Tuesday, September 30, 2014

CCA Maryland Red Trout Catch and Release Tournament Recap

The second annual CCA MD Red Trout Catch and Release Tournament was held September 20-21 out of Crisfield, MD. This is a unique tournament to Maryland because it is only targeting Speckled Trout and Red Drum. These species have made a good showing the last few summers in Maryland waters, which are generally the northernmost of their habitat. The trout fishing was the best it's been all summer but the Reds just weren't there. The tournament matches kayakers fishing solo against teams on boats competing for prizes for biggest overall fish, Kayak Division Top 3, Light Tackle Top 3, and Fly Division Top 3. To earn a spot in the top 3 of a division you had to have the largest 1 day aggregate in inches of your four biggest fish. This tournament is run how most should be because all fish were released to swim another day.
 Image Courtesy of CCA MD

 Friday Night's camp site, close to where we were going to fish the next day, South of Cambridge, MD.
 Saturday morning fishing started at 6am per tournament rules. Dave, Matt, and I all started catching pretty quickly using light jig heads and paddle tail soft plastics. My first four fish ended up being good enough for second in Total Inches in the Kayak Division, which was second in total inches in the whole tournament. Dave edged me out catching a 22" speck as his biggest later in the day. He took 1st place in the Kayak Division which was the largest aggregate of fish in the tournament.

 My 4 fish totaled 70.75 inches.

The next morning Dave and I headed out on a much more cloudy and windy day only to find water clarity had deteriorated over night. On the initial pass my rod got hit and drag started screaming. It was a nice steady pull with not many head shakes that are the tell tale signs of small stripers or bluefish. I knew this was a good trout. For about 5 minutes I would gain some line back only to have the fish run away with most of it as soon as it got close to the Hobie. I saw it surface in the distance  and knew it was easily the biggest trout of my weekend. After being wrapped around my other line I netted it and let out a huge sigh of relief. It ended up being 24" on the dot.

Knowing that we both had a shot at winning the tournament, Dave and I headed off the water around 11. Pictures had to be sent in by 1 and the awards started at around 1:30 at Captain Tyler's Crab House in Crisfield, Md. We had a little bit of a drive but got there right around 1 and had already submitted our pictures via email.

After Making it to Captain Tyler's Tony of CCA MD was there to check in our pictures. Dave soon was put up as the leader for the kayak division. He also listed my 24" fish as the leader for biggest fish. It was a tense few minutes waiting until Tony gave me the good news that there hadn't been a larger fish caught over the two day tournament. 

The biggest fish prize was the Calcutta for Biggest Trout so I walked away with a nice stack of cash in my pocket. Since Dave had First Place in the Kayak Division and the biggest aggregate overall, he got his choice of any Costa Del Mar sunglasses he wanted or a sweet Yeti Roadie Cooler with the CCA logo on the top; he chose the Yeti. For second I got the a YakAttack Black Pack which I'm excited to try out on my next trip. We also got some other swag from Costa.

Overall, it was a great tournament and awesome for Dave and I to take the top two spots not only in the Kayak Division but also in all categories. Catching my biggest trout of the year couldn't have come at a better time and I'll definitely be looking forward to this event again next September. 

CCA Maryland did a great job of running the tournament and I would strongly suggest joining them as they really have the best interest of the bay and the fish in mind.


  1. nice haul Shane. i will send the link to cheese. he would be proud! as am I. bit jealous too

    1. Thanks Uncle Greg, I learned from the best!