Do you ever ask yourself why you do certain things? Like why do you fish? Or why do you hunt? Or why do you watch a certain television show or YouTube channel?
The easy answer is usually “Because I like it!” And that’s enough, but it doesn’t get you any closer to the real answer.
Somebody asked me that question not long ago when I was telling him about “Project E,” my new YouTube channel. I think my answer surprised him, but more on that in just a minute. First, I need to tell you about “Project E” and why I’m excited about it. Then I’ll tell you why I’m doing it and who I’m doing it for.
First of all, “Project E” is a series of instructional bass fishing videos that will live on my YouTube channel. Bass fishing is what I do and what I love. That’s true for you, too, or you wouldn’t be reading this.
Second, “Project E” is a video series rather than a web column or a book or a podcast because I can reach more people and give them better and more dynamic information through video. It seems like everybody has a fishing channel on YouTube these days, but I don’t feel I’m competing with them. I’m just working to create the best videos I can make that will help anglers — including me — get better.
Also, the YouTube format allows me to get your feedback in the comments section or even to communicate with you through live video and chat. I think that’s amazing, and I want to be part of it.
Third, I call it “Project E” because I’ve learned that my quest to become a better angler is a journey — not a destination. You can reach a destination, and you can set fishing goals and attain them, but you can never really become the perfect bass angler. All you can do is work and try to get better. That feels like a project to me.
Fourth, “Project E” is all about teaching and learning, not about selling gear from sponsors. Yes, I have great sponsors, and they make some amazing products, but they will not be the stars of “Project E.” The star of “Project E” will be the bass, and I’m going to focus on every aspect of what I do to catch bass in hopes that it will help you. In the process of creating these videos, I’m also learning, and that’s very exciting to me.
Finally, I want “Project E” to have value for anglers of every skill and experience level. There will be something for young anglers and something for older anglers — something for new anglers and something for experienced anglers. If you like to fish for bass, “Project E” is for you.
Now I want to get back to my friend’s question: “Why are you doing ‘Project E’? Don’t you have enough on your plate?”
That question stopped me in my tracks, and made a great point. At this stage of my life and career, I am very busy. I have a family and a couple of businesses. I spend a lot of time on the road, going to tournaments and attending sponsor events. I’ve even turned down a couple of opportunities to host my own television show.
Why am I doing “Project E”? When I looked at it that way, it didn’t make a lot of sense!
But then I paused a moment to really think about it, and I tried to be very honest with myself. That’s when I realized that I’m doing “Project E” because it’s exactly what I would have wanted to watch when I was a teenager.
Back then, I was following Rick Clunn, Ken Cook, Denny Brauer, Mark Davis and my other bass fishing heroes on the tournament trail. I’d read about them in magazines and maybe catch a glimpse of them on television, but it was never enough to satisfy my appetite for learning.
So you could say I’m making “Project E” for someone who doesn’t exist anymore — the 15-year-old me. But I’m betting that there’s a lot more “me” out there, and I’m going to work hard to make sure that “Project E” is for you, too.
Ultimately, my goal for “Project E” is to educate and inspire. I want to teach and to learn, I want to feed our passion for this great sport, and I want to start a dialogue between you and me so we can make it even better.
I know we can do it, but it’s going to be a project.
“Project E” debuts Tuesday, March 31, on YouTube. I’d appreciate it if you’d check it out and let me know what you think.