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.