Sunday, December 18, 2016

Thinking Ahead to Fishing 2017/Looking Back on 2016 Year End Review

Next year looks to hold the promise of many exciting fishing adventures. 2017 will be the first full season for the Summer County Kayak Bass Anglers. We already have a joint event lined up with the SWVKA in August and are working on partnering with River Bassin tour as a qualifying event as well.  We will be changing to a points driven AOY system and will be awarding trophies at each event. I expect membership and participation will increase some as well this next season. I have made many new river friends through this organization that I started in July of 2016 and I hope to make many more in the year ahead.
   2017 will be my first ever start in the KBF National Championship event March 31-April 1st on Kentucky Lake in Paris, TN. I am looking forward to a week of pre-fishing, fellowship, and competition on kayak bass fishing's grandest stage.  The KBF organization will also be hosting not one but two national Open events in WV in 2017. One at Stonewall Jackson Lake in April and the WV KBF Open will return to the New River and Hinton, WV for a second straight year. I hope to keep work at bay long enough to fish both of theses events.  
    I hope to change the way I spend my time non-tournament fishing in 2017. I hope to spend more time on water I don't know and less time on water I already know so well. I hope to get a few more floats in on the New river in VA and see some sections of the New in WV I have yet to float. I also want to fish some sections of water in Summers County that do not see as much pressure as my usual haunts. I have a bad habit of allowing work and time to dictate where I go. All to often if it is easy to access it is also very pressured water at this point in the game. I do truly hope to fish at night, target some lesser pressured areas that are harder to access, make more data driven fishing decisions in the year ahead.
   2016 was a fun year to be in WV on the water that also had some remarkable and memorable days for me. My week long adventure on the South Branch of the Potomac and finishing 9th at WV KBF Open in September certainly rank up there for me.  I have dramatically increased my tournament fishing participation and feel that it will in time make me a better angler. I have really enjoyed getting to know and fish with a great many folks whom I only knew of distantly before. There is culture of brotherhood and friendship that exists in competitive kayak fishing that is not seen in other forms of competition. That being said lets take a look at the data and numbers I was able to archive from 2016.

Trips out on the Water in 2016 = 42
Average Fishing Outing = 4.59 hours
~ Hours spent on the water in 2016 = 192.2hours (8.03 days)
Total Fish Caught in 2016 = 711
Largest Fish of 2016 = 20.5inch Smallmouth
Average 3 Fish Limit (warm season only) = 40.9 inches
Biggest 3 Fish Limit of 2016 = 52.5 inches
Minutes per Fish Average 2016 = 16.3  (range 40.0-7.0)
Total Fish Caught since Jan. 2007 = 7,197
Fish per Year Average over last 10 years = 719.7

"Two in the BOX" - December 9th, 2016

Brad and I went on our annual doe meat hunt on this blue cold weekend. This year just happened to fall in muzzleloader season given my work schedule. As usual Lowell's farm did not disappoint.  After a quick hour and a half hunt Brad and I each had a nice three plus year old doe down and ready to prep for the freezer. Both deer went into the back of the Kabota and off to the barn to hang. It was a quick hunt but a productive one. It becomes shooting deer and not hunting deer when it takes more time to cut them up than kill them. It was a fun weekend and a good time was had by all.