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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This weekend I participated in a 3 day online kayak bass tourney....specifically buckeye kayak fishing trails summer slam tourney. I wanted to start a thread and get some input on strategies. Ive seen some similar threads flop, but we will see how it goes.

The tourney was simple. ...3 days, 3 bass, ohio waters only, total length in inches won.

My strategy was this....fish the morning bite and stay as long as possible. I chose a specific body of water that had both good numbers and size. My plan was to get my limit in day one in case fishing was slow. My lures fir day one were a hollow body frog and a texas rigged chigger craw.

Day 2 I had planned on targeting larger fish by tossing a buckeye lure mop jig in black and blue. It has been my go to big fish bait. I had planned on hitting a small state lake of only a couple hundred acres. It had produced some large fish in the past but the numbers werent ever high.

Day 3 would be based off of day 1 and 2. If I struggled on day 2 I was going back to the day 1 spot. If I picked up a good fish on day 2 I was going back to the small state lake and going to try and see if I could find more.

My goal was to get 55"....roughly three 18 inch fish.

Heres how it played out...


Here are my Results and report for the buckeye kayak fishing trail online tourney. It was a 3 day event with photo submissions of the top three bass of each angler. Fish were to be measured mouth opened and tail pinched.

I DO WANT TO SAY THIS: Words in writing seem alot different than words spoken or thought. I do not want this post to come off as cocky or arrogant. There is a fine line between luck and skill. I believe that I skillfully caught 3 good fish friday, it was skill that I chose to fish the shallow end of the lake after the cool night and use a big fish bait...the jig. After that luck may have been more of a factor.

On day 1 I finished with 3 bass....a 16", 15", and another 15". I took a sick day off of work to fish Friday. I could barely sleep at all Thursday night, I finally crashed at midnight and overslept my alarm set for 4:45am. I woke up at 5:30am and rushed to get the gear loaded up. The day was pretty average with the exception of one lost good bass. Im gueasing it to be in the 18 to 19" range It was how I expected to end the day, with a limit of 3 average fish. On day two I expected to cull the 15"ers with a 17 or 18.

I got home after 13 hours of fishing and was beat. Since I had lost a good fish Friday I was going back to the same spot and trying to pattern the bigger fish. I checked the weather and Saturday was 70% chance of scattered thunderstorms. I woke up, overslept the alarm again, at 6am and checked the doplar radar. The worst storm was tracking north of my location. Which sucked because my plan was to hit the first spot 20 miles north of the house, my plan B was the small state lake 15 miles south of the house. After a rushed decision I was headed south to fish plan b. I got there at 7am to find Rylan, my fishing partner, working the best part of the lake. He had been there since before daylight. As I was putting the kayaks in the water I developed a game plan...and tried to discuss it with Amanda, my girlfriend, (she could have cared less). The night was cold.....very cold...and we had gotten some rain, so I figured the bass would be feeding in the cool water at the shallow end of the lake. I told Amanda that we were going to let Rylan fish the good end and we'd go explore the shallow end.....typically a very unproductive spot. We followed the creek that fed the lake as far as we could and started fishing. I had tied on my confindence big fish bait, the black and blue jig mop jig. I began working the pads egdes, weedlines, and fallen trees. At 9:10 am I got my first bite. I hooked it and I thought for sure I had gotten into a channel cat because it stayed down the whole fight....nope it was a bass. To be honest it felt like forever before I got the fish in the yak. I was shaking with excitement, but at the time I didnt know it. It wasnt until I tried to take a picture of the fish that I realized could barely hold the camera. It was my new public water personal best bass at 5lbs 0oz and 21.5" long. I nearly gave it a Mike Iconelli.....but instead I tried to do everything possible to not let this one get off the board. (The tournament was photo submission)





I was pumped.......this day was starting out well. We continued to work down to the main lake. An hour and a half later I had my second bite of the day......This one was another bass, and another good one. I land it and the hook pops out in my lap. I quickly re hook the fish, as to give myself insurance if it got feisty and wanted to jump off the board during its photo shoot. This one went 19.75"..... i dont know how much it weighed because i got caught up in the moment. I would guess it in the 4lb range.



I took a few pics and released the fish. At this point Rylan had come over to talk. He just watched me release the 19.75....he replied, "They are biting good today." I said yeah I know in a reserved but cocky tone. He then said, "You wont believe this, but I caught a 22" bass." I said thats crazy because I just caught a 21.5" bass. (These were 1.5 and 2" bigger than any bass we had caught out of this lake previously...so it was very suprising) He did seem upset when he realized that I had two good fish......he had a three fish limit of 22....18.5...and 16.

He had some things to do in the evening so he ended up leaving at 11am. It was pouring rain and wind anyway. However I continued to fish.....at this point I had a 21.5, a 19.75, and a 16. I started to realize that I had a pretty good shot of placing in the tourney so I began to get nervous. At noon we had finished fishing our side of the lake. At that point I then told Amanda i wasnt leaving until I had culled the 16" bass.

To make a long story short......shorter....The wind and rain were aweful...but I managed an 18" bass at 2:50pm. Amanda was getting very upset at this point because she wasn't getting into the size that I was. I told her that the fishing gods were on my side today. I then reminded her of my bad luck, and then of every fishing trip we have had previously where she caught every fish. At that point she told me that she was fishing infront of me for the rest of the evening. With 3 good fish I let her.

Halfway through the bank back to the boat ramp she gave up again and let me fish ahead of her. At 3:47pm I hooked another good fish. It made a jump and she looked over to see what I had on my line. At this point she shouted a few profanities. I got her to take a few pics anyway. It was a 3lb 10oz, 19" bass.



With the winds and rain getting worse we called it quit at 430pm. At the end of the day I had one of my best days of bass fishing ever. I had two trips in the spring, prespawn, where I got 3 19" bass but never anything this good. I ended up with a 21.5, a 19.75, and a 19 as my top three. A personal best day of five fish and nearly 17lbs.....with a guess of 4lbs on the 19.75" bass. I felt confident that I was going to place top 5 in the tourney but in the back of my head I knew I would be upset if I didnt try as hard as I could.....so we were going to fish sunday.

(At this point I knew that 2 bass over 20" had been caught from aep, and that Rylan had an 18.5, a 22, and a 16 inch bass. I wasnt sitting too far from anyone. )

We got up sunday morning and fished the same state lake from 5:30am to 11:30am. It appeared the bass had dine all of their feeding the day before because I managed 4 fish, none of which were bigger than 15". At that point I went home and took a nap. I got up at 5 and started submitting fish to kayakwars a seperate online tourney (free year long tourney), sent emails to Neil at buckeye kayak fishing trail, and made a few posts on here.




Ok so that's how things went for me. All of the photos have to be reviewed...date stamps have to be checked..... so im not sure where I placed yet. I do know about half of the guys finished in the mid 50s. My buddy ended up with 56.5.....couldnt cull his 16 incher.

As far as I know theres one guy whos close....he has two twenty inch bass from aep but he hasnt reveiled his third one publically. I think hes bluffing. :DIm sure someone else is sitting quitely with some pigs. Im confidnet in saying that i placed top 3.

So with that in mind how would you have went about the three day tourney? If your going to say I wouldnt do an online tourney....just pretend it was the bm classic.;)

If I had to do it again I would have thrown jig the whole time....but hindsights 20/20.
 

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Cool post and story. I know the feeling of adding competition to your love of fishing. It adds a new element that can get you very excited, even if to an onlooker the tournament is small potatoes. Its good that you care so much, if your going to do it, do it all the way.

I have never fished a bass tourney but I have fished several crappie and walleye tourneys and I have learned a few things about strategy. One lesson is If you want to win you can't settle for better than average fish. You need to target the sobs and keep moving till you locate them, because the more people that are fishing the tournament the better the chance is that someone will find them. Besides you are fishing against people who entered a fishing tournament, they would not have done that unless they expected to do well and had a plan for success. For your situation only measuring 3 fish you should have targeted large fish from the beginning like you said. Fishing against people who are in different bodies of water makes things very unfair in my opinion but hey its for fun. Seems to me like you kicked butt and did a great job for where you were fishing and the time of year. You should be proud of catching quality fish when you really wanted to, many struggle to keep focus and they second guess themselves and go in circles when they feel pressure.
 

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very cool post... love that the kayakers are doing it.... every time I hear someone make an excuse about why they don't tournament fish I have to laugh... there are tournaments for ANYBODY who wants to compete... you don't have to have a $60,000 boat to get those competitive juices flowing... in fact, you don't even have to own a boat at all, from the federation level, all the way up to the bassmaster open series and everything in between, they desperately need and want non-boaters to participate...

pretty awesome...
 

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I've been thinking of trying some of these types of tournaments. I don't have a kayak but I do have a canoe and a 14ft boat but assuming some of the challenge is the limited space of a kayak. I think your strategy was sound, get on the board quick and then go big.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys.

As far as strategies go I have two opinions...I think that by having 3 decent fish on day one, it gave me confidence to use big fish baits on day 2...and so forth. At that point going a couple hours between bites didn't bother me. However, if I was sitting with no fish at all and failing to get bites I may have began to question my bait choice, location, etc.

Maybe what I am starting to put together is that confidence may be the most important aspect?

Big events......kayakfishinggear.com has them for sale. They are called the hawg trough. They do sink if lost overboard though.....i attached s small float to mine. It has saved my butt many times.

Kayaking is challenging no doubt....but once you get used to fishing out of them it has as many advantages as it has disadvantages. But thats my opinion. Others will tell you it takes more skill or that its harder but once you get the hang of it....fishings fishing.:D

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Ohub Campfire mobile app
 

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Maybe what I am starting to put together is that confidence may be the most important aspect?
I would agree with this. The pro's like to put together a box called a panic box. This bait box has your most confident lures in it, and when you find yourself with no fish using your big fish baits you go to your panic box to get on the board.
 

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In the tournaments I fish me and my partner always try to get a quick limit of 5 fish, then we go hunting for upgrades.
 

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In the tournaments I fish me and my partner always try to get a quick limit of 5 fish, then we go hunting for upgrades.
Sunday we had a check winning limit by 830 am... Talk about takeing off the pressure...ahhh the sound of an aerator in the morning!
 
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