Available Now! - Fishing for More: A Memoir
Fishing for More: A Memoir officially launched on September 1, 2021. You can read the first few chapters for free with the e-reader toward the bottom of this page and give it a "test drive" to see if you want to keep going. You can also use the subscribe form below to get updates on the book and all things Bloemendaal Guide Service.
What are you willing to let go in order to obtain the life you truly want? In this honest and intimate debut memoir, the author discards any widely-held notions of a successful life and sets out to write his own script.
Stuck in a tedious corporate life and suffering from a declining physical state, the memories of father/son fishing trips consume the author. After the passing of his grandfather reminds him of the precious time he has left with his own dad, he suggests they purchase a boat together. While reacquainting themselves with the craft of walleye fishing and the vagaries of boat ownership, an unexpected momentum builds toward a potential way out of the corporate grind. As visions of a fishing guide business quickly take shape, he is faced with a massive career choice; hold on to the perceived financial security of a company job or throw it all away to follow his passion. Testing the waters becomes a cathartic process both of personal growth and reacquaintance with his old, childhood self.
A must read for any fisherman, however the powerful reflections on life and purpose alongside vivid descriptions of the author’s fishing adventures have made this memoir a favorite for many non-anglers alike. Whether you’re looking to find yourself, recreate yourself, or just need a vicarious escape from the tedium of life, this relatable story of adventure is sure to inspire you. The author’s genuine yet mildly irreverent style will have you laughing one page, crying the next, and give you a sense of hope for your own personal journey.
A perfect caricature drawing of my dad alongside his father and grandfather would look like a trio of bobblehead dolls with Hulk fists holding hammers, shovels, and fishing poles.
Those discussions, benign as they seemed to me personally at the time, nested deep into my brain as they began making plans for my future, unbeknownst to me. They took advantage of my struggles and frustrations with the corporate office environment, slowly infiltrating, one neuron at a time...
Fishing helped me get out of my head and into deeper parts of my being. Focusing on a singular thing left me no room for overanalyzing myself.
Dad didn’t have his badass Jean-Claude Van Damme hair anymore, and I was no longer a wide-eyed kid who saw him as an all-knowing mythical figure. He was human, not Hercules, and at this point we were just two guys trying to figure it out…
What seemed to help even more, though, was being outside, moving around, breathing fresh air, and getting sunlight on my skin. It felt good for my body, and it felt great for my soul. It started to feel like my body was trying to tell me something.
The hard part of this life-altering “decision” was just acknowledging what I already knew. Suffering comes from knowing something and refusing to acknowledge it and take a new course in response. All I had to do was let go.
“I just spent all day untangling messed up rods, baiting hooks, re-rigging broken lines, and getting them out of snags. And it was one of the best days of my life.”
As this one got near the surface, my eyes bulged, and my heart thumped like a drum. I was into a different class of fish here, and while I was casually talking to the camera during the fight, I got intensely serious as I drew my net.
Reviews & Press:
Joel Nelson - Writer & Fishing Professional
As a writer, Brett found a way to tell a great many stories in a single book, all being as relatable as the next while still being personal and individual. Fishing is a medium that carries these threads throughout the book, but whether you’re a talented angler or have never fished a day in your life, this book to me is about change. Understanding, accepting, and making it a part of your personal evolution, while still staying true to your passions. To anglers, the struggles and successes Brett pens are innately realistic, though as a human, the lessons are just as relevant. I found myself enjoying the portions about childhood, personal relationships, and difficult career decisions just as thought-provoking as the yarns about fishing. It’s the book I would write about my own connection to fishing, family, and life were I to take up the topic.
Joel Nelson's weblink: joelnelsonoutdoors.com
Kristine Lowder - Author
Laced with gentle self-deprecating humor, keen insight, and skillfully painted word pictures of life both on and off the water, Fishing for More emerges as a Norman Mclean-ish account of how fishing can help heal body, mind, and soul. It also reminded me of long-ago mornings in a boat with my dad, watching the sun rise and waiting for fish to bite. Sweet.
Originally published by Kristine Lowder on Reedsy Discovery: Link to full review post.
Laura Smith - Author & Review Blogger
The narration is very straightforward and smooth. Bloemendaal is descriptive without dragging out his thoughts. He's personal without getting too offtrack from the theme, and he is conversational without his storytelling feeling amateurish. I recommend Fishing for More to, first and foremost, fishermen and women who can relate to Bloemendaal's nostalgic tales. I also recommend it to those who had a close relationship with their dad or grandfather growing up. Finally I recommend it to those who feel stuck in the rut of their careers. This memoir is told in a down-to-earth, relatable, yet interesting way.
Link to full review post and author interview
Jeyran Main - Editor, Review Tales Magazine
The literature is written with such emotion and delightfully added humor…it isn’t easy to make a memoir this enjoyable to read.
Originally published by Jeyran Main in the spring 2022 issue of Review Tales Magazine; link here.
Joy Neal Kidney - Author of Leora's Letters
How many people in corporate America would rather make a living doing something else? Something that calls from the past, linking them to earlier generations. That's what happened to Brett Bloemendaal, who takes the reader along through compelling memories, existential angst as he slogged through his office job, to taking a chance on a dream.
A terrific memoir even for readers who aren't fishing enthusiasts.
Danielle Vandehaar - Beta Reader
This book is legitimately good. The stories are vivid and memorable. As a beta reader, I have read it and re-read it as he updated and grew it, and never once did I dread reading the next version. Every single time I have picked it up, I enjoyed it more, and not just because it was a better version than the time before. The stories resonate with you and bring you into them in a way that sticks with you long after you are done. I truly recommend reading this book and couldn't be prouder to be a tiny part of this literary accomplishment.
Alina Lindgren - Avid Reader
This glimpse into the author's life is much more than a book about fishing. The author's honest and straightforward storytelling brings us along in finding passion in life, appreciating what is important to him, and learning how to exist in balance with the world - as best you can with an analytical mind. I am so happy the author has found his voice - it shines through in the conversational tone, the focus on humor, but allowing access to some of the rawness that makes up life's complexity.
Jan Meester - High School Language & Literature Teacher
Cast a line (the fisherman/woman’s equivalent of ‘Carpe diem’) is the mantra by which Bloemendaal steers his boat of life. He documents his transition from a career in high-pressure finance to a career of a fishing guide in a no-nonsense but extremely entertaining memoir. He shares his love of fishing with his father and grandfather, the family’s challenges and rewards, and the emotional toils of the finance world. He tells his remarkable story in a casual and easy-to-read style. Even if you’re not a fisherman/woman, you will enjoy and marvel at this beautiful memoir.
Midwest Angler Podcast
Check out my interview with The Midwest Angler Podcast by clicking here.
Crash Davis Outdoors Radio & Podcast
Check out my interview with Crash Davis Outdoors: https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/q4P51SCEeNcJePn58
The Culture Buzz Podcast with John Busbee on KFMG 98.9 FM Des Moines
Check out my interview with John by clicking here.
Fishing for More - Why I Self-Published
Here it is, a sample of the book including the introduction and the first four chapters. If you enjoy it, please consider purchasing the complete book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers!