Last tournament of the year 11/19/16

One of my favorite tournaments to fish is the Where Y’at which is hosted by my local club Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club. I’ve only been competitively fishing kayak tournaments for two years now so last year was my first time fishing it. I didn’t fare too well last year, but I learned quite a bit. The tournament format is to weigh your 10 largest speckled trout only using artificial lures. The week leading up to the tournament I got to pre-fish twice. The first scouting trip was very successful with some nice trout landed up to three pounds. My feeling was that the winner this year would need at least 18 pounds to win. My second scouting trip was essentially to the same area, but I used different baits and I didn’t catch as many trout. On the way in, I spotted a sea turtle just floating on the top. I scooped it up to see if it was sick or had fishing line wrapped around it. Everything looked fine and as I placed him back into the water he shot off! As usual the weather forecast wasn’t ideal for tournament day. A cold front was coming in around 3:00 that morning with wind gusts up to 25 mph. The barometric pressure was my biggest concern since a sudden increase can affect how fish feed. As bad as the condition would be I knew everyone else had to fish in the same conditions. As I leave my house to head to the boat launch, the winds are already blowing 15 mph and it’s 3:30 in the morning. I’m saying to myself “You should just sleep in!” When I get to the launch I see five other guys who also decided to fish the area I decided on. We all look at each other and probably think we are all crazy to be fishing in this weather. Temps were in the 60’s, but by 11:00 they were dropping into the 50’s. A few guys caught fish early on, but I didn’t get my first keeper fish until 7:30 am. After that I struggled for a while to get fish number 2 and the winds were only getting stronger. I had to make a decision. I decided to change baits to fish smaller baits slower than what I was currently using. The decision paid off and I was catching fish frequently, but the size wasn’t what I was hoping for. By 12:00 pm I finally had 10 fish I could weigh in, but I knew I wouldn’t be anywhere near the top 10 unless I upgraded some of my fish. I only had an hour and a half more to fish, before I had to paddle back into that headwind to make the weigh-in. I ended catching four more fish that helped me upgrade, but I didn’t know how I would stack up against everyone else. The results of the weigh-in surprised me. I was impressed with the guys that decided to fish it and some quality fish were weighed. I ended up in 5th place with a weight of 14.89 pounds. Considering the conditions I was proud of my finish. Until next time, tight lines!

Nice-trout Another-nice-trout Small-loggerhead-turtle Loggerhead-turtle My-bag-for-weigh-in

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