In-Fisherman Article Back Story

The new 2017 In-Fisherman Catfish Insider Guide came out this past week and I am very happy to announce that I am featured in it. As a life long reader and fan of the magazine, this will definitely go down as one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me. The funny thing is that it almost didn't happen.

Back in February, I received a message from Steve Ryan who is one of the editors for In-Fisherman magazine. He said he was working on an article about kayak catfishing and wanted to know if I would be willing to help him with it. Naturally, my first thought was that this has to be some kind of prank. What would In-Fisherman magazine want with me? I am not sponsored nor do I have any ties to the fishing industry. This website was still in the developmental stages back then and wasn't online. My only public presence was through my YouTube channel and I only had a couple hundred subscribers at that point. I figured the message had to be some kind of joke and I almost didn't bother responding to it. Thankfully, just out of curiosity, I replied to the message. It turns out he had watched some of my YouTube videos and that is how he had found me.

We set up a time to speak on the phone and he called to interview me. I can honestly say I was more nervous for that interview than for any job interview I have ever been on. My nerves were quickly calmed after a few minutes though as Mr. Ryan made the interview feel more like a conversation than just a question and answer type deal that I had anticipated.

The interview went well but in speaking with him, I learned I had a problem. For a picture to be published in a magazine, it has to meet a certain minimum resolution requirement. While I have caught hundreds of big fish in the kayak through the years, I realized I didn't have a single picture that would meet the required resolution standards. Taking pics of big fish by yourself in a kayak is no easy task. I have experimented with a few different traditional camera setups in the past but none of them worked particularly well. It always seemed like either me or the fish was never ready when the timer went off. A few years ago, I realized that I could pull still pics off of video footage and get the perfect shot every time so that is what I have been doing ever since. While those pics are perfect for digital platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, they become blurry when blown up for magazine printing and therefore would be unusable for this project. This realization that I had no pics to submit for this article had me panicking.

Between the magazine deadline and my work schedule, I basically had one week to go out and get some pics. If it had been summer time, I wouldn't have been as worried, but this was February and I often struggle to catch fish during that time of year. To make matters worse, we were still in a drought stage here in East Tennessee and the current flow was very limited. I also still had the issue of how I was going to take a quality picture even if I was able to catch a good fish. Fortunately, my friend Travis came through in the clutch for me. He was able to take some vacation time from work to come fish with me and take the pics if I was able to catch one worth photographing. He is a true friend.

With our limited number of days to fish, we came up with a plan to cover several different sections of the river and hit it hard each day. On the first day, I hooked up with a nice flathead while drifting along a ledge. Travis took some pics for me and my worries of having no fish to submit for the article quickly subsided. This also turned out to be the fish that In-Fisherman used in the article. With the pressure of getting skunked off, I was able to just focus on having fun the rest of the week.

Travis and I ended up catching a several more fish that week. The biggest was the blue cat pictured above. I caught it while trolling a piece of cut bait along a drop-off. Travis took several pics of it as well as a bunch of other shots for the article. While none of these other pics made it into the magazine, I was still happy to have caught some good fish that week so I wouldn't look like a fool when the article was published. Here is some video footage from the first couple days we fished for this project.

I can't thank Mr. Ryan and the people at In-Fisherman magazine enough for giving me this opportunity. I thought the article turned out great and it is a huge honor for me to get to be a part of it. I also want to thank everyone who has watched my videos and subscribed to my YouTube channel. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what I put out on YouTube, if you all don't watch and do the other things that bump me up in the search rankings like sharing and hitting the like button, then chances are Mr. Ryan would have never came across my videos and I wouldn't have gotten this chance. I am constantly amazed at the number of views I get and the number of nice messages and comments I receive. The introvert in me still doesn't understand why any of you would want to watch my videos or care about anything I have to say but I think it is pretty cool that you do. Thank you for making this fun for me.

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