It’s been a little while since we did an update.  Between Thanksgiving with the family and travel, I was running crazy.

Let’s start with an update from the Hurricane Sandy Relief auction on my website.  First of all, thank you to sponsors and friends who contributed goods to the cause; Kim and I really appreciate it.  Most of all, thank you to all of you who participated in the auction and with all of your donations, and our matching funds, we are sending almost $6,000 to the Red Cross.  It’s not a huge amount of money, but it will help with something for someone.

I tell you what, watching the auctions was a lot of fun.  It certainly showed me how much the fans of fishing respect the anglers who compete on the Elite Series.  To see 10 bags of soft plastic baits and a signed t-shirt donated by Brent Chapman, Aaron Martens and Randy Howell go for triple the amount of the baits themselves shows how many fans they have out there.  Fred Roumbanis’ iRod did the same thing, his signature on the rod helped it sell for more than the rod’s value.  Thank you to all of you guys for stepping up for a good cause.

After the auction was over, we went on our annual family camping trip for Thanksgiving.  But, instead of going to the coast like we had for the past few years, we went to some family land about an hour away from us.  It was kind of weird to go camping without fishing rods.  Usually, we go camping at the coast, or at a lake and we all go fishing for whatever is swimming there, but not this time.

We rode quads, did some shooting, hiked in the hills and had a really good time.  The highlight of the trip was the full pig that we roasted in a La Caja China box.  We got the pig at a local meat shop and roasted it up.  It was the first time I’ve tried doing that, and it turned out really good.

The kids were all grossed out with it at first.  My oldest daughter Lea scolded me saying “Daddy, you killed a pig,” and a few minutes later, asked if she could put the apple in its mouth; that was kind of funny.  Then after they all tasted it, they thought it was pretty good stuff.  All together, we had about 23 people there for the feast, and it was a really great time.

After Thanksgiving, I packed my bags for a couple days at Grand Lake scouting for the Classic before the lake goes off limits.  I didn’t pick up a rod, I just rode around looking for likely pre-spawn areas to help me cut down on some time when we get there in February.   The other times I’d been there for tournaments, it was an offshore bite, so I needed to get familiar with the shallow stuff.

Other than that, I’m at the airport getting ready to head to Argentina to fish for Golden Dorado with Roy Halladay, Chris Carpenter and his brother.  I hear those fish are a blast to catch, I can’t wait.  I’ll be tweeting about the trip on my Skeet Reese 1 Twitter page, so check in a follow it; should be a good time.