If nothing else, competing along the SKA Kingfish Trail is clearly a leap of faith. Since 1996 when we crewed for our angling mentor, Terry LaCoss on his Amelia Angler, for the FishDancer Angling Team, this doctrine has held true for our angling team. . Nancy and I make this leap every time we fill out the Tournament entry form and prepare to compete as a husband and wife team of two. We know that the weather could turn against us, we understand that there may be hundreds of other teams with larger crews competing with us and that the fish gods are fickle at best, yet Nancy and I continue to take this leap. Why? The bait moves and the fish don't bite yet we compete, making the leap of faith that we can and will land a tournament grade fish. Why? We have honed our skills as best we can, created strong relationships along the trail, learned how to compete and now seek to apply these skills in each and every event we compete in. We could focus upon what might go wrong, whine about inequity and opine about lost opportunities, but we choose not to. We choose to make the leap of faith. If tournaments were merely an accounting of who caught what, no leap would be required, but to fully enjoy the SKA experience, a team needs to take the leap and keep the faith. We make this leap each year as we re-new longstanding relationships with our sponsors - Mercury marine, LoadMaster, Contender and Raymarine.
We make this leap every time we put on the FishDancer team attire, venture offshore in small craft, every time we put out a bait spread and every time we chase down what could be a tournament winning Scomberomorous cavalla. We know there are a myriad of things that might go wrong; mechanical failure can strike at any time, sea conditions can change quickly, severe weather is always a possibility and, finally, even the largest fish can be bested by an even larger one at the scales, yet we continue to take the leap. Why? After almost 60 years on this Earth and more than 20 in the Kingfishing Tournament Game, I believe we make this leap to feel more alive and part of the human race. Competition is natural to us and the structured competition of the SKA allows us to make the leap. In this world of internet chat rooms, bash boards, 10 minute news cycles, the leaps that Nancy and I still make all these years later, instill a feeling of freedom, adventure and of personal responsibility in our current pop culture of victimization. While many hold others responsible for their performance, the leap team FishDancer takes is one where we know while we need some fishing luck, ultimately we only have ourselves to count upon for tournament success.