|Greg's new camper complete with AC, kitchen island, flat screen TV and fireplace. We referred to it as "Trump Trailer".|
Greg Nahodil, Greg Davis and I headed to Stonewall Jackson State Park for the first ever West Virginia Kayak Anglers tournament. The WVKA is a new tournament trail started by my friend John Rapp. WVKA is unique because each tournament has both an individual event and 2 man team event. Nahodil and I fished the team 2 man event together. This event took place on one of the hottest days of the year in WV. Anlgers had the choice of fishing Stonewall Jackson Lake, Stonecoal Lake or West Fork river. Due to storms earlier in the week the water has falling on all three fisheries. The three of us along with Brandon Wamsley, Lorisa Squires, and LJ Ashcraft elected to drive north and fish the West Fork river due to scouting reports that said Stonewall would be extremely tough post spawn highly pressured fish with more places to hide than you could effectively cover in a yak. We floated a 5 mile section beginning at Worthington Dam and proceeding south. The bit was extremely tough. I worked as hard to catch a pitifiul 45.5" five fish limit as every before. The only pattern I could assemble is fish were in moving water hitting white g tails and occasionally dark colored hula grub. The water had heavy stain. The thing we were up against was that the West fork river is small and has a ton of flat non productive water. I think there were only 7 set of shoals in five miles. I was quick to see the pattern and I let everyone in our group go ahead and I held back and worked to death every set of shoals I came to. I was catching fish but mostly the wrong species and short fish below the 8" limit to measure. I caught a drum, a sauger, and even a turtle. Greg was having the same problem only more so. He landed a 18" catfish and a 15" hybrid but was struggling to find a keeper bite. At the end of the day it was a tough a tournament for river and lake guys as I have ever seen. My pitiful 45.5" limit placed me in the money at 8th place out of 82 anglers. And as a team even though Greg only had 2 fish placed us in 3rd out of 32 teams. The folks on the lake mostly got zeroed. There were 47 anglers who failed to measure a keeper out of 82 angler! This tournament gave me new appreciation for the New river as a fishery. Only a week ago all but two of our anglers caught a 5 fish limit with the average angler catching over 22 fish in a 6 hour tournament. Had Greg and I managed just one more 10 inch keeper we would have moved up from third to first place. The tournament itself was as fun as they come. John Rapp and company did an amazing job. Everyone got door prizes, hats, shirts, and a good time was had by all. As for our groups decision to fish the West fork over the lake Brandon came in 7th one spot ahead of me and Lorisa won top female angler and nearly big fish with her 16.5" smallmouth. Greg finished 22nd with only two keepers. LJ however manged only one 10" fish and ended up thirty something place. The next WVKA event is in the end of July on the Tygart river and I really hope to get to fish it. I had a great time.
Miles floated = 5
Fish Caught = 17
Biggest fish = 10.0" (yeah really) But when you got short keepers and others don't they look good. I had a drum and sauger that where in the teens.
Best five fish = 45.5"
Minutes per fish = 24.7