Heroes On the Water – Kayaking with Veterans

I had the opportunity recently to help out with the Middle Tennessee chapter  for Heroes on the Water, an organization whose mission is to help warriors relax, rehabilitate and reintegrate through kayak fishing and the outdoors. Having grand parents and great uncles who fought in WWII and Korea, and cousins and friends who have fought in Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan, and continue serving our Country, I have the utmost respect for Service members. It was a fun day, even for someone like myself who doesn’t shine in social situations.

The event started around 7 am for volunteers. We started out by helping unload and transporting kayaks that had been provided by other volunteers as well as a few local shops for the event. Which for someone new to kayaking was quite fun trying out different kayaks. Once we had the kayaks all moved to the starting location, we were given a run down of the expectations and how they event was to work. There would be roughly 20 vets who were in-patient at the local VA coming out and we were going to pair up, 2 vets per guide. We were there to assist, keep an eye out, and just be an ear for them. After the guide details had been given out they got each of the Vets set up with a fishing rod and some basic gear. We were paired up and hit the water (at this point it was around 8-830). I was paired up with two Army vets, both surprisingly Tennessee natives, you just don’t run into many. We set out and got to it.

One of my partners was more of an explorer and one was more there to float, fish, and relax. Those who know me know with “strangers” beyond a little small talk I’m not much of a conversationalist so I just did my best to ask questions, listen, and hang close for help with gear. It was a nice morning but got hot quick and the fish weren’t biting but one of my partners on the water did manage to score a Large Mouth. We hung out on the lake till 11 or so then headed back to the pavilion for some hot dogs and burgers. After a few words from the organizer and a group photo, the vets left and we packed all the gear up.

All-in-all it was a fun day. It pushed me out of my comfort zone, and hopefully I was able to do my part in helping some of the Veterans to kick back and relax some on the water. There’s one more event planed here in November and if I can, I plan to get out and help again.

You can read more about Heroes on the Water here

Heroes on the Water – Music City Chapter Facebook Page


Kayak Trolling Motor – Getting Started

So after about a dozen trips out on the Kayak i realized the one disadvantage to my super stable and transportable FeelFree Moken 10 Angler is that, well, it’s heavy and it is a hard paddle keeping up with others (it’s not built for speed). So begins the Journey to build a trolling motor.  Sure by the time I’m done I probably could/should have just bought a trolling motor. Building it is half the fun.

So My goal is as follows:

  1. 2-3 miles per hour
  2. Adjustable speed
  3. Removeable
  4. Directional
  5. on-board tilt for shallow areas
  6. 12v power supply

Now I could go out and pick up a 30 pound thrust Minkota, and battery, but wheres the challenge in that?


So What is Magnet Fishing?

Anytime I say I’ve started, or that I go magnet fishing, after receiving the typical you have three-heads look,  the conversation goes a little something like this:

“what is magnet fishing?”

“Can you catch fish with magnets?”

Well first off, magnet fishing does not have anything to do with typical rod and reel fishing, so no I’m not trying to catch fish with magnets (although I did see a YouTube video where someone technically caught a fish while magnet fishing).  The basic concept of magnet fishing is simply taking a strong magnet (typically with a pulling force between 150-500lbs), tying the magnet securely to a rope (strong enough not to break under 150-500lbs of force), and throwing the magnet into a lake/river or “bobbing” it around docks.

“Ok, so no fish. so What’s the point?”

Well depending on the area (history, crime, foot traffic, etc),  you are looking for lost or discarded treasure, but honestly it’s mostly garbage with an occasional great find. Magnet fishing is a very small niche hobby but it does wrap around the world. I’m a member of 3 separate Facebook groups (2 are around 900 members and the USA group is just over 200 members)…yes it’s a very small niche hobby. So back to the finds. I have only gotten out twice so far and found a few rust fishing hooks/lures (none salvageable), some bobbers, pieces from a folding chair, various bits of metal and a 2 foot section of train track steel.

“So your collecting garbage?”

Well, yes and no. Part of magnet fishing is, “if you pull it up, you gotta dispose of it”. It’s sort of the code that magneteers follow. So any garbage ends up being removed from the waterways, and who can’t appreciate that. Although I’ve mostly pulled out junk, others have retrieved everything from safes, guns, ammunition, phones, and even WWII bombs…yes bombs. In heavily fished areas around docks and ramps things like knives, pliers, and fishing poles are common finds.

“So how did you get started?”

Honestly, YouTube.  Somehow I stumbled upon a video late one night (like many of my hobbies) and thought, hmm that looks like it could be interesting. So I watched a few more videos, then joined a few facebook groups, and bought some magnets and rope. This of course all transpired in about a weeks time.

Currently I have 5  “fishing” magnets ranging from 120 to 500 pounds of pull force. They are serious magnets that can do some serious damage if not careful. I’ve build custom “spools” using my CNC  for storage and travel but we’ll save that one for another day.

Facebook Groups:

  1. Magnet Fishing (850+ members)
  2. Magnet Fishing (900+ members)
  3. Magnet Fishing USA (200+ members)

YouTube Videos

  1. YouTube Search Results (Magnet Fishing)
  2. Magnet Fishing (Catching a fish)

Hello world!

As a computer programmer there seems nothing more appropriate than the post title “Hello World” to get things started.

At one time this site was dedicated to various media, tech, and games, along side new stories of oddities and the current memes. However, those days have passed, the site fell dormant, and eventually beyond repair. So I’m bringing it back in a different life, one that will span my many hobbies, collections and interest. As my wife says “what’s your hobby today?”

My ADD kicks in and I do bounce from hobby to hobby, and Interest to Interest, but whenever I jump into something new I do so head first. I’m an all-in or nothing kinda guy (where the OCD kicks in). Some hobbies stick for a while, others last a week or so, and the good ones keep coming back around as time allows. So what are some of these hobbies and misadventures that I’ll be posting about? Well here’s a list of just a few…

  • Magnet Fishing
  • Kayaking (and Kayak Fishing)
  • Woodworking
  • CNC
  • Laser Engraving/cuting
  • Rock collecting
  • Geocaching
  • Computers
  • Electronics
  • Family
  • Health
  • Fitness
  • everything under the sun

…and while im at it i’ll post things from lessons learned to bonehead purchases that i probably never should have made to begin with.