"Now it is pleasant to hunt something that you want very much over a long period of time, being outwitted, outmaneuvered, and failing at the end of each day, but having the hunt and knowing every time you are out that, sooner or later, your luck will change."
On a trip to Camp Craig for a cookout and visiting with family and friends I took Annalyn and Koby to the pond. They caught bluegills and bass on the classic worm and bobber as fast as you could get them reeled in. I caught a couple three bass on a plopper just to see if farm pond bass would eat it. They do, but I landed nothing bigger than 12 inches. It was a perfect September afternoon.
We had 17 angler participate in this our third SCKBA event. Brian Aliff won for the second month in a row with a big 53.0 inch three fish limit. Greg Nahodil took second with 47.5 inches. We all had a good time. I had a rough morning. I had a limit but could not get a big fish to the boat. I lost one that was 18 inches or so and lost a pole, however Tanner Gill found my pole and was kind enough to return it to me thankfully. Our final event will be a SC open event the weekend of October 15th. Given that this event was way out at Shanklin's Ferry 17 is not a bad number of anglers at all.
Byan Case, Brian Aliff, Greg Nahodil, Greg Davis, Ryne Nahodil, Randy Mcmillion and myself floated from Sandstone to Meador creek on this hot sunny afternoon. The fishing was slow especially early on, but got a little better as the sun dropped behind the mountains. I caught most of my 9 on a plopper but it was slow going compared to outings of late. This is an awesome float that I would love to do again one early morning before the end of the year.
Total Miles Floated = about 4
Total Fish Caught = ??? With this many anglers I lost track.
Minutes per fish = 19.8 for me alone
Biggest three fish limit in inches = 33 at most.
The KBF and the long holiday weekend coupled with pretty weather have taken a toll last few days on the New river smallmouth bite. Today I really struggled. Brad and I floated from Brooks to Sandstone falls for fun from 6:30Am to 10:30am. I think I only landed 3 fish although I missed several more. By 10am the sun was out with a vengeance. It was some laborious fishing on this Labor Day.
Total fish caught = 12
Fish per minute = 40...yes 40
Biggest 3 fish in inches = 36
Yesterday I felt like I could do no wrong. I had 50+inches on the board by 8am and today with clear skies and high sun I felt like I could not buy a bite. I worked at it and grinded out some fish today ending up with only 43 inches after yesterday's 52.5 inches. I did manage a 15.5 around 7am. I hooked and lost an 17 to 18 inch class fish as I went to net him that costs me a couple spots in the final standings, which stings quite a bit. But ultimately my goal for the KBF WV Open was to finish in the top 10 and qualify for the KBF National Championship on Kentucky lake next April. Although I started the day 3rd out of 83 anglers from 14 different states I finished it in 9th. But 9th place was strong enough to accomplish my goal. I learned a lot from this only my fourth kayak tournament start. I should have changed patterns mid way through the day today instead of staying with what had worked the day before. A big congrats to Jody Queen who and my friend Brian Aliff who took second place. I was also happy that my partner for the 2 days of floating the river during the KBF open Jared Meadows finished 14th but due to roll down spots from already qualified anglers in the top 10 also got a spot to fish in the National Championship. Of the 10 spot earned, 9 of them went to angers affiliated with the MSKA. And of the top 15 finishing anglers 5 of them were members of our SCKBA(Summers County Kayak Bass Anglers) club that I started just 2 short months ago. I was happy with my experience but want to get better at the competitive aspects of theses events as I go. Through my first four yak tournaments I have finished.....5th out of 86, 3rd out of 10, 5th out of 22, and now 9th out of 86 in KBF WV OPEN making me (178-18-1) through my first four tournaments. I am beating 89% of the field through four events but have yet to close the deal and win an event. This event had some elite anglers including river guides, past event winners, and last years KBF national champion Matt Ball who finished around 36th. It was a great learning experience and I am excited that the KBF have announced that this event will be coming back to Hinton in 2017!
After registration and rules meeting the night before Jarod and I headed off long before daylight to fish in the first annual KBF WV OPEN. We fished the upper New on what turned out to be two really nice September weather days. On the line were 10 spots for the 2017 KBF National Championship on Kentucky Lake next April. The fishing time was from 6am to 4pm. At 4pm we had to be at registration, if even a minute late your disqualified. On not more than my fifth cast in utter darkness I landed a 19.75 smallmouth off of a laydown at 6:09am. And by 8:30 I had over 50 inches for my best 3 bass in inches. Jarod hooked and after a long fight lost a monster smallmouth that would have been his personal best and possibly won him a new kayak for biggest bass of the tournament. Jarod did however catch an nice 30+ inch musky on topwater now less. At the end of the day I was in 3rd place out of 83 anglers from 14 different states with 52.5 inches and Jared was in 21st place going into day 2.
Brad, Nahodil, and I floated from 7am to 10am before the white hot sun ran us off the river on this fine morning. We didn't find amazing numbers in our short 2.75 mile float but we did catch some good size. I landed one 20.75 inches and 4.7lbs early in the day on topwater, then later a 15.5 inch and a 14.5 for a solid 50.75 inch three fish limit. We saw an eagle nest on the backside of a river island. Today will be my last chance to fish before the KBF WV OPEN qualifier. We had a good early morning under the fog but after that it got real hot real quick.
Miles Floated = 2.75
Total fish Caught 36
Minutes per Fish = 12.5
Biggest three fish limit = 50.75 inches
Bryan, Jared, Greg Davis, and I floated the New on this Friday morning. Early the fog was heavy and dense but by 10am it had burned off to bright sun and high skies. The fish bite was good but a little different that it had been in previous weeks. The water was 2+ feet down from the previous Monday's float and it seemed the fish wanted a more finesse offering on this day. We as a group caught fish a number of ways from topwater to jigs on the bottom and all points in between. It was a fun trip. We say some deer and a bald eagle on our float.
Total Fish Caught = 64
Mile floated = 6
Minutes per fish= 18.74
My biggest 3 fish limit in inches = 44.75
Greg Davis, Brad, and myself floated this Saturday evening from the dam to the first takeout. It was overcast when we started and about an hour in it came a really heavy downpour. After the rain slow and then stopped the bite took off a little bit. We all caught good numbers and everybody had a fish over 16 inches. I caught one 16.75 and lost another that would have been in the 16 to 17 inch range. All and all minus getting soaked on the one day I leave my Gore-Tex at home it was a good evening.
Miles Floated = 3.5
Total fish caught =45
Minutes per fish = 10.0
My biggest 3 fish = 43.0 inches
I floated the New by myself on a rare Monday off that also happened to be my birthday. I relied on my good buddy Joe to pick me up at the bottom of my float. The day started off slow but took off around 8:30am, but then slowed back down around 11am when the bright hot sun burned off the dense cool fog. I landed 22 fish today but had five fish > 14". I lost another one that was in the 16 to 18inch class. The days was a good one. I saw an osprey with a fish, deer and some big fox squirrels.
Miles Floated = 6
Total fish Caught = 22
Minutes per fish = 16.3
Biggest 3 fish in "= 45.5