UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Lake Okeechobee

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

God, Grace, Grit

God, Grace, Grit

This is my story; a story of vulnerability, authenticity and hope. I want to share my experience as an offering to anyone who is going through a hard time or a series of hard times that feels like it is never ending. Whatever you are experiencing, be it illness, grief, confusion or trauma, please know that it is possible to find forgiveness, to bring the light into your life and to shine brighter than you ever have before and with God, Grace and Grit. Most importantly, God.

?Fishing is a sport of patience and ever-present experience of self-growth. Yet, as dedicated anglers, we know that fishing is more than a sport. It’s a communion with nature, a pathway to peace, and a way of life for families and friends. I found fishing at a time in my life when I felt like things had fallen apart. A series of unfortunate events put me in a difficult place that I didn’t know how to deal with, and I lived in darkness for some time before finding my road to healing through faith, family and fishing. I was gifted an abundance from God that gave me strength to carry on with my life as a mother, a sportswoman, and an advocate for empowerment through authenticity and dedication. I feel very blessed to have found my calling from God and a pathway to service and helping others, while being true to my own healing and growth through fishing. Now, onto the hard part of this story.

?Our family cabin on Rush Lake in Ottertail, Minn., is the place where my dad first taught me to fish. It was always a special time for our family when we spent summer days at the cabin, fishing from the boat or from the dock out back, running through the grass, and living in the joy and wildness of a Minnesota summer as a happy family. At a young age, our time fishing together was about way more than fishing. It was quality time where we could be peaceful and prioritize family and faith. During these summer days, my dad instilled in me the importance of always putting God and family first, sharing in the love of God, maintaining faith, and always pushing myself as an individual and as an athlete.

?My dad battled multiple myeloma cancer for many years, and the illness had been completely debilitating. The day I found my father unconscious at our cabin was shocking and terrifying. Educated in sports medicine, I immediately began to administer CPR while calling 911. This was the day I was able to save my father’s life. It was an act of God that I was there at the right moment, and was adequately trained to act in that shocking scenario. As time has passed, I am able to look back on the impact of that moment and know that it defined me in many ways and was God’s plan. But at that time, I felt both helpless and empowered, trained on what to do and how to execute the drill, and also overcome with fear as a helpless child trying to save her daddy. Thank God this time it turned out in our favor, and my father was saved. Eventually, the stress on my father’s body became too much for him to handle, and after years of illness ravaging his cells, he passed peacefully in the hospital one year later.

?For a long time, the grief was unbearable, and I couldn’t find the light within the darkness. It was only through surrender to Christ, on a mission trip to Nicaragua, that I finally found my way back to myself and my family and, mostly, to God. The road to healing was harder than I could have ever imagined, and was complicated by various events that seemed determined to keep me down. 

Over the next few years after my father’s death, I experienced what felt like hardship after hardship in test of my strength and character. I was involved in two motor vehicle accidents and suffered both physical and mental injuries due to concussion. My memory and cognitive capacity were impacted, and I struggled for a long time after to be understood, and to develop for myself an understanding of the ways I was impacted. 

While participating in a tournament for St. Jude, one of my favorite charities, in 2018 I experienced severe disorientation and memory loss. In an instant, I was unable to remember what I was doing and was unable to continue in the tournament. This was the incident that pushed me to come to a better understanding of all that had happened to me in recent years, and I finally was officially diagnosed with PTSD. Shortly after, I suffered a miscarriage that left me brokenhearted and in despair. But this time, I knew I was stronger than ever before because I surrendered to God’s plan.

?On my path to healing I continued to give my heart over to Christ to give me strength to come back to myself and continue to be a strong role model, a caring mother and wife, and a dedicated athlete. Through hard work, self-acceptance and forgiveness, I was once again able to focus on the people and things in my life that were most important. I began to feel my faith coming to life and showing itself to me, first in moments I called “God winks” and eventually in my everyday experiences. Living in faith and in my power became the new normal, and once again there was a fire within me that wasn’t as angry as before, but instead excited a spark of action. I continually recommitted to making an impact in the lives of others through nonprofit outreach, teaching children and supporting other women in the sport of fishing.

?I am proud of my accomplishments in the world of bass fishing and of what God has provided for me. Through acts of grace and moments of grit, I have dug deep within myself to find healing, happiness and inspiration.

Fishing is my platform and opportunity to share what I love with others, to embody the spirit of my dad, and to express my love of Christ. Acting gracefully on the water in times of stress relieves pressure and allows me to find appreciation for the moment and gratitude for my opportunities. Fishing is a time of self-reflection and a way to push beyond any limitations. 

Life isn’t always easy, and we all find ourselves in situations that seem impossible to overcome. But with God, grace and grit we have not only persevered, we have risen. And we are continuing to rise together, and can commit to uplifting one another along the way. No matter what you are going through on or off the water, know that with God, grace and grit, but most of all God, anything is possible.

Tags: nicole-jacobs  blog 

How to Prepare for Big Water 

How to Prepare for Big Water 

As many of you know, fishing big water for giant smallmouths is my favorite type of fishing. Competing on the Great Lakes, 1000 Islands, St. Clair, Champlain and other big Northern fisheries is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes it gets rough, which is why it’s critical that you have the correct equipment and understand how to use it. READ MORE »

How to be a Pro Angler 

How to be a Pro Angler 

I get a lot of questions from young and old anglers alike about the steps to becoming a pro. I guess maybe sometimes I take it for granted. The process seems somewhat obvious to me. How to execute on it might not be simple, but the steps you need to take really are. There are only a couple of ways to get into this sport, and they all start at the grassroots level, in $200 and $300 tournaments.  READ MORE »

Introducing Myself

Introducing Myself

I want to start off by telling you a little bit about myself. I grew up in Pennsylvania about 45 minutes north of Philadelphia. I grew up fishing for whatever would bite with my grandfather and in middle school I had a friend who started taking me with his dad down to the Chesapeake Bay. That was my first time ever on a bass boat, and I was immediately hooked! READ MORE »

Riding the Roller Coaster

Riding the Roller Coaster

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog, although it seems like the last one was just yesterday. This season has flown by, and I finally have some down time before the last stop on the FLW Tour at Lake Champlain. This Tour season has been full of ups and downs, and I’ve learned a lot. READ MORE »

The History of the Drop-Shot

The History of the Drop-Shot

FLW Tour pro James Niggemeyer recalls his first introduction to the drop-shot, as well as what came before it and how he developed his tackle to have better success with this capable finesse bass bait. READ MORE »

From Dead Last to Making Money

From Dead Last to Making Money

If you were hanging out with me at the FLW Tour event on Seminole recently, you would have thought I won the tournament. I was congratulated by every pro I saw, and they were being genuine. READ MORE »

Fishing the Worst Conditions

Fishing the Worst Conditions

Watching giant bags of bass caught down in Texas and Florida on FLW Live during FLW Tour events has many anglers dying to get on the water. The only problem is that a lot of people are still facing some of the toughest conditions for catching a bass – cold, muddy, moving water.   READ MORE »

How to Deal with Dock Talk

How to Deal with Dock Talk

If you fish tournaments or follow tournament fishing, you know about dock talk. It’s the chatter that goes on among bass fishermen during and around tournaments on subjects such as how the fish are biting, what patterns are in play, the weather and just how much of a grind it’s been. Dock talk can be dangerous. It can lead you astray if you listen to the wrong person. It can hurt your confidence if you hear about someone else really catching ’em doing something different. It can distract you from your game plan and your goals. Dock talk rarely gives you the complete story. READ MORE »

Moving into My New Office

Moving into My New Office

The new year to many professional fishermen also means a new boat. Some people like the smell of a new car — who doesn’t, really? But the smell of new fiberglass is better than that. It’s better than the smell of warm apple pie to me. READ MORE »

How to Work in Fishing

How to Work in Fishing

There was a time when the only way to make money at fishing and to express your love for our sport was by fishing tournaments, but that’s just not true anymore. With the growth curve we’ve had, the economic muscle of the fishing industry has spawned some interesting opportunities that didn’t really exist years ago.  Now, there are many jobs in the fishing industry that allow someone with a creative mind to indulge in what they love to do. I get to be around a lot of pros, but my job has also brought me into contact with a lot of folks with other jobs in fishing. So, here are four people I think you should follow and study if you know you belong in the fishing industry, but you don’t know exactly where yet. READ MORE »

Why We Need More Winter Bass Tournaments

Why We Need More Winter Bass Tournaments

FLW Tour pro Brian Latimer explains why he loves winter bass fishing and tournaments. READ MORE »

Get More out of Guide Trips

Get More out of Guide Trips

Guide trips are great opportunities to learn about bass fishing and to have an enjoyable day on the water without the pressure of having to find fish and figure out patterns on your own. I highly recommend them, especially if you’re sitting around during the offseason with nothing much to do. READ MORE »

Martin’s Final Prep for the 2019 Tour

Martin’s Final Prep for the 2019 Tour

Getting mentally prepared is the biggest thing for me. There’s a process, and it has to be done. Everything has to be ready so when I roll into Texas to start practice for Sam Rayburn on Jan. 6 I know exactly where every piece of tackle is stowed and exactly how every piece of equipment works and exactly what I need to accomplish to support my sponsors and keep my own media  projects on schedule. Sometimes the preparation goes into panic mode, like I’m in hyperventilate mode or something, but that’s just part of it. READ MORE »

Life Between Seasons for a Pro Angler

Life Between Seasons for a Pro Angler

As busy as a Tour pro stays from August until December, getting things lined up for the following year, I still find time to relax a bit. Like most fishermen, I also enjoy passing time in the fall and winter by going hunting.   READ MORE »

Meet the Latimers

Meet the Latimers

I know everyone isn’t in the same situation, but personally, I wouldn’t want to try to be a pro angler and not have kids or a family. I got married in 2008, and I fished the EverStart FLW Series the first year I got married. READ MORE »

Create a Base List of Go-To Baits

Create a Base List of Go-To Baits

Every season, my garage goes from organized to absolute chaos as I come and go from one tournament to the next. By the time I empty out my boat in the fall to sell it, I wind up with a mountain of tackle that needs to be dealt with. It needs to be culled, cleaned up, organized, re-stocked or replaced so it can be packed into my new boat, organized in the garage or stowed in my truck bed camper, keeping in mind all the lakes and reservoirs the FLW Tour will be visiting from January through August. READ MORE »

A New Plan for 2019

A New Plan for 2019

If you haven’t been living under a rock this offseason then you know there are going to be some well-known faces missing from the FLW Tour next year. Over the years, my brother Jared and I have run a lot with the Johnston brothers, Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson and Jeff Sprague, and now they’ve all switched to fishing other circuits. It’s like high school again. At least, that’s the best analogy I can find: You grew up with the same buddies, but after you graduate you go your separate ways. I’m really sad about it. READ MORE »

You’re Not Great at Everything

You’re Not Great at Everything

My wheelhouse is shallow power fishing, mainly with single hook-type baits such as spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, bladed jigs, jigs, soft plastics, and flipping and pitching baits. But I also really like topwater and shallow cranking, plus sight-fishing. That’s where I feel like I really excel. READ MORE »

Fishing for a Championship

Fishing for a Championship

Watching the Forrest Wood Cup and the Bassmaster Classic as a kid was the source of, literally, my entire life’s motivation. I want to fish as a professional angler, and I love what I do every day, but the thought of fishing the Classic and the Forrest Wood Cup – that’s really what I want to do. I want to walk across that stage and be fishing against the top 50 guys in the world. For some guys the dream is Angler of the Year or finishing well in a Tour event or whatever, but mine has always been that big stage. READ MORE »

How to Fish Florida in the Fall

How to Fish Florida in the Fall

It’s been a while since my first blog, and with the season wrapping up around the rest of the country I figure it’s time to talk about Florida fishing. The big national tournaments don’t come down here this time of year, but the fishing is pretty good. It’s pretty simple this time of year, too. You just need a couple of rods. READ MORE »