Well, yes and no. This is my take on a somewhat controversial topic.
Online Fishing Courses
It can be a touchy subject, because some people don't believe it's feasible.
In fact, it's something that really hasn't been done before.
But I am doing it now, and this is what I have learned.
Online Learning Does Work
If it did not, then big names in higher education wouldn't be using it.
Institutions like Yale and Harvard are in the business of higher learning. Would they teach online if it was a bad idea?
What does it take to successfully teach an online course?
It takes two things:
- fishing experience
- instructor experience
I believe I have both, and know I give one helluva class. :)
Fishing is part of our culture in Louisiana!
Many Louisianans got their spark for inshore fishing when they were children. I am no exception.
Then I took that passion to guiding, where I put clients on fish to create memories that last a lifetime.
In addition to this, I've competed in tournaments, cashing checks by bringing home the hammers. This wasn't a one-time rodeo, but a series across Louisiana, alongside elite anglers from across the Gulf Coast.
But that's not enough for me. I have designs on competing more, bringing my inshore experience to another level.
Tournaments and guiding have forced me to find fish and catch them, under pressure, with a lot riding on the line.
This has made me a substantially better angler!
It's not enough to excel at catching fish.
In order for me to create a great online course I have to be good at teaching.
My professional instructor experience began when I was 21. It was my job to teach Marines the skills and knowledge required to earn their place in the Reconnaissance community.
I've taught everything from warfighting skills, to VHF/HF/UHF radio operation, to swimming, to boating, to high-speed driving and even combat casualty care to everyone from civilians, to Navy Seabees to people who don't even speak English.
I think teaching inshore fishing will be a breeze, and so far it has been a joy!
Keeping an edge...
I am still learning myself. It's one of the greatest things about fishing: you never stop learning.
I travel across Louisiana, fishing in a variety of conditions and locations, all to become a better inshore angler.
But it's not just Louisiana!
Earlier this year I went fishing in north Florida and had a blast (plus new knowledge from Captain Tater).
I also travel to popular bass destinations. Bassing in impoundments like Lakes Hartwell and Okhissa offers challenges that teach me new skills and knowledge.
In fact, next week I am headed to Lake Chickamauga to hone bassing skills to apply in Louisiana's marsh.
I'm not selling snake oil...
I offer the knowledge expert anglers use to consistently catch speckled trout and redfish.
I'm not going to tell you my course can be completed in a few hours and *boom* you're instantly an expert inshore angler.
That's simply not true.
Nor am I going to sell you on Louisiana-specific knowledge if you're not from Louisiana.
Because my courses have a focus on Louisiana, I'd be uncomfortable having a student from Florida. Florida is such a different animal from the Boot State. So is Virginia, Texas, Georgia, etc.
However... I will tell you the sections on Google Earth, Understanding Tide & Wind, and Effective Fishing are worth their weight in gold, and can be applied anywhere fish swim, regardless of the inshore species or location.
Time on Water
An online course cannot teach you everything.
You still have to put in time on the water. There is no substitute.
Nothing beats experience. But you can get there faster by avoiding mistakes and not re-inventing the wheel.
You can learn how to fish online!
I know because of the awesome feedback I get and results that I see. Every day I am thanked for LAFB University, and I am always grateful for those kind words of appreciation.
Online learning works. It's a tool that helps anglers (and me) lead a happier and more fulfilling life.
Tight lines, y'all!
I enjoyed the course and learned a lot!
I loved the decision making process about how to find fish and catch them when I got there. I've been fishing my whole life but never took a pragmatic approach to finding the fish until seeing it all put together like Captain Devin did.
Inshore Fishing 101 helped me take all of the pieces I had learned over the years of being in the marsh and put them together to catch fish reliably.
Inshore Fishing 101 helped me understand the importance of current lines, "sidewalks" & "side roads" vs fish "highways", setting up the boat's location at a site, and Google Earth's contribution to planning my fishing trip.
Loved Inshore Fishing 101
The best part is the instructor responses, and being able to read everyone else's questions. The course material is good and the comments just make it even better. Other people think about things differently than all of us and give us different insights.