On November 8th 2008 I was fishing Loch Raven Reservoir, as I had done countless times over the past 40+ years. I was an avid fisherman who had never fished a tournament in his life, even though I have always had a very competitive nature. I had fished only for the pleasure of fishing from the first time my father put a rod in my hands, at the age of 3 or 4.
On that November morning the Metro Reservoir Anglers were fishing day 1 of their Tournament of Champions. I spoke with a few of the MRA members prior to the tournament. Nice bunch of guys. That day, I had a great day on the water, catching a lot of good fish. My competitive juices began to flow. I started to think (naively) “I may be able to complete with these guys”. I seriously started to think about joining MRA. The 2009 fishing season was spent gaining much needed experience on Liberty and Prettyboy. In 2010 my son Max and I teamed up and joined MRA. We attended the Annual meeting in February, and met a lot of good people. We studied the rules, and when the first tournament arrived, we were ready!
Any thoughts that we were truly ready to compete with these highly experienced tournament anglers were cleanly erased at our first tournament on Liberty. We finished 27th out of 30 teams catching 1 small keeper and several undersized fish. The outcome wasn’t what we intended, but our first MRA tournament beat-down was a great experience. My son Max and I had a great time working together to try to find fish. Neither of us had ever fished so hard and concentrated so long to try to solve the puzzle. We were completely hooked on Tournament fishing!
Over the past three seasons, we have enjoyed some good results and some poor results (never failures). Every tournament experience has been an absolute joy. The first two seasons with Max as my partner, and the third season with my life-long friend Jeff as my partner were fantastic. I look forward to the 2013 season, as Max is returning to competition with me. I can’t wait.
MRA provides a friendly environment to test your skills with some very experienced tournament anglers, and get to know some good people. The experience can make any angler better. My only regret is that I didn’t join MRA many years ago.