My second year gathering in Southern Virginia for a low sodium excursion. The 9th Annual Yakattack tournament was set to be a blast! It seemed the time from registering in January and leaving on a Thursday in May time went by in a flash. My fishing partner Ricky bailed on this year so I was riding solo. My 2016 Ford F150 loaded up with the new Jackson Kilroy LT and Torqeedo, freshwater tackle, along with camping gear. It was on. The drive went pretty fast although it took about six and a half hours to cover 285 miles. Stopping by the convention center running into  John Hipsher and Luther Cifers along with his wife and a few others getting ready to set up the venue for Fridays captains meeting.

Off to the state park camp ground. Although there is a field donated for free camping I was fortunate to be invited by a friend of mine Noriel. Hs a fellow Jackson Kayak Owner with his Big Tuna. Although he purchases a new Wildy Radar with the pedal drive were still cool! Camping in the state park has its benefits. Showers and running water! The whole Central Jersey Kayak Bass Fishing  crew was there. It was great to see them all again! Set up my tent and enjoyed the campfire for a bit then crashed out.

The Jersey crew and I decided to fish Sandy River Reservoir which is about a 20 minute drive from camp. The crew went out to get breakfast and I hit up the Fas Mart for good coffee and a dirty southern fried egg biscuit sandwich. It was good! Headed to the public launch dropping down the Jackson Kayak Kilroy LT Realtree Camo from the Malone saddles. Geared up with the Torqeedo and the Yakattack Command Stand.  The day was heating up fast along with hard fishing and no fish for me.  Good thing for the MTI Neptune inflatable PFD it felt like a cooler day than most at 85 degrees.

Friday:

We pre-fished hard but no one really had any luck. For me this is a different world of fishing. As a kid it seemed easy although most of my tackle is from back then. A hundred then a thousand casts on all the things i had and not even a nibble. It was nice though just to  practice standing in the Kilroy LT and cruising around with the Torqeedo setup. We packed it in around 12:30 to get back to camp and then to hit up the captains meeting.

The national anthem was beautifully sung by Luther Cifers daughters following a speech by Ollie Hughes a wounded veteran whom benefited from HOW.  He spoke about how Heroes on the Water helped him and his family leading to being grateful as a Veteran to the charity. A short version of the tournament rules were reviewed followed by a prayer and dinner! As always the food was excellent. On the menu was Ribeye, Chicken, Seafood Chowder, Country Baked Beans, Slaw, and a really good Bow Tie cold Mac Salad! Afterbeing completely stuffed I helped clean up before heading back to camp. We enjoyed a bit of a camp fire before crashing out anticipating a long day to follow.

Saturday:

The AM came quick although it was a hot sweaty night in the tent. The Crew and I embarked on a small pond that we figured may be greener pastures from the previous day. Upon arrival a large sign stating permits were need to access the pond created confusion. I decided to fish Briary Creek as i did well the year prior and well the Kilroy is immune to standing timber. After launching it seemed to be a repeat of the day before. Although there was some small fly hatching that I honestly couldn’t see fly away but it caused small ripples in the water like it was raining. Little white tubes or casks remained. A guy with a fly rod was catching small bass left and right.  Guess I had the wrong baits.  Brian came up to me and hooked me up with some swinging hammers which I actually had a hit on but failed to set the hook on the fish. At this point I decided to paddle around and explore the lake. An afterthought I should have been taking photos on the water. Two of the guys were caught on tree stumps through theyre scupper holes. The Kilroy LT had an advantage with no scuppers no way to get hung up on the timber.

After fishing we enjoyed lunch at a local BBQ joint the Pig Fish. I had the brisket sandwich which was as expected amazing southern BBQ! We ended up back at camp and playing basshole a corn hole game with a bass on it! I invented a new backspin toss that killed it! Noone wanted to play anymore and it was time anyway to head down to the convention hall for fish entering which we didnt really have anything and hanging out till dinner and the raffle.

 

It was great meeting in person many from the YakAttack team to put a live face to our facebook profiles. John got us all together for a group photo which was very orange haha.

The raffles were held along with dinner and prizes! The couple who donated the field for free caming every year cleaned up at the raffle including winning two kayaks and just abut all of the necessity’s that go with them. It was all orange tickets! I did pretty well ont he raffle too walking away with 4 prizes out of $40 in tickets.

Great Work!

In all we raised over $22,000 for Heroes on the Water and Project Healing Waters two great charity organizations for wounded US veterans. Once we cleaned up most at the conference center it was almost midnight. Still many of us headed over to the field for a good ole bon fire!.

 

Wrap Up 5th Annual CBKA Tournament September 10th 2016

Another Chesapeake Bay Fishing Tournament in the books. For me it was great to be out on the water with my kayak after two and a half months due to relocating and my truck having mechanical issues. Living now in South Eastern Delaware it was a pleasure to have half the driving distance to the venue on Kent Island Maryland. This was my third year to be present at this beautiful venue.

Preparation:

wp-1478057920921.jpgIt was the first kayak haul for my new 2016 F150. I took the Friday off from work which worked out as I was able to get my new truck bed cap installed at the ARE Dealer, Trick Trucks in Millsboro DE. Previously had removed the Thule rack in anticipation of installing it on the new cap asap. It took me around an hour to drill and bolt on the rack to my new cap. It was now pretty set for kayak hauling. I loaded up and let around 3:50 PM to arrive at the venue around 6:00 PM.

Arrival:

Upon my arrival meeting up with Joe Hostler. Checked in and received my captains bag stocked with goodies. Then awaited the captains meeting. After sitting trough that went to the field to set up my tent. The day was a scorcher at 95 degrees and high humidity. As the sun set during the potluck dinner which I provided some tuna mac with crab salad. All of the potluck food brought by others was excellent as always. Joe’s mac salad was amazing along with various other items such as jalapeno poppers, chicken wings, and a crab mac & cheese dish.

As the evening set in the temperature leveled at about 86 degrees as the humidity shot through the roof. The conditions were not the best to be camping but made the best of it. Sat in the truck air conditioning for a bit. Finally going to the tent around 12:00 am. Some of the guys were still up hanging out and apparently were until around 3 am.

Tournament Day:

wp-1478056234649.jpgThe morning came fast. Sounds of alarms and others waking from camp. It was still dark but not for long. I went over and met Joe at his cabin grabbed some coffee and rigged up a few rods. We were probably the last to launch but it worked out because driving to the drop in was simple. Rather than loading up the kayaks and walking then there on kayak carts. Hitting the water we immediately started fishing for bait. In these areas Spot are an excellent source of bass bait. Spot can be gathered using a small 1/0 Octopus hook a small bit of weight and a fish bite or small piece of blood worm.

a-spot_cbkaAfter about a dozen or so spot and catching small white perch at the same time we trolled over to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in search of solid fish marks on the chart plotter. By this time the wind had kicked up from the southeast and it was rocking and rolling out there. Live lining for bass was non eventful after a few hours. The stripers just didn’t seem to cooperate on the live bait.

Attempted trolling for hours catching one small striper around 17″. We went back at catching perch with an attempt to place in that category but could only manage fish up to 8″. We fished the entire time and missed the weigh in but were sure we had nothing that qualified for placing in the tournament anyway. It was a great day to be out on the water doing what I love the most.

cbka_16-striperThe awards ceremony commenced and as always is very well put together. A representative from the make a wish foundation was present and spoke a little bit about the charity followed by a tear jerking video of a boys wish to take a trip on a US aircraft carrier. They really do amazing things for these kids whom unfortunately endure a lot of pain and suffering. This is what we do it for!

If you have never attended the Chesapeake Bay Kayak Anglers tournament come next year and check it out. Hang with a bunch of friendly kayak anglers.

For a few years it has been a dream of mine to be present at the YakAttack tournament. Previous years unfortunately the tournament date conflicted with the J-Bay tournament. 2016 was different however! The 8th Annual YakAttack Tournament was scheduled for the following weekend on Saturday May 21st. I was in and so was Ricky Wolbert! Planning started months in advance as the tournament was capped at 180 total registered anglers. For me this was a road trip being that the tournament is located in the area of Farmville Virginia, A 6.5 hour drive from my residence.

Washington DC from the outer beltwayMeeting up with Ricky on a sunny warm May afternoon at his pad in Philly we transferred my gear and my Jackson Cuda 14 to his SUV and kayak trailer. Three nights worth of camping and fishing an unknown area we had to be decisive on what to bring. Our gear and everything had just fit. We were on our way crossing our fingers that we we wouldn’t get stuck in the major waste of time we call Washington DC traffic. 20160519145055_IMG_6704Along the way in Virginia we stopped at Wawa for gas and a quick lunch break. It was nice to stop for a few minutes but little did we know the traffic on I95 was building ahead. Ricky calls it a “Rubbernecker” with a drawl!

Eventually arriving at Burkville the home of YakAttack LLC  not knowing what was around understanding we were deep in the country we settled eating at a strange “family restaurant” for dinner. I have to say I think it was the most bland food I have ever had in my entire life. Some research should have been done but it is the way it is. After chowing down it was the race to camp to set up before dark. The 8th Annual YakAttack Tournament - Twin Lakes State Park VAUpon our arrival the camp site was perched on a 30 degree slope. We knew there was inches of rain to fall the next night and were hoping the slope wouldn’t turn into a river. Pitched our tents in a way that we would be able to tarp both of them in preparation for the impending monsoon that was forecasted. Hung out with some of  the other Jersey anglers who also made the road trip. Enjoying a few beverages before getting into the sleeping bag. The night became cold and damp but sleeping wasn’t a problem.

The 8th Annual YakAttack Tournament - Briary Creek LakeFriday morning it was time to pre-fish. We awoke to a very cool and damp morning which was a chill to the bone. Taking it easy and in no hurry and we left camp around 8 am in search of coffee and some breakfast sandwiches. In the country gas stations seem to be the place for quick breakfast sandwiches and coffee. Ricky found a gas station that had some amazing coffee and decent breakfast food. From there it was onto fishing at Briery Creek Lake a nationally recognized lake for its record breaking  Largemouth Bass.

MVI_6730-1John Oast called in as he was on his way down from PA. He is a local to the area being born and raised nearby, He gave us some info on where to launch and I plugged the road into my GPS. 45 min later we were on a windy wooded dirt country road headed downhill to the lake. At the end we found a gate and no real access to the lake. It turned out the road number was the same on the other side of the lake!. So we circled halfway around the lake to the actual boat launch area. It was time to hit the water!

IMG_6751Briery Creek Lake is told to be one of the top Bass fishing destinations in the country. Loaded with timber or dead trees from when the Dam was built flooding the valley. Much of the timber resides just inches below the water line. Its easy to catch one of these in the kayak scupper and get stuck or have one hit the hull the wrong way and flip you right over. Caution was the #1 priority here. This timber is structure which holds a ton of bass. For me fishing freshwater is something that doesn’t happen often and it is always a learning experience. Fishing timber is one of those learning curves brought by this unique location. The 8th Annual YakAttack Tournament - Matt Trucks BassAttempting spinner baits and soft plastic worms not having any luck. Switched over to a crank bait in a shallow cove. The 8th Annual YakAttack Tournament - Jackson Kayak Cuda 14At a sharp drop off from inches of water to about 6 feet I found the bass hanging on beds. I landed two fish up to 17 inches which is a record for me from the kayak. The bite only lasted a few minutes. By the time Ricky came over it was pretty much over. He missed one as it shook itself off his lure. By this time The 8th Annual YakAttack Tournament - John 'Toast' OastJohn Oast had arrived and we met up with him. He gave us some pointers and he ended up with a dink before we called it a day. On the way back to camp in search of a tarp for the tents since heavy rain was in the forecast. We located a Lowes where I purchased a tarp which would be very much needed for the night to come.

The 8th Annual YakAttack Tournament- Captains Meeting Foods 2016Back at camp we met up at the captains meeting. The ability to purchase raffle tickets was available for 3 different raffles. A general raffle which had pretty generous prizes such as an Orion cooler, an assortment of paddles, electronics, and just about any YakAttack product you could think of. Another raffle was for a nice fishing rod benefiting a local fellow (I forget his name) whom was a big part of the tournament and the sport. And the big raffle was for 4 different kayaks and a fishing SUP. The rules were discussed a prayer was said and it was time to feast. One rumor proven true is that the Yakattack tournament provided the best meals. Captains meeting dinner consisted of an excellent seafood soup, Rib eyes, T bones along with Ribs, hotdogs, and a ton of sides. The brownies were so good! They definitely eat well in the country and are generous to their guests!

 

The 8th Annual YakAttack Tournament - CampFollowing dinner we went to back to camp to settle in for the night. It began raining late in the evening. Awaking to the sound of buckets of water being dropped on the tarp over the tent it poured for 3 hours non stop. Amazingly the tarp kept the tents dry. Opting to sleep in anyway and wait out the weather.

The 8th Annual YakAttack Tournament - RickyIMG_6748It was a damp cool and wet morning that eventually became an overcast day. Ricky and I left camp around 7:30 after the rain had ended. We attempted to find a gas station breakfast but didn’t have much luck. Ricky ate a questionable plastic wrapped breakfast sandwich as I opted to find something better.

Fishing wasn’t good. Couldn’t find the bass. Fished Briery Creek Lake for about 5 hours with really no luck. I threw just about every different color in my tackle box along with different lures such as spinner baits, crank, creature baits, baits and plastic worms. Nothing produced unfortunately. However I do feel the angler pressure from the previous day 4 inches of rain totaling out to a 1 foot rise in water level along with the cooling down of the water temps had a lot to do with the lack of fish caught there on tournament day. However it didn’t matter to Ricky and I. We were there to have fun which is what the YakAttack tournament is all about.

IMG_6778There’s no prizes for catching the biggest fish besides a fish print from Rob Choi and bragging rights. Typically the freshwater tournaments are money prizes. In this case the prizes were raffled out to everyone that was registered and all of the proceeds were to benefit charity’s such as Heroes on The Water and Project Healing Waters.

Back at the awards dinner the winners of the tournament were announced. Representatives of the respective charity’s spoke a little and raffles were read off in between. Dinner was then served as the raffles continued. Once again the food was excellent. It was a joy to be resent at the YakAttack tournament this year.IF you have never been do check it out next year! You will not be disappointed. Keep an eye out for future tournament announcements on the YakAttack Forums.

Thanks to John Hipsher, Luther, his family, and everyone else that worked so hard to make it such a successful event. The 8th Annual YakAttack Tournament was a great experience for us all.

My apologies this post should have been finished months ago.

 

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