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Showing posts with the label kbf

The Next Chapter

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When I started this blog adventure in April, I never expected such warm and positive response.  And never did I expect to cross the 30,000 hit mark in 6 months (I was expecting a few reads a month).  Thank you again for all of your support, kind words, and taking time out of your life to allow me to share my journeys with you. I love sharing my adventures, but I wanted to do more.  I wanted to use the platform I've been working hard to grow and take it further. This will give my readers a greater variety of styles, stories, and content.  I also wanted to give someone the opportunity to share their stories with my established platform.  The natural next step was expansion by adding a writer to the team. With that, I am excited to welcome the first staff writer for Small Craft Fisherman, Patrick "Pooti" Tharp.  Pooti has a unique style of writing that I enjoy.  His writing puts you in his tankwell, watching over his shoulder.  Please take a moment to check out our

Frozen

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After spending some time recovering from my tournament push that started in my article " I'm Back - The Saga Begins ", I was ready to hit the water again.  I had already washed and polished my FeelFree Lure, it was looking like new.  My gear was loaded up and ready to go.  I had spent the last few days seeing my Facebook feed filled with kayak anglers catching toads as the fall bite was ramping up.  I was ready for a piece of that action.  When I was in "tournament mode", I had left my Garmin VIRB action cam at home.  I was looking forward to again documenting my adventure. I woke up before light to frost surrounding my house.  The thermometer read 27 degrees.  Having anticipated these conditions, I had prepared my winter fat biking gear (Under Armour cold gear, athletic pants, and a performance sweatshirt.  Upon arriving at the lake, I covered my pants in my rain gear pants to deflect any paddle splash. The lake was covered in a thick fog, a normalcy th

The Saga Ends

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The final chapter of my tournament marathon picks up where I left off in " The Saga Continues ".  Instead of grinding the water after work like in the previous week, I take a few days to rest by body and mind.  I also perform some basic maintenance and cleaning on my gear.  I have the final two days of the tournament off work to cover as much water as possible. The first day is a beautiful morning, but it was not a great day for fishing.  I did my usual seeking with a spinnerbait.  It produced, but nothing of size.  I tried cranking, but it produced the same.  By the afternoon, I had worked the entire reservoir without locating the big ones.  I sat slumped in my kayak asking myself, "What now?". The Wisconsin fall was moving in.  We were reaching 40 degrees at night and 70 during the day.  This weather pattern makes for difficult fishing.  Water temperatures are in the mid 50s in the morning, rising to the upper 50s by the evening.  At this point, I need to make

The Saga Continues

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The saga of my absence from blogging picks up where I left off in " I'm Back - The Saga Begins ".  I had just caught a tank bass, putting me in the running to qualify for the Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship.  Getting the privilege to fish south of the Mason-Dixon, via kayak, with the best kayak anglers in the country has been a pipe dream since I got into the tournament fishing this year.  Never did I think I had a chance.  Sure, I put in a lot of time on the water but never considered myself a tournament angler.  I decided this was a great opportunity to make a push to make "the cut".  The spinner bait seems to be the magic lure, so I make a restock trip to my local Mills Fleet Farm and stock up on Northland Tackle spinners.  My spinner box now full, I'm ready to hit it hard. My kayak stays permanently at the ready on my trailer.  Tackle, PFD, net, hawg trough, and my Kayak Bass Fishing identifier nestled in my TourneyTag are in the vehicle read

I'm Back - The Saga Begins

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First of all, I'd like to apologize to my regular readers for going mostly silent recently.  I try to give my regular readers something to read every weekend.  That said, this is the reason I've been only posting pictures to my Facebook page and Instagram accounts: Photo By: Chang Lor www.cxfishing.com In my last installment of shenanigans, I was resetting my fishing.  Going back to my basics with my time-tested tactics.  I also opted to stay local, though my home water has challenged me since the late freeze during the spawn.  All fish patterns from years' past had changed and I became frustrated.  My amazing wife reminded me that I learned my home water patterns quickly.  I needed to reset and do it again.  With success using my time-tested tactics, I regained confidence in my knowledge of the water and opted to continue fishing local. This long adventure begins the weekend after " Back to Basics ".  I hit my local waters again, where I'm met by my

Mississippi River: Kleptomaniac

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My relationship with the Mississippi River has been a love/hate one this year.  I love the great fishing it has provided me and the beautiful scenery as I travel along the Great River Road along the Wisconsin border as I travel to my fishing spot.  I hate that it has become a kleptomaniac, stealing from me the last two trips.  My last time on the Mississippi, I lost a new spinning combo, which you can read about in my article Old Man River .  We'll get to the latest item robbed later. The adventure began, as per usual, with a plan.  I was talking fishing plans with my friend Chang Lor of www.cxfishing.com.  After some discussion, we decided to meet again at the Mississippi.  My cousin, who is familiar with the waters, suggested an area near where we were fishing before.  My home boss (wife) approved and took it as an opportunity to make plans with family out of town.  I began preparing for a weekend fishing marathon. Saturday morning we meet at the launch.  There is a slight

Riding the Storm Out

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This month has been a series of figurative and literal storms.  Various medical challenges in my personal life along with poor fishing in my Small Craft Fisherman life.  Part of the fishing storm has been due to actual storms, high waters, and brutally high temperatures.  My latest outing was no different. Having hooked into, but losing, the largest bass I've had on in a long time, I was eager to hit my home waters hoping to lip it.  A couple days before I ceremoniously de-spooled the mono that snapped under the stress of the tank and replaced it with 40 lb Gliss line.  Gliss is strong like braid but casts for miles.  While I'm add it, I clean, grease, and oil my reels to ensure a mechanically smooth trip. The morning of my 2 minute journey to my local water.  I awake well before sunrise.  I'm used to the early sunrises of the summer, and in denial of the nearing "hard water" kayak-unfriendly Wisconsin Winter growing nearer.  My car pre-loaded with my kayak an

Returning to Normal

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After last week's day-long charity tournament , I spent the week recovering and licking my wounds.  The winds, Mississippi river current, and Northern Pike left me quite sore.  My mind was still on my next fishing trip, this one at a slower pace. One of my local fishing buddies and I were looking to get together and hit the water.  We discussed and planned to fish my local waters.  As mentioned in my previous posts, it has been a tough bite on my home waters this year since the re-freeze during the spawn.  However, he had fished them the week prior and said the topwater action was good the week prior.  We will meet at dawn. In my excitement to fish with a buddy on my home water, I forget my sonar.  On the redundant trip, I notice more bass boats than usual heading towards the lake.  I opt to launch at a shallow gravel launch opposite the main launch.  My concern is confirmed when I see several bass boats huddling around the launch across the lake.  A local bass club is holding

Northern Exposure

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This weekend was the Mountain State Kayak Angler's charity tournament hosted by Kayak Bass Fishing and TourneyX .  Excited for my first day-long, nationwide tournament, preparations began early in hopes to snag one of the 10 Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship qualifying spots.  The preparations began last week with a pre-fish on the Mississippi River.  I knew the Mississippi was my only chance of holding a candle to the southern competitors.  As documented in the article " Pregame ", the pre-fish went well.  My location was chosen. Preparations continued this week with a cleaning and application of UV protectant on my FeelFree Lure, which made it sparkle like new.  I also re-stocked my Lunkerhunt frog supply to have a few color options.  Lastly, I stripped my kayak down to tournament mode (removed my camera poles).  I wanted to minimize my accessories to maximize my fishing time.  I also knew some of the backwaters required a low profile navigating fallen trees.

Pre-Game

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After fishing my home water with some new success (read about it here:  http://www.smallcraftfisherman.com/2016/07/addicted-to-crank.html ), I text my wife to check the weather over by the Mississippi river.  Severe storms were rolling through the area and my data connection is limited.  She confirms a chance of rain-only forecast.  Though exhausted already, I make the paddle back to the launch, load my kayak and gear, and start the 1 hour drive west towards "Vikingland", as my daughter would say. The drive, though long is beautiful.  The river road follows the Wisconsin border along the St. Croix river until it meets with the Mississippi in Pepin, Wisconsin.  Large bluffs and scenic outlooks line the banks, making the drive enjoyable.  Staying on the Wisconsin side, I enter the sloughs of the Mississippi.  I'm not entirely sure where I'm going to fish.  With a kayak as my vessel, I drive slowly and look for the most inaccessible spots I can find.  I spot a gravel c

Addicted to Crank

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I had the itch, the craving, the shakes.  After taking a short hiatus from fishing after my week-long fishing adventure, I was itching to hit the water again and needed a fix.  The short hiatus weakened my muscle-memorized process of loading my kayak and gear.  So I took extra time the night before to ensure I didn't forget any critical gear.  Luckily, I noticed my Kayak Bass Fishing  regional tournament identifier was still for June.  In this "phwew" moment, I printed a fresh July identifier and slipped it into my TourneyTag .  I was ready for an early rise. My alarm woke me while it was still dark outside.  I roll out of bed, get my stuff together, and jump in the car.  I head to a local gas station to get the lunch of champions (Lunchable Pizza and pre-packaged Italian sandwich).  Upon exiting the building, I realized a fatal flaw in my planning activities.  In my excitement to hit the water, I hadn't checked the local weather report in 3 days.  It was raining.

Calling All Anglers!!!

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I am relatively new to the community of kayak fishing.  This amazing community is gaining popularity and welcomed me with open arms with unbelievable support.  This community has shown their "stripes" at a new level.  This time, it isn't about likes, comments, followers, views, hits, shares, posts, ads, or mentions.  It is about people, kayakers and non-kayakers, anglers and non-anglers, and their lives. On June 23rd, West Virginia was hit was hit with massive flooding.  The amazing folks at Mountain State Kayak Anglers  immediately took action to help those impacted by this devastating event. They promptly collected donations and supplies to help those impacted by this terrible event.  They also started a raffle with an unbelievable list of prizes (which continues to grow).  They also collaborated with the amazing folks at Kayak Bass Fishing and TourneyX to start a benefit tournament from which all proceeds go to the victims. The prompt support of the kayak fishing

Home Field Advantage

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Those who have been reading my posts have read about my challenges this year on my home water.  Typically a great fishery, this year has been challenging.  It started out great but a Wisconsin cold snap during the spawn completely changed the fish patterns and preferences.  The slow Wisconsin thaw also left the water unusually clear (cow manure and the like did not runoff into creeks and streams that feed the lake).  That all changed this last week with a significant amount of rain.  The water has returned to its murky self and the weed mats have  returned to their usual positions.  I decided to hit the water this evening after work to kick off my whole-week-off-my-day-job fishing extravaganza hoping the normalized fishery would move me up in the KBF/TourneyX tournament I'm participating in. As I launch my FeelFree Lure, I smile at the murky water I'm used to.  After spending some time trying a buzz bait, crank baits, and a ned rig on the ledges, they prove unsuccessful.  S