Kayak Fishing for Heroes On The Water with Yak Attack and RVA
We've been so slammed at work I haven't had much time to hammer out any posts lately. So, I'm going to combine two of them.
I've "competed" in two tournaments so far this year. I fished terribly in both of them, but I still walked away feeling pretty good. Why? Both the RVA Shad Shootout and the Yak Attack Tournament benefit Heroes on the Water, and Project Healing Waters. These are not 'win big money' kayak fishing tournaments, but rather both succeed in creating events that focus on community, camaraderie and giving back to those very deserving individuals who have given so much to our country, our veterans. Heroes on The Water and Project Healing Waters take veterans and their families out fishing.
The HOW mission:
To empower our Nation's warriors by providing healing and rehabilitating kayak fishing outings that are physically and mentally therapeutic through our nationwide community of volunteers and donors.
They do good work, and these two tournaments do their part to show support for that mission.
We hosted the RVA Shad Shootout Captain's Meeting at our Ashland store.
Thom Mattuach is the tournament director of the RVA Shad Shootout and Tom Vanderheiden is the Chapter Coordinator for the Heroes On the Water - Tidewater. These two are well versed in having fun.
On tournament day I didn't hit the river until around 12am and had to head back to Farmville around 3:30pm. The Shad Shootout fell on my wife's birthday which meant I was pressed for time. It was a beautiful day out there though and many anglers had good catches.
Grant Alvis, Hobie Fishing Pro and co-member of Peelin' Drag Extreme Fishing, won 1st Place for the 2nd year in a row.
Photo courtesy of fishhardorstayhome.com
The other member of Peelin' Drag Extreme Fishing, Josh Dolan in his Jackson Kayak Big Tuna, walked away with the Striper Calcutta. These guys consistently place in our local tournaments and show a real knack for getting after it.
Photo courtesy of fishhardorstayhome.com
The Rest of the Results:
1st Place - Grant Alvis (2nd year in a row winning)
2nd Place - Neil Choe
3rd Place - Chung Yi
Striper Calcutta - Josh Dolan
Perch Calcutta - Tommy Young
Most importantly, the RVA Shad Shootout raised $3100 for the Heroes On The Water Tidewater Chapter, a 30+% increase in funds raised over last year.
This is a great, new local tournament and a fun atmosphere. Looks like next year it will fall on April 16th. Put it on your calendar and get in on the action.
On May 16-17th, Yak Attack hosted their annual tournament to benefit Heroes On The Water and Project Healing Waters. The Yak Attack Tournament is based out of Twin Lakes State Park and the park staff are fantastic. Luther, owner of Yak Attack, and everyone associated with this tournament do a great job of ensuring that it's a fun, family event with awesome food.
The Captain's Meeting was held on Friday evening and it was a packed house with 150+ kayak anglers in the Conference Center.
It is always great getting the chance to see everyone and to catch up with the larger community.
Saturday morning I woke and decided to hit a small lake that I figured would be less crowded. Problem was I'd never fished it before.
I'm a firm believer in 'Look good, fish good', 'look good, run good', etc. That philosophy failed me. ;) For the second tournament in a row I had a rather dismal outing. Luckily I tend to mainly fish fundraising tournaments, so I generally still feel pretty good about my day, even if I have no catch of size to show for it.
After swinging out to Briery Creek Lake to snap some photos, I headed to the store and stocked up on additional drinks for the Appomattox River Company "Have a Drink on Us" coolers. Vic, our Hampton Store Manager, and I hit upon the idea last year, and he always stocks up before making the drive from Tidewater, but I sensed that more cold beverages would be needed after the hot day.
For the second year in a row we filled a pile of coolers and offered various beverages to thirsty anglers as they hung out at the awards/ raffle ceremony. It's a fun little thing we get to do.
Gordon Miller, a kayak fishing vet from VA, took the Slam win, and it couldn't have fallen to a nicer guy. Congrats Gordon and well done!
Here are the results:
1. Gordon Miller - 39
2. Brian Crystaloski - 34
3. Josh Dolin - 32.5
4. Grant Alvis - 32
5. Mark Oxford - 30
6. Carter Clevington - 30
7. Forrest Short - 26.5
8. Dylan Crystaloski 26.5
9. Seth Humpries - 24.75
10. Chuck Wrenn - 24.25
11. Mike Campbell - 22.75
1. Troy Meyerhoffer - 40.25
2. William Gookin - 40
3. Patrick Sprankle - 39.75
4. Craig Strawser - 37.75
5. Jason Reed - 37.25
6. Harold Ramos - 37.25
7. Jim Dennison - 37
8. Matt Humpries - 35.25
9. Chris Poe - 34.5
10. Brad Parlow - 34.25
11. Rob Choi - 34.25
12. Casey Reed - 34
13. Heath Slaughter - 33.75 / Mike Young - 33.75
14. Darren Powell - 33.5
15. Jed Plunkert - 33.25
1. Joe Underwood - 20.25
2. Mike Schmidt - 16.25
3. Andrew Schmidt - 16
4. Grant Alvis - 15.75
5. Forrest Short - 14.5
6. Jason Reed - 13.75
1. Sam Parlow - 17.25
2. William Ragulsky - 16.5 FLYROD
3. Brian Wright - 15.5
4. Blake Chitwood - 15.25
5. Carter Clevington - 15.25
6. Mark Oxford - 15.25
7. Grant Alvis - 15.25
8. Collie Crowther - 15
9. Mark Melius - 14.25
10. Keith Kook - 12.25
People were "nominated" for awards. Troy with his Big Bass print from Rob Choi. Sweet prize!
Folks won kayaks in the raffle. Craig won a Wilderness Systems ATAK. There was also a Jackson Kayak YakAttack Edition and an Ascend raffled off.
But really, everyone who competed won, because it looks like $15,000+ was raised for Heroes On The Water and Project Healing Waters. Once again the camaraderie and generosity of this community came out and shone bright.
From Yak Attack,
"Thanks to everyone who made it a weekend to remember! We had around 165 registered, up around 20% from last year, but the funds raised was up about 50%. A very generous group of anglers and sponsors made that happen! Huge thanks to Twin Lakes State Park for hosting us again!"
There are a lot of big money tournaments popping up now and I do not begrudge anyone paddling into those waters. I just may myself at some point if I could ever get good at relaxing and fishing well in tournaments. But if you have not attended these two fundraising tournaments, then you need to get in on the action. The atmosphere is well worth it. These events continue to show the outstanding character of the kayak angling community, the high esteem held for our country's men and women in uniform, and the high regard felt for organizations like Project Healing Waters and Heroes On the Water.
The RVA Shad Shootout and the Yak Attack Tournament, write them into your plans for next year.
Give lots of love to the sponsors of these two great events. Find their Facebook pages, etc and show them you appreciate what they do. You can find more info by clicking the highlighted names above.
Also, if you have any interest in kayak fishing, kayaking, or just want to have a good time, come out to our Big Demo Day on June 13th. Many folks from the Paddleva community will be in Farmville.