For this tournament I paddled the Jackson Kayak “Big Rig”. One of the great advantages of owning a Jackson Kayak boat is they are fishable out of the box. No extra rigging is needed, in my opinion. My Big Rig does have a Raymarine “Dragonfly” chartplotter installed, so I had to drill two holes for the transducer and power cables. I also have the Power-Pole “Micro”, so that was another hole for the power cable. I’m using two separate batteries that are secured to the Big Rig battery tray. Other than these additional components, my Big Rig is just a standard Jackson kayak.
For IFA Kayak Fishing Tour events, an angler needs to hook up on a slot-size or bigger redfish and speckled trout using artificial lures only. My setup included a Heddon “Super Spook Jr.” for the early morning bite, concentrating on that early bite for a trout. I had a couple explosions with that lure, but no hook ups. As the sun rose higher in the sky, I transitioned to a jig head with a Slayer, Inc. “S.S.T.” paddletail. As I made my way along some oyster bars and a mouth of a small feeder creek coming out of the grass, I had a hard hit and hookup. Unfortunately, it was not a trout or a redfish, but a nice bluefish - my personal best. After a few photos, I released the bluefish to fight another day.
Working along the grass line, the occasional oyster bar, and feeder creeks I kept coming up empty. I came across a nice-looking point and thought that there had to be a fish in ambush position just waiting. I made the cast and, sure enough, I had a hookup. I lowered the Power-Pole “Micro” anchor while I fought the fish. I managed to land a small flounder. After releasing the fish I made a few more casts, but the results were the same as the balance of the day.
I decided to move onto a new area called Weston Flat to catch the outgoing tide. As I slowly moved along, there were small under-slot reds stacked alongside the oyster bars. I attempted to cast to them but I had no takers. I could see a couple of other kayak anglers getting just as frustrated as I was. I managed to get tired of casting, and the water was getting really shallow. I decided it was time to head back to the weigh-in to hear some great fishing stories and cheer on the winners.
Congratulations to the following anglers:
- First place went to Dave Jaskiewicz with an aggregate score of 49.13. Dave also had the largest trout that measured 20.38”.
- Second place was Nathan Raycroft with a score of 48.13. He had the largest redfish at 31.63”.
- Joe Komyati took third place with a score of 45.
- Junior Angler went to Jarred Komyati with an aggregate score of 42.63 which also placed him in fourth place.
The next Atlantic Division tournament will again be in Georgetown on August 30, 2015. The winner of this event will be given the opportunity to be on the US Hobie Team fishing on Shang Lake in China.