Tuesday, March 18, 2014

2014 KBF Open

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

2014 Goals

I do this every year and most of the time at the end of the year my goals remain that goals and not accomplishments. This year I hope to change that. Sitting around thinking about goals I realized I need to do better at the basics to get the goals checked off. Here are my 2014 goals.
1.  To catch a bass at Santee Cooper- As I posted in my blog last year I fished the KBF open blog. I spent 3 days fishing hard with my good friend Geoff and neither of us caught one single bass. I learned a lot of myself and my ability to catch fish. Others got skunked but most people at least caught a bass. I was truly humbled. I figured that would be my only chance to fish Santee Cooper but that all changed when the 2014 KBF Open came about. I am going solo this year with hopes to redeem my pride and get the best of Santee Cooper. We’ll see.
Picture from Santee Cooper last year
2. To catch a striper from my NuCanoe Frontier. So far this year I have caught a smaller hybrid and broke off a big striper. I was fishing with 30 lb. braid with a 17 lb leader. I got a chance to see the striper when it surfaced and took off. My line snapped with a crack and my dreams went with it. I’ll be back with a heavy leader and I’ll make sure to check my knots better. Lesson learned.
Only Hybrid from 2014 so far
3. To get on the water with my daughters more. The goal is two part. First I need to get my 4 year old on her first fish. I have been really lucky with my 7 year old and we’ve had some pretty good days in the NuCanoe. This will be the first time to get the 4 year old out. I still have not figured out how I will get both the 7 year old and the 4 year old out but hopefully I can get the wife out in my other NuCanoe.
Daughter's first fish a few years ago
4. To catch a personal best at something. I won’t limit myself to bass but I want to catch something worth bragging about. Goal 1 or 2 may help with Goal 3. Santee has some big bass and if I can hook a striper as big as the one that broke off I’ll pass my personal best by a lot.
It will be hard to beat this but a nice freshwater fish from the Frontier will do
Overall I have been lucky in my fishing from a kayak. First I have been very lucky to be part of Team NuCanoe. Some folks go through a few kayaks before finding that perfect one for them. I found mine on my second try. For me I think the NuCanoe Frontier is perfect. Second I have been lucky to have a great group of guys to fish with. I am always learning from them. It helps having Hook1 and Chad Hoover close to me also. Third I have great wife that understands how much I like to fish. Family always will come first but fishing is the one hobby I will keep until I am not able. My wife is a pretty good fisherman and the daughter are following in her footsteps.
Hopefully my 2014 blog will be a chronicle of goals accomplished.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 11th Cumberland River

I heard the smallmouth bite was happening on the Cumberland River so I had to try it out. I got started at daylight and paddled towards the spots I wanted to try.

 I picked up some small shiners on the way to try the live bait bite. The water temp was in the mid to high 50s and ait temp got up to low 70s. It was a perfect day for fishing in November. I never quite figured out the shiner bite and stayed hooked on the bottom most of the time. I did pick up one small smallmouth on a shiner.
I ended up catching another small mouth on a shadrap along with a small Kentucky and a bream.

The highlight of the day was seeing a deer swim across the river. I chased him towards the shore for about 200 yards since he swam straight to the bluffs. I steered him towards an opening wher he could get up on shore. It was a decent 6 point. The picture is not very good but you can barely see him.
My trip got cut short by a sick kid and wife so I only got about 2 hours of fishing. I really am starting to enjoy fishing the Cumberland River.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cumberland River July 14th

After checking out some maps I decided to hit the Cumberland River today. Looking at the forecast rain was supposed to hit later in the morning but early morning looked good. I was one the water by 5:30 and ready to go. After a pretty good drought Nashville had finally got some rain the week before. My hope was the rivers would be up and they would be letting some water out of the Old Hickory Dam. The smallmouth bite was what I was after. Well the rain started around 6 with a light rain. It rain off and one the rest of the morning with some really good down pours.

I started off throwing a crank bait and caught a small smallmouth pretty quick. I didn’t want to waste a lot of time messing around by the boat ramp so I moved on to the Cumberland River. This was my first time on the actual Cumberland River because I wasn’t too sure about what I would do if a barge came along. Well it happened.

I had just paddled upstream from a spot that had a little beach area and was now next to a rock bluff. I paddled back down stream to the beach area and got ready to face the barge. It ended up not being a very big deal and the Frontier handled it without any problems.

My hopes of a good current did not work out. Paddling upstream and fishing was no problem with the lack of current. I had switched over to a hair jig and a baffle bug but did not catch anything else going up stream. By this time it was around 8:30 so I decided to paddle back towards the ramp. I ended up picking up one more bass that wasn’t very big.

I will repeat this float sometime. I really enjoyed it and I know there are some fish to be caught.

4th of July

 Monday the 2nd I came in to work on to a report of hybrids on Percy Priest Lake. My buddy at work said he was fishing a point and all the sudden fish started blowing up everywhere. There were two boats out besides him and they both caught at least 6 and one guys had his line break on one. My buddy didn’t have the right equipment so he never caught any. This was all I needed to hear to plan on hitting JPP on the 4th. Every since seeing the Stripers on Caney Fork I have wanted to hook into one. This was my chance. 4:00 the alarm went off and I was ready to go. The bait shop didn’t open until 5 so I had to wait until then. By the time I hit the water and started paddling it was close to 5:30. It was a perfect looking morning and I just knew I was getting ready for a sleigh ride.

Well when I got to the area I wanted to hit there were at least 12 boats.

Apparently work got out and folks had the same idea I did. A couple of small fish were caught by others but besides that the action did not look too good. I was trolling two shad and casting top waters and throwing a large pearl fluke. Bait Fish were showing up on the depth finder but very spotty for the most part. I did have two pretty good hits but no hook ups. I do not know if I had the shad hooked wrong or what but both times I reeled in with no shad so I figure something hit them and stole my bait. I was off the water by 8 with nothing to show for my morning.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Caney Fork June 18th

Blake from NuCanoe e-mailed about a month ago to let me know that the Frontier Tour would be coming through and he wanted to go fishing. I am always up for meeting up with Blake to fish so I was ready to go. He wanted to try the Caney Fork which is cold water below the Center Hill dam and is a pretty good trout river. We tried to fish it last year but the generation schedule had us messed up. This year things looked better so the trip was planned.

We floated from Happy Hollow to Betty's Island. It ended up being Blake, James from Team NuCanoe and my buddy Jamie floating with me. The day was close to perfect with weather in the high 80s. The water was super clear because of lack of rain. We saw tons of fish and some really big ones. I ended up catching a couple of bream, a brook trout, and a 13" rainbow.

 I hoped for many more fishing but today was not the day. All in all it was a awesome day for fishing and floating. I hope to get back soon to catch one of those big Stripers I saw in one pool.

Monday, May 21, 2012

May 20th Old Hickory Lake

I made it out Sunday morning for a quick trip on Old Hickory Lake. The water temp is already in the mid 70s so summer is here. The top water frog bite was not happening so I tried some other things. I switched over to a chatter bait and picked up a little 13” bass before deciding to try a spot I had always looked at but never paddled to.
After a mile paddle to the spot it looked like the area I bought my Frontier for. It was really shallow and I know no bass boat could make it back to it. We are low on rain for the year so normally this area would have more water but for the time being it was only around 3 foot deep in the deepest parts. I picked up a couple of 12”-14” bass on a wacky worm but more important I found a spot that needs to be looked at again. This area will be awesome if the lake comes up some. I did not catch anything on the frog but this spot is made for it.
I did not get any pictures and I wished I did. The fish were not that impressive but the day was. I bought some stuff to mount my camera but still need one part. I am just about completely rigged up on the NuCanoe Frontier getting ready for my June 18th trip with NuCanoe down the Caney Fork.