Due to the inclement weather over the past 5 days and continuing for at least the next 3-4 days I regrettably inform you that we will reschedule for Tuesday June 17th same place same time. I have no problem fishing in the wind and rain, but for safety concerns and safety is our main priority we will have to hold off a week on this one. I made all the notices yesterday via forums, and Facebook, but I forgot to post it up[ on our main page. We hope to see everyone next Tuesday at Hamilton Creek on Percy Priest, for a fun evening of fishing. Until then take care, and catch some fish.
When it comes to fishing tournaments from a single launch with 30 other anglers, or not having the option to run 10 miles up lake to another spot, throwing a crankbait is the most efficient and productive way to find bass from a kayak. Crankbaits allow depths from 6 inches down to 25 feet to be fished quickly and efficiently. Whether it’s a reservoir, river system, or small private water, my go-to search bait is always a crankbait.
I get many questions in regards to how to throw crank baits in cover, especially in shallow water with wood or rock. How do I prevent from getting hung up? What’s the best bait to use? What’s the best color? I will answer these questions, but first, here’s a quick fishing story.
I was pre-fishing for a tournament on Chickamauga Lake, and I found a stretch of stumps in 2-6 feet of water. I started to fish with a jig, then a Texas rigged worm and found nothing, not even a sniff. I knew the fish had to be there getting ready for the spawn, so I started throwing a Strike King KVD 1.5 square bill and caught a 3.5 pounder on my second cast. I immediately stopped fishing with the hope that the fish would be there when it would count. On tournament day, I caught a nice limit and got second place while fishing a 50 yard stretch bouncing the crankbait off stumps. The key was getting the reaction bite when the fish wouldn’t take a jig or worm. The quick change of direction triggers the bass to bite.
Now to address the questions I most often answer about crankbait fishing. Occasionally, I will get hung up on structure, but the technique is to use a medium to medium heavy action rod paired with a square bill crankbait. The flex in the rod along with the shape of the bill lets the bait deflect off cover instead of hanging.
While working close to the shallow cover, I use a short underhand cast to land the bait just past the stumps or rocks, then reel while staying in contact with the cover. If I feel the bait start to hang, I will stop my retrieve and more than likely it will float out. When it comes to retrieve speed, I like to make 4 or 5 fast turns of the handle to get the bait down to the cover or the bottom. Like I mentioned earlier, the rod is very important, so for shallow cranking, an APX 7′ Medium Heavy Cranking from All Pro Rods is my rod of choice.
For deep cranking, I will cast way past my target to make sure the bait gets down. Even in 15 feet of water, I like the bait to have contact with the bottom for as long as possible. For deep cranking, the APX Blaster 7′ 10″ medium or medium heavy is perfect for making long casts while getting the bait down deep.
So, what’s the best bait? What’s the best color? There are many options here, but the following are a few of my favorites. It’s broken down into depths from shallow (2 ft. to 8 ft.) to deep (10 ft. to 16 ft.).
Shallow Timber/Rocks with Stained water:
Strike King KVD 1.5 or 2.5 in Chartreuse, Bluegill, or DB Craw (10lb – 20lb Fluorocarbon)
Shallow Timber/Rocks with clear water:
Strike King KVD 1.5 in Sexy Shad. (10lb to 15lb Fluorocarbon)
Rapala DT-6 in Helsinki Shad or Silver. (10lb to 15lb Fluorocarbon)
Rapala Shad Rap #5 in Helsinki Shad or Silver. (6lb to 10lb Fluorocarbon)
Deep Structure/Stained Water:
Strike King 5XD in Chartreuse body or Citrus Shad. (12lb to 15lb Fluorocarbon)
Rapala DT-10/DT-14 in Fire Tiger or Chartreuse Lime. (12lb to 15lb Fluorocarbon)
Deep Structure/Clear Water:
Rapala DT-10/DT-14 in Helsinki Shad or Silver. (10lb to 15lb Fluorocarbon)
Rapala Shad Rap #8 in Helsinki Shad or Silver. (8lb to 12lb Fluorocarbon)
Once I have located a good concentration of fish I will always go back to the same stretch with a worm or jig. The crankbait helps me find fish quickly and efficiently. I hope this will give you confidence while throwing your favorite lure into a pile of timber. Just remember, if you aren’t hitting anything, you aren’t catching anything.
Power Team Lures Pro Staff
Photos by Mike Ernst Bostic Photography
We had 33 Anglers join us for the Kayak Bass Fishing TN Season Opener two day tournament.
Each angler was allowed to turn in 5 fish a day for two days so each angler could submit up to 10 fish. We took each anglers best 5 fish for the weekend and that was the results. All fish are CATCH PHOTO RELEASE (CPR).
The fishing was tough with a lot of 12″ fish being caught the 1st day. We hoped the fishing would get better for the second day, but it did not. Anglers had to really hunt for the fish and use their skills to get the fish to eat.
Brock King had big bass and took home $165
1st place Craig Dye with 80.25″ winning $148
2nd place Ron Champion with 73″ winning $89
3rd place Chris Odom 72″ winning $40
4th place Tyler Overstreet 69.75″ winning $30
5th place Scott Fujimura 67.25″ winning $23
We had also had a corn hole tournament with 5 teams for a pair of Beaver Creek Custom Lures.
Sarah and Shae
Jeremy and Mike
Mike and Truitt
Kevin and Troy
Chris and John
The winners a pair of Beaver Creek Custom Lures were Mike and Truitt
We had 37 total anglers unite from all over Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and as far away as Minnesota Saturday February 22nd 2014. $1931 was raised for Mike Ernst that is running the London Marathon to raise money for the Whizz Kids Charity. We had over 50 people attend our awards banquet at the Cherokee Steak House and Marina that lasted more than 3 hours. It was the largest kayak fishing tournament that has been held in the state of Tennessee. Over $3000 in prizes were awarded with prizes going to big fish, top 3 places to total inches, and one place to the most species caught.
The fishing was slow, but the fellowship, and fun was big. It was a great day to be outdoors with air temperatures in the low to mid 60′s and blue bird skies.
Big Fish Joey Kelley 22”
2nd Big Fish Craig Dye 19”
3rd Big Fish Chris Bryant 18.75”
4th Big Fish Austin Hoover 18.0″
5th Big Fish Scott Smith 17.5”
6th Big Fish John McClenney 17.25”
7th Big Fish Jeremy Meier 16.25”
8th Big Fish Calloway Rabb 16”
9th Big Fish Scott Smith 15.5”
10th Big Fish Geoff Luckett 15”
11th Big Fish Sarah Meier 14”
12th Big Fish Scott Fujimura 13”
13th Big Fish Greg Hooge 12.75”
1st place with 4 species went to Scott Smith
1st place total inches Mike Ernst 267”
2nd place total inches Chris Bryant 254.25”
3rd place total inches Craig Dye 126.25”
4th place total inches John McClenney 101.25”
5th place total inches Joey Kelley 89.5”
6th place total inches Austin Hoover 86.25”
7th place total inches Jeremy Meier 73.5”
8th place total inches Geoff Luckett 54.75”
9th place total inches Scott Smith 43.5”
10th place total inches Sarah Meier 37”
11th place total inches Calloway Rabb 36”
12th place total inches Daniel McRen 31”
13th place total inches Greg Hooge 23.25”
14th place total inches Scott Fujimura 13”
In 2014, Kayak Fishing TN will be holding a point’s based Challenge Series in middle Tennessee. Each angler will earn points depending how each angler finishes at each event. The points are based on inches, so if you catch fish you earn points, also just attending earns you five points, and non-attendees earn zero points. The top point’s earners of the year will have a separate two to three day challenge at a location yet to be disclosed to determine the Angler of the Year. To earn a position to fish in the Angler of the Year finale you must compete in at least 60% of the events and are in the top points earners.
All events are catch photo and release (CPR), paddle craft only, no sails, gas, or electric motors. Participants must follow all State, TWRA, and local laws, also any regulations that pertain to the body of water you are on. Some events will be held after sunset, and you are required to have a 360 degree white light. A fishing license, PFD, and whistle are required at all times.
Artificial lures only, no live, dead or cut bait.
Fish must be measured on a measuring board with a definitive beginning i.e. bump board, with legible markings. All photos submitted must have the fish facing left, dorsal fin upward, mouth closed, and tail in the natural lay position. The identifier or token that is assigned to you prior to the event must be in the photo and legible. All ties will go to the angler with the larger fish of the two.
The cost of each event is $10, and optional big fish for $5, also you have the option just to come out and fish and not pay to see if this is something you may want to try in the future. All monies collected for entries are paid out 100%. Some venues will require an entrance fee to use their grounds i.e. Williamsport TWRA Lakes.
Kayak fishing can be dangerous, compete at your own risk.