I hit Briery a few times as well. Briery always provides. They may not all be giants, but they all could be one day.
*my tournament ready rig, sporting a Yak Attack VisiCarbon Pro with Old Glory and a GoPro ready Panfish Camera Pole.
The Tidewater Kayak Anglers Association tournament, Fishing for Charity, was set for Sept. 28th. Appomattox River Company has been a sponsor of this event for a long time. This year we offered a $500 Gift Certificate for the Redfish Division. The TKAA tournament benefits Heroes on the Water, a great cause, so I was psyched to cover it for ARC. I signed up for the Largemouth Bass Division.
I rode down with Bob of Powerteam Lures. We left Farmville at 4:35am and headed out to pre-fish a lake in Suffolk. We arrived and put in around 7am. We had a long and uneventful day. Bob did catch a citation size pickerel though. Here is the fish, aka the "snot rocket'.
It was great mingling about and talking with all the fantastic folks that attend this event. After getting the rules and witnessing some raffle action, we set the alarms and passed out. We awoke at 6am and headed to Newport News on tournament day. After a dismal day in Suffolk, we had changed our plans. I had a wealth of nostalgia wash over me as we cruised the streets of Bad News.
We put in around 7:25am and commenced to have another horrendous day. The winds were strong both Friday and Saturday. At one point, I got so frustrated, I slung my drop shot rig out, raised it off the bottom just a tad and let the wind drag me along. Thump!
*that Bending Branches Angler Pro paddle in Sea Green looks sharp!
My only bass that day. A modest little thing, but I was happy to see at least one of the targeted species. She thumped a drop shot 5" Sick Stick in Green Pumpkin, from Powerteam Lures. I smiled at the thought of my first tournament photo. I smiled bigger when I looked at the photo later and realized I cheated myself out of some length. No matter, folks found much better fish, with the winner, Brandon Ward, clocking a 22.25" bass. Solid!
After packing up and heading back to the tournament HQ, we arrived and were greeted to this awesome sight. Tracy Detwiler had his truck wrapped and it was a great reminder of what this tournament is really about, Heroes on the Water. It was a rough day, but I still counted it a success. Just registering for the tournament showed my support for a great organization that I hold in high regard. That is winning. They got a little bit more out of me for the raffle as well. ;)
Congratulations to all the winners and to all who participated! A special congrats to the Redfish Division Winner, Grant Alvis.
Another very cool moment came when several folks were awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for all they have done for TKAA and kayak fishing. One of those individuals was Mark Lozier of Native Watercraft and First Landing Kayak Fishing. I met Mark at the ARC-Hampton BBQ last December. Mark and I have yet to fish together, that needs to be remedied, but he has always, in conversation and actions, made me feel welcome in the kayak fishing community. He is a great ambassador to the sport. Congrats Mark!
The awards came rolling through the night. I got to meet and hang with some talented anglers that I've followed online. I also got to hang with the ARC-Hampton crew, Vic and Andrea. These guys are in the mix down in Tidewater and do an awesome job putting on events and supplying gear to the area kayak anglers. I stayed until about 9pm, but with a babysitter at my house, collecting money while my daughter slept, I needed to get home. Bob and I loaded up for the 2.5 hours back, but not before snapping a photo with some of the PTL crew.
The TKAA tournament is a phenomenal event. The Tidewater area has such a strong contingent of kayak anglers and they help put together and run this, the 3rd largest kayak fishing event around. Big props to all the folks who work so hard to put the tournament on and all the folks who gave time and money to the cause. Once again, the quality of the people always shines, whenever I find myself surrounded by kayak anglers.
I retired back to Farmville and after spending a day with my family, found myself granted a pass to fish again on Monday.
I headed to Briery for a couple of hours. It was good to be home.