Lake area.  It truly makes my heart go out to the folks in Texas.  Also the folks in Florida as another hurricane bares down on our great country.  I was in class this week and my professor has ask us to write a speech about ourselves.  It made me think.  Many of you do not know anything about me other than I love to fish and help people catch more fish.

I guess the best place is to start at the begining.  I am from Monticello KY.  Monticello is a beautiful place. It is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains.  With cold streams with trout to beautful lakes teeming with small mouth and other great fish.  It is closer to Lake Cumberland but is within a rocks throw of Dale Hollow.  Not to mention numerous farm ponds.

My Father taught Diesel mechanics at KY Tech.  My Mother ran a beauty shop out 0of our home.  Together the our family had a large farm producing soy beans, corn, beef, pork, tobacco, and Tennessee Walking Horses.  As a child i spent a lot of time in the woods and on the water, outdoors was always a huge part of family life.  We fished all the time my Uncle Ralph Thornton took us at least once a week when we were not in school.  My memories of early childhood are full of the great times we had on and near the water.  I had many other folks who took me fishing my parents grandparents and cousins we were simply a fishing family.

Sometime around third grade, my parents lost their farm, and consequently their marriage failed.  I along with my Mother moved to Los Angeles California.  That my friends was an absolute culture shock.  I was not a very happy camper at this time, however it is when my Faith began to really develop.  I put my Faith in God that he had a plan and that all this upheaval was for a reason.  Church was always a part of our family and all were Christians.  This strong base in Christ pulled me through this difficult time.

We moved back to KY after a brief stint in CA.  Once we moved back things for young Josh didn’t get much easier.  I eventually moved in with my Great Uncle Ralph Thornton who we affectionately called “Monk”.  Monk,  was a very devout Christian and would only miss church for a fishing trip.  He said “Jesus loves fishermen” and he reckoned God would understand.  We worked the garden, mowed the yard he had a few acres with some cows and chickens to help with food.  I eventually saved a bought myself a horse, I was around 12 at this time.

Monk fed my love of the outdoors.  Having a guardian who grew up during the depression in rural KY it was simply his way of life.  He hunted and fished to provide food and recreation for the family.  He also helped grow my strength as a Christian.  He never forced us to go to church but made it available.  He trusted prayer and example to lead us to the light.  His trust was founded and he was the most Christ-like person I have ever known.  The foundation of who I am has a lot to do with the prayer, example, and work he put in.

Fast forward a few years.  I am a young man trying to find my path in life.  Thinking as most young men do, that I had everything figured out.  I moved to Glasgow with my mother and enrolled at WKU.  I always wanted to fish and hunt.  However everyone said you can’t make a living doing that.  I believed them, unfortunately.  However I do believe that my path had to go the way it did to get me ready for the next step.  As I said God had a plan.  So I flunked out of WKU my freshman year met a girl and decided it was time to get married.

We wed and went to work.  The daily struggles of life working minimum wage and maximum hours to scrape by.  It was a grind.  Hard work prayer and perseverance pay off.  We eventually got better jobs and a house.  I always kept going back to I am supposed to fish.  I did fish for fun quite a bit.  I never had the opportunity to tournament fish.  I thought about it but was really scared to try.  I know now it just wasn’t the right time.  God was building something in me.

Fast forward a few more years.  I now have a son who is such a fine young man, one of my greatest blessings. I also now have a pretty good boat.  Through church God put a man named Ross Anglin in my life.  God knew what he was doing.  Ross moved here from TX to become the youth minister at Crossland Community Church in Glasgow KY.  Ross loved to fish and we became fast friends and pretty soon fished my first tournament.  We got second or third that night, and I was addicted to tournament fishing.  My focus became bass,  I ate breathed and lived it.  I was obsessed.  God reviewed to me yes you can do this you can make money in the outdoor industry.

I answered Gods call.  I prayed and fished and He gave me the tools I needed to be successful.  I am very Blessed to have great sponsors it is absolutely a God thing.  As I have said He had a plan.  I started seeing this plan coming together.  I prayed for sponsors to help offset the costs of fishing.  I was very impatient, and worked and prayed very hard.  My question to God was when?  Well when, when got here it scared me to death.  My thoughts were brought on by Satan saying you can’t do it.  So I prayed.  I said God now what do I do?  I have to produce?  What if I fail?  God said,  do you not trust me?  You ask for this I gave it to you now hold up your end.  You are ready.

As my professional life grew, my  personal life was not in good shape.  My wife at the time and I split up and divorced.  This turned out to be one of the best things for personal growth that has happened to me.  God and I are closer,  and I am a better person.  The mirror one is forced to look into in a time of change like this is a blessing.  While never an easy undertaking it is what had to happen for the next steps God had for me.  I never saw it coming.  I was never dating seriously again, but if I did I had pre requisites.  Well October of last year God says ol’ boy she does exist, and here she is.  She wanted nothing to do with me, and I don’t blame her but over next few months of phone conversations, and me sure she would  not date me we went out.  The draw was undeniable.  She was Christian, driven, educated, funny, had a good career, and beautiful.  We are getting Married in October and I am ecstatic.  My life is better than it has ever been and it is overwhelming to look at all the things that have unfolded to get me here.  God makes all things work together for our good my friends.

I have been blessed by so many things in my life.  An amazing son, good health, a good career, I am marring a woman I did not think was in existence. I have been on mountain tops and in valleys low.  I have learned to trust God and Listen to God in both and in between.  One of my best blessings however is you all.  The folks who read what I write, and Gods will to use me for the growth of His Kingdom.  I also get to help you all catch fish, and I love that.  So thank you for reading,  thank you for your prayers and support.  I welcome any questions you may have as this is merely the tip of the iceberg.  If I can help you in anyway please let me know.

Good Luck and God Bless