I’m using the official launch date of Southern Trout Eaters as July 3rd, 2011 as per this post announcing the film on the Trophy Fishing Forum of calfishing.com.

I wanted to thank  the angling community at large, and certainly the swimbait fishing community for the support and genuine aloha around the release of Southern Trout Eaters.   We announced a 6″ Triple Trout Giveaway on our Facebook Page that ends tomorrow at 5pm Central Time.  We just posted a ‘success stories wanted’ contest on our Facebook Page and will be giving away six of our pre-rigged with Owner Hardware,  8″ Huddleston Deluxe Rainbow Trouts.   That contest ends this Friday at 5pm Central Time.   Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more.

At some point, if you are passionate about something and work at it long and hard enough, you want to have an advanced conversation that gets into the weeds, that explores things with photos and video, that tests things out, that documents trials and errors, you want to hear opinions and inputs of others who share the same passion, you want to hear the good, the bad, and some controversy.    At least, that is where we are at.  That is what professionals do.      And to have so many people watch and comment on Southern Trout Eaters on online forums and on the Tackle Warehouse product page, so overwhelming favorably, just speaks volumes to me about the risks we should take, the directions to head, and who we engage to get there.

Southern Trout Eaters fans are all over the world, not just the United States, which is incredible.  Our blog traffic has increased 5-10X  at peak times,  year- over-year.  Our YouTube channel has gone from virtually nothing to almost 200,000 hits in a year and approx.  500 subscribers.   We were able to get a copy of the DVD to Manabu Kurita in Japan, and he sent us a kind note in return.  I have received phone calls from guys who have won BassMaster Classics and FLW Tour Events giving me huge props on the film and what we did.  Someday I hope to document some of it with film.  It would be incredible to get some of these guys talking about Southern Trout Eaters who have been tournament fishing as long or longer than I’ve been alive.  Some of my favorite feedback has come from friends and family who do not fish.  People who for the first time I think sort of understand what it is we do and the search we are on.

Those of you who are clicking thru the links in our blog, or thru the product page at southerntrouteaters.com,  or the ‘shopping link’  to purchase products from Tackle Warehouse are helping us out tremendously and that model is working.  Between the sales of the DVDs and your support of our Affiliate agreement with Tackle Warehouse, you are making our fishing possible.  You are holding us accountable and helping us show we are providing content that has value.   So I say thank you and I plan on returning the favor with some fresh new content this summer, non-trout eater, swimbait fishing that I think you will enjoy, via Youtube.    DVD just takes so much more time, effort and cost, it will be saved for special projects only, is what my gut tells me is the right way to play it.

Keep an eye on our Facebook Page, we’ll have some more contests this week.  Thank you all for your support, looking forward to the next 365 days.

Headquarters of southernswimbait.com, Cotter, Arkansas. That is the White River out the window, and my humble little desk. One of the most profound lessons of the last year has been the realization I need to get off the road. I recently moved back in with Mom&Dad and am working on my 2013 season already. Too much time on the road, not having your own place to hang your hat, and not having an office (no matter how simple), a social life, a gym, or any normal things has been hurting me.  Arkansas is all the way around a good thing for me, my wallet, and my fishing. I hope to edit like the wind from my little desk this summer and keep after it. I’ve struggled at times the last 365 days with what the heck I’m doing:  35 years old, no money, no job, no girlfriend sort of thing but between Arkansas, the continued success of Southern Trout Eaters and southernswimbait.com, and the 1.5 Terabytes of unpublished data I have of stuff people will enjoy watching, I’ve got a clear path into 2013 and beyond.  Thank you for your support and helping me find my path.