The End to The Beginning:

Out With the Old or To Improve Upon It?

by Bruce Callis Jr

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We did it! We survived 2021. As we end the year, our attention turns toward what 2022 will bring us. A lot of people will think about goals for 2022, setting them. Some we will stick too, others seem to fall to the wayside. But, what good happened in 2021 and what will we build off of it? The old, the good, the bad, and the ugly. What do we leave behind us as we enter into the new year. And what do we bring with us to improve upon?

For me, 2021 was an up and down year. I continued to work hard at improving my writing, so that I can bring you better stories. It is not a job, but rather, it is a labor of love. It wasn’t something I thought I would ever be doing, but between the local newspaper and Brian, I have found something that I truly love doing, although it isn’t always easy. I want to make sure to bring you things you want to learn, tips on fishing, and things that will make us think about how to improve ourselves. I always welcome ideas on what to write about.

My fishing this year has been up and down. I fished in a local fishing club and the first tournament started off great. I got drowned in a driving storm and managed to land 5 nice bass. I survived a flooded boat, but in the end, one bass wanted to play dead on me, and that cost me. Of course, watching him swim away upon release didn’t help. The rest of the year, tournament wise, was up and down, but never was as good as I had wished it had been. My personal fishing was still good and I caught plenty of big bass, but just couldn’t find that new personal best this year. And as hard as I tried, I still haven’t caught my first smallmouth.

A lot of the things I looked forward to in 2021 were canceled. The Richmond Fishing Expo is one of the events I look forward to every year. I get to see old friends, meet all of you, and get to make new friends while getting to see and learn so much their about fishing. Locally, The Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge has 3 events I always help with. They are Go Wild, Kids Fishing Day at Wilna Pond and at Port Royal. I get to talk and help others learn, especially the kids. I especially missed the Kids Fishing Day events and watching the kids catching fish, and for some, their first. I can’t explain what it’s like to see the joy on their face as the reel in the fish. And just being able to help their parents, as a lot of them don’t know a lot about fishing. You just can’t help but love to make a memory to last a lifetime. And we love to give, making sure the kids get some fishing related gear to allow them to continue what they learned. It is a labor of love, a wish that we continue to allow our children to explore the outdoors and to learn the joy we have in fishing.

With the New Year fast approaching, what do we look forward to? We make resolutions at the beginning of the year. They are all well founded, but usually deal with things in our life we want to improve on, health, diet, personal growth, and so on. Personally, I look forward to the fishing shows, as long as they don’t cancel them again. I look forward to being able to fish with friends, like Jacob Stephens, Snookie Risch, Jeff Swain, Brian Carter, Tim Gray, Bill Callis, and so many more too numerous to mention. I look forward to the B.A.S.S. Elite anglers and the big Bassmaster Classic. I look forward to the public events at the local refuge.

One thing I will need to do this year is to become a better tournament angler. Am I just not paying enough attention to the changing conditions? Or am I just getting stuck on one bait for too long? Or am I missing something totally? I need to figure out what I am doing differently from when I just go fishing.

Mostly, I look forward to building memories, both personally and for others. I look forward to getting kids back out there and experiencing their first fishing adventure. To see the smile and twinkle in their eyes as they reel in their first fish. To help them see what it is that we love and enjoying the bigger picture of nature itself. But these don’t come without a price, and that price is time, personal time. The time to plan the events, the time to gather goodies for them to take home to continue their adventure, these start a year before the actual event. And the time to make the actual day happen. Precious time, but it is time very well spent indeed.

What about you? What are you looking forward to in 2022? A new grandchild? A special fishing trip? Making a special memory through taking a kid fishing? What is it that you want to accomplish this year? We are all different, yet we are all the same. We want to make this a better place to live and to make life for our family better. What are you going to do to make your desires, your dreams for 2022 happen?

Scroll down and leave a comment here. Tell me what you would like to read about. Tell me what you are going to do in 2022.


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