Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kayak Fishing Exploding in KY - Bluegrass Yakmasters Open Tournament Report

Throughout the winter I was involved with a group that started the Bluegrass Yakmasters tournament series.  To kick off the series we held an open tournament on Saturday April 6.  The open was held on Cedar Creek Lake in Stanford, Kentucky.  As we set up the open and the start of our season we had no idea what to expect in terms of participation, but we many great sponsors were lined up and all had high hopes of a great event.

The open drew 75 tournament entrants which made it one of the biggest freshwater kayak fishing tournaments in the United States.   The 75 participants also made this the largest tournament ever on Cedar Creek Lake (even beating out the many bass boat tournaments held there each year).  Anglers from 5 states participated and the farthest competitor came all the way down from Wisconsin.  Along with participating in the event many signed up as club members which gives them the opportunity to participate in all club tournaments the rest of the season.  In total we are now up to 68 members. 

The fishing was hit or miss as the cold weather we have been experiencing had the fish pretty scattered.  Some were able to figure them out better than others.  This was a three fish CPR (catch photo release) limit tournament and in total 1200" of fish were checked in.  Ten places were paid and the winner took home $1000 for his efforts.  Following the check in there was a raffle with close tons of prizes from sponsors.  Many lucky raffle winners took home great prizes including the grand prize which was a fully rigged Wilderness Ride115 provided by Hook1.  

Now we begin the season with the first of 8 regular season events.  The first club tournament will be held on Lake Cumberland on Saturday April, 27.  Kayak Anglers must fish 5 of the 8 events to be eligible for the classic which will be a two day event held at Cedar Creek Lake at the end of the season.  The winner of the classic will receive a Frontier 10 provide by NuCanoe one of our major sponsors.  
I was able to bring in several fish on the practice day, Taylor and I didn't do as well as I hoped in the tournament, but we both were able to bring bass in the Frontier.  Taylor caught the bigger one so she finished ahead of me in the tournament - I'm one proud dad Taylor fished hard all day long.  I managed to catch a bass a few minutes after her to get on the board.  If this had been a trout tournament I would have fared much better.  I brought 3 rainbow trout in on the day and they were between 14-16 inches each.  What a beautiful day to be on the water and be able to spend it with my daughter.  
Finishing in first place with 3 fish measuring 59.75" was Randy Collins.  Randy brought home $1000 in winning.  We had a tie for second which went to a tie break (biggest fish).  Winning the tie breaker and finishing second was Jay Wallen bringing home $430.  Gavin Davis finished in 3rd place and  brought home a respectable $270.  

A huge event in the state of Kentucky which makes me look forward to the rest of the tournament season.  I will be fishing the Bluegrass Yakmasters, Elkhorn Creek Series and some of the SMACK series.  Can't believe how kayak fishing has exploded in the bluegrass state seems not long ago it was hard to find somebody to kayak fish with - now we are everywhere!  Big props to Canoe Kentucky (shop in Frankfort KY) seems like many of the boats I saw on the water were from CanoeKY.  Talking to Nathan the owner in the last few years kayak fishing sales have exploded!  OFF to Elkhorn Creek for the next tournament!

Joe Maione
Team NuCanoe

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