Holiday time is family time

About the time you start reading this (Thursday morning) we'll be on a plane heading home for the holidays. Visiting our families in Southern California is something we look forward to every year. Like many families around the world that elect to move away from family to be closer to work, we moved to Alabama to fish for a living. Being so far from our families makes it difficult to see them as much as we would like, which makes getting together for the holidays very special to us.

For us, we'll go fishing, probably a lot because everyone in my family loves to fish. I bet we'll fish quite a bit. We'll also go to the beach; we all miss the beach.

Speaking of family, last weekend I went deer hunting with my nephew Justin here in Alabama. Justin is in college nearby and we get together quite a bit. I shot a good sized doe and Justin shot a buck. It was very cold, but it was good to spend time with Justin and try something new.

I talked a little bit about the Ragnar Relay in my last blog. I'll be running 21 miles of the 199 mile event. I have to be honest, training is a pain in the backside. Right now I'm putting in 40 miles per week and that is a lot of work and takes a lot of time. I've gotten a lot faster; I'm averaging about 7.5 minutes per mile. That's almost 300 minutes of running each week, or five hours of running. Generally, I feel good, and I think it will help my fishing this season. I'll continue to run after the race, but I'll cut back to about 20 miles per week.

This week I've frantically been trying to get my tackle ready. I have hundreds of baits spread out all over my garage. I'm checking and/or changing all the hooks, making sure the split rings are good and, most importantly, organizing them. I'm very particular about my gear, and it takes a lot of work to get it ready for the season.

I haven't even started on my reels. I'll tear them down, clean them up, lubricate and put them back together. I'm down to just a few days to get everything ready. As soon as we get back from California, I'll be headed to the Harris Chain of Lakes for the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open event there.

Finally, I wanted to take this opportunity to ask for your help for the Tackle The Storm Foundation. The foundation is headed up by one of our industries finest writers Don Barone, or db, as we know him. db has started this non-profit foundation to help the kids of the storms.

Lesley and I are asking for people to donate $1 for each mile that I run. That's a total of $21 for your donation. Your donation is 100 percent tax deductible and will help children who have lost everything in the storms. To donate, or for more information, visit the website and click "donations."

Well, we're off to catch a plane. We'll get another blog up just before Christmas. Until then, enjoy the time with your family.