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Bending Branches

"Looking Forward to 2009"

By Jerry White

Yeah, 2008 was all about me. I spent the majority of the year not doing much while I waited for neck surgery, or not doing much while recuperating from surgery. I spent a lot of time on the sidelines - an armchair angler. I also had a number of ideas for articles that really wouldn't be worthy of an entire article. So, I'm cleaning out my garage, so to speak. And speaking of that

Sorry Metallica, but the line was just too good not to recycle (and "good job" on the new album, by the way). When I pulled down all of our Christmas decorations from the attic, I stacked them in the garage. Thanks to a year of "randomly placing" stuff in the garage, there was no where to properly stage these Yule-tide objects. So, bad became worse - there was no room to walk. Finally, on Saturday, order was restored in my garage. And in the process, I re-discovered all sorts of toys for fishing and kayaking. Little by little, the fire was rekindled. As I type this, it's a sunny 79 degrees, and I'd definitely love to be out on the water. I love you folks, but today Jerry would rather be paddling than pecking.

Even after I got the green light to go paddling and fishing, I still haven't done much. Shame on me. We all get busy and time slips away. But if for no other reason than regaining you sanity, get out there. I'm certainly going to try a little harder to carve out some opportunities for us to get the boats wet in 2009. In the meantime, I have a rod in the car, in case I get an opportunity to make a few casts.

Don't leave shore without it. Personally, I've seen enough pictures of fish caught from kayaks. However, I never tire of seeing pictures taken while on the water. So, if you really want to share a moment, spare a fillet, snap a photo. Want to see some great shots? Go here:

When I'm on the water I spend a good deal of my time close to shore. For fishing, that's where most of the ambush points are, so I feel my chances for success are better. It's also a great place to snap pictures of birds and such. But, that's also where trash tends to collect. So, when I pack my gear to go paddling this year, I'm going to include a plastic bag for trash. Every little bit helps, and who knows, maybe someone else will pick up on the idea.

I don't care what sort of boat you have you probably have a project in store for it. To make that easier, you need to get it up off the ground - dry dock, if you will. I had plans all last year to do an article about how to build a PVC kayak stand. I mean, you need to have some little project tucked away for a rainy weekend when you can't get out on the water, right? But there are already a number of plans out there to be had, so seek and ye shall find. There's a cute story floating around the net about the difference between giving a cat a pill and giving a dog a pill. Cat = long agonizing bloody process that ends in failure. Dog = wrap it in bacon, throw it in the air. Building a kayak stand has cat-like similarities. Terrell Owens (Dallas Cowboys) freely states "I love me some me". I, on the other hand, "love me some PVC". Still, building a kayak stand from PVC is a lot of work, and is time consuming. Besides, there's no room in my garage to store one. Instead, let's use things we already have.

If you don't have a kayak cart, get one. That covers the back end. I'm sure you have a milk crate too. That takes care of the front end. You're done. Or...

Buy a folding table and a bathroom throw rug. The table can obviously be used for many other uses. The no-slip rug protects the table so that it doesn't start looking like a kayak stand.

While I'm talking about items with dual - purposes, check this out. An ironing board works great as an out-feed surface for your table saw. Its adjustable height really comes in handy. OK, back on track.

My big V8 extended cab truck is simply loving the fuel prices these days. So, now is a great time to take advantage of that and drive that boat somewhere. It's also an open invitation to go see someone over the holidays. Since the cost of fuel isn't that much of an issue, all you need to do is go. So go!

You've already heard enough about these topics, so I'll spare you my commentary. Over the next week chances are good that you'll be spending time with family and friends. Cherish every minute. Rest and reload. Focus on what you can reach across the dinner table and touch.

In spite of the not so great things that happened in 2008, I'm sure we all can look back and recall some blessings as well. So, let's build on those for 2009 and go out and make it a great year.


See you out on the water!

"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after"
~ Henry David Thoreau

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