Over the last six or seven years, I’ve taken it upon myself to get involved with the angling community from Panama City to Orange Beach. Writing in the Pensacola News Journal, countless magazine angling articles, Berkley/Penn Tour, speaking at fishing clubs and especially in creating the “Hook, Line and Sinker Seminar Series” in Pensacola, a series heading into it’s sixth success season. Until 2009, we did not receive payment for the HLS, we didn’t really want to. Because of it’s success, local businesses were very interested in advertising with banners because the HLS sttracted 150-350 attendees on a very consistent basis. This brought in some cash for us. Of course, these events are beneficial to me for several differents reasons but I hope they have been an important source for knowledge for anglers along the Gulf Coast. They are always free to the public and I hope they have improved everyone’s angling experience in some way.

Anyway, I see seminar attendees all the time along the Gulf Coast and many times they walk up with a beer and say “thanks.” I appreciate the kind gesture so much, and it’s never necessary, but I sure like beer. Friday night, as usual, Tracy and I are having dinner at the Fishhouse. Towards the end of our meal, a very nice gentleman named, Jeff, approaches our table and says hello. We talk for a moment and discovered he and his son are HLS seminar veteran attendees. Jeff left a wonderful gift with me.

This column is to, first, say thank you very much to Jeff again and to make sure he calls me at 8507484368 so that I can take Jeff and his son on a free Redfish University trip very soon. Call me soon and thank you again, Jeff!!

Eric Holstman