Heroes On the Water and Project Healing Waters is now officially in the books. This event draws some of the best kayak anglers from all over the US. This year we had representation from Maine all the way to Florida and points in between.
The format of the tournament is fairly straightforward. Four divisions in total: Largemouth Bass, Crappie and Panfish with a Slam for the best length of a single fish from each division. So you could theoretically not catch large fish but still win the slam for total length. After some brainstorming with fellow Hobie Fishing Team member Grant Alvis the night before, a plan was put in motion and I hit the water.
The rains tried to dampen my spirit and had even forced me to reconsider staying out in the damp conditions in my current sickly state. Having not caught a single fish for the entire morning, I finally caught up to good friends Daryl Boyd and Greg Timmer (Hobie Fishing Team member from FL). We made a tactical decision to escape the wind in a small cove before heading back down lake. We took the opportunity to refresh by eating some food and hydrating with some water. This little respite revitalized and re-focused my energy. I set out again with a different mindset and decided to switch up my approach and opt for a thumpin' plastic over the preferred spinnerbait. I was immediately rewarded with two smallish bass, but still a rewarding situation given my production thus far.
I kept at it with cast after cast and switching up casting angles, retrieve speeds, lure depths, etc. Another smallish bass came to play but was welcomed regardless.
Well, that would prove to be my last fish on the day, since no panfish or crappie made an appearance for me this tournament, but I still managed to turn in 34.5" of fish as my two-fish submission. Sadly it fell 3" short of placing this year, but I still managed to enter fish. I still walked away with a cool assortment of goodies in the captain's bag, and I was one of the people fortunate enough to win a premium raffle prize - a new Hobie Fish Bag for keeping my salty catches in the future to feed my family fresh fish!!
Saturday for the tournament is always fun, because of the raffle and fellowship that ensues once the fishing is done, but the main point of the tournament is the benefit aspect of it, and the raffle and tournament entry fees when totaled are estimated to exceed $22,000. It's an amazing tournament coupled with a meaningful benefit theme and fellowship that is unequaled in the kayak community. Luther and the whole crew at YakAttack outdid themselves yet again this year. I know that next year's event will be even better and am already longing for that Armed Forces weekend yet again!
Tight lines everyone! Stay safe out there!