Monday, June 23, 2014

RiverBassin Knoxville Stop

I got a last minute opportunity to fish the Knoxville RiverBassin Tournament when a friend sent out a message he was needing someone to float with him. I have always wanted to fish East Tennessee Rivers but have never made it over that way from Middle Tennessee. This was my chance to take care of that.

I left home at 9:00 and with the hour time change to Eastern Time I arrived at the take out spot to meet my friend right a 4:00 in the morning. After some quick rigging and putting his kayak in my truck we were off to the put in. Since we were fishing waters that I knew we would have to portage some I used my NuCanoe Frontier 10. I figure the lighter Frontier would make it easier to get out and wade and get over some rough spots. The Frontier 10 did not disappoint.

We launched at 5:15 with first cast being allowed at 5:45. The 30 minutes paddle to the first cast went smooth with a portage over a low water dam right before fishing. My first fish was caught around 7:15. It was a 10.75 inch smallmouth on a tube. 

After pictures and release I was feeling pretty good about the day. Well it took me three hours to catch my next fish. The 11.75 inch largemouth hit a senko to give me my second fish of the day.

 The problem was I had ran out of water to fish. The take out spot was right there. After wearing out the last section I figured I’d call it a day and head back to the weight in.
After packing at the take out vehicle and unpacking at my truck I still had three hours to weight in. I figured I’d drive closer to the weight in and find some water to fish for an hour or two. Well once I did that I realized I had left my seat in my friend’s car so my day was done.
When it was all said and done I finished 14th out of 38 anglers. Only 20 people caught fish so it was a tough day for some. Each tournament I continue to learn more and more. Next tournament will be June 28th closer to home in Middle Tennessee. I will fish out of my Frontier 10 again on some smaller water hoping for that big bite. Until then I’ll be pouring over maps and planning my attack.

Monday, May 19, 2014

RiverBassin Silver Point TN Tourney

Saturday May 19th Caney Fork Outfitters hosted 1 of 8 Regional RiverBassin Tournaments based out of Silver Point TN. The format was your best 3 bass for the individual and best 6 bass for team with at least 2 bass coming from each team member. The event started with as captains meeting on Friday that had some killer brisket to eat. After getting a bite to eat and listening to the rules my team mate Geoff Luckett and I had back 45 minutes east to get some sleep.
I woke up 1.5 hours earlier than a needed to but figured oh well I can check out some of the river flows. Everything looked pretty good with flows being minimal and water clarity good in the area we wanted to fish. Geoff and I launched around 5:45 and started fishing.

 It didn’t take too long until I hooked a 10.25 smallmouth on a chatterbait to get me on the board.

I followed up with a small 8.25 redeye bass on a Cut R Tail Worm to get me a total of 18.5 inches. 

Geoff added another 10.5 inch on a spinnerbait bass to our team bag. 30 minutes later I hooked a 10.5 inch bass on a crankbait my wife bought me for our anniversary. 

Well I had three fish but my total length could be easily beat by two good fish.
Geoff and I paddled downstream without much to brag about in the way of bass. Geoff added another 10 inch fish to our group and I caught a few more 9 to 10 inch fish. 

We had 6 fish between the two of us which was the goal but man our fish were small. I hooked a 13 inch bass and 13.5 inch bass to up out limit a little but still nothing to move us up.

About 1.5 hours left before we had to pack up and head an hour east to the weight end I hooked into a NICE bass on a chatter bait. I had it hooked for a 10 seconds before it threw my chatterbait back at me 6 foot from the boat. I horse cussed my hook set and played the fight back in my mind for a bit before moving on. That fish would have put me on up the board. I am sure it has grown in my mind but it looked like it could have been the biggest bass from a kayak I could have caught. Oh well. Nothing else happened before Geoff and I headed to Caney Fork Outfitters for the weight in. 
Thanks to the live weight in format I knew I was not in the running but still wanted to check out the weight in. I really am glad I did. The food was once again awesome with pulled pork sandwiches and gumbo. I also got to meet two guys who had NuCanoe Frontiers. 

Come to find out their team name was Heavy Weights. Sam Bailey and David Smith won the Gadsden, AL RiverBassin stop as a team so I knew they could catch fish.

 Well they end up in 3rd at this tournament and Sam ended up winning the Tournament. I had met Sam once before and it was pretty neat seeing a fellow NuCanoe owner win.

When it was all said and done I ended up in 19th out of 48 anglers. 17 anglers did not weight in a fish so I should be glad I caught some I guess. If I could have landed the big one I think I could have made the top 10 but a lot of folks could say that. Our team ended up 6th out of 13 so we did alright I guess. Until next time.

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.