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Where do you start?

In the beginning, there are many thoughts of where someone should start. It really doesn't matter what your journey or goal is, there is always a starting point. What is the first step you need to take in order to reach your goal? Most times, the answer to that question is not clear. You have to evaluate where you are and where you want to be. You have to identify not only your main goal but also some milestones along the way. A way to check your progress along that journey. I guess that's where we are at currently.

We are sitting at the crossroads determining where we want to be. Where do I want to be? Where do I want to end up? Do I take this route? Do I take that route? Is there one route that is better than another? Nobody knows for sure. I do know this though. I want to be fishing. I also want a career in fishing. I'm not really sure where or how a career in fishing should look like, as there are many, many options when it comes to a career in the fishing realm.

Do I want to pursue a career as a tournament angler? That requires a ton of work, dedication and commitment to your goal. That comes at a sacrifice to your family and friends. Do you have a career currently that can support the transition to becoming a tournament angler? Do you have the skills or talent to become a successful tournament angler? So many questions, and not many answers.

Should you pursue a career on the retail side of fishing? Do you work for a large company that is already established like Humminbird, or Lowrance, or Skeeter Boats? Should you venture out on your own and try to create a business related to fishing in hopes that you succeed, all to support your original goal, which is fishing in the first place?

It all seems very confusing and difficult to choose a path. What I can tell you is what my experience with fishing has been since I was just a young pup, to where I am now.

Ever since I was a little kid, I've had a deep passion for fishing. It started with my Dad taking me fishing. I don't have too many memories of when I first started out as I was very young, but there are quite a few pictures of me and my Dad fishing when I was young. My Dad even stated once "You used to set the hook so hard on the crappie that you about ripped their lips off!"

Me (Andrew) unhooking a crappie I had caught.

Even at a very young age, I was hooked! Pardon the pun. I loved fishing. I remember fishing as far back as my memory will go. It was at this young age, with the help of my Dad, that I grew so attached to this sport.

My Dad, Brad Myers, and I out on Pineview Reservoir, Utah catching crappie.

A little perch from my one of my Dad's first boats he's ever owned.

The love I had for fishing continued to grow. Over the years, my fishing experiences grew and I was able to fish in new, strange places. When I was eight years old, my Dad received orders to move to Eilson AFB, just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. What a change of scenery and atmosphere. The winters were bitter cold, but the summers offered endless opportunities to fish. I remember vividly fishing for arctic grayling at the slough that was about half a mile down the road from us. Very slow moving water and you had to be stealthy in order to get these fish to bite the small rooster tails and blue fox lures I offered to them.

After being in Alaska for about three years, my Dad received new orders and our family was on the move again. This time to Biloxi, Mississippi. Again, what a drastic change. The brackish water around Biloxi provided the opportunity to catch black drum, croakers, red drum, speckled trout and more catfish than I care to count. I remember plenty of days begging my Dad to go down to the docks and throw the cast net to get bait (shrimp) for our fishing adventures. I was in awe of the veteran cast netters who could throw the big 20' cast nets with ease. I was satisfied with my six foot cast net when I could catch some shrimp.

From there, our family moved to Sumter, South Carolina. It was here that my passion for bass fishing was first sparked. We usually fished Wateree Lake for mostly panfish like bluegill and crappie, but occasionally, we would hook into a largemouth bass. I loved when that happened. I hadn't really quite learned specifically how to catch them, but it was exciting when it happened.

After this, the family was on the move again. This time to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. A very drastic change in environment again. This time to the high mountain deserts of Southwestern Idaho. The best fishing opportunity here was the Snake River and the many reservoirs that were put in place by Idaho Power. It was in these waters that I began to understand bass fishing. I had only scratched the surface of what this river system had to offer, but I couldn't get enough. We were catching both largemouth and smallmouth bass. It was not uncommon for us to spend an entire weekend camping on the shores of C.J. Strike Reservoir and proceed to catch over one hundred bass over the weekend. Soon, my Dad joined a local bass club, the Mountain Home Hawg Hunters, as a co-angler. He was able to learn from some very seasoned and experienced anglers on how to catch these Western bass. He in turn, taught me how to replicate those presentations and catch bass more frequently and in much better size.

I decent sized winter largemouth from C.J. Strike Reservoir.

As soon as I could, I joined the bass club as a co-angler as well. This was my introduction to tournament fishing. Yes, it was only a local club and we were lucky to have a dozen boats fishing, but it was a tournament, with several events scheduled throughout the year and I could accumulate points towards co-angler of the year. I was determined to learn as much as I could and to perform as well as I could.

My first year in the club, I was fortunate enough to be pairs with some very good anglers who took the time to teach me the ropes. Due to this, I was able to win both Rookie of the Year and Big Largemouth of the Year.

My Dad presenting me with the big largemouth of the year award for 1999.

Shortly after graduating high school, and then a very short year of college, I decided to enlist in the United States Army. This put a hold on my tournament fishing journey, but I vowed to not give it up. It was shortly into my career that I would marry the love of my life, Brandie and it wasn't long before we were expecting a child. In 2005, my daughter, Kaydance, was born.

I continued to fish when I could, where I could. That all depended on where the Army had me stationed and how much time I could dedicate to fishing. But due to the Army life, I was able to again travel and fish different locations.

I spent another six years in Alaska and would frequent the Kenai River system in search for Sockeye and Silver Salmon. I would fish the local waters around Fort Richardson for rainbow trout, arctic char and arctic grayling. The occasional landlocked salmon was a bonus. I also started ice fishing. I enjoyed ice fishing as I was able to bring my family with me.

Kaydance and I with a small rainbow caught through the ice.

Couple of Sockeye "Red" Salmon caught at the Russian River ferry crossing, Kenai River.

Another salmon caught on the lower Kenai River at Cooper's Landing.

Kaydance with a nice silver salmon caught from a boat out of Seward, Alaska.

My family and I made the most of the time spent in Alaska and had many adventures. We were thankful so spend six years there total. Some of that time I spend overseas.

Me in Afghanistan, 2009.

It finally came time to move on from Alaska and the Army had plans for me in Leesville, Louisiana and I was station at Fort Polk. Once again, this was a drastic change in environment. IT WAS HOT! But, Louisiana offered some amazing fishing, both freshwater and saltwater. I was only 45 minutes away from Toledo Bend! One of the best bass fisheries in the country. It was here that I learned to catch largemouth in a variety of ways. From deep cranking the timber in the summer, the flipping beds in the spring time, to fishing the grass lines and ledges of the channel. It was a great experience and greatly improved my bass fishing skills.

My wife and I also had our second child. Our son, Karder.

Summer Largemouth from Toledo Bend, Louisiana.

Fall Largemouth on Toledo Bend, Louisiana.

I even got to visit my Dad in Illinois and do some bass fishing there.

After six years in Louisiana, my time in the Army came to a close. I was medically retired from the United States Army due to back injuries suffered during my deployment to Afghanistan.

We moved back to Idaho and got settled in Kuna, a small town south of Meridian about eight miles. We purchased a home and tried to figure out what civilian life was like again. But I was back in smallmouth country! I couldn't wait to get fishing.

It didn't take me long to remember how to catch these bronze beauties. Shortly after me and my family moved back to Idaho, my brother and his wife moved back as well.

We fished as much as we could and were truly enjoying all that Idaho has to offer.

After a while, my brother, David and I decided we would like to try our hand at fishing tournaments. This wasn't completely new to me as you've already read. This was, however new to David.

We participated in our first team event as part of Idaho Bassmasters based out of Caldwell, Idaho. It was a March tournament on Brownlee Reservoir. The weather had just started to warm up and the pre-spawn crankbait bite was one. We caught a ton of fish and had a decent bag just under twelve pounds. To our surprise, we ended taking third place that tournament. David was addicted for sure and I had found my spark again for competitive fishing.

David and I with our bag for third place, March 2020.

Soon after this tournament, COVID-19 came about and pretty much shut the fishing scene down for a little while.

We continued to hold tournaments from June thru the end of the year. It was a great experience and I learned a ton. There were some big fish caught by our club members that year. I even caught my biggest bass yet for a tournament, the second biggest bass I've ever caught.

My biggest tournament fish of my career. 6 lbs 4 oz. Owyhee Reservoir, Nyssa, Oregon.

We are on the verge of our 2021 season and can't wait to get started.

Stay tuned for more adventures to come from David and I.



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