Hello, My name is David and I’m addicted to fishing.
My fishing story started early. When I say early, I’m thinking it was about 3 or 4 years old. This would have been in Utah, my birthplace in the mid 80s. The species of fish? Crappie! To this day I laugh that it has the word “Crap” in it haha. ( I don’t think Ill ever actually grow up) I never would have thought that those first moments of holding a rod and reel in hand, would become such an important part of my life.
Fishing has been a part of my soul for almost my entire life and for the longest time, I took that for granted. I thought everyone fished. Growing up, In my mind, all families would have lake outings or going out on the boat for water activities. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized that fishing and enjoying the awesome things that came out of it, wasn’t shared by all. I was just lucky to be exposed to it 😊
From that early age I think I always was obsessed with water and the strange things within.
To Rewind a bit, as my brother had highlighted previously In his post, my father played an integral part in instilling this fishing spirit. I cannot express how much gratitude that I truly have to him for have showing my brother and I this awesome hobby and sport. People have been fishing for thousands of years, and to have my father, previous generations, pass these skills on, has a historic and righteous feeling attached to it. It feels right. It feels raw. It feels as if it is supposed to be in our blood. Connected to the water, the fish and the nature that surrounds us. I truly appreciate the fishing experience to the core.
I really do love all creatures, whether it be swimming, crawling, flying, growing or walking. I have become what I would have seen in my younger years as, a hippie. HAHA! More specifically, I appreciate the beauty of nature and the balance that is needed within. We are so blessed to have such a beautiful planet, full of wonderful creatures and amazing landscapes. Its only right that we try to treat it as best we can. I want to continue forth in this life with this thought, to find a symbiosis with our nature and planet.
As far as when fishing really took hold to an obsession level, was in my teenage years in southern Idaho. Mountain Home to be exact. I will always claim CJ Strike as my home bass waters to this day. It is where I learned to bass fish. In those early days, we would cast rooster tails and catch 40-50 smallmouth on a good day. (most 7-11” in length) I have fond memories of late evening top water sessions with buzzbaits and poppers, completely ecstatic to watch the fish explode on the baits in those twilight hours. Those were the days where the addiction really started. Something magical there happened. Fishing from sunup to sundown, covering all aspects of underwater terrain to catch as many aggressive smallmouth that we could. No trophies were caught for my self in these years but the quantity of fish caught was enough to make my thumb raw. ( Lipping that many bass, and their micro teeth, will cause your thumb skin to get torn up ) * AKA Bass Thumb
Bass pro shops hat to complete a smallie catch a CJ Strike, with my childhood dog, Lady.
Now that this core fishing experience was instilled in my life, as life does, it moves on. It was time to move again. My upbringing was nothing but moving to the next place and to the next home. This time was to Oregon for a year. Quickly fast-forwarding , then to Washington for a short period and then to Colorado to finish high school. During these years, fishing wasn’t a main effort but the passion was surely lying in hibernation.
Shortly before graduating high school in 2005, career Ideas were certainly a main focus. I wanted to do something that had meaning. Part of something bigger. The Military was that thing. A big part of me wanted to join but a big part of me also felt the need to join. I had numerous family members that had served in addition to my father, serving a majority of his life to the US Air Force. Andrew, My Brother had joined the US Army before I and had me eager to get into that realm.
After speaking at length with a 10th Group Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel that was the Senior Military Instructor at University of Idaho, I ended up there at the Army ROTC Program in 2005. Thus began a 4 year journey to become a fresh out of college 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army, Graduating in 2009. Fishing during this time consisted of weekend trips to local reservoirs and fly fishing adventures just to scratch that itch, for the addiction that was always there.
2006, King Salmon, was able to visit Andrew and Brandie for a summer trip
Smallmouth Salmon River
Starting my active duty time in 2009, life transitioned between Fort Lewis Washington, Fort Knox Kentucky, Fort Sill Oklahoma then finally to settle at my duty station at Fort Carson, Colorado. Bass Fishing is pretty limited in Colorado but, they are still around. Pueblo Reservoir is one of the main places if you want to get your fix.
Pueblo Reservoir, Colorado
Life Changed for sure when I had my Daughter in Feb 2011. Jemma Rayne joined the party:) I was looking forward to showing Jemma life, fishing and why it is so awesome.
I deployed to Afghanistan shortly thereafter in May of 2011. Serving in RC South, Kandahar and the Arghandab River Valley. Not much fishing happened here to say the least. Mostly fishing for intel on the bad guys:) I am still curious though, what fish were fishable in the Arghandab River?! Not sure if Ill ever know.
After deployment, I continued to serve with my unit, 1-67 Combined Arms Battalion, 4th Infantry Division until Nov 2013 when I separated with an honorable discharge.
It was in that time, after my separation from the army, that I met my wife to be Monica. Love you babe!
Monica moved from Idaho, her born and raised home to be with Jemma and I for the next 4 years in Colorado. We enjoyed many wonderful memories in such a beautiful state. Hiking, camping and fishing were common.
After our adventures in Colorado, It was time for a change. Monica and I decided it was time to move. We moved to Idaho in summer of 2018. It was time to focus on our next chapter. This would be the first time that we would be living near our family and back in Monica’s hometown. Something very exciting and comforting to us. Idaho truly is a wonderful place, offering some the best fisheries in the west.
Now we are in present time, Andrew and I have fished the 2020 tournament season and about the start the 2021 season. We are absolutely pumped for this year and the potential. VBF is growing rapidly. We are launching Bunker Baits, our brand of soft plastics and custom crankbaits. We are excited to explore what this world brings us and our families, knowing it will take dedication, obsession, and certainly support from our loved ones.