Although kayak anglers have limited range due to the low speed of their small boats, they still produce impressive catches, and that was in evidence last weekend in the Hobie BOS – Open Low Series on Lake Pickwick, where a number of the best rods have scored catches that would have won in many powerboat tournaments.
Winning angler Guillermo Gonzalez, a visitor to Texas who cut his teeth hunting snook, trout and rockfish on the Florida coast, said he decided to avoid popular spots in the middle of the lake that were heavily hammered by conventional bass boats, both recreational fishermen and tournament fishermen, to find an area where the fish had not seen many lures.
âWhen I touched the water to train, I made a conscious decision to avoid these popular places, even though they probably contained fish,â he says. “With 47,000 acres to choose from, I just felt like I needed to find something different to get more water for myself.”
He chose a large flat of grass near the dam at the end of Lake Tennessee after searching for satellite images on his laptop to start the two-day event, and quickly found some action. Slowly fishing for Texas rigged Senkos and cuttail worms in the grass where the depth was less than 3 feet, Gonzalez hit the mother seam and he had it all.
âMost of the fish were in just 2 feet of water,â Gonzalez said. “And most of them were good – it was amazing, and the more I caught, the hotter the action got.”
He said he fished his Senko with a 1/16 ounce tungsten weight, which he fished on a bait casting rig and a 17 pound test fluorocarbon line. Senko are soft, pencil-shaped plastics, often fished with a small hook in the center attached via a rubber ring.
He then caught over 50 bars on the spot, the top five of which were 21 â³, 19.5 â³, 19 â³, 17.25 â³ and 17 â³ for a total of 93.75 â³, good enough to land him at the second place at the end. the first day of the capture, photography and release competition. (The fish are not kept and weighed like in motorboat tournaments due to the lack of tanks in the ‘yaks.)
When he arrived at the apartment on the second day, he found the water level had dropped about 8-10 inches and the fishing had slowed down a bit.
âI was worried about the drop in water that the fish might have left this shallow dish, and maybe some did, but there was still enough bass to make a good catch,â said Gonzalez. He continued to fish for Senko worms and attracted a number of beautiful fish including a 19.75 â³, 17.75 â³, 17.5 â³, 16.25 â³ and 16.25 â³ for a total of 87, 5 â³, just enough for him to win the 1.5 â³ event.
Kristine Fischer, the famous kayak fisherwoman who has won a number of major events in recent years, led the tournament on the first day fishing the main river in a strong current area, a typical pattern in Pickwick, but the second day, the current died down and so did Fischer’s bite. She dropped to 11th on the second day and finished second overall.
Although kayak anglers have limited range due to the low speed of their boat and are also limited in open water fishing due to minimum freeboard and beam, they can access to shallow areas where bass boats operated on outboards and electric trolling motors also cannot get right at depth or where they tend to scare fish away due to the sound of mechanical power and the large mass of the boat.
The victory earned Gonzalez over $ 4,000 and qualified him for the circuit’s grand finale, the Hobie BOS Tournament of Champions, set for Lake Eufaula from November 12-14, with a top prize of $ 35,000. See details here: https://hobiebos.com/events/tournament-of-champions.