Monday, July 29, 2013

B.G.Y.M. Beaver Lake Tournament July 27, 2013 by Joe Maione

The July B.G.Y.M. event had a schedule change because of high water on the Licking river. The event got moved to Beaver Lake and Taylor and I decided to camp there for the weekend which would allow us to pre-fish and spend some quality father/daughter time together. We loaded up the yaks and camper on Friday morning and hit the road. By 3:30 we had the camp site set up and had a late lunch. We hit the water to practice from 4-8pm and Taylor couldn't figure them out and I didn't do too much better but brought a half dozen smaller fish in the Frontier. We headed back to camp and grilled out some burgers and relaxed around the campfire roasting marshmallows. It was a really fun night!

Tournament day... registration at 5am. On the water a daylight in a light rain. Taylor is now fishing most tournaments from her own kayak and she three to the boat with in the first hour.. but unfortunately they all flipped off the hook as she is still learning to get fish in the boat all by herself. One was a really nice 15-16" fish. She soon got the hang of it an had a limit by lunch time all on her white grub. I only had one fish in the boat on a drop shot by about 2:00pm and finished out my limit in the last hour using the same grub Taylor was wearing me out on. It was definitely one of my more frustrating tournaments and the first one this year were I truly struggled to put fish in the Frontier. Taylor caught fish with regularity all day long but just couldn't find the big ones. She did lose another really nice 16+ inch fish on a jump toward the end. Taylor ended up beating me and finished in the top 20 and winning the youth division.

Anthony Thompson finished first with a 3 fish limit going 48.5". Second place went to T.J. Strong with 47.5" and Bob Brown rounded out the top 3 with a 43.25" total. Even with the rainy morning and the change of venue there were still around 30 members showed up to fish this stop. A fun time was had by all and I am looking forward to the next event I will get to fish in August. I have to miss the next event for my anniversary and I wish everyone luck.

Although I had one of my worst tournament performances in a very long time it was a great time! I really enjoyed camping two nights with my daughter and she absolutely loved the whole experience of tournament fishing along with camping. Definitely something we plan to do again!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Elkhorn Creek Fishing Series - July 13 by Joe Maione

The Elkhorn Creek Fishing series hit the creek July 13th for the third tournament in the series. A rainy summer has continued and the creek was up and moving. Even with the high water the fish were hungry and a great time was had by all. Registration began at 5:00am and I was able to hit the water by 6:30. Taylor took another tournament off to go see her new baby cousin and that was probably a good call with the high swift moving water.. more on that later.

Participation was a little down with the higher water but although the creek was high and swift it was pretty clear - slightly stained but definitely not chocolate milk. I was able to catch fish on a stick bait and a tube with my best three fish coming on the tube. My best 3 fish were 36.5" which was good enough for 7th place. My biggest on the day was a 13.25" smallmouth. Top three in the standings were first place - Matt Schaefer, second place - T.J. Strong, and 3rd place - Allen Bullman.

So the more on that later part.... found out today you can actually flip a NuCanoe Frontier although it was totally user error. About 3/4 way through the float is a riffle called the claw which is a little tough but usually easily manageable. I was going through it just fine, but I have an orange strap loop on the front of the boat I use to drag or attach when I get out to wade which had flipped out and was hanging out the front of the kayak. Well as I was passing the really swift part with an under cut bank the strap got caught on a root under the water while I was leaning over to get under a branch. The caught strap instantly stopped the Frontier and spun it slamming it into the bank while I was leaning the other direction - boat flipped and I was in the drink. The good news - the Frontier was easy to flip back over and in a matter of seconds I was back on the Frontier accessing my situation. Most of my gear was floating quickly down stream but I gathered what I could. There was another member right behind me who also flipped his Coosa. We broke down his paddle and each used half a paddle as we continued down stream hoping to find my paddle, crate and other items. We continued down stream and another kayaker had retrieved my paddle and empty crate and also a few of my plano boxes. I did end up losing quite a bit of tackle my crate was un strapped earlier and I had forgot to strap it back up. Remarkably I only lost one rod - and it was the one that was strapped in go figure! The three rods that were laying on the floor with only the butt ends under the seat base remained right in the kayak so I guess it could have been much worse! At the end of the float it was nice to see that the Frontier after the flip had very little water in it do to the water tight design of the hatch.... the Coosa on the other hand was at least 3/4 full of water on the inside

Despite the flip, lost rod, and lost tackle I had a great time on the creek and learned a few things about keeping my gear secure. Even with the higher water there were a lot of fish caught and I am looking forward to rest of the series and chasing those bronze backs the rest of the summer!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blugrass Yakmasters/Elkhorn Creek Fishing Series - twice the fun!!!!!!!!!

        The third regular season event of the Bluegrass Yakmasters took place on Elkhorn Creek June 8th.  It was run in conjunction of the other series I fish the Elkhorn Creek Kayak fishing series.   Both tournaments were held in conjunction with each other which was pretty cool.  Two entry fees, one registration and weigh in location (photo - CPR format), and twice the opportunities to win.  
        Taylor and I hit the creek in the Frontier 12 and found the fishing to be quite good.  Many fish were caught throughout the day, but the larger fish were hard to come for most of us.  I ended up catching close to 30 smallmouth bass but most were in the 10" -12" range.  Taylor was trying some new hooks the first part of the day and hooked up with several fish that came un- buttoned before she could pull them into the Frontier... including a big large mouth in the 4lb range.  She switched back to her normal hook after lunch and was able to land two smallies to finish first in the youth division in both series events.  I ended up in a tie for 12th with a 3 fish limit 36.5".  
        33 anglers participated in the BGYM event and all but three brought fish to the photo weigh-in.  The top 3 finishers in the event were:  Tyson Peterson 46.25", Matthew Schaefer 45.75", and Keith Brown 44.75".  Most people decided to sign up and fish in both events with 24 anglers also fishing the Elkhorn Creek Series event. 

 However the winner of the yakmasters event did not sign up for the EKFS thus moving Matthew Schaefer into first, Keith Brown finished second, and moving into the top 3 Cameron Debity with 43.5".
        It was a great day to be on the creek and Taylor and I had a blast.  Looking forward to the next events in both series.  The Blugrass Yakmasters will fish Stoner Creek on June 22 and the Elkhorn Creek Fishing series will hit the creek again on July 13, 2013.  The days event ended with a cookout at Canoe Kentucky with plenty of food and fish stories to go around!