Monday, April 23, 2018

The Grind - April 23rd, 2018

David Poe and I floated the ever popular dam to first takeout on a day with falling water temps and water levels. You had to fish slow yet again and the water between the bridges failed to produce, however below the bridge was really solid. I landed one keeper in the old swimming hole above the bridge. The rest of my 8 keepers came below the second bridge around the island. The fish were hitting Ned in deeper slack water (4 feet or more)
Miles floated = 3.5
Fish Caught = 8
Biggest Fish = 17.0”
Biggest Five Fish = 67.25”
Minutes per fish = 37.5 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

South Branch for Seven - April 21st, 2018

High 47 degree water did not keep the 7 of us from coming together for a WVKA group float. We had angler from Mason County, one from Hampshire, 2 from Nicolas, 2 from Summers, and 1 from Marion county. That is what is great about the kayak community; how else would Anglers from all of thd state become good friends and get organized for a day on the South Branch? The high cold water made for a difficult puzzle to solve. I landed only two fish, Farris had 6, Wamsley a couple and Greg one. John, Beth and Jerry had none. Greg’s one fish was a 19.75” monster.
Slow hula grub was the order of the day. 
Miles Floated = 8
Fish Caught = 2
Biggest Fish = 15.5”
Best 5 = 30.5”
Minutes per fish = 242

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Bluestone Lake Challenge- April 14th, 2018

We had 41 angkers come and fish in the first SCKBA live event of the year. This event was the Bluestone Lake Challenge and it proved for most angkers to be just that. It was calm and cool early then got bright and a touch windy later. Harper, Jared, Nahodil, Gunter, Micheal Waid, and Rapp all fished at the Bluestone Conference Center. We saw an eagle up close right at 7:00am, when open fishing began. I started off slow but picked up a nice 18.5” largemouth about 45 minutes I’m off of a PB&J Ned rig in about 6 foot of water. That fish ended up being the big fish of the tournament. The corps of engineers pulled water all day make the bite extremely tough despite 58 to 60 degree water surface temps. The lake flowing in from North Carolina is almost 9 degrees warmer than the lower New river right now. I went on to grind out a limit by catching 10 to 11.5” smallmouth from a couple small pockets. All of which came off the Ned rig. To give you an idea of how tough the bite was today only 3 Anglers our is 41 Fishing had a five fish limit! Those three Anglers finished 1,2,3. We had top knotch sticks like Joe Farley (last years SCKBA Angler of the year) weigh in one fish. We had 20 quality Anglers who zeroed today. I felt like I had a good day to be able to endure enough to pull off a win.  This may be the last lake only event SCKBA hosts for awhile. I hate to see Anglers not catch fish on a tournament.  We had our kayak raffle and it was won by Danny Noel. 

Miles Floated= single access
Total Fish Caught = 9
Biggest Fish = 18.5”
Biggest Five Fish = 62.25”
Minutes per Fish = 35
Order is finish = 1st our of 41

* Since returning from the 2017 KBF NC on Kentucky Lake in March of last year my head to head tournament record has been 1163 wins and 59 losses. This includes 4 tournament wins and 3 second place finishes. I do not think I will ever have a 12 month period of tournament competition this good again, I have been extremely blessed, have really enjoyed the journey, and have made some amazing friends along the way. 

One Big Bite - April 12, 2018

Steve Gunter, Bostic, Chasity and myself all floated from Brooks Falls to Sandstone Falls on a warm sunny day that followed only four days behind a day when we had 3 inches  of snow. The water surface temps on the river were 50 to 51 degrees. The bite was extremely tough. I landed only the one fish pictured, Bostic caught 2 in the 15 inch range, Chasity hooked and lost one and that was it. Out of 16 angler hours fished we had only 4 bites to show for it. Something like one bite per fours hours on the water. I know the fish do not know what to make of this weather because I don’t know what to make of this weather. The one bass I caught was a good one and did upgrade my WVKA April online standing. I caught it on a hula grub on a piece of shallow  middle river rock structure that had deeper water all around it. 
Miles Floated = 3.5
Fish Caught = 1
Best Five Fish = N/A (18.0”)
Biggest Fish = 18.0”
Minutes per fish =  240 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

April Snow Bass - April 8th, 2018

I headed to Moncove by myself on a 22 degree morning the day after an April snowfall in search of some bass to fill out a limit for the WVKA April online. I went to my usual spot and had 6 bites and caught 5 in the first 45 minutes. Then the wind picked up sharply at 9am and my bite all but completely died. The water surface temps were 46 to 48 degrees. I moved down to the dam once the sun got high and bright and the wind picked up to gets some shelter. I picked up one upgrade at the dam in front of the water intake that was 14.5”. I nearly froze and my hands stayed cold despite gloves and hand warmers. 
 Total fish = 6 (one additional lost fish)
Biggest Fish = 14.5”
Best Five Fish = 67.0”
Miles Floated= single access put in and take
Minutes per fish = 30