It has taken me years to get over this and I am still not completely used to it. Ha ha ha!
Anyways, if you want to learn who I am, and how I ended up teaching people how to fish then take a second to hear my story.
It’s a good one.
I’m an 80’s kid, born in the summer of ’85 to a father and mother who weren’t from Louisiana. My dad grew up fishing farm ponds in Indiana, where he would catch perch and largemouth bass.
He took that love for fishing to another level when the Air Force brought him to Louisiana. He’d take me and my brother to fish Lake Pontchartrain with Rattle Traps and live grass shrimp from Tite’s Marina in Slidell.
As he learned, we also learned.
When I was 17 I was ready to tackle life! I wanted to leave Louisiana, experience new things and carve out my place in the world.
And that’s exactly what I did
At the time there were things in my life weighing more heavily than inshore fishing. I wanted to be an awesome gunfighter. I wanted to serve my country and go to war.
It sounds crazy, but I promise you I did not go to the recruiter’s office seeking college tuition or steady benefits.
So, with 9/11 fresh on my mind I enlisted in the Marine Corps. I turned 18 in boot camp and before I was old enough to buy a beer I had already attained the coveted 0321 MOS and been to Iraq on two combat deployments.
I never realized how different my upbringing was until I looked back years later: Kids my age were hanging out with their girlfriends, struggling to find themselves in college and getting tickets to Jazz Fest.
Me, not so much.
It had been days since I last slept or ate. The cell was dark and cold and there was difficulty discerning hallucinations from reality. My “captors” called me War Criminal #39. I was being trained to resist interrogation and plan an escape.
Suddenly, I could hear scratching through the concrete wall. It wasn’t a rat. It was Dove tapping out a message in code.
He was in the cell next to mine. Tapping back, we began forming our plan…
My life was characterized by becoming mentally & physically stronger, improving my skill set as a warfighter and being a silent professional.
So when the opportunity came to re-enlist I didn’t take it.
It sounds surprising, but I had an opportunity to work for Uncle Sam. I would get to deploy to new locations, at my choosing, and learn entire new skills.
It was a good time. I loved it. Gunslingers were my kinda people. They still are. We come from all walks of life. We’re thick-skinned, can take abuse and always keep our word.
I went on a lot of adventures. It was at the end of the world I learned to ride motorcycles and drive a Russian T-55. Yeah, we souped up our own tank. How cool is that?
I’d go fishing a lot!
The raw and real-world challenges I experienced in combat overseas I also found in fishing. I know it sounds so bizarre, but the fish do not care about your feelings or expectations.
It’s up to you to make the effort and overcome. I love that.
I took it to another level with a fishing charter. I still worked overseas, but dipped my toes in the sea of entrepreneurialism on my free time.
It was a pretty good life, but it was bound to come to an end.
Say what you want, but the Obama administration was horrible for the military and War on Terror.
I know, I was there.
This can be a tough pill for some people to swallow, but war is where ideals go to die. A bullet is a bullet. Death is death. It’s all very black and white.
The agenda being pushed was causing us to lose the war. Worse yet, it was setting us up for failure and people in my line of work were being unnecessarily killed.
It even made the news once and today we all know Benghazi.
I had always been intrigued by two things:
Whenever I’d come home from overseas I’d spend a LOT of time fishing.
Not because it brought me a peace or calm, but rather its challenges. Everyday was a new day when I launched that boat!
In addition to that, I was interested in becoming a business owner.
Very much like combat, businesses failed and succeeded in their fight to survive. I felt that being a business owner would take me to new levels because it would challenge me in ways that I had not been challenged before.
I saw my career in security going nowhere under that administration. I was tired of the politics and tired of being treated like garbage.
Desiring to take control of my destiny, I did something a sane person would never do:
I quit my job, a six-figure paycheck.
I also did something else most people wouldn’t do:
I told Uncle Sam to take a long walk off a short dock. (Just so I wouldn’t be tempted to go back)
That was in the summer of 2014.
To say it was a roller coaster ride would be an understatement: I got the challenge I wanted.
That challenge kicked me in the balls pretty hard. In short order I was between a rock and a hard place.
Uncertainty with FAA regulations caused me to nix my drone company.
Then I started a security franchise that was quite the abysmal failure. It crashed and burned, taking all my savings with it.
When the dust cleared, I was stuck with a lot of debt and no money. I wasn’t even sure how I was going to pay my mortgage.
Those skills were completely useless in my new endeavor.
I didn’t know social media marketing, copywriting, or even how to read a profit-and-loss statement. I had to learn. I had to take the initiative.
Using my captain’s license, I took a swamp tour job while I tried to figure out what happened and “bounce back”.
I thought about it:
Dealing with Uncle Sam wasn’t it. I’d shudder at the thought of that.
“I am never going back,” I’d think to myself.
I certainly wasn’t going to charter again. I did, it was fun, I learned a lot, but I couldn’t do it for the rest of my life.
I had the Louisiana Fishing Blog sitting patiently on the Internet, waiting to be grown into something more.
It had been in existence since 2011, but was more of a creative outlet for my thoughts and ideas than it was anything else.
Yet, the seed was there. The Blog was where I should have been all along. I just knew it. That night I got to work. I bought a new domain name and gave the site a makeover.
During the day I’d take people to see alligators and then during the night I’d bust my ass on the Blog.
I brainstormed. I read. I digested as much entrepreneurial content as I could.
Then my air conditioning broke. The Louisiana summer was merciless. I felt like I was deployed overseas to my hometown.
Most men in their late twenties would be out chasing women and drinking beer. But not me.
If I wasn’t furiously typing I was contemplating how I can be of value to Louisiana’s inshore anglers and make the Blog a viable business. I was obsessed.
When I could, I’d go fishing to learn more and share those experiences here.
People loved what I was doing with the Blog. Not just the articles, but the fishing report forum, podcast and courses, too.
Nothing really happened overnight, but accelerated over a period of time.
Numbers started skyrocketing. The Facebook page blew up.
People are saying “hi” because they recognize my voice from the podcast. The same thing happens on the water.
That’s where I am today in May 2017. It’s taken years but I am finally enjoying success an entrepreneur.
What I absolutely love the most is how the Blog helps people. It is valuable to them.
I love that it enables them to enjoy themselves on a fishing trip, find community with other inshore anglers and “scratch that itch” when they need it during the work week.
If you didn’t know already, here are a few ways you can use the Blog right now:
My blog posts give you actionable advice you can use right now.
This isn’t magazine fluff, it’s the real deal.
In my podcast I interview inshore anglers to share their passion and best fishing advice.
Inside Inshore Interviews we drop “knowledge bombs” that help you Fish Smarter.
Or subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below
Louisiana Fishing Reports is a forum for inshore anglers that I started in 2014.
It’s where myself and many others post our fishing reports and talk about inshore fishing.
I have an arsenal of courses designed to teach you everything you need to know all in one spot.
They come with benefits such as instructor support from myself, lifetime subscriptions and more.Enroll in Captain Devin’s School
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