I’m a terrible person, I know. Four months ago I told all of you that I was starting over in life and going on this amazing journey and taking you all with me and then I totally ghosted you. Please accept my sincerest apology. These have been the craziest/most fun months of my life but it has also been the most difficult. For the last 17 years there has been structure in my life of a 9-5 job with a paycheck that gets deposited every other Friday. Not anymore, my friends! Working for myself has been a huge learning experience of what my new normal looks like. Aside from running my business, I have also taken on management of Josh Douglas Fishing full time. There are so many things that go on behind the scenes of a professional fisherman and I’ve been taking each task in stride. Finally, after all this time do I feel like I can start sorting through everything on my plate and manage it appropriately.
Before, I took to blogging as a fun outlet for me to talk about trips, recipes or my latest DIY discovery. Since leaving my job, something has clicked in my head that if I have time to be doing things that I enjoy then I also have time to be working and that’s what I should be doing instead. Hence why the blog stopped and the knitting has been suffering. It finally occurred to me though that this blog is just as much a part of my business than ever. There are only so many words you can write on social media platforms to get across what is happening in your life and I’m now finally realizing how many people there are that actually interested in our journey.
For the last month or so I’ve known I was going to have to start writing eventually and there has been a long debate in my head about how to go about it. Do I just start back-blogging? Or do I write one that summarizes what’s been going on? At this point, I’ll probably have to take the latter as there would just be too many to write and catch up on with the promise to blog more in the future. So here goes, I’ll try not to make this too long!
It was also a huge wake up call that if we are going to do this new life right and take Kigen with us, then we needed to make some adjustments to our lifestyle. When the tournament was over it was time to do two things. First, we headed home to get our house packed up and finally make the move up to Isle! For the most part every thing went off without a hitch and we are happily settled in our new home. There are still some major projects like the kitchen and bathroom, but for now it works just fine and we’ve never been happier. Second, we needed to buy a camper. Not all rentals are rottweiler friendly and he is a key player in this family’s success. Coincidentally we found a dude a few hours north of us who was selling a Lance Camper for a reasonable price and we snatched it up! We’re now rolling with the 865 model and camping at mostly state parks when we travel.
After 72 hours of bliss in our new home it was time for me to pack up and say goodbye to the fam so I could head down to the Bassmaster Classic in Houston, TX. I could easily dedicate an entire blog to this experience and maybe one day I’ll do a total re-cap for you. For now, however, what I can say about it was that it was the most remarkable and educational week of my life. In short, I was hired to go down there to do some video work on media day, photograph some morning galleries of takeoff every morning and edit the GoPro footage from the anglers day on the water for a quick re-cap video for their website. I was in their media center every day working and editing all while sitting next to the single best outdoor photographer in the world, James Overstreet. He let me pick his brain every day and I got to watch him go to work as he edited his own photos for his gallery. I am fully aware of how much I have left to learn in this industry and he helped me fill in a few of the gaps that were bugging me.
On the fourth and final day of the tournament, Championship Sunday, one of the top dogs at BASS decided to put me on the water and go shoot a gallery of one of the guys from the top 12. That morning I was busy working on my launch galleries and hadn’t really been paying much attention to who had how many fish and for how much weight. When they put me on the water I didn’t think much of it because no way in heck were they going to put a rookie photog on the winner of the freaking Bassmaster Classic!?! I got the call to go head the way of Jordan Lee around mid morning. At the time, I had no idea that his boat was broken down much less that he was even close to winning the darn thing! I thought it was a little weird that he hadn’t moved the entire time we were there but I just kept snapping photos. When I got back to the boat ramp, the weight of what had just happened hit me. I still to this day cannot properly express the emotions that I felt and the validation I was needing for a career that was still so new in getting off it’s feet. I will be forever grateful to BASS for that opportunity. It was an experience of a lifetime.
After another 48 hours home, it was time to pack up the Lance for it’s maiden voyage to Kentucky for the next FLW Tour stop. This trip was a little aggressive for the first one. We were to spend one week on Lake Cumberland before heading down to Lake Chickamauga in Tennessee for two weeks for the first of the Bassmaster Southern Opens which was then followed up with the next FLW Tour stop on Beaver Lake in Arkansas. It was April in the south and weather wise it was going to be all across the board. We packed that sucker up so tight with clothes to make sure and cover every circumstance we’d come across in those 4 weeks. Looking back we only wore about 50% of what we brought. We learned what items we were using the most in the kitchen and which ones we needed to make sure to bring next time as well as leave home. Camping for that amount of time in such a tight space had me a little worried at first. Our model didn’t come with any slideouts and we got the short box model even though we have a long bed truck. This makes for some additional storage where there’s a gap in the truck bed which has been really nice to have. I’ll do a post soon with a full tour and how we make it all work with the three of us.
Geez, this is getting pretty long already. Hope you’re all staying with me! The Lake Cumberland finish wasn’t an epic one but the tournament on Chickamauga yielded a much needed top 10 finish for Josh! However, fishing day 3 of the tourney on Saturday didn’t leave much time for travel to Arkansas for day 1 of practice on the Beav. We drove through the night and set up camp that morning so Josh could get on the water asap. At this point my days consisted of waking up at 5am to make breakfast and lunch for Josh before he heads out for the day. After that, I’m usually making another pot of coffee to stay awake so I can get to work on whatever needs to get done that day. Whether it’s photo shoots for sponsors, managing the finances, creating schedules, running random errands, going on the water with Josh, or editing video are any number of things that now fill my days. I’ve also learned to back a boat down the ramp like a boss. Some days get stressful and others feel like a dream.
The month of May brought 2 tournaments both of which were in Wisconsin, so it was nice to be sticking close to home for the most part. The first one was out on Sturgeon Bay in Door County. If you’re unaware of Door County, I highly recommend the Google search. It is so beautiful out there and the best part is that I got to enjoy it with my best friend. My husband fished this tourney with John Figi who also happens to be dating my bestie, Emily. We haven’t taken a trip together since we were younger and we had a great time catching up while seeing all that Door County had to offer us! Sadly, we only had a few days together before we were off again to the next FLW Tour stop in LaCrosse on the mighty Mississippi River. Mentally, this tournament was a tough one for both of us. We were both wore out from road life and missing home bad. We had spent more nights in the camper than we had in our house that we bought in January! After this derby was over we had 3 glorious weeks at home that was the light at the end of the tunnel. We love life on the road but being at home is where our hearts will always be.
Well, that about brings us up to the point of the last FLW derby on the Potomac a few weeks ago. This one was bittersweet for us as it is the last event of the year but it’s also already been a long one! We didn’t have the finish that we were looking for so after some whiskey and a little sleep we are already looking forward to what next year on the tour has to bring!
I’ll post about New York in a few days once this tournament is over which is where I’m at now. That will give me time to give you a proper post which you are all long overdue for. Thanks for sticking it out till the end of this thing with me! Talk to you soon!
Hey there -
I'm Bri! Lover of food, wine, and photography that is currently traveling with my professional bass fishing husband along with our cantankerous rottie, Kigen. When not traveling you can find me living the lake life off the shores of Lake Mille Lacs in Isle, MN. Pour a drink, pull up a chair and join me as I journey across the country documenting it all along the way!