Friday, December 31, 2010

Summer Camp


My friend Josh came to me with an idea he had.  He is running a week long church summer camp this year.  He wants me to come with him and help show the kids how to fish.  I have been excited about all the things we could do since the night he told me about it.  I love how God is allowing me to use fishing as an outlet for him.
I am excited to take some of my blogs I have posted and expand them to explain fishing and God to the young men that will be at camp.  I have been blessed with this opportunity and can’t wait to put it into practice.
Fishing can be such a great hobby and for those like me it can help us come closer to God.  I hope that if one young man comes closer to God and finds enjoyment and peace in it I will have done something worthy of God.
Not only do I have this chance to share God and fishing with these young men but my blogs are being used on the Fishing for Charities website under a section called “Chris4Christ”.  I hope that I will be able to help touch the life of those who go to the website and those that don’t have a personal relationship with God find one.
It amazes me that God can use a screw up like me.  I lived my life for a long time without the love of Christ in it, but I am honored and blessed that God has used me.  

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Punch Bomb


I have been doing a lot of research lately on punch skirts and how to fish a punch rig setup.  I am intrigued by this type of fishing because I can see it helping me win some tournaments this summer.  There are a lot of companies making punch skirts but I will be using the punch bombs made by my sponsor, Atomic Tackle Company.  

What makes a punch skirt work is its ability to make any Texas rigged soft plastic work like a jig.  But unlike a jig the skirt and hook are separate from each other which allow the lure to have more action.  You use a punch skirt and Texas rigged soft plastic in thick matted grass.

Bass like to live in the thick matted grass, to hide from the hot summer heat.  To catch these bass you have to put the lure into the heart of the thick stuff. I know when I am feeling the pressure and when things are not going the way they should I try to hide.  When I am hiding from God I try to huddle far away from him just like the bass holding up in the thick grass mats.  It takes someone to hit me upside the head and tell me I am being dumb or acting dumb before I come out.  That’s what the punch bomb does; it makes the bass bite allowing you drag them out of the thick stuff. 
Don’t be like me and the bass, don’t hide from God, and don’t force someone to drag you out of those dark places.  Instead look to God and ask him for help.  Remember God loves you and wants to help.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shout Outs


I need to give a shout out to Dave Maas who writes the Bass Pundit blog.  I started looking myself and blog up on Yahoo and Google this weekend.  I found links to me and my blog on his blog Bass Pundit. 
Make sure you go check him out.  He has a lot of great content on his blog.  Dave knows his stuff and if you are as interested in learning about bass fishing as I am, Bass Pundits blog has what you are looking for.

I also need to give Tyler Brinks a shout out.  I have talk some about how I have a life coach Mike Harrison who has helped me move beyond what I was doing in fishing.  Tyler of T Brinks (his blog) has helped me so much.  He has looked over product reviews, is the second in command of Inside Bass Fishing (he helped me get it off the ground).  Tyler as has great content on his blog so make sure you check it out.

I also want to plug another blog I started Chris McDonald Fishing.  This blog is about God and how I see him and learn more about him in my fishing.  Tyler and I were emailing back and forth today about my new blog and this one.  He encouraged me to keep this one going and I intend to.  The new blog is dedicated to bass fishing.  I have a few things on there right now.  It’s mainly product reviews and articles I have written.  More content is to come.  I am hoping to work it with my website that I am hoping will be up and running soon chrismcdonaldfishing.com.  Make sure you check those two links out.    

Blessings


I have been so blessed and it amazes me how little things can mean so much.  I have a twitter account that I started when I got my Droid a little over a year ago.  At the time I didn’t know why I started it, everyone was talking about twitter so I signed up (Don’t normally follow the crowd).  Once fishing for me turned from a big hobby to what it is now about 4 or 5 months ago I only used Twitter a few times.
Now that I have sponsors I am on Twitter a whole lot more.  I have something like 217 people following my tweets which is crazy maybe not as crazy as over 1500 friends on Facebook (my wife thinks 1500 is excessive).  I help Kyle a guy I meet thru Twitter get a rod sponsor.  When Kyle got this rod sponsor he decided to sell the rods that were not from his new sponsor.  He posted that he wanted to sell his Skeet Reese spinner bait rod for 25 bucks.  I love the Skeet Reese line of rods (even though I take a lot of flak for it).  So I jumped on the rod for 25 bucks beats 99 and on top of it the spinner bait rod was the next on my wish list for a new rod.
After emailing each other back and forth Kyle told me he would give me the rod all I had to do was pay the shipping.  I don’t know if something like that was God’s doing, to be honest I have a hard time believing that the God of creation cares that much about me getting a new fishing rod for cheap.  But the Bible tells us in Luke 12:6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”  I often wonder how much this means God cares for us.  Not only have I been blessed with a new rod but so much more in the last few months.  I thank the Lord for all I have not only in my fishing career but also in all that I am.  Remember God loves you and cares for you more then we can ever imagine.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Strike King KVD 1.5/2.5 Square bill Crankbait


When you hear Strike King you might think crankbaits, Kevin Van Dam, Spinnerbaits or Denny Brauer or maybe all of the above.  Strike King is known for making the best crankbaits on the market.  They sponsor the best bass fisherman in B.A.S.S. or even the world, Kevin Van Dam.  So when the two have teamed up to make a new lure, you know it will be phenomenal.

The new KVD 1.5 and 2.5 square bill crankbaits live up to the name they have on them.  The baits come in two sizes the 1.5 is 3/8 OZ where the 2.5 is 5/8 OZ.  They both dive to 3-5 FT.  They are silent baits with no rattles in them for a stealth approach in shallow water.  Bass Pro Shops exclusively carries a rattling line of 1.5 and 2.5 baits when you want to fish dirty water with these baits.

The square bill allows the KVD 1.5 and 2.5 baits to deflect off of cover easily without fear of getting hung up.  Another great feature of the baits is that if floats.  You can real down the bait and pause it allowing the lure to float to the surface.  I used this technique with the KVD 1.5 fishing shallow rip rap, I would bounces the lure off the rocks and then pause it allowing it to float to the surface.  I would then reel it back down to the rocks and repeat the process.  The bass would devour the bait both well moving and during the pause.  The KVD 1.5 and 2.5 also work great around docks and bridge pilings.

The KVD 1.5 and 2.5 are a great in between bait for the Strike King Line up.  They fill the gap between the Series 4S and Series 4.  Yes Strike King has a crankbait for that in the Series1 but the KVD 1.5 and 2.5 are heavier baits and the profile is bigger.  This gives those larger bass something bigger to entice them.  Also the new lures have a truly square bill unlike the Series4s and Series1 that have more of a triangle bill on them.
The KVD 1.5 and 2.5 come with VMC #4 hooks on both the front and back of the baits.  This allows you to get good hook sets on those violent strikes that come from the bass you are catching.  They also both come with oval split shot rings on the nose of the bait which allows you to keep the bait running true without fear of your line causing any problems.

Over all the KVD 1.5 and 2.5 are great products.  They perform great out of the package without any modifications to them.  They come in a variety of colors and live up to the name KVD that daunts the package.  They cost $5.79 at Bass Pro Shop.  If you are looking for a little larger crankbait to fish those fallen trees, docks, rocks or bridge pilings make sure you pick some up before your next shallow water fishing trip. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to tell all of you that read my blog thank you.  I have not written anything in awhile.  I plan to have new blogs up soon.  I hope all of you remember the reason we celebrate Christmas the birth of are Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I all so hope you and your families have a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The First Time


I remember the first time I caught a bass, me and my sister had caught countless sun fish from my great aunts dock. When I saw that bobber go under like I had never seen before my heart jumped I set the hook and reeled in a bass. The wonder I felt was amazing. It was so much bigger than the sunfish I had been catching. I don’t know how big it was but in my eyes it was as big as a 15 pound bass.
I had that same feeling the day I gave my life over to the Lord. I felt awe and amazement I had only felt when I was a child. There was a God who loved me, a God who loved me so much he inflicted pain on himself for me. I could not imagine someone loving me that much. I felt like that boy holding the bass; it was a prize I had pulled from the water. But this prize was so much greater. It wasn’t a green monster swimming beneath the surface instead it was the gift of life that had been there all along for me to find.

Everyone needs this gift. Yet we are not doing much to help people find it. I am just as guilty as most. We meet people everyday but don’t engage them don’t try and understand them. Instead we pass them by. I read a book that has changed me, “The Celtic Way of Evangelism” deals with how one man started a mission to reach the “barbaric” people in England. The point I have taken most from this book is St. Patrick met people where they were and embraced them. He loved them first, became their friend and allowed them to see Christ. We do the exact opposite we tell people about God first and then invite them into Church.

I think Church should be a place open to those outside where they can come and experience God, where they can see those inside, form a relationship and be loved. People want community not to be bashed over the head and told they are sinners. Matthew 22:39 says “And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.” How is telling someone they are a sinner who is going to hell a loving them? We need to be more like Paul in the book of Acts. The account on Mars Hill shows Paul using an opening in the Greek culture to share about God. He did not tell them they are sinners only about the Love of Christ. We too need to do the same.
We need to allow people to see God and the amazing gift he has for us.  People need to feel the way I did when I caught that first bass and the day I was saved.  We as Christians need to love those around us and expect people even there faults because we all have them.  Remember that feeling you had the first time you caught a bass, help someone feel that way about God.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Ice


Josh and I hit the water Sunday afternoon.  As we pulled up to the ramp, there were two guys pulling a boat out of the river.  After we put the boat in and I parked the truck I was heading to jump into the boat.  As I walked by the guys who had just pulled the boat out they stopped me.

The guy explained that his boat had been frozen in the river for the last few weeks, the small cove he lived in had frozen quickly and he had not gotten his boat out before it happened.  The boat was beat up and looked like it had been around since the 50’s.

It made me stop and think.  We as Christians can have the same thing happen to us.  Things can start to take a down ward spiral quickly and we may not even realize we are straying away from the Lord.  Just like that guy and his boat we can become frozen in (far from God) before we even realize it.  The guy told me that he had to break a lot of ice to get his boat to the main river and run to the ramp.  We as Christians can have to break a lot of ice to get back to the Lord.  Just like the boat it is important to get out of the ice.  Having your boat sitting in the ice all winter can damage your haul and even put a hole in it.  Staying in the ice as a Christian can do the same.  We are venerable to the attacks of the devil and he can put holes in us.  We can start doing things we know are wrong and are not of God.  We need to make sure we take care of ourselves just like we do with are boats.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Waiting


Where do I go next?  That’s what keeps going through my mind.  I want to do more than write blogs and fish.  I want to go to men’s groups and talk about God with a little bass fishing.  I want to do seminars and that sort of thing.

So how do I get there?  How do I go about sharing God and bass fishing with others?  How do I get people to book me for this sort of thing?  I don’t know, but I guess if that’s what God has planned for me then he will open the doors.

It’s hard to trust the Lord sometimes.  I know for me I want things now not in time.  It is hard for me to sit and wait for God to do his thing in his time.  I know that if God has something like that planned for me he will open the doors for it to happen.  I’m not going to lie it is still hard to wait but I will.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Fog


I was out fishing the other day and since I live in Michigan bass fishing in December is not a normal thing. It was 27 degrees outside and the wind chill was 15.  I have come to the conclusion I am crazy or just really driven to fish.  Maybe it was the two products I needed to test out and get some reviews written for but I went fishing in the cold regardless of the reason.

To be honest I didn’t really want to brave the cold and hit the water, but I did.  I find most of my inspiration for writing my blog when I’m on the water but not Thursday.  Fishing was tough that day, I caught 10 bass and got to use my new Skeet Reese bait-casting reel which I have been wanting to use since I saw an article about them.  So that opportunity in itself was awesome.  Despite the new reel, I was still in a funk, standing on the deck of my boat casting, bundled up, and thinking why do I write this blog? When I got home, like I wrote about recently, I was blessed and renewed by an email.

One of the coolest things about fishing in cold weather with warm water is the steam rolling up off of the water.  There I am casting and because of the steam rolling up off the water, I couldn’t see the exact place I was casting to.  It was eerie and peaceful in the same moment.  As I cast into the steam, I could not help but think about the fog I used to live in.  That fog was my life without Christ.  I spent more than half of my life in that fog. Through God’s grace and the gift of salvation given to us by Christ’s death on the cross, I came out of the fog.

Out of the fog I became a new person, a new creation in Christ.  I threw my crank bait into the fog, not sure of where it landed or if I’d hit the target I was looking at and aiming for.  Then as I reeled in the crankbait I felt a violent bite, set the hook and fought a 5 pound bass to the boat. This bass had a big red blemish on its head, much like me because I still have scars and wounds that only God can heal and he is still healing.  But out of the fog comes a prize, whether it is a 5 pound bass or a new creation in Christ.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thank You


When I started this blog I did it so I could share a few silly thoughts I had about God and fishing.  I never expected people to really read it or even care about what I have to say.  In September I never expected to write as many posts as I have.

I was out fishing Thursday in some really cold weather and I wondered why do I write this blog?  Does anyone really care?  I had not decided to stop but I have to say that the thought had crossed my mind.  When I got home I had an email in my Facebook account from Tim Law, telling me that he read my blog and thanked me for it.  I felt renewed.  To be fair, I have had a few guys from school tell me those things I had written meant a lot and that they had needed to hear what I had said.  But Thursday what Tim told me came at a time when I needed to hear it and that made it stand out more.

When I was 21, I started a career as a plumber following in my grandfather’s footsteps and I fell in love with my job.  However, God put on my heart that I needed to go back to school and be a pastor.  I still remember the first time I felt God leading me down that path; I fought with God because I did “mix” well with school when I was younger.  Following God’s lead I started school to be a pastor a few years later.

Now, what I’m about to say may cause some of you to frown, I’m not sure that being a pastor is my passion.  I like teaching people about God and the Bible, but I don’t have the drive in me to do it for a living.  Last year I had the great honor of being a youth pastor, I felt alive, and I had a passion. However after problems arose and I was attacked by some people in the church I once again followed God’s prompting and left my passion.  Since then, I have had a jaded view of the church in America and my passion for being a pastor has all but faded.  I still miss each and every one of those teens I spent time with each week, wondering about them and how they are doing.

The other day one of them contacted me on Facebook and asked about my blog.  I don’t know who told him about the blog, but the message he sent me said he was glad I was preaching again.  I guess I don’t think of my crazy ramblings about God and bass fishing as preaching but maybe in some ways it is.  So, thank you, Gregory; thank you, Tim; thank you, Dave.  Thank you everyone that thinks my crazy blog about God and bass fishing is worth reading.  If something stands out to you let me know, please, it may just be what I need to hear at that moment to remind me it is worth writing and to keep going.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cleaning out the old in with the new


Winter is the off season for a fisherman, unless they like to sit in the cold and ice fish.  It can be a time of anticipation waiting for spring to come and the opportunity to hit the water.  It can also be a time when a bass angler can get ready for the next season.  They can work on sponsors re-signing, getting new ones that sort of thing.  They can figure out when to plan a trip to the lake of their dreams.  It is also a great time to do research for lakes they might have to fish the next year.

One of the things I do during the off season is go thru my tackle and figure out what I need and get rid of the stuff I don’t use.  It can be a great time to get all of that tackle you need for the following year at a lower price than normal.  Anglers can evaluate what they have and what they need.

Christians don’t need an off season to figure out what we need to get rid of in our lives.  We have the Holy Spirit to help us get rid of the things we don’t need in our lives.  Much like tackle we have accumulated over the past year of fishing there are things in our lives that we don’t need.  The Holy Spirit is there to convict us about things in our lives that are harmful to our Christian lives.  It helps us to identify those areas in our lives that need to be changed.  Just like our tackle boxes there are things in each Christian’s life that need to be cleaned out. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Love of Crankbaits



If you have read my blog it is no secret that one of my favorite lures to fish with is a crankbait.  I love how fast you can reel in a crankbait and I love how hard a bass hits the lure.  I have partnered with BB-Lures and Bill (owner) is an artist when it comes to transforming a normal crankbait into a custom painted crankbait which is a work of art.

There is a reason that fishermen spend that extra money to get a crankbait painted into that custom color they want.  The reason is simple, an edge over the competition.  Tournament anglers are always looking for that edge, that new lure or color that will out-fish the other guy.  That’s what a custom painted crankbait does.  I don’t know any anglers that would throw a crankbait that is pink or some color that is natural to fish.  The idea in fishing lures is to match the hatch.  That’s what a custom painted crankbait does; it matches the hatch of the bait fish in the body of water you are fishing.

I was thinking about our lives.  Before I became a Christian, I was that plain crankbait you buy at the tackle shop.  Yes they look good and have a little flash, but they are all plain and pretty much alike (generic).  Yet when we choose to give up our lives and follow Christ we go through a change, much like the crankbait does when it gets a custom paint job.  Just as we are stripped our old ways, the crankbait goes through a similar process when Bill at BB-Lures strips off the old paint.  As we change and live our lives for the Lord we become lights for the Lord.  We change from old to new.  Yes, there is still our old body like the crankbait it is still the same bait but with a new color, a color more alive.  Just like us, when we follow the Lord we become more alive and get a new custom painting from the Lord.