This blog started more than 10 years ago when Ralph Stokley and I started talking in earnest about fishing and boats.
I was the editor and owner of The Kentucky Fishing Journal (later to become The Kentucky Outdoor Journal.) Ralph was one of our first advertisers. We talked about fishing, about boats, and about the customers both of us were hoping to reach. We both thought at the time that there was a dearth of good fishing and boating writing in Kentucky.
Flash forward. (The journal closed in 2005.) With print newspapers and magazines cutting back across the country, there is an even greater need for good local information about fishing and boating.
And Ralph and I still have a strong desire to provide that information.
We’re hoping that in the weeks and months to come you’ll find this to be your go-to spot for fishing and boating news in and around Kentucky. On this blog — and on our Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest and Twitter pages — we’ll provide information that you won’t find anywhere else, and especially not in one place.
Here’s some of what you’ll have to look forward to:
We’ll take you virtually to the places you want to visit in person. From creeks to lakes to rivers to ponds, we’ll offer tips and tricks that help you plan and have the fishing trip you’ve been looking forward to. After all, if you can’t be fishing right now, you might as well be reading and learning about it.
Stokley’s takes care of boats every day. Water pumps. Fuel lines. Oil tanks. You name it. Their folks do it better than just about anybody locally because they’ve done it forever. They have a lot of great tips to share; they just need a venue in which to share them. This blog will be a place for that, starting with a post this month on winterizing your boat. Tune back in often for tips.
We’ll be gathering fishing reports from around the state to give you some idea of what you’ll be facing when you head out to the lake. We know, those reports are old the day you get them. But we think there’s a lot of value in hearing what people are using and where they’re fishing. These tips will offer a good place to start when you hit the lake.
Stokley’s has already published a few videos. We hope to publish a lot more. We want to offer step-by-step guides for some of your routine boat maintenance.
There are still some folks out there writing and reporting on Kentucky fishing and boating. There’s also a good bit of information coming out of marinas, from Kentucky Afield TV and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, as well as a number of other venues. We’ll compile a running digest of those for you so you can come here and get your fill all in one spot.
An entertainment reporter and good friend once asked me back in my magazine days what I would do if I ran out of fishing story ideas. I was actually startled at the question and laughed without realizing it. The thought had never occurred to me.
How could you ever run out of ideas — or enthusiasm — for fishing and boating?
I was reminded of this at Stokley’s the other day. Ralph gave my boat a once over and decided he wanted to change the water pump. (I’m not the best boat owner, but I’m working on it.)
As my pump was being changed, Ralph started talking about smallmouth fishing on Lake Cumberland. He’s been honing his skills lately and having some success. He was excited to get back and try for even better fish.
Stokley’s is a busy place. They can almost never catch up with repairs and sales and helping customers. But Ralph’s fishing stories reminded me of that day in 2004 and those conversations we had about fishing and boating. We’re both a little older now, but as Ralph grabbed a Diet Mountain Dew the other day he seemed as excited as ever to share some of his recent successes.
I love stuff like that. They call fishing and boating leisure activities, but they feel essential to me.
So do the stories. Those moments in all of our busy lives when we stop to talk about the fish we caught, the ones that got away, or the day on the water with a buddy or a son or daughter.
I can’t get enough of those stories, and we’re hoping you can’t either.
I hope you’ll come back here often and share them with us.
Chris Poore is the former owner and editor of the Kentucky Outdoor Journal and a former reporter and editor at the the Lexington Herald-Leader. Check this blog and Stokley’s Facebook page often for updates and news.