Noah O'Reily 07/06/2015 | Posted in Big Rig, Fishing, Fishing Tournament
The No-Mo Charity Kayak Fishing Tournament is an annual event held in Southeast Michigan. This year, the event took place on Kent Lake near Milford. Participants have the option to fish any lake they would like, as long as it is publicly accessible. The tournament director made it clear that we had to be back by 4:00 p.m. for the weigh in.
My friends and I decided to pre fish Kent Lake the day before so we could get some practice in. As I paddled my Big Rig out to my spot, I saw the abundance of weeds beneath the surface. The only problem was, all the weeds were brown and looked dead. I paddled to the closest point and beached my versatile Big Rig. I got out and started twitching my jerkbait over a grassy area. I ended up landing a few small Largemouth. By the time I had a pattern down, I had to paddle back to the boat launch to attend the captains meeting.
After the captains meeting, I was a little discouraged from the lack of size in the fish caught earlier. Because of this, we decided to fish a small lake an hour and a half north of Kent Lake. This lake is a honey hole of big fish, perfect for the slam division, and a lake that I know very well. I have been fishing on this lake since I was a little kid. With a few hours of daylight left, we loaded up our two Big Rigs and Cuda 14, and took off from Kent Lake to check out the fishing on our favorite lake. We launched our Jacksons at around 6:00 p.m. We did not catch many bass in the two and a half hours we fished, but we had a good plan for the next morning. We headed back home, finally landing in bed at around 1:00 in the morning.
My alarm clock woke me up at 4:15 a.m. It did not have to buzz twice as I leapt out of bed and threw my clothes on for the day. We packed up the truck and headed out to the lake. We got there a little late due to the intense fog, but we unpacked quickly and got onto the water. I caught my first fish, a 25 inch Northern Pike on my third cast. I took the picture of it on the hawg trough just in time as it jumped off the board landing in the water. I headed to the back corner of the lake and stood up to get a better view of a bedding bass I was targeting. I worked on that fish for about 20 minutes and finally brought her in the kayak. She ended up being a 17 inch Lrgemouth. As I made my way around the lake, I upgraded my Pike to 26 inches and my Bass to 17.5 inches. I decided to head to a productive spot on the lake that holds a large submerged woodpile. I stood up and launched my jerkbait parallel to the shore. I reeled the bait down a few feet and stopped. After a few seconds, I twitched the lure twice and paused. I reeled in the slack line and was planning on twitching it again but a fish interrupted me. I could tell it was a nice fish from the several times it jumped. I fought the fish for about 3 minutes and finally got it in my Big Rig. I put the Largemouth Bass on the hawg trough and it measured 21.5 inches! A few minutes later, I reeled in a 6.5 inch Bluegill, and also upgraded my Pike to 30 inches. My buddies also logged the fish they needed to qualify for the Bass division. We knew I had a pretty decent lineup of fish, so we quickly got off of the water, packed up the truck, and made our way to Kent Lake.
When we got to the weigh in, the scene was amazing. The amount of work put into the event made it enjoyable for everyone. There were many raffle prizes and great food! It was awesome to share the experience with men and women anglers of all ages. I was overwhelmed with the amount of quality anglers at the event. I had a great time speaking to participates and spectators about my Big Rig and my friend’s Cuda 14, which were all rigged up and on display for everyone to look at along with some of the other kayaks at the event. We found other Jackson Kayak owners and decided to group all of our kayaks together to make it an impressive display of our two Big Rigs, a Cuda 14, two Coosas , and two Cuda 12’s.
Overall, my first kayak fishing tournament was a very unique experience. It was a close competition. The slam division consisted of one toothy, one bass, and one dink fish. Second place in this category came in at 55.75 inches. However, thanks to all the advantages my Jackson Big Rig gave me on the water, out of 92 anglers, I took first place with 58 inches. It is hard to believe this could happen to a young guy fishing in his first kayak fishing tournament ever, but the new kayak and trophy that I took home is proof enough that this could happen.
My Jackson Big Rig has a competitive advantage that is comparable to none. For most of the day, I was standing on the massive deck, allowing me to control my boat with a few jerks of my lure. Boat control was key to fishing the drop offs and big humps. Without the stability afforded by my Jackson Big Rig, I am quite sure the day would have been different. Props to Jackson Kayak for designing such an awesome fishing machine!