Successful fishermen are often addicted to the sport of fishing, accumulating a variety of unique fishing habits!
"I often start thinking about fishing during the middle part of the week and sometimes sneak out of town the very same day," Paul Massey said. "I grew up fishing in Fernandina Beach, Florida with my father, Dr. Clayton Massey, who took me fishing just about every weekend. I can still remember those wonderful days fishing with my father and have fortunately made it a habit to go fishing almost every weekend!"
Paul Massey lives in Tifton, Georgia with his wife Lauren, son Travis and daughter Emily Clark. They run a very successful family sod business.
"By Wednesday afternoon I become real anxious to leave for Fernandina Beach, or really any scheduled Southern Kingfish Association kingfish tournament," Paul said. "Having a family operated business allows me to sometimes leave a day early, leaving the business with my son Travis and wife Lauren. However, before I leave, I make up a list of to-dos, making sure that list is in my pocket when I walk out the door. Once I get to the boat, I will go over the list and make sure everything on that list is taken care of. Fishing can become so addictive that you have to make sure everything is taken care of long before I crank up those Mercury Verado outboards."
"Without mentioning any names, I know some fishermen that have left their ribbonfish on the dock and in one instance, a close friend of mine forgot to fill up his boat's fuel tank the night before the tournament. The next day they caught a money fish and ran out of gas before they made it back to the weigh-in site. Obviously they were so excited and into the tournament that they simply forgot. Fishing the SKA tournament trail is so exciting, I tend to forget myself, while the list of to-do's keeps me from forgetting anything that is absolutely necessary to have a successful fishing trip."
Paul Massey's tournament boat is a beautiful 36-foot Yellowfin center console, powered by triple 275-hp Mercury Verado outboards. Paul's tournament boat is rightfully named "Outrageous".
"I normally fish the Pro tournaments with Joe Bruce, Mark Yokely and my son, Travis," Paul said. "However it's mostly a family fishing event when we fish in many of the local tournaments."
"Last year we decided at the last minute to fish in the Fernandina Beach Tournament of Champions," Paul said. "It was one of those last minute decisions and we actually left on Thursday to drive to Fernandina Beach, Florida and fish in the event on Friday and Saturday. I wasn't planning on fishing in the tournament, but I guess the addictive fishing in my blood changed my mind at the very last minute!"
Paul Massey put together a list of things to remember, stuffed the list in his pocket and was soon on the road to Fernandina Beach with his son-in-law Grady Clark and daughter, Emily Clark. After attending the Captain's meeting Thursday night and talking with some of his fishing friends, they planned on fishing at Georgia's Gray's Reef during the first day of competition.
"It was a good choice," Paul said. "We boated a 36-pound kingfish during the first day of competition, which proved to be the largest kingfish of the tournament."
During the 2004 fishing season, Paul Massey's "Outrageous" fishing team went on to win first place honors in the Southern Kingfish Association's very competitive Division 5. The "Outrageous" fishing team is also a past winner of Southern Kingfish Association's prestigious "Angler of the Year" honors.
To become an excellent fisherman, and more importantly a winning kingfish team, you have to be addicted to fishing in many ways. Most successful fishermen literally have fishing on their mind 24 hours a day. Some fishermen take fishing right to bed with them!
"Although I set the alarm clock, I wake up to go fishing long before the alarm actually goes off," Paul Massey said. "Often times I wake up hours before I'm supposed to go fishing and just lay there thinking about the coming day out on the water!"
Fishing is actually the most popular sport in America and for a good reason. Fishing can be enjoyed in freshwater lakes and streams, while saltwater fishermen can fish far offshore for big game fish, or simply fish the beaches and bays for a variety of saltwater species.
Add to the factor that fishing can also be enjoyed while fly-casting, spin casting, trolling, bottom fishing and even gigging with a spear!
However after taking into consideration all of these fishing opportunities, it often amazes me how certain fishermen become addictive to fishing, developing certain habits that make them successful at the sport that they not only enjoy, but are in some form or manner, addicted to.
Southern Kingfish Association's 1992 "Angler of the Year" Joe Bruce is one of the best fishermen that I know of that keeps his fishing tackle, boat, kingfish rigs and gear in top-notch shape. Long before a targeted SKA event begins Joe Bruce is getting his fishing tackle ready, making sure that he has all the needed charts, while preparing his boat and equipment.
"I like everything on my boat stored in its proper place and more importantly, everything including fishing and boating gear has to be operating properly," Joe said. "To be successful in fishing, whether I am fishing competitively, or simply fishing for fun, everything has to be in its proper place and working."
I guess you might say the Joe Bruce is addicted to keeping his equipment in top-notch shape and more importantly, it is a habit that he has enjoyed taking part in through his many successful years as a competitive SKA member.
Bruce is also addicted to fishing in close to the beaches and whenever the bite is taking place in close, his "Angling Pursuits" fishing team has to be a favorite.
Team "Angling Pursuits" topped the 1992 SKA tournament field while fishing in the Golden Isles Kingfish Tournament with a massive 53-pound king mackerel, which is still the SKA Georgia record tournament kingfish. The "Smoker" king mackerel was caught at the St. Mary's north jetty rocks. During the 1998 "Tournament Fisherman's Championship", "Team Angling Pursuits" weighed in a first place 41-pound king mackerel while fishing the St. Mary's south jetty rocks.
"I guess I would prefer fishing in close and not having to worry about those darn barracuda eating a big king at the boat," Joe Bruce said. "It's also nicer fishing in close without making a long run and when you hook a king, you know that it's going to be a big one".
Another successful Southern Kingfish Association member, Clayton Kirby, has been addicted to fast kingfish boats. Kirby's theory has been to go where the hottest kingfish bite is happening. Distance and rough seas are not a concern with this go-fast fisherman!
Kirby has been a big part of the "Team Fountain" success during the many years of competing in king mackerel tournaments and both have paired up quite nicely with the speedy Fountain hull, Mercury go-fast motors and Kirby's addiction to get to the kingfish first.
Jacksonville, Florida's Dave Workman Jr. has also enjoyed success on the Southern Kingfish Association Mercury Tournament Trail and has been somewhat addicted to dressing his dead and live baits with fish-catching lures. A past multiple winner of "Angler of the Year", Workman has somewhat pioneered dressing up live and dead baits with eye-catching plastic, feathered and hair-dressed lures. His success on the tournament trail can be directly related to matching kingfish lures with the current baitfish that are running, water clarity, water temperature and how aggressively the kingfish are feeding.
Dave Workman has carried his lure success right into his highly successful "Strike Zone" sporting goods store, which is located in Jacksonville, Florida.
Some signs that may find you addicted to fishing include: waking up before your alarm goes off, getting off early from work for a fishing trip, purchasing more baits or lures than needed for a fishing trip, spending more than thirty minutes in a tackle store, taping fishing shows when you are out on the water, sitting in your boat more than 30 minutes in storage, bribing your wife to take her shopping so that you can go fishing, setting up a separate checking account for your fishing expenses and finally arriving home late after a full day of fishing!