Wednesday, April 26, 2017

KBF National Championship Recap

Man things are finally starting to settle down again.  Even though KBF NC was a few weeks ago things are just now beginning to go back to normal, just in time to pack up and head to Michigan in a couple weeks...  Any ways the Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship and Open was one heck of a good time! I got to meet so many new people and hang out with some great friends from my personal club, Kayak Bass League.  Plus I got to fish one of the best bass fishing lakes in the nation, Kentucky Lake.
Captains Meeting

In case of the odd chance that you have never heard of Ky Lake...this place is huge.  Just think to go from the North end of the lake to Paris, Tn (weigh in location) was over an hour and a half drive....definitely don't want to paddle that!  I spent a whole week down there hanging with friends and of course fishing!  While practice had its ups and downs, I was having a great time!  Throughout the week we had rain, hail, wind and sun causing the bite to be all over the place!  Going into the tournament I knew I would need to find a good area to compete with the best.

This is one big lake with a lot of water to cover!
Throughout practice I found many good shallow bite areas that seemed to vanish as soon as they appeared.  Being a river system, I knew the bite could change quickly based upon how much current was being created by the dam, but I had no idea how to counteract that.  After 4 days of finding a shallow bite and watching it disappear the next day, I went exploring.  I found a ramp on my lake map while driving through the country... side note don't try it, its super unsafe but I had no cell service and was super lost...  I found an area that looked good when I got there and by looked good I mean there was no one fishing it with white caps rolling straight into the cove, sounds promising right?  Well I gave it the good college try, finding a fish on the three secondary points I fished.  I knew I had found a diamond in the rough but I still didn't have confidence in the deep bite.

TOURNAMENT DAY 1
Being as stubborn as I am started at my go to shallow spot to find it was dink city.  I caught my limit within 30 minutes, all the fish being from 9-12.5 inches...that's not gonna win anything!  I fished it hard till around 11:30 until I realized I needed to do something different.  I hauled it back to the ramp and loaded faster than I had ever seen and sped off to my deep spot I had no confidence in.  I rolled up and got the yak in the water to realize the wind was even worse.  I pulled out my Kistler Mag 2 MH with a 1/4 oz homemade shakeyhead with a june trick worm and went to work.  Right away I got on em!  I was about to make a run.  With only about 2 hours to fish at my new spot I culled my 40ish inch limit into 83 inches.  I was on cloud 9 about day one!  Plus I had finally gained some confidence in fishing deep!
There are some big bass on KY Lake


TOURNAMENT DAY 2
I started day 2 at my deep cove and immediately started on my favorite secondary point.  I knew the weather was going to be windy and overcast till about 10 or 11, helping the deep bite, so I had to get to work quickly.  I caught my limit within the first two hours and went to work culling.  I finally started to find some nicer fish in the 18 inch range.  Unfortunately I did lose a nice one, around 20 inches.  As the wind died and the sun came out the deep bite died.  I went searching with a jerkbait but couldn't find anything to help me.  I ended day 2 with 84.75 inches.  I was very happy with this, especially since I hit my area very hard on day 1.

Next came the results from the weekend.  While I didn't cash any checks...one position away...I was very happy with my finish.  I ended the national championship in 41st out of 359 anglers and in the open I managed 34th out of 326 anglers.

This whole week was an amazing time.  I was honored to be able to fish in the National Championship and to even be on the playing field with the sports best! I learned a lot and gained valuable deep water fishing experience!

I also would like to say thank you to all the companies that support me.  Kistler Rods helped me feel those light bites in white cap conditions.  Pline's 17lb tactical fluorocarbon helped me keep those fish pinned in deep water.  My Smith Optics helped keep my eyes protected and helped me see the fish before they saw me when fishing shallow!

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