well the kayak tourney was a success!!!!
i would like to thank str00ver (jc) for all the work and the help of the other guys too. it was a great experience i won't soon forget. so of course it rained! it was a good night friday with the smaller crowd then. i enjoyed the band and of course the conversation with the other kayakers - meeting all the gang. if you get a chance str00ver a list of the standings with forum names would be nice. meeting some of the people i've been talking with on line like Bobd makes us all more "real".
since it rained, my pre fish the week before was mostly useless. i couldn't believe that i couldn't find a cooperative pickeral! lol and finding the pumpkinseed sun fish so easily when they definatley prefer feeding on sunny days was wierd. my white/silver perch spot was a bust, all it produced was smallies and the dnr...! lol that's where they bumped into me. we had a nice talk, i showed them how easy it was to catch smallies...! it was a meeting of 2 different extremes, the four of them in two high horse power rescue/persuit boats wondering how much farther upstream they could make it - meanwhile there i was in a home made wooden me-powered kayak!!
there were no lack of smallies - smallies smallies everwhere - i couldn't keep them off my hooks. even still, it was a real surprise to switch from perch gear to striper gear...and then catch a small mouth!?! i thought i had a schoolie on! instead it was a 13" smallie, the biggest smallie for the day, so i wasn't dissappointed. i remember thinking at the time "okay, that's a good one for a tourney, it may not be the biggest but there is no point looking for another one..." as it turned out i may as well have, i was bust for stripers , sturgeon and catfish, all of which i basicly tried one spot for. for a couple hours. ohps. what's worse was i warned others that this might be the case the night before (i had thoght by running hard all the way to the spot i would fish stripers until 8am, instead i got distracted by picking up 3 species on the way there...which is all i caught! ohps.! lol)
i found it hard to shift my thinking to the tourney world. i was either giving out info i shouldn't have ( "i just caught a pumpkinseed over here"...or i was about to change gear, saw another 'yaker using what i was about to change to...and went with something else instead. ie: it wasn't working any better for him - it looks like he knows how to use it, don't ask why - adapt! it was also hard when asking what spieces people had caught not to ask where and when the caught it...or tell them where to get a fish they were looking for!! i had found a hot spot for sunnies, which latter on drapper also found. i also forced myself not to go fish in front of the kids after learning they had caught a white sucker. now isn't that different - the idea of fishing on purpose for a white sucker!!
my yellow perch spot produced as expected, which was a releaf! i didn't land as many yelloow perch as i did smallies, but i sure caught a lot of them. i estimate i landed between 45 and 50 smallies, almost at will. i actually started avoiding the area along shore so i didn't have to take the time to unhook and release them. at one point i was paddling hard, trolling a minnow bait with i was sure a bunch of weed on it...and kept on going that way, my logic being only a pickeral would be dunmb enough to hit it!
i made a few mistakes i would like to avoid next time (and yes! i'm in for next time!), like leaving my fly rod and soft plastics with drapper in the canoe...and then never seeing him until after the tourney was over! .lol, he also had my lunch!!! i also ended up with line twist on several of my set ups mostly from trolling, getting a weed on, then getting all spun up, but it also happened with my popper rod, which decided to go all loopy too, just to increase my blood preasure level. luckily i had taken more combo's with me than ever before - i needed them!!!!
i got a little despirited about 2pm when i realized my white perch weren't biting - i felt the tourney was mine to lose, and without another species, that's what happened.
i finished third - not bad at all, with the longest fish of the day, that was the 13" smallie and tied for the longest yellow perch. even though i was impressed with the size of my pumplinseed sunnie, it turned out to be average for that day. i'm sorry but can't remember the names of the winners in either adult or junior devision (str00ver will list it shortly i'm sure), i should note however that one of those groups of kids would have beteen me if they were in the adult devision - they landed 4 species!
it was a great selection of prizes, and i'm sure i'll get lots of use out of my new kayak paddle. to the sponcers - thanks guys! i'll tell everybody about your great stuff.
see yah there next year.
ps: a couple of us are looking at kayak & canoe fishing there on aug7 (the company says we have the day off...) so if yah wanna show up, we'll be there. unless of course if the fishing is just tooooooo good some where else!!!
pss: boy, i sure used a lot of " ! " in this post. it tells you that it was a ! time. don't miss next year!!!!