Saturday, March 23, 2013

Kayak Bass Fishing Invitational

Since I don’t fish for largemouth bass very often, I was just happy to get a few days from the office and hang out with some good friends and hopefully make a few new ones. I can say that without a doubt this was one of the most memorable fishing trips I have taken in a long time! My good friend Richie Bekolay and I got on the road about 5am Tuesday morning to make the 7 hour trip together. I'm glad we decided not to camp. Having a hot shower and bed at the end of the day was awesome!
I didn't take many pictures of this trip but here's one of my Hobie Fishing Team members, Marty Mood and Justin Carter.

Mart Mood, Joe Underwood, Juster Carter

The first day of the Kayak Bass Fishing Invitational started @ 4:30. Blacks Camp had an awesome breakfast buffet ready to go! All 60 participants were lined up by 5:30 and ready to head over to VIP Adventures for the first round of fishing. The night before Chad Hoover had us all pick a number from a hat and I picked lake #6. The way this was going to work was that we had two lakes to fish and 30 participants on each lake.
It was a pretty exciting to see everyone frantically loading and unloading their kayaks and making some last minute adjustments to their tackle. It wasn’t an everyman for himself kind of event. You saw guys helping out others that they had never met before.  Once everyone was ready to go they fired a shot into the air for the start of the event!
I definitely felt like I had an advantage fishing out of my Hobie ProAngler12 for this event. I was able to get partially out in front of the crowd and somewhat claim a spot on the water. I landed several 15”+ fish right away on Senko’s but couldn’t get the big bite I was looking for. After a few hours of fishing I decided to start yo-yoing a Strike King Red Eye Shad. I would let the bait drop to the bottom and rip it up and let it fall. This landed a nicer 16” Largemouth followed up by a 17 ½” fish. I lost that rattletrap and fellow Hobie angler Donnie Miley was kind enough to hand me another to keep fishing! Thanks again Donnie! Now I had to switch to lake #5, right when I felt I just figured out lake #6. I landed quite a few smaller fish and even some BIG crappie but I never got a chance to upgrade my fish so I ended day 1 with two fish totaling 33 ½”.

I was a little surprised but it was enough to put me in 11th position, I’M IN THE TOP 15 and get to fish day 2!
Day 2 started early as well with everyone meeting at the Summerville Holiday in at 6am. There were going to be 3 lakes to fish on day two with roughly 2 ½ - 3 hours per lake and only 5 competitors per lake. I started the day off on Lake #3 and immediately got hooked into a 3lb 12oz - 19”. The water was still pretty cold and I never got another bite on this lake. Lake #1 produced quite a few fish for me with the biggest at 4lb 12oz - 19 ¼” and a 17”er. I got several bites but nothing to upgrade that 17"er. While the water was warming up I knew this lake was going to kill it in the afternoon! We got onto Lake #2 at around 1:30PM and we had until 4:30 to call it quits. I again landed plenty of fish and this time I was able to upgrade one of my fish with a nice fat 18 ½”. Here are my 3 fish...

Photo by : Aaron Dryden

Photo by: Aaron Dryden
Photo by: Aaron Dryden
 We all loaded up our vehicles and headed over to the weight in for the official results. I was really happy with my 3 fish but wasn't sure how everyone else had done. People were tight lipped about their bag limits (and with good reason, $5000 on the line).
The results were announced and I finished in a respectable 5th place!
Here are the final results of the first KBF Invitational :
TONY YANG - 2013 Kayak Bass Fishing Invitational Champion!!!

2nd - Gregory, Drew
3rd - Meyerhoeffer, Troy
4th - Carter, Justin
5th - Underwood, Joe
6th - Colona Benjamin
7th - Miley, Don
8th - Brannon, Matt
9th - Venable, Stewart
10th - McDermid, Ryan
11th - Swaney, Wayne
12th - Biediger, Paul
13th - Lehman, Matt
14th - Cooper, Ryan
15th - Angle, Jeremy

Congratulations to all the participants!
I want to take a minute and thank Chad Hoover for all his hard work on this event! I would also like to thank VIP Adventures owner Marc deschenes. If you want to catch some big fish and lots of them please give VIP Adventures a call, you won't be disappointed!

If your looking to catch some big and I mean BIG largemouth bass, you gotta get down to Lake Moultrie - Santee Cooper, SC.

Hooked Up