New Products for Testing

With two new projects ramping up in the last 60 days, I am increasing the amount of testing I am doing. What that means for PPF and the other projects is more information on more gear for people to look over and decide if it is worth their hard earned money or not.

Over the next month I'll be testing out these products and possibly more:

KC Kayaks K12

Humminbird 598ci HD SI



Hobie Mirage Adventure Island



Lowrance Mark 5x DSI



JVC Adixxion Action Camera



Bass Pro Ascend FS12T







Fishing with Kids: Adventure Over Fish

If you enjoy the outdoors and have young children, you may have thought about taking them fishing. Some of the hesitant dads I've visited with worry about if they will like it. They worry about not catching fish. They worry their kids will not really want to fish. 

The fact is, kids are just kids. They don't have the hangups and expectations you do. The outside world is a bigger playground to explore with boundless limits. If you decide to spend your time fishing on a fishing trip with kids, don't plan on fishing. Plan to spend time giving instruction and celebrating small victories. Don't be surprised when your future fisherman wants to explore and look for bugs or fossils rather than fish. Encourage it. 

The adventure of the trip is what will keep them wanting to come back. 

If you have a kayak, take your child along. Rent a small kayak for them or just go play in yours. Eventually as they get more comfortable you can incorporate fishing too. Tandem kayaks are great for these outings and are often available for rental if you don't have one. 

I didn't get my start in fishing from a kayak but it was an adventure that kept me coming back for more.

I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn't have a fishing pole. I also can’t remember the first time I went fishing. I have a few vague, water color type memories of small bream and a sunset but nothing else to really tie them together as a memory.

I do remember when I became hooked on fishing though. Every single detail.


My dad had taken me to Lake Trammel, a small impoundment outside Sweetwater, Texas. He and my grandfathers had outfitted me with a few lures they felt they could part with, a rod, a Zebco 33 and a lot of smiles, shoved into a small tackle box. Dad had found an area with lots of coontail that held some black bass. When we arrived, he tried every avenue to convince me to not tie on a lipless crankbait. He knew in short order the gold Cordell Rattlin’ Spot I tied on my line would be a donation to Poseidon. 

30 seconds later he thought he was right. After a short cast and a couple of cranks I was tugging, pulling and making quite a racket. I couldn't get my lure back. He sauntered over with a half smirk on his face when I was pulled forward. Weeds don’t pull back! After a short fight he held the fish while I ran to get that blue stringer I had insisted on bringing along.

 A two and a half pound giant black bass was toted home and shown to anyone who would look. After a few pictures, most of which I cried through because of the bristled teeth of my foe, the bass was prepared and made into a nice meal. The cycle had been completed and a new angler born. Little did any of us know that this one bass would start a fire that has yet to be put out.

The adventure, the story I would tell is what kept me asking to go back for more. The approval I was met with was great but when I think fondly about that trip, I see the trees, the water, the big, big world that was different than what I was used to. I remember the stringer. I remember that lure. I remember it 30 years later like it was yesterday. The adventure is what I seek and crave even to this day. That's why a day on the water without catching a fish is still a relaxing, refreshing experience. 

Go out and create some adventure!

Investing in Life

Stock markets rise and fall. Instability is a worry for many and uncertain futures leave many questioning where to invest. How do I secure my future? How do I make sure everything is ok?

Money isn't the only thing you can invest.

Admittedly, I was late to the party for Mumford & Sons. Sometimes new music doesn't get as much time as it deserves. I've been burned too many times (freaking Nickelback). I gave them a try, liked them and downloaded their  "Live at Red Rocks" album. I like all of it but one particular song haunts me. Literally. I'll wake up in the middle of the night with the lyrics singing in my head. I'll be at my desk and bubbling up to the top of my consciousness come the same words. The song is "Awake My Soul". The slow bellowing of the title lyrics is bad enough to cause a haunting but the bridge inspires and taunts me.

"In these bodies we will live. In these bodies we will die. Where you invest your love, you invest your life."

Let that wash over you for a minute.

You get one go. One life. Whatever you choose to love is what your life will ultimately be about. Chase the dollar, that's your legacy. Stand for family, your legacy is that. But it's not just what you want it to be. It's where you actually INVEST your love.

I think of guys like Jim Dolan and Dave Potts with Heroes on the Water. That is a true investment and no doubt part of their lives.Every conversation I have ever had with these gentlemen has been about helping our wounded soldiers get on the water. The healing that this organization does is a monumental example of investing in others.

For me I struggle with irons in the fire. I have a lot of them. Do I love my 8-5 job? Not really. I invest time there to pay the bills. I do that out of love because I want to provide for my family that I love so much. It's an investment, albeit a small one.

My real love investment comes packaged as time. My kids ask very little of me except for time. I am blessed that they love the outdoors as much as I do. Sharing time on the water with them is a huge investment I want to make more deposits into. Seeing my  nine year old son manhandle a kayak in rough winds and grinning ear to ear while doing so radiates a deep warmth in the caverns of my soul. It awakens me to love and life. It combines two strong loves to create what I hope to be my legacy one day.

When it is all said and done, where will you invest your life?