My start to the tournament was slow, catching a lot of slot fish. I figured the redfish needed to win would be over 40". My redfish came from a regular ol' day at Point Aux Chene in a pond i'd never fished before. I'd seen a big push in the water in front of me. The fish had spooked and ran around behind my kayak. I tossed my weedless rig over my right shoulder for fun and surprisingly the fish inhaled it on a reaction bite. The size of the fish surprised me when he came boat side and was put on the board. I stuck him with a TAG and was back in the water quickly. I'd planned to upgrade this fish but never caught anything bigger for the rest of the year.
She ran around my kayak in a large arch and my rod did the work of turning her head and horsing her back to the boat. It felt like a mid slot redfish mainly because I wasn't paying attention. The second she came to surface and showed her silver back, I freaked out. My mind immediately ran through every scenario of how I was going to lose this fish. This had happened a few times before on some big trout and I was sure it was going to happen again as she dove under my net. To my surprise, a few seconds later she was flopping on the deck of my boat.
I am not a bass fishermen. I can count on my hands and feet the times i've been bass fishing. My summer plans were to spend more than a few evenings around lily pads and laydowns throwing frogs and worms. Work got in the way of that and left me scrambling near the 11th hour to catch one. Many backlashes later the only bass I caught on my black buzzbait came in and was released back to the swamp. This turned out to be my dropped fish score, but a valuable one if I am able to upgrade my skill and length for next year.
In the end my SLAM entry was good enough for second place. One point behind my buddy Scott for a Native Slayer 14.5'. Pack & Paddle was gracious enough to award me with a $150 gift card and a wooden paddle trophy. As a bonus, everyone who entered all four fish were put into a separate drawing for a Lews American Hero bait cast setup, and my luck kept up and I took that home as well!
HUGE, huge thanks to Mr. John Williams and Pack and Paddle for sponsoring this eight month contest and putting up the prizes for the winners. I can account for more than a few more interested people in the club and contest on account of this tournament. My hopes are that the LKFC keeps it going and expands it next year. Fly fishing division? Sheepshead? All would be fun and expand the potential entries and fun. Congratulations to Mr. Scott Bienvenu on his new kayak, and all the other winners. Everyone else in the top five had a "Big Fish" award from Cajun Paddle tools.
I am already looking forward to next years contest and will be recruiting heavily to get more people involved with the club and the fantastic series we put on. I mean if I can win, ANYONE CAN!