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Fresh water, salt water. We love them both.

Happy Monday.  I hope everyone was safe in the snow this morning.  Winter just will not let go this year.  I for one am ready for warm days and setting around a fire at night while the lightning bugs and kadie dids put on a show. (I am sure I misspelled kadie did but y’all know what I am talking about)  Some 9 P.M. sunsets cat fish at the pond, and the smell of sunscreen mixed with bug spray.

As many of you already know Leslie and I just had the opportunity to go down to FL.  While there I got to mark off some bucket list items.  A bass in the 10 pound range, my first saltwater fishing trip,  my first shark, my first tilapia, and my first alligator in the wild. 172FE130-DE4D-4D12-B2E3-C6559F56F661

I believe it was the first morning there I headed out.  The lake was a small private lake on Leslie’s Aunts property.  I had fished it a little in the fall but not as extensively as I wanted.  The early bite was on a zoom speed worm texas rigged and swam.  It proved very effective and I caught a ton of 2 to 5 pound fish.  Then I was out of worms.  I tried a yum dinger next.  I caught a few dinks on it so I changed it up.  9A639A4A-7C27-487A-B4D9-8B397CC2543E

I had a gold, red eye shad, I decided to give it a throw.  On the second cast it stopped.  A good five pound fish had engulfed it.  I thought now we are on to something.  These are the fish I want. As I worked around the small lake, which is in a wetland protection program.  I cast next to and past a reed that was standing alone.  I had discovered there was a line of old reeds that were under water but almost created a reef type structure the fish were relating to that hump. On one side the water was deeper and shallow on the other.  This is where the big girl was.  She hit and I knew she was a good one.  However she did not feel any bigger than the five pound fish I had been catching.  Then she tried to jump, that is right i said tried.  Her head looked like a five gallon bucket and her eyes did not even get out of the water.  Well I started talking to God.  I think we have all been there if we fish please let me get this monster in.  There was wood and weeds and all kinds of cover.  I got her in clamped my hand in her mouth and hoisted her out of the water.  I was shaking like a leaf the adreninlin was pumping I had a moment akin to Mike Icconeli.  I got her to the house for the photo, and she was released.  He stomach was huge I could barely get my hand under enought to support her.AC7811A5-7236-4D05-ADE7-378AA38647F8

It was an amazing morning on the water to say the least.

 

One afternoon we were getting ready to go out.  I decided to walk down to the water and make a few casts.  I hung into a fish and thought I had another huge bas for a few minutes.  Then I saw its side.1A6A8B0B-3F47-436A-92E2-BB6CFC3BA567

I promise I had washed this shirt!  It was a tilapia,  We were not sure what it was at first.  did some research and that is what we came up with.  These guys are fun to catch too.  They were mostly on the beds and hard to entice.  Sure not like bed fishing bass cause I tried them.

The next to last night Sheri and I went out shark fishing.  It was a great time.  We lost a rod and broke the other.  I sure did not expect these salt water fish to be so strong!  B04F18AC-C728-43F8-B0CB-473FCD04DBE7

We hit the bonnet heads and some cat fish.  I will for sure be on that peer the first night I get to go back down there.

The fishing was amazing no doubt.  It was a great time we visited, we relaxed, we sat on the beach and prayed.  Sometimes stepping out of what we are normally doing is exactly what we need.  It can set the stage for tremendous things.  We must work, we must strive, but we also must stop and smell the roses.  While I am blessed to get to consider a trip to FL fishing a work trip, it was also some much needed time of reflection and rest.  It does not have to be a trip to FL it can be a trip to the creek on the back of the farm, but I think it is very important for people to get these moments of solitude, moments when we are reminded how small we are and how great God is.

1 John 4:4 New International Version (NIV)

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.D3E0EFD3-22BD-424B-AD8B-B5CE9A59E615

So please if this long winter has you down, know that the spring is coming.  Thank you all for reading.

Good luck and God Bless.

Knowing Gods Plan

Rest on Gods plan for you

I was in m thirties whens Gods plan became evident to me.  God has a way of waiting until we are ready to receive His instructions.  Then sometimes his instructions are just a stepping stone to the next phase in his grand scheme.  In our journey we are often attacked.  We are attacked by fear, then by people who don’t support our journey.  Often it can be a close person in our life, who thinks its crazy.  History proves that Gods plan often seems crazy to the world, then in hind sight we say oh yes I knew that was right.

I am very Blessed as I know where God is leading me right now.  I do not think it is by any means the end of my journey but I know it is my next step.  I will rest on the knowledge of Gods promises to me.  I find comfort in them. Romans 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  I know where God is leading me and I know it will not always be easy.  I am determined to see it through, and I find comfort that God will provide for me while I labor toward it.21538D9F-1536-4228-9076-B0EE6841DEAF

How do we know Gods plan?  That is a hard question but  one you need to ask yourself.  It can be as simple as being a disciple to someone you work with.  Showing kindness to a stranger.  Things we take for granted every day.  I find myself ignoring the day to day ways God uses me sometimes.  It is convicting when I catch myself doing so.  I lay in bed at night with my wife. We spend time together in prayer.  Thanking God for our day our safety our family and our opportunities we have been offered to help.  We pray for our short comings, our future and finances.  We pray for Gods will to be shown to us.  We both believe that if we put God first in everything, then everything else falls into place.  So the real answer to the question is to be still and rest on the promise, that God has a plan for you.1A6A8B0B-3F47-436A-92E2-BB6CFC3BA567

That being said one can not simply wait all the time.  It is a marathon, that takes training, and sweat, and hard work.  Start by praying, reading, getting out of your own head.   Go do something for someone else.  Go to church, seek wise counsel.  Proverbs 11:14Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.  If you are struggling with your path seek knowledgable people and ask questions.  The only dumb question os the one you don’t ask.

I have included photos from Florida. Leslie and I were blessed to get a chance to go spend time in the warm sun, catching my personal best.  Close to a 10 pound 27 inch large mouth bass.  I also got to catch a tilapia, and my first shark.  I saw my first wild alligator.  I saw God everywhere from the sunsets to the nice people I got to spend my time with.

God is always in control.  We just have to move our will out of the way, and seek His.  I pray everyday to be pleasing to God.  I know I fall short we all do, that doesn’t mean we are not good enough.  It means we are human. Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. So lets rest on Gods promises, and follow where He leads us.  May God richly Bless all of you.  Thank you all for reading.

The Carp and the Duck

Well it is cold and rainy.  It was a perfect day to stay in.  We got up, ate breakfast, went to church, picked up Lane and laid around.  I have not been fishing.  I don’t have a report for you all so I think I will just tell a fishing tale.

I was blessed to have so many outdoorsmen and women in my life.  I spent much of my youth in the woods or near water.  I think a lot of folks in this area have been blessed in the same way.  I want to talk a little about Conley Bottom.  For those of you familiar with Lake Cumberland most of you will know where Conley Bottom is.  It is situated in Wayne County KY, my uncle Ralph Thornton and I spent days and days there.  We would fish for blue gill near a big willow tree off to the left of the dock, between the dock and the campground.  We caught tons of fish around that tree and we sure ate a bunch of them.

A typical trip would begin early. Monk, as we lovingly called uncle Ralph Thornton,  would show up, we would load up and drive to Louie’s bait shop.  We would pick up a snack, a canned Gatorade apiece some worms and head out.  Monk drove a 1978 red Chevrolet Chevette which was garage kept and still in great shape when I left for WKU.  He would load his old fiberglass rods paired with old green Johnson reels.  The reels were religiously spooled with Stren Mono clear blue florescent.  We would tie a number 2 gold crappie hook on, a split shot, and a bobber.  We would be set up to fill a stringer.

I remember him always cautioning me to watch for snakes, while I never wanted to get bit I would have liked to see one.  I would play in the rocks and in the edge of the water.  Looking for any type of critters I could find.  A water dog or a crawfish was always an exciting find.  I fished a lot too.  Monk never was the be still, be quiet kind of a fisherman.  He understood I was a kid and loved the wonderment a child can bring to an outdoor adventure.  He let me reel every fish he caught in.  He would let me hold the fish and examine the fish.  He also had me help in the cleaning process.  I would stand in a chair and scale while he did the knife work.  We would do dissections and have lessons on what parts did what.

I hung into a huge carp one day.  It ran and pulled up and down the bank. I walked, Monk coached.  My brother had caught a big carp once and I wanted to beat him.  After a long battle it broke the line.  I was very upset, Monk tried to calm me down by saying we could not eat it any way.  I did not care about eating that thing I wanted to brag about it.  This carp taught me not to force a fish, it was the first big fish I had a hold of.  The next lesson the carp taught me was not about fishing, it was about Mothers.  It just so happened there was a mother duck and a bunch of babies on the bank up from where I lost the fish.  I wanted to sneak up on them and catch a baby duck.  Monk said thats not a good idea but go for it.  (thinking it would swim off)  I sneaked up and as I got closer I made my move.  All the ducks made a move for the water one little duck tripped and i scooped it up.  It of course went crazy peeping.  Here comes momma duck and she was out for blood.  I threw the little duck in the water and ran.  She gave a little chase but once she learned the baby was fine she went back in the water with the babies.  Monk laughed, I cried.  Mommas will sure protect their babies.  I remember talking to Monk about not wanting to hurt the little duck I just wanted to pet it.  He told me no matter your intention that Mother duck did not know, she just did what came natural.  Her response to the her baby being in possible danger.

Life is much like that duck situation.  Sometimes we set out with good intention and end up hurting someone.  It is times like that we need to lean on grace, and prayer.  Like that duck, people can be reactive and protective if they feel threatened.  I think it is inevitable as a human to sometimes fall short.  I have found if we own up to our short comings with honesty and humility it helps people find the grace they need.  Another thing is when we feel threatened or wronged, we should be willing to offer grace and love to those who have wronged us.  When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment?  He said Love the Lord God with all your heart.  And love your neighbor as you love yourself.  The reply to Jesus was something like but who is my neighbor?  Jesus said the real question is, are you a good neighbor?  Mathew 22:34-36

This is just the tip of the iceberg on the things I learned about life in the outdoors.  I will share more of them with you all as time goes by.  I hope this reminds you of someone in your life.  Ralph Thornton was the most Christ-Like man I ever knew.  He loved people, he worked hard and prayed harder.  His faith was as big as this great country.  He was solid and honest.  Just plain and simple the best man I ever knew.

Thanks for taking the time to let me share bits of my life with you all.  Good Luck and God Bless.  image

Bertram Oil Comes On Board to Help FOM West KY.

Hello my friends.  I hope this finds everyone warm and safe.  I for one am ready for spring.  I intend to rush it a bit as I head to FL to get in some fishing very soon.  What a better time to catch a personal best than spawn in FL?  My lovely wife will be going with me and I also look forward to some beach time with her.

Life has sure been busy around the Morris residence.  I am not sure if any of you know my day job is working at PJ’S College of Cosmetology.  With the help of a lot of people and God I passed my cosmetology test on Monday.  I am excited to move forward in that career.  I am also taking classes at WKU. I am carrying 19 hours there ( at night.)  I apologize for not writing as often, and am excited to get back on the water so I can bring you more information.

I have some exciting news on the Fishers of Men side of things.  We have a new sponsor.   I want to thank Bertram Oil of Monticello KY for stepping in and helping bring the word to a lot of fishermen this year. I look forward to seeing how the Lord blesses people with their gifts.  I am also excited to be partnering with such a great family they are a Blessing to know.

So now to talk a bit about fishing.  I have one word, red.  Red, in my opinion is going to be especially good this spring.  I believe with the amount of cold weather we have had, the water isn’t going to heat up quite as quick.  As the fish start transitioning up toward spawning areas, they will be eating red crawfish.  What better than a big old crawfish to energize the spawn.  I think the fish will be active and plentiful this spring on Barren River Lake.  As the days lengthen i think the fish will be anxious to move but the water temperature will hold them back deeper where they will stack up and eat red crank baits.  I am getting my red baits ready to go!  I think you all should too.

In closing I want to thank you all for reading, and reaching out.  As always please like and share.  Please support our sponsors.  Links are posted on the web site.  I will have some more information soon!  Good luck and God Bless.

God Will Provide

I sit down just to write a few lines tonight.  Lines about how great our God is.  Many of you know about the journey I have been on to get to this point in my life, and how God has used it.  As tournament time approaches quickly, the pressure to make sure every angler, and every person involved with Fishers of Men West KY needs are met.  I began to do something God does not want us to do.  Worry.

I worried about how to feed people.  How to reach people.  How to make sure folks enjoyed themselves, and came back with friends. Volunteers we would need, and just all that will be involved in making sure we show Christ and love in all we do. All the while I knew God would provide all I would need.  So I prayed.  I prayed very specifically for things I would be needing. I prayed for strength, wisdom, discernment.  For Gods will to be my own.  I prayed for peace on this issue. Worry is a killer folks and God tells us in Mathew 6.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 
27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 
29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 
30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
The faith that God would provide lifted my worry.  I am encouraged by the Word.  As soon as I let go of the thought of control God stepped in and took the reins. That is when things started to move.
One of my personal struggles is control.  I want to be in the know.  I want to be in the drivers seat.  It makes it hard to move Josh out of the way so God can work.  This literally hit me as I am writing.  It is a lesson I always don’t see until its done.  I have no control on Gods timing.  No matter how hard I try or work until God is ready, until my fruit is ripe God will not move to the next step.  While I want to bust in the door God wants me to be patient.  Aren’t fishermen supposed to be patient?  Well when it comes to waiting on Gods timing, when I think it is time I fall short.
Today God has shown up and shown up big.  We have some new folks stepping up to help us out, and I am excited to tell you all more about how God can use each of us in different ways to bring the big picture together.  As of right now I don’t have all the information to post about our new partners.  I will be posting soon.  It just is great to see how trust in God can be rewarded.  Thanks to everyone for the prayers, and support thus far.  I look forward to the future.  I look forward to seeing how God will help us all come together in His name.  Lane at lakeIt is an exciting time of growth. May God Bless all of you, and your families.

What an Amazing Year!

Well folks Christmas is behind us now, things should slowly return to normal.  Families and loved ones are headed back home. The gifts are handed out and left overs abound!  Now as the new year rapidly approaches we have time to do some reflecting on what a year it has been.  photo5

The first thing that comes to my mind about this year and there are many is Leslie.  Leslie and I went on our first date about this time last year.  I was instantly smitten with her beauty, abundance of life, Love of God, and the way that light just always seems to follow and attach to her.  As we grew closer, the man who thought he had things figured out was shown a different path.  God showed up big.  I prayed every night for months that if she was not the person God had for me for Him to take her away.  To the point that God said enough Josh she is mine and I want to give her to you.  She is an inspiration, she strengthens me and she is a gift to all who are Blessed enough to know her. photo6

Secondly is my amazing son.  Lane is another amazing child of God.  He always has my back.  Lane blesses me in so many ways.  His talent is such a blessing to so many people.  His faith is strong and he truly loves people.  I know God has big plans for this young man, and am excited to see them come to life.  I have to remind myself when Lane does something bone headed that he is only 15, and he is growing.  I pray he continues to grow and learns from his mistakes.  He has a huge heart and it will serve him well.photo4

Professionally It has been an epic ride.  While taking classes at WKU, fishing, working at PJ’S College, it has been a busy year.  I will finish my HR classes in May at WKU.  I am proud to have that under my belt.  I have been made Director of West KY Fishers of Men.  I have caught a lot of fish and met a lot of great people on the water.  Just recently I was named CAO of PJ’S College Glasgow.  Hard work, great guidance and Prayer work.

This year I have grown spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.  What more could any person ask for.  I have been abundantly Blessed.  I have great friends and family.  I have an amazing son and wife.  My career is going great.  I am humbled and overwhelmed by this year as a whole.  Mountain tops are sure nice to be on and I am enjoying it. It is a reminder to me how our strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.  Sometimes that wait can be long, I promise it is worth it, and I praise God for both.  We can not grow without some growing pains.  God makes all things work together for our good.  I look forward to 2018 and where He leads we will follow.  Thank You all for reading. I hope 2017 was better to you than it was me.  I pray that 2018 is even better for you.imageimageimageimage

 

Now lets talk about Lake Cumberland.  My friend Ross Anglin and I hit the water with my dear old Dad a couple of weeks ago.  We had a drizzly great time.  The weather was damp cold and overcast.  Absolutely perfect for a winter time trip.

We headed out before daylight in Glasgow.  We had a great trip over catching up, cutting up and a lot of laughter.  We met my Dad and began looking for some fish.  The fish were there pretty soon I had one hooked which got tangled in cover and I broke it off.  Ross missed a couple early on.  Then we got on them.  Ross is pictured above with his personal best spotted bass.  Ross had a grand slam that day.  He caught spotted bass, largemouth, crappie and catfish.  We kept the crappie I think we ended up with 8 big crappie, a few spots, two cats, and a largemouth. The bite stopped around lunch time so we headed out got some lunch and headed home.

We had an amazing trip and look forward to hitting it agin soon.  The colder the water gets the better the fishing will get.  If you get a chance to try them I encourage it.

All the fish were holding deep.  At least 30 feet down.  I caution you if you are not keeping the fish you should know how to fizz them before you go.  We used NED rigs, silver buddy, and live minnows.  They were all around wood cover in deep water.  also watch for feeding birds they can sure be helpful in finding some fish.IMG_3421

Good luck and God Bless.

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