Saturday, March 31, 2018

Last Minute Limit - March 31st, 2018

The challenge today was I had only 3 hours to fill out a five fish limit for an WVKA month long March tournament. I had to work 10 days in a row then, we had two rounds of snow storms, I was out of the state for 8 days and Kentucky fish do not count, them to make it worse the river was flooded out. I headed by myself over to Moncove at daybreak. I went to the lake and started working the Ned rig. It was a cold morning about 27 degrees when I started. I had a solid five fish limit in less that 45 mintes. I kept fishing and upgraded with a 16.0” and a 16.75” all on PB and J Nedrig and Orange Pumpkin Ned rig. I worked around away from my spot and picked up only two more. I ended up with 15 fish in less that 3 hours on the water total. 

Miles Floated = Single access
Total Fish Caught = 15
Biggest Fish = 16.75”
Best Five fish = 75.50”
Minutes per fish = 12.0 

Monday, March 26, 2018

“The Princess and the Dragon” Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship Day 2 - March 24th, 2018

"This lake can treat you like a princess or it can be a dragon" said, Chad Hoover at the first nights weigh in. The goal at this point was simple....go grind out 5 more keepers when so many anglers could not and get a check. I was far enough out to know a win was out of the limit. Today there were only 12 anglers in Smith Bay instead 17 we had yesterday. Today was Saturday and on Kentucky Lake that means bass boat tournaments with literally hundreds of bass boats. I headed to a rocky secondary point in the dark before anyone else could get there. I left Greg to fish the point we had worked the day before alone. In the dark waiting on the 6:30am start I could hear splashing and at day break I saw an otter, a good sign of things to come. I quickly started working my Ned rig in pb and j color. It did not take long, quickly I caught 10 fish that included five keepers. The fish would not chase they wanted finesse or more like it ultra finesse. I moved around all over and landed only more 11.75 to 12.25" fish. I could not upgrade. Finally I upgraded one to 13.75". I then went to the main lake and fished main lake points for 2 hours. The main lake points baffle me, they are like fishing the open ocean. I landed only one more fish out there that did not upgrade. I then returned back into Smith Bay as the wind picked up. Greg had caught 4 but had another 14" fish flop off the board that could have moved him up a log in a field of 752 especially when fish over 12" where so hard to come by. Harper who had such a good day one and started the day off at 48th ended up with only one keeper on day 2. When all the smoke cleared my consistent two day limit moved me from 102 to 44th out of 752. I won $800 that more than paid for my trip. Harper moved from 48th to 147 by only catching one fish on day 2. Nahodil moved from 358 to 97 with a four fish limit. The guy who won 100k was Dwanye Taff from Texas. He fished way up some rivers in the south as did Drew Gregory who finished 5th winning 8K. I wish I knew this had been an option. I am a fair lake angler but spend the bulk of my time on rivers. It was like fishing hell week. Rain, wind, little sleep, hordes of skilled anglers, a tough bite, and a pressure to rise up in a field of the nations best and brightest kayak bass anglers. I will remember this week for a long time but not for the fish or the weather but for the brutal test it was an the endless laugh we all shared throughout the week. Although the winner was from Texas, WV represented herself will with 19 of the top 75 out of 752 who finished in the money were from WV.

Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship Day 1 - March 23rd, 2018

Today was Day 1 of the two day KBF National Championship. 752 qualified anglers from 41 different states and Canada have all ascended on Kentucky Lake in search of the $100,000 first place prize or at least part of the $275,000 overall purse. Spradling, Nahodil, Harper, Steve Gunter, and myself all headed back to Smith Bay because eventhough they were short we had always caught fish there and I had done ok there last year. There were 17 kayaks at the launch ramp at 5:30am waiting on the event to start. Greg and I got to the point we wanted and started catching fish fast at 6:30am once the flag dropped. I caught 4 keepers quick all small but above the 12" minimum then moved up the bay and picked up a 14.5" smallie to round out a limit by 8:00am. Despite going on to catch 34 bass total and more drum I never could upgrade at all. I was sitting in 102 out of 752 at the end of action on day one. Only 12.5% of the field caught a five fish limit. More than 25% of the field blanked and was effectively done. Harper caught a strong 73" limit just around from me and Greg and four keepers.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Post Cold Front Lockdown- March 22nd, 2018

It warmed up some today on this our final day of pre-fishing. We headed to Blood River and it was a disaster. I think I caught one bass and 3 drums. There were anglers from all of the country everywhere. I was in one cove with a guy form Louisiana, another from Wisconsin, and yet another from Michigan. We tried hard but opportunities here were hard to find. The fish on the blood river were spread out and heavily pressured.

Wind that Won’t Quit- March 21st, 2018

Post cold front high pressure front. That is about all I have to say about that. We headed back to Smith and nearly got blown off the face of the planet. It was a tough day with only short fish on Ned rigs to show for our effort.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Springtime in Paris - March 19th and 20th , 2018

 Today our crew of five plus Jeff Ross and Brandon Olmstead headed out to fish in Paris Landing Marina since it was protected from the high winds associated with a big cold front that was headed our way. We new that our window for catching some fish was short with bad weather headed our way. Nahodil and Ross found some fish quick on a flat adjacent to the sea wall. Harper and I picked up a couple on cranks at the mouth of the marina and then later in ring with docks around it. I picked up one of my larger fish for the week. Harper got stuck under a bridge earning himself the name of the "Bridge Troll" then later caught a drum. Once the rain hit we rain up the road and ate some of the catfish that Paris is famous for, it was some of the best I have ever had.

“Cold Front” - March 20th, 2018

Today we headed out in snow gear to 35 degree air temps with 15 mph sustained winds at Little Bear Creek. Very little of it was even fishable with the wind but we were determined to try since that is what we come to do. Greg caught a big drum off the first point and I about flipped us trying to get a picture of it out in the wind. I later caught a smaller drum on a crank bait off a secondary point. Those were the only two fish caught today. We did manage a few fish off the dock which was surprisingly sheltered later in the day, but still fish were pretty sparse. Big bass have been really hard to find. .We did eat some more awesome catfish at Fast Eddie's, which may be one of the best bait and tackle stores in the area that also has a great restaurant.

Trash Fish Day - March 18th, 2018

Day 1 of pre-fishing for the KBF NC found Greg Harper, Nahodil, Jerrry Spradling, and myself catching lots of small fish in Smith Bay. We were catching a lot of short fish on crank baits and ned rigs. I picked up a 40 inch long nose gar that I thought was world class largemouth and a drum that weighed close to 7 pounds that also fooled me into thinking I had a big bass. We had a good time and picked on each other all the day long.