Yours truly with AOY (angler of the year) runner up in the Fort Peck Championship Series!!
Well the 2014 Walleyes Unlimited state banquet has come and swam away. This year it was held right here in Helena and hosted by the Upper Missouri River Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited. The fun started off Friday night with the social and it sure was fun to mingle with all the great folks that came from across the state. Luckily, my wife joined me so it was an early night so we could prepare for the big day to follow. The next morning dad and I gathered our Kit’s paraphernalia and headed to the event to set up for our seminar. We had a lot of fun with a smaller than usual seminar crowd making it much more hands on and personal. It was then to the fairgrounds to set up our aquarium and get the banquet festivities rolling.
We had a fun table full of friends, fish stories and laughs that made it a great night! After eating dinner my ears perked up when I heard the Fort Peck tournament series get mentioned. It was only a few minutes later my name was called to head to the stage to be honored for the Angler of the Year runner up. How freakin’ cool of an achievement this was for me! And right before me was my friend Kris Keller who took the angler of the year award. We actually got to win the Hell Creek tournament together last July which landed me the second place honors. With an awesome plaque for the wall, the check went straight into my wife’s purse. Kris said, “Dang, she snatched that fast bro” and I laughed and said, “ya, but she lets me run hard man.” AND, her car needs new tires and her safety will always be priority number one in my world…no matter how badly I want a new bow!
As the live auction items started dwindling down it was almost time for the nights featured item…the custom Kit’s Tackle jigging rod!! This year we made it a beautiful walleye colored jigging rod to get the state banquet crowd excited!! I got up on stage and explained the framework of the rod, then gave the audience the juiciest of all juicy fruits. I explained to them that in the world of jig fishing, feel is everything. And my final selling point was a question…” have you ever felt a fish sniff your jig???” This was all it took and the hands were flying into the air with the starting bid at $400. I then strutted around the crowd showing off dad’s masterpiece. While the night was going good and I had not yet made a complete a$$ of myself someone yelled…”show us your boobs.” So I hopped up on a speaker and lifted my shirt to the crowd…LUCKILY, people kept bidding on the rod. Finally, the rod had hit its limit…$925 raised for Walleyes Unlimited of Montana. Dad and I felt very proud that year after year people appreciate the time and quality we put into our donation. And it’s a donation for a great cause…TO GET KIDS ON THE WATER!! Cheers to “Jiggin’ the Dream”.
Angler of the year, Kris Keller, and I sporting our Kit’s Tackle Swag on stage at the state Walleyes Unlimited Banquet!!
(Written by Trevor Johnson of Kit’s Tackle – www.kitstackle.com)