Monday, April 29, 2013

Off and Rolling!!!

The Mid-Atlantic Kayak Bass Fishing Series got off to a rolling start this past Saturday. The first stop of the four event series took place on Mattawoman Creek off of the Potomac River in Indian Head, MD. 32 participants showed up to take part in the event benefitting Heroes on the Water Maryland Chapter. This event was sponsored by Doc Irv Custom Baits. The series is set up for four events that will crown 1 Angler of the Year at the conclusion of the fourth event.

I got to the launch at about 5:40 and got all set up to start checking people in for the event as people steadily showed up all the way until 7:30 (launch time). After a quick review of the rules we all set out to launch, hitting the water at just after 7:30 am. About 25 of the 32 participants headed left out of the ramp up the creek so I decided to head the opposite direction. I had never fished down the creek toward the Potomac River, but I was going to give it my shot.

I started out throwing a white buzzbait trying to catch the tail end of the morning topwater bite, but it was to no avail. I then switched to a black and red spinner bait that I know fish had been caught on within the last week, but even that wasn't working for me as I worked all the lily pad groupings. I pushed deep in the pad all the way to the other side of the creek where I could fish the shoreline and the downed trees. I was fishing Overboard Soul Pole Rods all day.

The morning was slow with the spinner bait bite, but I stuck with it knowing it had worked before. I was able to manage one or two small bass no bigger than 12 inches. At this point I decided to push further down the creek, still working the shoreline, but trying to find a wider section of water with a little cleaner water.

I turned around a point and found a large open cove with a solid shoreline and some docks as well. At this point I decided to switch over to a Rapala DT4 Firetiger Crankbait. Almost immediately I got a couple bites from some small fish.  Then I connected with a 14.5" fish, and a 16" fish. I knew I had a shot if I could get another solid fish.  Shortly after while working the same shoreline I connected with a chunky 15.5" bass as a pair on a bass boat watched on.

Next bite I thought I had the tournament in the bag! My crankbait got exploded on and a solid fight ensued but I was to be let down as a decent channel cat showed himself at the top of the water column. Oh well, it was a fun fight.

I pushed on knowing I had 3 hours still to fish and to hopefully upgrade one or two of my fish. My original goal heading into the event was to break the 50" mark for the combined length of the three fish, I was sure that it would be a competitive number.

Perfect cast underneath a low hanging tree limb, the bottom consisted of rocky pebble as well. I retrieved the lure bouncing it on the bottom and pausing slightly between cranks when BAM, I got a solid hit and I fought it smartly directly into my net and in the boat. I may have yelled a few things out of excitement, much like Mike Iconelli. It measured out to be a solid 18" fish!! My total was now at 49.5" before noon, so I assumed I was in the running for the top spot.

I worked hard the rest of the day until about 2pm trying to upgrade my 15.5" fish in order to break the 50" mark, but it just wasn't meant to be. I finished the day with 10-12 bass, a channel cat, and a yellow perch. The other awesome part about todays tournament was my Dad fished the event with me as well. He started off the day a lot better than me with a 16" bass early on, but it was slow for him the rest of the day.

Once 3pm rolled around I started checking in everyone else's catches and verifying photos. A few nice fish were checked in including a 19" and 20" bass. Fortunately my number held up. I actually tied for 1st but I won on a tie breaker with the largest #1 fish.
1st Place Winner

I had a great time and was very happy with the turn out. It was good to meet some new people and put some faces with names. I'm already looking forward to the 2nd event!

5th Place - Dave "Turtle 135"
4th Place - Wayne (Chimo)
3rd Place - Mike (Chexone)
2nd Place - Jeff (Donkeyfish's Dad)

Big Bass and Hobie Kicker Winner - Mike (Chexone)
Top Ten:
10. Zachary Huntington - 41.5"
9. David (Donkeyfish) - 43"
8. CJ Espey - 43.25"
7. Shane (Reelaxin) - 44"
6. Jon (jsnyd86) - 44"
5. Dave (Turtle135) - 46.75"
4. Wayne (Chimo) - 48.5"
3. Mike (Chexone) - 49.25" <BIG BASS AWARD 20" LMB>
2. Jeff (Donkeyfish's Dad) - 49.5"
1. Matt Baden (CB Kayak 02) - 49.5" <Won on Tie-breaker, biggest #1 fish>

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tournament Scouting

Shane and I hit the water this morning at Slavin's Boat Ramp on Mattawoman Creek, the same location that will host the 1st MAKBF event next weekend, to do some scouting. It turned out to be somewhat of tough day. The wind was howling most of the day and area has been pretty heavily fished recently with the FLW Tour event taking place tomorrow. We went left out of the ramp and headed up towards the barge.

Shane got there a little before me and by the time I caught up with him he already had already caught a solid carp, but that wasn't the fish we were targeting. We wanted to find a good concentration of bass and maybe hook into a few snakeheads as well. Welp, we never really found any of that. 
We searched deep into the pads throwing topwater and numerous other baits. But it wasn't getting the results for us. Finally, I got a hit next to fallen tree and was able to wrangle in a 18.75" bass that was very healthy.
A little later I got my second hit in between the lily pads. It hit hard and made a couple runs on the drag, only to be surprised to have caught a Channel Cat, again not what I was going for, but I'll take the action cause there wasn't much of it today.
A short while later Shane hooked into a decent bass that measured a little over 16" or so.
Then I got my last fish for the day a 17" largemouth in a patch of lilies.
I was content with the quality of fish that I caught, but the tournament is the combined length of 3 total fish, so I will really need a third fish on tournament day. I don't think you'll be able to place without catching the limit as there are going to be some high quality anglers in the event.
Needless to say I can't wait for next weekend, Hope to see you there!!
Here is the schedule everyone for the event!!!

6:00 am - Registration opens ($20 cash only please)
7:30 am - Launch and lines in the water
2:30 pm - Lines out of the water
3:00 pm - Check in starts
4:00 pm - Check in ends, must be in line by 4pm
4:30/5:00 - Awards and story telling