at the Tide Change
Dec 2002/Jan 2003
The last article of the year and it is running a little late. For
starters, "Thank You" to all of you readers who visited
the site over this past year. The site has grown more than expected
in the short time online. There is still some uncertainty about where
the page will eventually go.
Additions included a commercial twist with the Bass Pro affiliate
program. This will not make any significant profit, as it is only
a small percentage of 'commission' on items purchased from site links.
It does however offer an opportunity to provide suggestions for equipment.
Fortunately, (note: financial manger cringes at this) there is a Bass
Pro store on the way home from work. Most of the items listed are
things that used personally on the flats (results of impulse buying
that paid off).
Also added to the site was a message board. It was great to have a
'board warming' from many of the flats anglers that have joined in
on many memorable outings. Lessons were learned from all of them.
Links and moral support from sister sites (especially Paddle-Fishing.com)
helped to get out the word. Much of what was done this past year was
'testing the waters' to determine what to offer on this site.
One of the best results of this site is the new angling opportunities
presented by new angling friends. The outing with the North Florida
Paddling club was incredible even though the tailing reds we sought
were not cooperative. The environment and conditions were completely
different from the backwaters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf Coast. This
outing led to other trips to the north Florida coast as well as Georgia's
coast. As well, the desire to experience a variety of fishing environments
is heightened. There have been a couple of trips already that did
not fit into the schedule. Next year will be different. That is the
What is next?
Looking back, this site started as a 'vanity' site or maybe a diary
of fishing exploits. It is great to share the sport with others. Fellow
anglers, neophytes, or onlookers it makes no difference. Flats fishing
provides excitement. Almost every interaction, at the repair shop,
the department store, grocery store, anywhere, everywhere, there is
a chance to slip in the topic of shallow water fishing.
There are several options that have come to mind for the site. Foremost
would be to provide some resources that anglers would find beneficial.
The site will move as the current provider is scaling back services.
The down side is that there will be additional costs. However, the
site will move to a hosting provider and more options will be available.
Time is the key. The web site is a hobby. The reason for the web site
is a more important hobby.
Your feedback is always needed. Options for feedback are available;
email and message board. Submit your suggestions and they will be
incorporated as possible. Also welcome are guest submission of articles.
Many experts out there can provide tips to the readers here. Whether
you consider yourself a writer or not send something in. Submissions
will be give full credit. Get published!
On a personal note, remembering that each day is fleeting is important.
While preparing to make the trip down for the Christmas holidays and
planning some fishing opportunities the phone rang. It was my sister
calling to say that my mother had an emergency operation. The prognosis
was not good. When finally getting packed, it was later than originally
planned. No fishing gear was included; it did not seem to be appropriate.
When taking to the road, it was not certain I would arrive to. On
the way down, I spoke to a fellow angler who had also had a critical
health issue just before Thanksgiving. It was good to talk with him.
Hearing how he had triumphed as we spoke provided some relief.
The conclusion to this event was better than could have been expected.
Even after arriving there and finding things improved from the initial
reports, the danger was still at hand. The danger did not last for
long. Mom was the 'Christmas Miracle' as noted by the medical staff.
No details, but there were at least four conditions originally that
could have been life ending. The most guarded of the doctors commented
that my mom is 'bulletproof' and told a colleague that she was 'bionic'
as her body rebounded from all of the critical issues. What ever your
beliefs, there were prayers and thoughts from people all over the
Therefore, in the New Year, may you all have the opportunity to enjoy
life. Cherish your family and friends. Fish when you can.
Let me know what you think.