Tuesday, March 18, 2014

KATS Bass Tournament #4 by Ray Martinez

Well, Alright alright alright... It seems I'm not as bad as I thought at this tournament thing. Tournament number FIVE...well actually number four, (I had to miss one due to a wedding I was in.) was held  at Lake Bastrop just 30 mins east of Austin. I have fished this lake once before with decent luck. This lake is known to have a lot of bass and fishes well year round. The water temp stays rather warm due to the fact that this is a power plant lake. That being said, many other anglers came out as well to try there luck on such a fishy lake... No pun intended... lol. There were 74 registered to be exact.
this fish was the heaviest 4lbs. she was THICK
We did the normal check-In and rules review as always, and set out. I had a particular spot in mind. Hoping no one else would trek out that way it being rather close to the boat ramp. Although this "AREA" is kind of a known spot, there was no one headed out with me or even there when I arrived. YESS!!!  Once I positioned myself, I began to fish a square bill crank bait to search for fish; third cast in I get a slap at my bait right at the Frontier. Immediately cast back out to the same location , and bang! FISH ON!. Measured her on the ol' hawg trough at 16 inches, snapped a pic and started fishing again. Several casts in I hook up with 2 more fish both in the 17-18 inch range. Things are loooooooking GOOD. The bite turned off for a bit, but I stayed confident in this spot.

Personally I didn't want to move as it was on a small creek channel protected from the hard winds on the main lake. Took a glance behind me just to find....you know it....three bass boats headed my way. It appeared there was another tournament  going on but with motor boats. Each of the boats kindly positions themselves around the same area. It was quite the site. All of us almost fishing in a circle. Each boat was able to catch a fish every now and then, but none over 14 inches. I was slinging in quite a few fish of size on my personal favorite and go-to texas- rig brush hog. It was a great feeling to know that I wasn't just doing well but doing better then other fishermen around me. The only unfortunate thing was when I switched back to a square bill crank bait I lost three very nice fish well over the 18+inches range. I was more than crushed to see the three good fish go away and not in my boat. Time was running low and needed to head back. I fished around for a bit on the way as it wasn't to far from the launch location. Quite satisfied with my bag but was sure if it was enough. I really could have used the three shallow hooked missing fish... lol. All and all this was a much better venture than the events before.
After turning in my top 5 of the 13 fish I caught. We all gather around to hear the winning total. When they announced 94 inches to fifth place I kicked myself ,but was glad to see that I had done well over all. My five fish totaled right at 90 inches. The winner of the event totaled 98 inches. Cool thing was it was a friend and fishing buddy of mine. Over all I finished 8th of 74. Not a bad day in the books. The NuCanoe strikes again on another exciting day on the water.

  Until the next time out..... keep fishing and tight lines.

2014 Kayak Bass Fishing Open by Kevin McCullough

The 2014 KBF Open was close to a repeat of the 2013 KBF Open. I didn't make it past the first day. Fishing was tough with a post cold front bite. Some folks caught fish but it wasn't me. Based off the people I talked to it sounds like you needed to find some gators to find fish. Everyone who saw an alligator caught fish it seemed. I fished some areas that looked like a gator should pop out but none did. The same for the bass.

I started practice on Thursday on Lake Moultrie. The area I saw on a map looked like it was a cove with a creek coming into the back of it. The wind was blowing hard but based off the wind prediction it seemed the cove would be out of the way. Well either I can't tell direction or the wind direction was different from the prediction because I think the wind was in my face the whole time. The NuCanoe Frontier handled the wind good but it would have been a lot nicer paddle without the wind. I packed up and headed to the diversion channel area. Once I got there I knew this was where I was going to fish. It looked awesome.

Friday morning started the tournament with a temperature of around 30 degrees. It was cold but warmed up pretty good. I fished some cut throughs on the diversion channel for a while with senkos, shakey heads, and crank baits. No bites being found I moved to the other side of the diversion channel and fished a back water area with some swim baits and chatterbaits. Again it looked awesome but the bass boats thought so also. The Rayavac Series was going on at the same time so bass boats were coming and going a lot. I fished my way back to the ramp hitting any Cyprus tree and brush I could find with a senko or shakey head. I packed up to see how everyone else did. Long story short a lot of guys had a hard time. I think out of 112 fisherman only 37 turned in a fish. A couple of big bass were caught and some guys did get on some fish.

I got up Saturday with only a hope of a big bass for the daily big bass prize. I fished some back water pond and boat docks with chatterbaits, senkos, shakey heads, crank baits, and swim baits. The day was very pretty but I still couldn't find the fish. I retired a defeated man. The guy who won had a 2 day 5 fish total of 100 inches. It sounds like he fished the same 100 yards with a lipless crank bait and caught some great fish. As usual it sounds like I tried to cover too much water and didn't fish one area good enough. The bass may have been there but I didn't give them a chance to bite who knows.

This was the first tournament of the year for me. Overall I had a blast and met some really cool folks. Hopefully I'll keep in touch with some and my luck will get better as things warm up for my next tournaments. I hope to fish some local stuff and some River Bassin Trail stops. I'll let you know how it goes.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

KATS Bass Tournament #3 by Ray Martinez

Round III ... Lets just say I was more than excited to fish this one. The tournament was another roadrunner but with a twist; we had the option to fish two different sister lakes, both along the Colorado river to form Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake, in of course Austin TX. Each lake is known to put up BIG large mouth bass....I should know I recently caught my first DD on Lake Austin 10.5lbs  !!!! along with many fish over 5lbs....... but enough with the bragging ;) back to the fishing.
The keeper ..hahaha.
 Personally, I wanted to fish lake Austin due to the larger bass being caught there recently, but I knew of another bass boat tournament being held there that morning. I felt equally confident with both lakes so it was no big deal. I arrived to the check-in to see a ton of vehicles there early. I already knew what that meant, and I was right ......the largest KATS tournament EVER!  There were kayaks and anglers everywhere. Just a little over 100 anglers is what they mentioned at sign-in, that certainly changes the fishing a bit.
My Baby!
The horn is blown and we all set out. Sadly for me, we meet at my launch spot and things took a while to launch and others were able to capitalize on a head start to the go-to spots. I'll admit it, I was a bit worried about that. The first two hours were dead and filled with paddling along with slow fishing. I finally got to a somewhat decent spot and pulled out my senko and went to work. Sure enough on the second cast I get the tap I was looking for. I set the hook and started reeling... I could tell it was small but hoped it would meet the line. After boating the fish I pulled out my measure board from under my oh so nice/ NEW and convenient  Rigid360 seat base...... No surprise, the fish was only 13inches, and too bad he was kind of a football, fat belly fish... lol. Proceeding to fish I continued to pitch my senko and picked up two more small non keepers. Time now was running out and I had yet to catch a fourteen inch fish. After not getting any more bites for a while I moved off that spot to find another location. I headed towards a laydown in 5-8 feet of water. Thankfully I pulled 1 fish after 10 mins on this one spot. Moving quickly I measured her up and got a few more cast in before I had to paddle back to the launch spot.

 The ride back was a windy one and took a while. Fortunately I made it back in time to submit my card, and attend the raffle. It was quite a day but very fun. The largest fish caught that day was 26 inches long and over 10 pounds. In case anyone was curious about these lakes producing big fish. Another great NuCanoe adventure in the books.
Tight Lines !
down town Austin from Lady Bird Lake