Change a kid's life

Another Bassmaster Elite Series event is in the books, and it feels good to have turned the tables and finished in the Top 12 at Ross Barnett. I gained some much-needed Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year (AOY) points and hopefully resurrected my season from the less than stellar start.

I started out flipping a Berkley Havoc Pit Boss and caught several on that. I caught a key 4-pounder on my black and blue Lucky Craft jig and a blue Chigger Craw, and on the last day, I got a hunch and picked up a spinnerbait and caught three key fish on that as well. The whole event was a junk fishing deal for me.

It was kind of fun too. I really just relied on my instincts all week and did the things I felt like I needed to do to get a bite. I concentrated on fishing what was in front of me and tried to make good decisions while following my gut.

I will say this, Ross Barnett is a big lake, but it really fished small last week. I think one of the keys to my week was trying to find some areas that I could have to myself and avoid the pressure that some of those areas were receiving.

I know Dustin Connell, a rookie, won it – and he earned it – but to me it was really kind of a throwback event. To look at that final day’s field of 12 reminded me of some of the battles we’ve had over the past several years. I guess the fact that Kevin and I were both in the Top 12 again at the same time really brought back some memories.

Speaking of memories, I’ve been having a lot of them lately of the days when I really fell in love with fishing. I remember fishing ponds and creeks for bluegill, and I vividly remember the first bass I ever caught. If it wasn’t for those early fishing experiences, I probably wouldn’t be here today. In truth, fishing saved my life. My desire to go fishing – any kind of fishing – kept me off the wrong path, and I’ve really felt a burden to want to share that love with kids for years.

Kids today have so many things that can draw their attention, and if nobody ever takes the time to take a kid fishing, then we’ll never be able to get them away from the television and the video games and help them develop a love for the outdoors.

Every one of us has a busy schedule, but I really hope that all of you will take the time to take a kid fishing. Whether you have a boat and can take them bass fishing, or you take them to a pond or creek to catch bluegill, or a lake for trout or catfish; it’s all fishing, and kids can experience the excitement of the sport we love.

I wish I had more time so that I could take kids fishing more, but what Kim and I have done several times – including this year – is organize a kids’ fishing day at a community lake near our home in Auburn, Calif. We work with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to plant hundreds of rainbow trout in the pond, and we use the event as a fundraiser for some of our favorite national and local charities. Really though, to me, the best part of the whole thing is seeing so many kids get their first taste of the sport of fishing.

We’ve had many repeat attendees, and I love seeing their joy. But those kids who have caught their first fish at the event have always been my favorite part. I’m looking forward to seeing more of it this year.

I’ve been talking about it for most of the past month, but along with the fifth Skeet Reese Kids Fishing Day, we are also holding a $10,000 Ultimate Grand Prize Raffle to benefit Tackle the Storm, the Auburn Recreation District’s Youth Assistance Fund, the Meadow Vista Friendly Neighbors program and Kids First Now charities.

The drawing itself is going to happen on May 6, which means you only have precious few hours to make a small donation that can truly help take a kid fishing, or meet some of their most basic needs, but at the same time win $10,000 of my favorite sponsor gear. The raffle is going to benefit those worthy charities listed above and will help them continue their missions of helping children experience love, fun and health.

Tickets are on sale at my website and the drawing will be held the afternoon of May 6, 2017. Tickets will be for sale until the drawing happens; the winner will be contacted and announced on my Facebook page.

Kim and I really appreciate the response we’ve received so far, and hope that all of you will not only buy a ticket, but will commit to taking a kid fishing. This sport saved my life and gave me a career, and you never know, you might be planting the seed that grows up to become a Bassmaster AOY and Classic Champion someday.

Thanks again, 
Skeet

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