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June 2002
Silver Spoons
August 2002
Starting Flats Fishing
September 2002
Beginning Gear - pt. 1
October 2002
Beginning Gear - pt. 2
November 2002
The Courteous Angler
Dec 2002/Jan 2003
Reflections at the
Tide Change
February 2003
Jerkbaits, another look
March 2003
How important is presentation?
April 2003
When to fish...?
May 2003
New ideas
September 2003
Flats Fishing 101 (recap)
December 2003
Another flats fishing year ends
Jan - Feb 2004
New year, new opportunities
March 2004
Flats fishing on any budget
August 2004
Special Request - Hurricane Report
Reflections at the Tide Change
Dec 2002/Jan 2003

What happened?
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 plan.

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 country.

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.

Good Fishing,

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