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Wednesday, 01 October 2014 00:00

Travels of a YakAngler - Kayakpalooza V

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Shortly after returning from my last adventure with FeralOne, I took a nine-hour drive to Lincoln, NE for Kayakapalooza V to wrap up the summer travels. Kayak fishing in the Midwest has really picked up speed and becoming a popular sport. Tournaments are popping up all over the place, but this is one of the longest running in the Midwest.

Marty Hughes, kayakjak, put a tournament together about eight years ago, and developed it into the online and live series called ”Kayakapalooza”. It is a different live tournament, because it doesn’t target a specific species. Instead, almost everything you can catch in the lake counts. The kicker is, you can only catch two of each species and the most total inches wins.

I left around nine in the morning the Thursday before the tournament, so I would have enough time to set up camp and get ready to do some fishing. By 8am Friday I was on the beautifully calm and serene water, and I was ready to figure out these fish. There was some nice rock piles, weed beds, drop offs, and I fished them all. Shortly after I launched, the wind picked up and was blowing me all over the water. I threw everything I had in the tacklebox. I caught seven fish in the nine hours I was on the water. The only pattern they were biting on, if at all, was black. So I tied on everything black that I had, or had it ready to be tied on the next day.

I met up with four-time Kayakapalooza winner Carrie Brown and Ruth Brown, and discussed how slow the fishing was. They were out almost as long and had the same amount of luck - extremely slow, and picky fish. After chatting with them for a while and a delicious dinner they made, I headed back to camp.

I was watching other campers and anglers set up camp, when a car pulled up by me and the driver yelled “Spencer!” It was Warren Vincent, whom I met at the Midwest tournament, looking for a spot. There was a space open by me, and we discussed the tournament, fishing, and our lives. We found out we both teach music - very cool! After talking some more we headed to bed to be ready to hit the water the next morning.

During the night I was awakened by the flash of lightning and sound of thunder. Thankfully, the storm wasn’t bad; the rain was light, and moved by quickly. We picked up camp, made some breakfast and coffee, then headed down to check in and get ready to launch.

We fished for about six and a half hours. The weather the night before didn’t change the fishing; it was still extremely slow. In that time I caught one fish. That was even with a hook, worm, and bobber! Other folks were lucky and caught two or three. Carrie was able to find the pockets of biting fish, and secured first place. Overall it was a fun tournament, and it’s always great to meet other kayak anglers.

This past summer was amazing - so many adventures, and meeting many other YakAnglers. A huge “Thank you!” goes out to my amazing wife! Katie has always supported this great addiction and my pursuit of fishing with other YakAnglers! I also could have never made these trips without my fellow YakAnglers’ support. Thank you countless times over for opening up your doors, sharing your home waters, and putting me on some amazing fish!

Lastly, none of this would have been possible without YakAngler.com. This website and forums have put me in contact with so many great people. I am lucky to know all of you! The summer of 2014 was one of great friends, awesome fish, and amazing travels. Thank you to everyone who made it possible! Now go out, meet more YakAnglers, and catch some fish!

Read 5258 times Last modified on Tuesday, 23 September 2014 11:45
Spencer Jones

Although starting to kayak fish in the summer of 2012 Spencer has fished since he was a kid.  He fishes everything from small creeks to large lakes mainly targeting large and smallmouth bass, northerns, and anything he can convince to bite the hook.  When he is not on the water he teaches choir at a middle and high school and teaches private piano lessons, and composes music. Spencer also loves working out and helping folks get healthy and fit!  He lives in Neenah with his lovely wife, 2 dogs, and 4 cats.

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