Tournament season is upon us in full force and with that comes the stress of trying to find fish, pattern fish and catch fish. All the while the clock is ticking. Many of us in the kayak fishing community are competitive, some enjoy the camaraderie, others enjoy the challenge and others like me, enjoy the push to become better anglers. Everybody I know that fishes in one tournament series or another, spend a lot of time scouring the internet, taking exploratory trips to out of the way waters, racking up the miles on their vehicles and dare I say it, trying to find the hottest lure that nobody knows about.
But like I mentioned, it’s spring time and we all know what that means. On top of all we have to contend with, one of the most frustrating obstacles is the weather. Here in the northeast, this means rain, and lately there has been a lot of it. Of course that also means pre-frontal and post frontal conditions to manage. I think everyone I know has had days this season where they think they got the bass all figured out and then the temperature drops, we get some cold rain and our favorite holes are blown out or the fish have moved. Problem is, you’re right in the middle of a tournament or challenge.
One of the ways I try to cope with the changing weather and water conditions is by spot hopping. Basically searching for lesser known or out of the way bodies of water that may have not been affected by local weather patterns. Sometimes this works and other times, I wind up taking a nice drive for no pay off. In the very least, I’ve discovered a potential future fishing spot.
In fact as I write this, I’m nursing my injured pride because I just returned from a large lake that I was certain was going to be hot. Boy was I wrong. Earlier today, I loaded up the trusty Jackson Coosa HD and set out on an adventure with good spirits and high hopes and a pocket full of soft plastics. Hours went by on the water with no bites before I was shocked out of my daze by a solid hit. Immediately my imagination went wild, because I envisioned a state record large mouth bass battling on the other end. A few minutes into the fight confirmed the suspicions that started to creep in, this is no bass, this fish is fighting weird. Several minutes went by before I was able to bring the big mystery fish up and it rocketed out of the water. It was then that I was pleasantly surprised by the steely gray scales of a monster sized Bowfin. Some people call it Grennel or mud fish, in any case, they are pretty rare and I was ecstatic because I have wanted to catch this fish for a long, long time. On another outing similar to this, in April, I caught my personal best large mouth bass, tipping the scales at 5.5lbs. So I guess all things considered, it’s not too bad, fun is where you find it, and the fish, well they are out there, go get em.