In conclusion

two anglers holding largemouth bass

There are likely a dozen other little tweaks I’ll find around Neal’s boat in the coming months as I continue to explore it; I’ll share those with you as I find them and showcase any DIY improvements of my own I make on the rig.

One thing’s for sure, I don’t have the capacity to do all the projects he was capable of. After all, this man would swap out his lower unit with a spare between fishing trips to “fine tune” the old one a bit. He really could do it all.

But I’ll continue his DIY legacy to the best of my ability with my new-to-me boat. I look forward to spending days on the water, as close to him as anyone can still get.

Inhaling that familiar smell he loved of burned gas and oil as his old Mercury fires up each time.

Sitting in that seasoned seat in which he spent countless hours.

Flipping and pitching from his favorite place on earth—the front deck of that old Triton.

Enjoying God’s creation the way he did for decades.

And hopefully leaving a legacy of a life well lived for someone else to learn from. The same as he did for me.

Thanks Neal, for it all.