A photo and excerpt from my most recent @onthewater article of a solid #flyfishing Striper caught last fall. PSA: Those same places I was fishing in late October and November, I’m now starting to poke around this week. Yep, I’m in the surf again, finally! Stay healthy everyone. Video coming tomorrow. I think it’s important to set goals. It helps keep me focused, and perhaps more importantly, prevents me from trying to do too much. I already fish an exorbitant amount, and without some form of structured focus, I end up getting pulled in too many directions. I think this is part of an arc that many anglers go through. In the beginning, we are clueless, naïve, and often close minded, not grasping the “bigger picture”. Yet, at some point, our eyes are opened to the magnitude of opportunities that exist for us as anglers. This results in an intermediate period of trying to do it all, before we identify the specifics we love the most; the niches that are the most fulfilling for us. Case in point- I don’t bucktail inlets anymore, although I’m competent at it, and used to do it frequently. Despite its ability to produce big fish, it’s just not for me. Also, as the fishery continues to struggle, goals help to motivate me through the skunks. Setting my mind on a particular set of goals hardens me. It makes me stubborn, in a positive way. But goals need to be specific. I adamantly argue that goals I set for myself can be of varying difficulty, but must be specific. For me, “I just want to fish more” or “I’ll fish smarter” feels like a cop-out. These are abstract, and bring with them superficial levels of satisfaction. I want to push myself, so I set goals with teeth. Goals that are based in numbers and data; some that will be very difficult to accomplish. This is a life-long pursuit after all, and I can’t imagine how empty it would feel to achieve all my goals every season. Actually, I probably want to fail, at least a little. Really, I’m likely not ready to catch my “fifty” yet. But God, if you’re up there and listening, I’m not saying I would turn it down either.