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Dirtyeggroll

Before it's too late

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Hi y'all

 

I've been using this forum consistently for a few months now so I figured I better introduce myself before its too late (explanation below in last paragraph).

 

I spent my youth fishing farm ponds throwing chartreuse spinnerbaits in Southwest Missouri with my dad. In fact, my very first and fondest memory is of fishing with my dad. I was 2 years old with my dad chugging along in a jon boat in freezing cold weather across some lake in Kansas (I have no idea which). We took the jon boat across the lake to the opposite bank and got out and walked to a nearby pond. My dad cast out my little Zebco spincast with a bobber and a nightcrawler and sternly told me "DO NOT MOVE IT OR REEL IT IN!" He handed it to me and took off with a spinnerbait to go plug the bank of a pond behind us. I sat patiently, for I don't know how long, until he returned. The first thing he noticed when he returned was that my bobber had drifted over into the cat tails. He looked at me, took the cigarette out of his mouth and said with disappointment in his voice, "I thought I told you not to reel that in." He told me to go ahead and reel it in now because it was time to go. I tried, but it wouldn't budge. I thought it was hung. With even more disappointment, he said, "Give it to me." Before I could hand it to him came a strong tug that pulled me into the water. I looked at my dad with surprise, and his eyes had lit up. "Reel it in! Reel it in! You got one" He grabbed me by the back of my jacket, pulled me up on to the shore with the rod still in my hands. We then fought the fish for what seemed like a lifetime to haul in a GIANT catfish (which turned out to be an 11-lb channel cat). My dad quickly realized that I hadn't messed with the line at all while he was off bass plugging. I have been hooked on fishing ever since.

 

Until I was about 9 or 10 year old my dad would take me to farm ponds and we would fish from the bank bringing in (and keeping ... I almost cringe at the thought now) dozens of bass, most of them 4-6 lbs. Unfortunately, many of these memories are laced with the strong smell of alcohol (didn't bother me at the time), which is what led to the split of my parents (combined with my mother being unstable bipolar), my eventual placement into foster care and an abrupt cessation of weekends filled with stringers full of fat healthy bass. From the time I was 10-12 I was bounced around foster homes without the prospects of adoption because of the hope by myself and of social workers that my dad would straighten up and my sister and I could live with him. When I was 12, I was eventually placed with a family that agreed to foster me indefinitely until I could be with my dad, or until it was clear that would never happen. I was fortunate that the family that fostered me are great people and my foster dad thought there were worse things a person could do than go fishing. They even rented a pontoon boat a couple of times and took all of the kids fishing on Table Rock lake. But to me it wasn't really 'fishing'. Unfortunately, when I was 17, it instantly became clear that being reunited with my dad would never happen because he was murdered. With his passing also died all of my passion for fishing (and baseball which I have never resumed) as well as the locations of all those farm ponds that we had slayed fish during my youth. The family I was living with offered to adopt and by this time I was happy with the idea. For about 5 years, fishing, to me, became uninteresting.

 

I was fortunate to always have been academically motivated and went to college on full scholarship (Missouri Southern State University) and decided to go on to medical school in an MD/PhD program (8 years to end up with an MD and PhD; University of Nebraska Medical Center) (One thing I have always kept near and dear are my dads words to always do my best). Ironically, during the 5 year-period that I was uninterested in fishing, my now adopted dad's personal interest in fishing was exploding. We didn't talk much during that time, because that's how our relationship worked, and because I was busy with school and such. Fast-forward to my 2nd year of medical school and I realized there are several man-made lakes in the Omaha area. On occasion, I started to make my way over to one of the lakes with my one shakespeare spinning rod and start to find a new appeal to fishing. However, due to the busyness of medical school, this appeal was only minimal. Fast-forward a little more and I am married and we are looking to buy a house. One goes up for sale near one of the man-made lakes within our price range and within a reasonable distance from the medical school. We buy it and I have delusions that I may reignite my love for fishing. A year goes by, and due to demands of medical school and the restrictions of trying to afford bass fishing on a graduate school stipend, my wife and I had been over to the lake maybe once or twice. Now, to fully understand and appreciate how the timing of what happened next, you need a little knowledge about how the MD/PhD program I am enrolled is structured.

 

It is an 8 year program, that is essentially split into 3 parts:

1) The first part is the first 2 years of medical school (1st half of MD), the book learning component, in which there is little time for anything but studying and taking exams.

2) The second part is graduate school (PhD approximately 4 years). For me, I spent 65-80 hours a week in the laboratory for the first 2.5 years and completed most of my project.

3) The third is the last two years of medical school (2nd half of MD), the clinical component, in which there is little time for anything but seeing patients and taking exams.

So, 2 years medical school + 4 years PhD + 2 final years medical school.

 

When we had moved into our house I had just finished my second year of graduate school. During this time had been so busy, that fishing was really out of the question. That is until April of 2017. On the morning of April 8th of 2017, I had a free weekend and I decided I was going to go over to the nearby lake and see if I could catch some crappie from one of the access docks. Within 2 hours I had caught about 30 crappie (didn't keep any) and was satisfied. I was walking back to my truck to head home, when I saw a brush pile near the bank. I was reminded of the days fishing with my dad throwing chartreuse spinnerbaits near brush piles in farm ponds. I knew I had one old chartreuse spinnerbait in my old fold-open Plano tackle box and thought "What the hell". I tied it on to my ultralight spinning combo with 4-lb Omniflex, walked over toward the brushpile and made a targeted cast. 2 or 3 turns of the reel later BAM! FISH-ON! The rod buckled and I started shaking. The bank was raised a bit from the water and I thought there was no way I would be able to get this fish out of the water without the line breaking. I was right. I fought the fish to the bank and decided flipping it was my only option. SNAP! But it wasn't over, I quickly reached down and pinned the fish in the water to the side of the bank, reached my other hand down, grabbed that sucker by the lower lip and landed a gorgeous ~4-lber (1st two pics, me in a yellow hoodie and fish by my size 11.5 shoe). The biggest fish I had caught in 15 years.

 

My passion for fishing was reignited and has been burning in full flame ever since. So much so that I started reaching out to my adopted dad to discuss fishing. We even fished a tournament together last September (although we only weighed one fish, third pic). Our relationship has grown tremendously on levels much more than fishing since. For the first time since I was probably 10 I feel like I have an immediate father figure in my life. Additionally, I have joined a local bass club which has been an invaluable resource of knowledge, but even more so of companionship.

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Unfortunately, my love for fishing will again have to come to a pause in July 2018 when I start back as a medical student in the third year of medical school. I am currently in my 4th year of graduate school (6th year of the 8 year program overall). I will defend my thesis on February 26th and formally be done with the PhD portion of May 5th. This means that this Spring I plan to do a TON of fishing (as much as my graduate school stipend will allow me to afford). I will have minimal responsibility from February 26th through May 5th (trying to get a few more papers published) and virtually no responsibility from May 5th to June 23rd. So, if there is anyone in Western Missouri, Northeast Kansas, Western Iowa or Eastern Nebraska that wants to take me out I'd love to go. After June 23rd, 2018, it may be 5-8 years before I consistently have free time to pick up the sport (I have to finish medical school and then residency which will be 5 years).

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Hello and Welcome to Bass Resource.

Quite an introduction and an interesting profile name.

Good Luck 

:smiley:

A-Jay

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31 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

Hello and Welcome to Bass Resource.

Quite an introduction and an interesting profile name.

Good Luck 

:smiley:

A-Jay

Thanks.

 

I’ve been writing a thesis so I tend to be a bit wordy lately haha.

 

The profile name one of the few screen names left that can be used across multiple platforms that doesn't require special characters or numbers. Its just a bonus that its pretty memorable. It comes from a video game I played a long time ago. It stuck with me and I have used it ever since for everything that's not 'professional'.

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Welcome! :)

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Greetings and Welcome to the forums :)

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Howdy and welcome to our fishing family! Best of luck in your medical career. 😎

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Welcome to the forums.

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Welcome!

 

Not sure how far down NE KS is to you, but I usually fish solo and have an open invitation to any BR member that wants to jump in. 

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Welcome from Oregon!

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Welcome.

 

Wonderful that you will have the "Piled Higher and Deeper" degree and having plans to be a medical doctor.

 

Keep us posted on your fishing and as your questions.

 

No defense is necessary on the Forum.

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Hello and Welcome 

 

 

 

Mike

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3 hours ago, Sam said:

Welcome.

 

Wonderful that you will have the "Piled Higher and Deeper" degree and having plans to be a medical doctor.

Lots of cool stuff happening at the intersection of science and medicine.

 

When it’s all said and done I’ll have an M.D., a Ph.D. and if I’m lucky, someday a J.O.B.

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Welcome Home! We're glad you joined!

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