Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013 Year in Review

Some of you may have read the 2012 Year in Review and the 2013 New Years Resolutions. If not, take a second to catch up.

So, what went on with BFZ this year? Did I meet my Resolutions. Well, of course not. But 2013 was the best year ever.

Let's talk about fishing. The answers are in bold. 
  • Go to the finesse baits earlier. I usually wait too long to throw the finesse baits. I saw the biggest growth in my game in this year in my finesse game. Simply put, I went to it early. I caught fish constantly. I didn't catch any real big fish, but we did win money with my finesse game, such as this Wheeler Tourny
  • Don't loose any rods and reels this year. I lost 2 combos this year, totaling in around $500. Yeah. Well. I think I lost two, yeah. 
  • Be adventurous. Try new spots. I fished several new lakes including Table Rock and Tuscaloosa on my own, learning new spots. Additionally, I fished the lower end of Pickwick a ton and really learned a lot. Check out this post with vid. 
  • Spend more time using my electronics finding the fish. In late 2012, I started doing this REAL well and it paid off. I put a Hummingbird 798 on the Skeeter and used it a ton. It remains to be seen if I can really make use of it. 
  • Learn some new methods. Doesn't have to be a lot of new methods. In 2012, I learned to throw the jig, spoon, and shakey head. This year I want to flip. A lot. I want to learn the drop shot. I didn't have success flipping, but I did have some success  drop shotting. Not enough to really feel food about it. I did throw the jig a good bit and did have success. 
  • Fish with new people. Seriously. Email me. I want to fish with some new folks and learn some new things. Eh. It was really hard to find the time that I hadn't already have planned. 
  • Find a way to Beta test stuff. I don't know what I have to do to convince bait companies to take a chance on me....No takers on that. 
  • Do a MUCH better job managing this blog. People take time to read it. I need to do a better job designing and managing. If you have comments, I would love to hear them! People have emailed me and I have tried to do a better job. We had a ton of views this year, so it's hard to complain. 
  • Weigh in 20+ pounds in a tournament. Sadly, I haven't done this yet. I seem to win on tough days, but I can't compete on good ones. We weighed in 19 and change at the SNUFISH tournament. 
  • Get to fish with my wife and kids more. My oldest and middle are old enough to really start fishing. I need to be less selfish with my time. Whenever she could, Alyse fished with me. And she got really good. Like when she caught some shakey head fish on Wheeler.  The kids are still trying to have  the patients for it, but I did try and catch SOMETHING whenever they were with me
  • Find ways to get the blog out there more. While I blog because I enjoy it, I also enjoy seeing the post count go up. I'd like to get invites to fish with bait companies and pros. Again, I had a ton of hits this year, but  there is a fine line between getting it out there and being a "spammer." Turns out, people don't like spam. So, it's on you guys to help me share! 
  • Find other people like me with blogs and other social media and share! I did decent with this, but sharing isn't something that fishermen do well, as I have found out....
  • Not get skunked ANY this year. Well, yeah....this didn't happen.
  • Get a GoPro and make some webisodes! Did this, and I think  I did well. Check out my YouTube account! 
  • Fish Table Rock this year and do well. Negative. I did fish it, but not well. 
  • Fish more NASA tournaments. I fished enough to make the Classic, where I managed 2nd and big fish. But, it was very up and down. 
  • Fish more Ditto Wildcats. None. Zero

How about Everything Else?
  • Make my garden better this year. It was much better and bigger this year, but I still have a long way to go.
  • I need a rain water collection system for my garden. I learned this year how chlorinated water will KILL your veggies. Didn't do.
  • Start my own seeds instead of buying pre-grown plants. Didn't do. 
  • Build an AR. I did do this and I am now on my second one. Check out the build. Part 1 Part 2
  • Read more books about gardening, self sufficiency, etc. Didn't do. 
  • Take a weekend survival camping trip (or a few!)Didn't do. 
  • Start a EOTWAWKI vehicle build Didn't do. 
  • Find a way to Beta test stuff. Same as above. Maybe if I get more traffic, I can convince companies to let me review their stuff! Didn't do. 
  • Continue to accrue the tools I need. Not just for survival, but for around the house. Which also are good for EOTWAWKI....I  did well in this area. 
  • Start writing post apocalyptic stuff again!I  did well in this area. Check out all of my EOTWAWKI Articles
  • Get my fruit trees to produce better, We did ok, but didn't get to enjoy them because of work/vacation
  • Kill a deer and eat it at the kill site. Just sounds fun! Haven't killed one yet. 
I have plenty of other Resolutions not associated with this blog which supersede the rest:
  • Loose 20 pounds...or convert to muscle. I did this, but injury caused me to put it back on. 
  • Make studying the Bible a priority instead of "what to do when I am bored. Started out real well, and we still read it nightly to the kids, but I have a long way to go. 
  • spend more time with the kids developing their skills. My dad played football and baseball with me almost daily. As a result, I was a fantastic athlete, despite being vertically challenged. I still struggle with this, but we are getting better. 
  • Spend more time working on our house and landscaping. I did a much better job this last year and it really showed. Turns out, it's pretty fun! I did real well this year. 
  • Start playing bass guitar again. Didn't do. 
  • Get my kids more involved with the outdoors. Did better, but a long way from where I want to be. 
  • Be the person I should be in front of everyone. I do a good job around acquaintances but a terrible job around my close friends. Eh...I don't know. I don't think I did. 
  • Make more friends, especially at Church. Did ok,
  • Watch less TV. Well, off and on. We can't miss watching football. 
  • Save more money this year. Last year we actually paid down debts and didn't add any new debts. This year I want to actually save some! Yeah right. 

2013 was a ton of fun. Gavin was old enough that we could go places. We took a fantastic vacation to Florida with our friends.  I managed to destroy my right shoulder which I just had surgery upon. That sucked, but I should be a much better softball player. Alyse and I played well over 50 softball games and played flag football together, which was a ton of fun. We were able to send Aubree to a lot of softball camps and it has really shown. She is getting good. She played well in soccer, but it was a trying season. She was really the only player to score a goal all season. It was hard on me to coach. 

We bought a new-to-us boat, which we have really enjoyed. It's nice having something that doesn't give you problems. Speaking of, we were able to replace the old Lumina with a new-ish Acura for Alyse.  Now I get to drive the Lumina every day. Yay! 

The blog has done very well on account of the versatility I have added, largely in thanks to you readers. 

We did a ton of things as a family and we made a lot of friends this year. I think that is what I am the most thankful for.