At the Captains Briefing, tournament director Raf Vargas suggested that anglers should photograph any fish they caught, regardless of species. “We might have to adjust the scoring if no one catches a bass in this weather,” Vargas declared. Fortunately, a few anglers did have some success, so no measuring of bluegills was necessary.
Ten percent of the entry fees was donated to the Heartland Chapter of Heroes on the Water. Vargas did an outstanding job of lining up sponsors to support HOW and the anglers in the event. Over $800 cash was shared among the three top placers in the bass tournament and the longest northern pike side pot. In addition, there was over $3400 in prizes and gifts from the sponsors: Boat Dock, Select Sail & Sports, YakAttack, Power Team Lures, Yak Gear, YakAngler.com, Ram Mounts, Backwater Paddle Company, Bass Pro Shops, Railblaza, C-Tug, Revive Massage & Spa, WhichWich, Casey’s, Scooters, Target, Scheels, Walmart, and Kayak Angler Magazine.
Adam Dresden won the longest northern side pot with a 31.5” northern pike.
Marty Hughes, the “Godfather” of Nebraska Kayak Angling, won third place in the bass tournament with a three-bass total of 42”. Marty has hosted countless tournaments, as he started the kayak angling movement in Nebraska sixteen years ago. This was the first time Marty was able to be a participant in a tournament and not have to be the host/organizer.
Tyler Madison placed second in the bass tournament with a 42.75”three-bass total.
Joshua Workman won the First Annual Spooky Bass Tournament, with a three-bass combination of 48.75”. Workman also won the longest largemouth award with a 16.75”ditch pickle.
Chris Carlisle was awarded the “Longest Round Trip”. Chris traveled over 1000 miles in the round trip from North Dakota. There were participants from six states. Congratulations to all the kayak anglers.
Special thanks to Raf Vargas for all of his hard work and dedication to making this event special. Raf’s efforts and commitment combined with the generosity of many sponsors to produce a great event to benefit Heroes on the Water, while providing a fun opportunity for kayak anglers.
About the Author: Longtime angler, relatively new to kayaking. Love the combination of the two. This year has brought the two greatest fishing days of my life. First, on Father's Day, our young son & I went fishing - he caught a 20" channel catfish, a couple of largemouths over 12", and about 15 bluegills. Then in September, my Dad & I took a guided trip at Gavin's Point Dam on the Missouri River. We caught 10 different species that day & shared a special day together on the water. Diverse work experience - college & high school football coach, a high school math teacher, a software developer, and a technology/operations director at a pharmacy. Enjoy family time with wife, two kids, and large extended family. If not working or with family, I like to fish, hunt upland birds, read, cook, follow sports, make artificial lures/flies/jigs, and watch NCIS and reruns of the Spanish Fly. Have a lot of interests, but am not very interesting.