Monday, September 23, 2013

3rd Annual Chesapeake Bay Kayak Anglers Tournament

A few years ago I got together with a couple of other kayakers (John Foley and Bryan Rusk) to start the Chesapeake Bay Kayak Anglers. Our goal was to promote kayak fishing, conservation of the Chesapeake Bay, and raise money for charity organizations. We accomplish this by hosting a tournament every fall to benefit the Make A Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic and the Coastal Conservation Association of Maryland.

This year's tournament was a HUGE success! Thanks to our growing numbers of kayak anglers, our tremendous sponsors, and our gracious volunteers we had 104 register this year! We are still putting the numbers together and paying some bills, but we set a new record for the amount we will be able to donate this year!

Here is the recap and the results:

Raw oyster bar and CBKA friend, author, and CCA rep Shawn Kimbro at the Captain's meeting. The oysters were donated by Tyler Sondberg of Great Eastern Shellfish. Shawn provided words of support and the local fishing report. What a great combo.

The Friday night potluck get together was a huge hit. It was a great time meeting fellow kayak anglers and swapping stories. The food was excellent including the donated crabs from Bette S. Kenzie of Easton, MD and coordinated by Dana "Coop" Cooper. And the Masgouf style open fire fish roast was provided by Mustafa Hussin(AbuMasgouf on snaggedline). Thank you, Mustafa and Coop!

Saturday came and the wind had not subsided. But, a number of brave anglers went out on the main stem of the bay to fish the bridge. The majority opted for the relative calm areas on the eastern side of Kent Island. Those that braved the 3' waves were rewarded with the larger and more numerous striped bass that were caught. Personally, I would have left the donated Carefree Boat Club chase boat at the dock if I didn't commit to be out there with fellow director Martin and volunteer photographer, Russ Hewitt. Alot more fish were caught this year including striped bass to 30" for the win. Another went 29" and several others in the upper 20 inch range.

Speakers at Saturday's awards included Ms. Ashley Jefferson of Make-a-Wish Mid Atlantic. Ashley provided some examples of wishes granted to local kids including a great video of little 8 year old Lateef meeting his hero, RGIII. You'd have ice in your veins if that video didn't reach you.

CCA MD Executive Director Tony Friedrich provided a summary of CCA efforts to "defend the fish" and brought along surprise speaker, Tom O'Connell, Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources Director of Fisheries. Tom provided words of support for our grass roots efforts of conservation and updates on DNR activities to support local fisheries.

This year we held 3 raffles. The regular raffle was for accessories, fishing equipment, gift certificates, books, and more. A second raffle for a Hobie kayak donated by Easton Cycle & Sport sold out! The 3rd raffle for a Jackson Kayak Coosa donated by Valley Mill Boats along with several other high end items was a great success.

Overall, our most successful event to date. Looking forward to next year. Thank you!!


Slam Division (Striped Bass + Bluefish + White Perch) - Sponsored by Easton Cycle & Sport

    1st - Richard Souder - 51"
    2nd - Jimmy McDermott - 44.5"
    3rd - Jason Pratt - 36"

CCA $500 Biggest Fish Award - Sponsored by Coastal Conservation Association of MD

    Richard Souder - 30" Striped Bass

BKD Prize - Sponsored by Bass Kandy Delights

    Richard Souder - 18.25" Striped Bass - Biggest fish on a BKD

Hobie Prize - Sponsored by Backyard Boats

    Richard Souder - Biggest fish on a Hobie Kayak

Striped Bass Division - Sponsored by Backyard Boats

    1st - Mike Rosa - 29"
    2nd - Chris Burke - 26"
    3rd - Don Huber - 22.5"

Perch Division - Sponsored by All Tackle

    1st - Roger Metz - 11.5"
    2nd - Nathan Oakes - 11 3/8"
    3rd - Ryan Altenburg - 11 1/4"

Largest Bluefish - Sponsored by Katherine Charters

    Don Huber - 10"

Lady Angler Division - Sponsored by Appomattox River Company

    1st - Samantha Ferline - 13" Striped Bass
    2nd - Michelle Vieraitis - 10" Perch

Blue Crab Division - Sponsored by Fisherman's Crab Deck

    Harry Steiner (caught the crab on a fly!)

Fly Division - Sponsored by Tochterman Tackle

    Mark Bange - 11.25" Striped Bass

Senior Angler Prize

    Larry Walquarnery

Grandmother Angler Prize

    Kaye James

For pictures of the event check out and!

Here's me with my lovely Fiance and her first place prize in the Woman's Division! I'm pretty proud!!!

Summer Fishing Catch Up and Fall Preview

Summer Fishing Re-Cap

Well as you all may have noticed activity on this blog has slacked off quite a bit with the departure of our resident kayak fishing addict, Pinch! I've been fishing a lot this summer, but due to lack of time the majority has been on the Potomac closer to home with only a few salt trips. 

I'll be the first to admit I am not much of a largemouth bass fisherman. The majority of the bass I have caught have been by accident trying to catch snakehead, but I am starting to come around on bass fishing. First of all, they are pretty aggressive, even when the water is warm. Secondly, they have huge mouths and will hit topwater which is exciting. Also, in the Potomac you can find them in some pretty thick structure that makes for some interesting fights! 

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to fish for smallmouth bass on the Greenbrier River in WV. Smallmouth bass used to be one of my favorite species to target and it was quickly apparent after two days of floating that I have become quite rusty!

Now that Fall is kicking into gear I hope to get the chance to get out more and find some rockfish fatting up for winter!

Here's some pictures from this summer:

9th Annual New England Kayak Fishing Tournament

NEKF Striper Shootout IX

I recently had the opportunity to fish the New England Kayak Fishing (NEKF) 9th annual Striper Shootout in Winter Island, MA. It was a great event and while I didn't find the big fish this year, I did find some smaller fish and I had the opportunity to spend time in some beautiful scenery with some great folks. 

Now, for the fishing! Fortunately for me, I have a friend that lives in Boston MA and he has an extra Hobie Revo 13 that I was able to borrow. I packed two travel rods, a few reels, way too much tackle, dry pants/top, fishfinder, visipole.... yeah I brought a lot! Since this was going to be my only trip in the MA area of the season, I wanted to be prepared! Plus, I had no idea where the fish would be/what they would be eating, or at least that's how I sold it to myself! We've all been there...

Anyway, we started fishing almost as soon as I landed. The winds were up, but the tides were right, so we decided to hit DI to see if we could find any rock around. We did not find any in the normal places, so we did some exploring. I was trolling an eel and I had a 1 nice run-off but no hook up. That was it! I was worried about how this weekend was going to go... 

The next day we had some work to do, but once that was finished we headed up to the Beverly Harbor area which was near where the Shootout would be held. We fished from about 6pm - almost 3am... and despite covering a lot of ground/good structure we could not buy a fish! Paddling back in over a very shallow flat we spooked some small stripers and we finally took the skunk off by casting topwater plugs. I had one go nuts at the boat and made off with my favorite redhed zara spook! Being that I was tired at this point I opted to ditch the treble hooks and went to a single 1/4 hook with a blue/grey BKD (one of my favorite colors). This was more effective and I was able to land a couple on it. Pretty slow!

The next day was Friday so we headed back to Tomo's (second time in), picked up some worms and eels since the fishing had been so slow the night before we decided we may have to troll the dreaded tube. Let me say this up front, the tube works but it is terribly boring and I would much rather catch a fish on a jig. No disrespect to the tube guys, there is definitely a skill to it, I just don't have it! Anyway, Friday night we checked into the tournament at the campground. We were late and missed the Captain's meeting which left us feeling like we had no idea what was going on the rest of the weekend. We also missed out on captain's bags, which sucked because they had some nice tackle in them! We both signed up pretty early, but they did it by order of arrival. Oh well, like I said, I brought way too much anyway! We set up camp and hit the water by the ramp because we heard from some KFA-NY guys that there were fish in close and we did not need to paddle across the harbor for no fish again. 

We headed out from the ramp and found a nice light-line where I thought we may find some fish. I saw one rock swirl under the light and I got a little excited... finally some fish! I cast a large black Bill Hurley on a homepainted 3/4oz jig right into the shadow line against the wall and let it fall. There was a light tap and I set the hook hard! It ended up being 33" and my largest of the weekend. We found a few fish later in the light line that were much smaller but still fun. They were caught on a 1/4 jighead and the same grey/blue BKD! There were tons of squid around and I think we had a hard time competing with the real thing. We called it quits late and decided to head back in to get ready for the morning. 

The next day we hit Manchester harbor. If you ever have the chance to go to the Massachusetts North Shore, check this place out, it's beautiful! We fished it last year and did pretty well by following the birds and catching fish blitzing. We also hit some shorelines for schoolies on topwater plugs, so we were hoping to repeat that and just get some numbers. On the way out of the launch we were trolling some small soft plastics and we both had rods go down at the same time. Neither of us hooked up, but we were already hopeful that our decision to hit Manchester was right! We started casting and I found a low 20" fish (I should mention that I fried my phone on the way to Manchester, so no pictures of these fish) on a pink 6" sluggo. This would prove to be the lure of the day for me. We kept going out of the harbor and we did not really find any more rockfish so we decided to drop some seaworms (sandworms) to see what was on the bottom. My friend caught this unusual fish which seemed like the mutant offspring of a sea robin, oyster toad, and blowfish. It was mean. More of a surprise to me, I caught a mackerel on a 1/2 jighead tipped with a seaworm. I live-lined this (about 14") in the rocks you see to his right and hooked up with a 28" rockfish (14" / 28"??? I love rockfish). 


Anyway, we kept fishing the falling tide and then some of the incoming and finally found some numbers! The incoming tide brought squid with it, which we were able to see by a nearby boat using a sabiki rig to load up on them. I started jigging my pink sluggo and figured out that the stripers would hit a slow snap and fall. It was hard to feel the hit with a 1/2 weight and the ripping current and I recall on one cast having the rock hit the jig at least 4 times before hooking up. My friend also caught some fish here, I think on topwater, plug, and jig. It was nice to find some fish! After awhile it seemed like they moved on so we did to. We found a small pod of peanutbunker getting eaten on top on the way back in on a flat and I was able to pull one out of there before they went down. All fish on this day were 20"-28". We got back late and decided to forgo night fishing. We got a pizza and passed out. 

On the last day we launched at the ramp in the camp again and had another slow day. There was a lot of grass in the water all weekend which ruled out trolling for the most part so it was hard to locate fish. We found a bunch of bait in the channel which turned out to be small snapper bluefish. I was using a sabiki rig and they were biting the hooks off! I tried live-lining the snapper and to my surprise I caught a 25" and a 30" rockfish on live bluefish. There were tons of bluefish in that pod bc my fishfinder was blacked out for some distance. We didn't find any other fish and headed in for the awards dinner. 

The dinner was excellent! Normally I am skeptical of Northern BBQ but this was just like we have in the South if not better! Stuffed, tired, and smelly we headed home to Boston to hose things off and pack for home. It was a great trip overall but not the best fishing unfortunately. I plan on heading back next year!!!

Here's a few pictures of the last day: