Saturday, August 12, 2017
Today was a productive and eventful day on the New River. I landed a spotted bass, a largemouth bass and another citation smallmouth. Jared landed a musky to round out the New river full house just above whale rock. I threw flukes and only flukes all day on deep structure and any ledges I could find. Jared found success with the Ned rig. It was an a bit overcast and the fish bit good early then stopped then the bite came back around the from 11:00am to 1:00pm. My goal going into today was to upgrade my WVKA month long online best five fish limit. I was able to replace one 14.0" with a 20.25" and another 14.0" with a 15.5".
Miles floated = 6.5
Total Fish Caught = 29
Minutes per fish = 12.4
Biggest fish = 20.25"
Biggest five fish = 76.75"
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Some days things just go your way. Today was the 3rd WVKA tournament the Summers County Slam which is also the first ever official kayak bass tournament of the Hinton Water Festival. 60 anglers competed in this event which was open to the New river, Greenbrier river, and Bluestone lake. Jared, Greg, Brandon and I floated from upper Shanklin's down to Cedar Branch. We fished from 6:30am to 1:30pm. We had to be back at weigh in at 3:30pm. I started off with three solid 14 inch fish. I needed a big fish to put myself into the hunt. At 8:49am it happened. I landed a 20.75" fish in shallow water. This was the biggest smallmouth I have caught in over a year. And what a time to do it. I threw a fluke all day long same as all but one day in July. When all was said and done I won as an individual over Joe Farley, who is one of the best anglers I know, by 3 inches, Greg and I won first place two man team by 14.25", and my 20.75" small mouth won big fish. Altogether I won three plaques, a Water Festival Trophy, and $600. Today's event was the first time I have every put my new all black Coosa HD (Samuel L.) in the water. A heck of a way to break in a new kayak. After today Greg and I are in a strong position to win West Virginia Kayak Anglers 2 Man Team of of the Year award with a 3rd place finish and two 1st place finishes through three tournaments. I should also be very much in the hunt for WVKA Angler of the year after an 8th place finish, a 2nd place finish, and a 1st place finish. To beat it all today was Aleshia's 40th birthday as well. A very special day that I will remember for a long time.
Miles floated = 6.5
Total fish caught = 25
Minutes per fish = 17.5"
Biggest fish = 20.75"
Biggest five fish = 77.75"
Place finished = 1st out of 60 anglers as an individual. And 1st out of 30 two man teams.
*My head to head tournament record since April is at 263-13 (95.06 win %).
Overall tournament record for 2017 including KBF National Championship is 554-79 (86 win %)
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Leading up to the second WVKA tournament it had not rained for 2 months. 24 hour prior to the tournament start the Tygart river looked perfect. Then it started raining hard and would not stop. Grafton received almost 4 inches of rain in less than 24 hours after getting very little in previous 60 days. 50 anglers braved the high waters and driving rain to compete in this event. It rained hard on us right up until the tournament end then ironically it cleared off. The rain brought with it a cold front. Summer time cold fronts can be tricky to figure out. The only two places that had clean water were Tygart lake and the first 1000 or so yards below the dam. If you went down river much farther than that all the creeks and run off ditches muddied up the river beyond fishable conditions. About half the field fished below the dam and the other half went to the lake. The lake is like a mini Summersville clear and extremely deep. It is a drop shotters lake, not my kind of fishing. The dam hand opened half their gates at daylight then all of them at 10am. This made things tough on lake anglers because they were fighting falling waters and river anglers where fighting rolling current that they had to stay in because downstream was unfishable.
I started off like all the on other tournament anglers beating the banks and rip rap below the dam thinking that rising waters would pull the bass up the banks, but they were not there. I started fishing out deep in middle of the river with a hula grub and bang there they were. It turned out while the water had came up a bunch the cold front had pulled them out to deeper water. I was quick to figure this out and get on some good early fish. Everyone around me initially was fishing 3 foot of water or less and I was 50 yards from the bank catching fish in 8 plus feet of water. Other anglers figured it out as the day went on. I had a big lead all day long on tourney X leaderboard at 65.5". Late in day Jerry Spralding a lake angler from that area found a pod of good fish and passed me by having 74" with less an hour to go. Going to the lake in the face of falling water was a big risk/reward type of play. It is harder to catch fish there but the potential for bigger fish is there.
I end up grinding out a 2nd place finish with 65.5" in the individual tournament and Greg Nahodil and I finished 1st place on the team two man event. Winning a team two man was our purpose for fishing this event, and we won by a log we had 99.5" as a team and the next closest was 78". It was a great time, with great prizes. Greg won a Manley fishing rod, I won a pass for four to ACE Adventure Park and we won $225. I don't think I could have ever gotten to 74" in the river to pull out a win as an individual. I fished clean and smart where I was. I also do not think I could have figured out the lake having never seen it before. This was my first day on the Tygart and beating the local guys on it is hard. I still feel like I have never seen the Tygart because we just fished the section right below the dam and it was 6 feet higher than normal.
Total Fish Caught = 15
Biggest fish = 16.0"
Biggest Five fish = 65.5"
Finish = 2nd place out of 50 in individual and 1st place in team two man event.
Miles Floated = < 1,000 yards
Minutes per fish = 30.0
*Since my return from the KBF National Championship in March I have been on a bit of hot streak. I have finished 2nd in SCKBA event, 6th in SCKBA, 8th in WVKA, 1st in SCKBA event, 2nd in WVKA, with a 1st and 3rd place finish in WVKA Team 2 man events. I have finished top 10 and contended to win in every event I have fished in WV this year. I have enjoyed being consistent in my starts over the last 3 months. My head to head record since April is (199-13), putting me finishing ahead of 93% of the field in may last 6 starts. I also have a streak going that I have yet to not catch a limit of fish in a tournament(knock on wood), another streak I am working to keep going. The WVKA comes to Hinton this Saturday and I am looking forward to trying to keep this streak up.
Saturday, July 22, 2017
|The smallmouth favorite of the day for me. A 5" Lip Action Lures Jerk|
Greg, Brad, Jared, Michael Gill, Alex Worley and I floated from the dam to the first takeout. It was hot early even before the sun got ripe. The water was probably 82 degrees and air temp of the same by 9am. I threw a fluke all day. Jared alternated fluke and plopper. I am not sure about everyone else. We did good as group but the biggest fish was Michaels 15.25".
Miles Floated = 3.5
Fish Caught = 32
Fish Caught as a group = ?? but > 100
My biggest fish = 15.0"
My biggest five fish limit = 67.25"
Minutes per fish = 9.18
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Greg, Brad and I floated from Shanklins to Cedar in the mist today. Early fishing was dynamite. I again caught a big limit early and as typical for Shanklins things got tough after Sun got high. With water this clear high skies makes for difficult fishing. Greg and a great day to day as well catching and 18 and a couple 16" fish. I think had we been in the WVKA 2 man event we would have been really hard to guard today.
Miles floated = 6.5
Fish Caught = 21
Fish Caught as Group = 55
Biggest Fish = 19.0"
Biggest 5 Fish = 70.5"
Minutes per Fish = 14.28