Thursday, April 25, 2013

SMACK Fishing Tournament Report by Kevin McCullough

The alarm went off at 2:00 Sunday morning to go fishing. The plan was to hit Barren River Lake in Kentucky for the SMACK (Sunday Morning Anglers of Central Kentucky) Tournament Series tournament. After a 2 hour drive and getting everything rigged up I was ready for the 6:00 launch.

I started out fishing some rip rap throwing crank baits and swim baits. After about an hour of no bites I moved spots and started throwing creature bait. I hooked a nice bass but was not prepared with my net. I have a fold up net that was not unfolded. I tried to lip him but he spit my lure back at me. A couple of years ago I went fishing with Blake and Deanna from NuCanoe. I left my net in the car and lost the biggest bass of my life because I could not get him in the boat. I vowed to never leave me net again. Well I didn’t leave it but it did me no good folded up in the back of my Frontier.

It wasn’t until 10:00 that I caught my first bass. It was a little 10 inch bass but I removed the skunk. The tournament ended a 1:00 so I had three hours left to catch two more fish for my 3 fish limit. I fished my third spot for a while before moving on. At this point I was thinking please just let me catch a couple of fish.

After paddling around a while I paddled to the back of a cove. When I got back there I noticed three kayaks already there on one bank and one kayak leaving. I figured I’d fish the opposite bank and come up behind the other yaks. After a couple of cast I hooked into a nice 16 inch bass. Alright 11:00 and two fish for 26 inches. I fished for another hour with nothing before moving back close to the boat ramp for weight in. 

At this point I figured I’ll throw a shakey head and try to catch one more small fish. I got lucky and caught a 12 inch bass for 38 inches total. I had about 45 minutes left and figured I am going to fish hard to try and get rid of that 10 incher. 

While daydreaming and thinking about the one that got away I threw towards a log with a lot of debris around it. I got a massive hit and set the hook. At this point I am thinking this bass has to be bigger than 10 inches. Well it was and I ended up pulling in a bass almost 17 inches. This put me at 44.75 inches with only 30 minutes left. At this point I got greedy and thought I need to catch one bigger than 12 inches. I ended up catching one more but he was only 11 inches

Come weight in time my 44.75 inches was good enough for second place. I missed first place by .75 inches. The tournament started with me hoping not to get skunked and ended with me winning some YakAttack gear donated by Luther from YakAttack. First place got a rod and reel and some YakAttack gear. The SMACK tournaments have all proceeds going to Heroes on the Water so all prizes are donated. Now I am hooked and hope to make it to more of the SMACK tournaments and qualify for the Classic in October.

This tournament was one of lessons. My first lesson was that the Frontier can carry more rods than you will ever need. I carried 8 rod and reels with me but may have used 4. The Frontier was great for storing all the rods but I may have taken it to the extreme. My second lesson was a net folded up in the bottom of your kayak will do you know good. This will now be one of the first things I do to unfold my net. The third lesson is don’t give up. I caught 4 of my five fish in the last 2 hours and 3 of them in the last 45 minutes.

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