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: 2015 MAKBF Series Championship Tournament

A Mid-Atlantic Kayak Bass Fishing free entry I had acquired in a charity raffle at the 2015 CBKA Tournament opened the door to the another side of kayak fishing. A side myself am not too familiar with. The freshwater kayak fishing Bass tournament series. As a primary saltwater angler my focus is always on the tournaments that focus on targeting saltwater species. Fishing freshwater lakes about 3-4 days a year this was to be a challenge. I wasn’t in any way a threat to anyone in the series but sometimes luck is just on your side!

DPS InvertedAfter a 3.5 hour drive from my home in New Jersey arriving at Delaware Paddlesports in Lewes Delaware to check in and receive the tournament unique Identifier. It had just become dark and the cool air was settling in. A few guys were hanging out near a nice warm fire in the back lot. Enjoying some brews talking kayak fishing and even kayak rigging this was my crowd! It was great to meet Matt Baden the tournament commissioner and see the guys Chris Alan and John! At this point the attempt was to maybe find a fishing buddy or get some intel of where to fish. It didn’t seem anyone was willing to give up locations being that it was the Championship round and was expected although as stated I was no threat.  It was around 9PM when I left DPS and was to stay with my parents for the night. They live a short distance away. Beats camping in the cold plus get the chance to spend some time with them.

IMG_3405Arriving at my parents home after enjoying a sandwich I resumed my prior research on where to fish. The pacific warriors kayak fishing TV show was on which I have mixed feelings on. Although it was good background noise. Previously at home I had scoured google maps on satellite mode looking for a pond that wasn’t incredibly weedy but had the potential for bass. Also was looking for a fishing location that was close to the tournament HQ. The conclusion was to fish Wagamonds pond in Milford DE.

The tournament venue was the entire state of Delaware. Any public fresh body of water was within the boundaries. A total of three bass was needed to qualify. The tournament is linked to the online TourneyX system as all KBF affiliated tournaments  do. This allows catch photos to be uploaded to the internet and submitted in real time via Cell Phone.

Arriving at Wagamonds Pond at 6:45 am after a WaWa breakfast wrap and a Signature Blend Coffee. The sun had risen but it was really cool morning in the high 30’s. There were bass boats in line to launch at the ramp. I figured this was a good sign! Talking to one of the anglers they apparently had never fished the pond but were hoping for the best. Rigging up my kayak as all of the other boats launched dropping in shortly after.

IMG_3440G0018447Paddling away form the boat anglers I went directly to a point that had pads and some vegetation. Ton of casts and changing up baits finally on a weightless texas rigged motor oil colored soft plastic worm strung on a Penetration hook a hit and ending up with a pickerel @ 21″.PickerelMAKBF
Kept casting that plastic and more of the same. It was great catching fish but I was looking to catch bass. Moving around on the Big Rig using my Aqua Bound Challenge SUP paddle. Several other kayak anglers showed up fishing the pond but none came close to me to say hello or anything. The wind had picked up around 9am and didn’t stop. Along with overcast that rolled in 15-20 steady with 25-30 gusts. Pond white caps is something different for most but the little wave action almost brought me back to home.

IMG_3442The 8′ Yak Attack Park n Pole saved the day for me. Able to paddle to a location then lance the Park N Pole stick into the lake bottom using my anchor trolley to stay put stand and cast. A much quicker system than anchoring with a traditional anchor. Luckily this pond wasn’t very deep in most areas!

Throughout the morning with overcast, cool temps, plus the wind that began around 8:30 am; it was actually pretty cold. At some point I had posted online to the event Facebook page hoping they had the fire going for when we got back.

 

Around 11:30 the clouds finally broke and let some sun warm up the body. The bite had died off. Another 2 hours of fishing and nothing. With the wind still howling decision to pack it in had been made. Only a half hour from DPS parking there around 3PM. The smell of burgers grilling and the sound of music playing was very inviting. It was soon to be awards time! Receiving a nice tournament bag packed with nice socks from Farm to Feet and other nice swag!

IMG_3457

 

 

The awards began. Being the championship there were many! The awards were given out for the day and the entire series. Most of the guys and gals whom fished the series were present to accept their prizes. There were over $8,000 worth in prizes and a total of $7,875 money distributed to winners in the entire series which consisted of a number of events that were hosted in multiple states such as Delaware Maryland Pennsylvania Virginia and West Virginia. The tournament also donated a total of $620 to the local chapters of Heroes on The Water! For Official Results Check out MAKBF.

If you are located within the area of this MAKBF Tournament series please do check it out! The official website is http://www.makbfseries.com/ and on facebook.

 

 

MAKBF 2015 Group

2015 MAKBF Final Results

Final Event Standings

1st Place: Louis Martinez 53.25″ – $330, Power-Pole Micro Anchor System, YakAttack Prize Pack
2nd Place: Aaron White 52″ – $198, Farm to Feet “Sock Drawer Makeover”
3rd Place: Danny Schanne 49.25″ 
– $132, Smallie Stix Rod
4th Place: Chris Rios 48.5″ – Astral Kayak Shoes,
5th Place: Noah Tomasik 48″ – $50 Butter It Baits Gift Card

6th Place :Julie Tomasik 48″ – PowerTeam Lures Kit
7th Place: Jedediah Plunkert 46.5″ – Bass Assassin Lures Prize Pack, Cablz Eyewear Retainers


Top 20 Angler of the Year

1. Jedediah Plunkert – 61*
2. CJ Espey – 51+
3. Matt Eikenberg – 36*
4. Peter Manthos – 33*
5. Michael Chaney – 32+
6. Matt Campbell – 28*
7. Josh Evans – 23*
8. Matt Yuschak – 23*
9. Dave Adlington – 21*
10. Joe Deisvaldi – 21*
11. Chris Watts – 21+
12. Jeff Little – [email protected]
13. Dave Thompson – 14*
14. Shane Clift – 11*
15. Louis Martinez – 10
16. Danny Schanne – 10
17. Aaron White – 9
18. Jeremy Savage – 9
19. Alberto Tabian – 9
20. AJ Morton – 9

*Qualified for KBF National Championship
+Previously Qualified for KBF National Championship
@Passed on qualification to next angler

 

 

Many people have gone wilderness camping & fishing for a weekend with whatever supplies they could pack on their kayak. This was my first adventure Wilderness Camping a weekend from the Kayak and man was it a great time!

IMG_1366_up_RVPreparing to have a good time and eat well at the same time. The venue is Round Valley Reservoir State Park in New Jersey. This place is a unique clear lake where you can see the bottom at about 30 feet of depth. The reservoir also reaches depths of 160 feet in the center. IT is known as the Bermuda Triangle of New Jersey as people have disappeared on the reservoir and many have drowned.

The wilderness camping at the State Park is either a 6.5 mile hike to the camp sites or a 1.5 – 3 mile paddle. As a kayak angler the choice of sticking to the paddle is the only option. The campgrounds are completely primitive with only hand pump well water and latrines. A majority of the sites are right on the water which makes it a must camp at this location!! Its a good idea to reserve online early as once the weather outlook looks good the water sites fill up fast. You are allowed 6 people per camp site reservation. The cost is only $17 per night or $119 per week plus administration fees and taxes of course.

RV-MAPtocampJoining two good friends from the kayak fishing scene and including the company of 3 other friends that are not avid kayakers this trip was going to be exiting. We all love camping and being in the outdoors. The only thing we were missing on this trip was ample beer to enjoy but it is wilderness. It is hard to bring the normal gear you would use in car camping although I wasn’t too worried as the Jackson Kayaks have a ton of storage space. My friends were to paddle the Jackson Kraken and Cuda 14 and the other gal has her own kayak that she was taking on her maiden voyage but meeting up with us on Saturday. I was to take over the Jackson Big Rig!

We met up Friday August 28th at the camping parking lot within the State Park. There were many other people whom were setting out for the same voyage to enjoy a few nights in the wilderness. Dennis and I unloaded the kayaks and gear. We loaded up the 3 boats consisting of a Jackson Big Rig, Cuda 14, and Karaken. Al arrived soon after we did and unloaded his sailing kayak, canoe, gear, and kids. The canoe was the key here enabling us to bring more gear across the reservoir including the 65 quart Orion cooler which unfortunately will not fit well in the tank well of a kayak but was needed to keep our food cold and ice over the weekend.  I rigged up a tow line on the Big Rig and utilizing the power of the Torqeedo Ultralight 403 planned to tow the canoe across the almost 3 miles to our reserved campsites.

My list of gear that all fit into kayaks besides a crate of cooking and cleaning utensils and the Orion Cooler which were stowed on the canoe:

  1. Jackson Big Rig, Jackson Kraken, Jackson Cuda 14
  2. (2) Tents
  3. (3) Sleeping Bags
  4. (2) Queen Air Mattress
  5. Ax & Hatchet
  6. Propane Lantern, Head Light
  7. Orion Cooler w/ food, ice, and water
  8. Jet Boil
  9. Coffee w/ French Press
  10. Dutch Oven and Skillet
  11. Plates & Utensils
  12. Fishing tackle rods and gear
  13. Clothing backpacks for 3 people
  14. Bug Spray, Sun Screen
  15. DSLR Camera & GoPro’s

cruise over to camp1

The 3 kayaks really stow a ton of gear with still being incredibly paddle able and not too heavy where they list or are unstable. We were able to take advantage of the vast amount of inner hull access and storage space inside they kayaks along with the bungee to tie down packs of gear in the tank wells. Out of all of that gear forgetting the Jet Boil and Trash bags. No worries Al brought his entire house with him packed on the Canoe! He had a stove with pots to boil clean water for coffee! He even had a bag toilet!

I had rigged up the Big Rig with a Rope and pulley for towing the canoe the 3.5 miles to the camp site. Al added a float to keep the rope floating and not interfere with the propeller of the Torqeedo. Ready and setup Dennis’s Wife Danielle was soon to arrive to join us. Once she arrived we made the paddle across the reservoir to the campsite. It is easily a 40 – 45 min paddle across.  Al went ahead full sail to locate our campsites then radioed to me on the VHF once he located the correct campsites.

second crossingWe were site 69 and Al and Matt were site 66. Both were water sites located next to each other by about 50 yards. We unloaded all of our gear by this time Matt’s call that he was en-route to the park. I was to motor back across the reservoir to the launch area with the canoe to load it up with firewood he was bringing for the weekend. Good thing he had fire wood as it was scarce looking around the area. By the rules of the park we are not to cut down anything that had not fallen or was alive. Late in the summer anything that was downed int he winter had been burned by other campers.  The trek across and back motoring about 3 miles an hour not to use too much battery life on the Torqeedo took well over 2 hours including loading up the firewood.

The sun went down when we were half way across back to camp as the full moon was rising. A magnificent sight! DA MOONBefore long made it to shore at camp and unloaded the fire wood. Snapped a few photos of the Big Rig at dusk’s light. Dennis and Danielle had set up my brand new tent which was awesome!big rig at dusk Unpacking and pitching a brand new tent in the dark was not my idea of fun! Thanks to Dennis and Danielle  camp was completely set up and now time for dinner! Bratwurst was on the menu for the first night. Found a stick to cook a bratwurst on that turned out to be a complete fail with the fire consuming it. A grilling grate was there which we cooked the remaining 5 sausages and enjoyed dinner along with a beverage. Relishing the fire under the bright full moon light spending time with friends was what it was all about. The night was cool but not cold. Perfect sleeping weather!

baconSaturday morning came pretty quick the air mattress was key in avoiding the rock laden forest floor. Made a comfortable sleep in the cool 60’s. Arising around 7:30 am it was time to cook up some bacon and eggs and get ready for a day of lounDennis well pumpging paddling and swimming. Built a fire for the sole purpose of cooking. A camp hatchet is a necessity for making kindling from the split logs we brought over the evening before. The fire was hot and the bacon was soon sizzling in the cast iron skillet with eggs to follow. Once we finished breakfast and the coffee making hassle due to me forgetting the jet boil for hot water we took a walk to get water for cleaning and filled a shower bag. We then hung out and eventually took a swim in the lake. It was around 80 degrees. Very warm. Dennis and Danielle tried out Matt’s Stand Up Paddle Boards for a while. Paddling around taking a few photos of them having fun balancing and paddling.

IMG_1572-reEveryone was getting hungry for lunch so we walked back up to the campsite and ate brats. As we finished up lunch and walked back down to the waterfront, Aliz our 4th companion for a night arrived via kayak late afternoon. She ended up paddling around the entire shore line which is about 6 miles of paddling. Luckily she is a marathon runner who is always training because that’s a long paddle for a novice in a 9 foot sit in kayak. I gave her props for going that far. She joined us paddling and paddle boarding. Then went on a hike with Danielle to find a trail they hiked in the past. afternoon funWhile they were gone Dennis and I prepared dinner. It was dutch oven cooking time! We had about 5 pounds of chicken thighs which i had planned to cook in the oven over the fire for a few hours until the meat was just about falling off the bone. I did forge key seasonings but the organic chicken broth I managed to pack made up for most of the missing seasonings along with the natural flavors of the onions mushrooms celery and carrots we added. About 2 hours after simmering over the fires flames we took the chicken out and added 2 cups of rice which actually turned out perfect as it soaked up and cooked in all of the juices. The rice came out perfect and did not burn.

kidz1Wish a photo was captured of the food but right at dinner time the sun was about to set. So we all went to the rocky waterfront and enjoyed the food while watching the sunset. I brought my camera down and took a few shots of an amazing sundown. Should have brought my tripod to get into a photo or two. It was a big red sunset over the water! After dinner we enjoyed some great company around the fire at site 66 with Matt Al and their kids. They popped popcorn roasted marshmallows. Good times just sitting around a campfire!

 

bigrig sundown

 

Sunday morning unfortunately was time to pack up and go. Aliz had left at 7:30 am to paddle back and go straight to work at REI. Dennis and I arose soon after and we cooked up the rest of the bacon and eggs along with potatoes we cooked in the fire the night before. Al and Matt were leaving early also so we loaded the Orion Cooler in the canoe and Al sailed it back to the launch with his kayak. I missed Matt and his kids leave. We packed our gear back into and on the kayaks and we all paddled back. I didn’t use the Torqeedo on the way back because i wanted to capture the whole experience by paddling home!

leaving RVDidn’t really get to fish much due to the enjoyment of hanging out and taking it easy plus the other guys didn’t even bring a fishing rod. In all it was a Great Weekend! I would recommend wilderness camping to anyone who can disconnect from their phone or ipad for a weekend. Enjoy what nature provides and the quietness of the wilderness for some relaxation and peace.  I look forward to doing this again soon possibly in a different venue. Possibly a river setting.

 

 

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