When a bad day turns good: Yak Tribe Day 4

My fourth day of fishing for the Yak Tribe tournament was a memorable one for sure. It was Friday, May 26th. This was the start of Memorial Day weekend. Normally, I wouldn't be caught dead on the water on a holiday weekend. It just isn't worth the hassle of dealing with all the pleasure boaters. Because I am in this tournament though, I decided to go fight the idiots to try to improve on my score. Within about 15 minutes of being on the water, I knew I was in for a rough day of getting pounded with boat wakes. I got knocked off my anchor a few times at my first spot but ended up catching a couple blue cats and a striped bass before calling it quits there.

With all the trouble I was having staying anchored on that spot with the heavy boat traffic, I knew fishing the other areas I wanted to fish was going to be just as difficult. I was getting ready to just call it quits and go home when I decided to try to fish another area first. With the hopes of getting away from some of the pleasure boaters, I moved over to a little secondary channel. I had caught fish there before but I had never fished that area during this time of year. That area is shallower and the current isn't as strong there. After anchoring down, I cast two of my baits along the main breakline in 25 feet of water and then cast two more up just a few feet deep. Within a few minutes of being anchored, I landed a dink blue. Then one of my baits that I had cast up shallow took off. The fish swam left heading for deeper water and managed to take my drift sock with it. Once I got it to the kayak, I realized I had just caught my biggest fish of the tournament thus far. It went 38" but would have been closer to 40" if wasn't for its deformed tail. Unfortunately, in the ruckus of landing the fish, it splashed water on my front camera so I wasnt able to get a good pic of me holding the fish but I was able to get some good shots of the measurements to enter in the tournament.

I continued to slide my way down that secondary channel by moving a couple hundred yards down stream every 30 minutes or so. I hadn't gotten any more solid hookups but the smaller blue and channel cats that plague shallow water areas had shredded all of my skipjack. Luckily, I had caught some white bass while skipjack fishing and brought them along for bait just in case. 

Suddenly there was huge takedown on one of my rods that was baited with a white bass head. When I picked up the rod, I knew I had a big fish on the line. After finally getting the fish to the kayak, I realized I had just topped my biggest fish in the tournament again. This is where the real challenge in a kayak fishing tournament comes into play. After catching a monster fish like that, you still have to measure and photograph it. The fish was too wide to lay on my board. I ended up having to kind of squat down with my knees pressed against the fish to try to hold it on the board long enough for me to get some pics. I can't imagine what the pleasure boaters passing by must have been thinking. Fortunately, I was able to get the pics. Because of the way, I had to struggle to hold the fish on the board, I ended up shorting myself an inch or two but the fish still went 42" in the pic.

It wasn't long after this that I had another big takedown. After fighting this fish for a few minutes, I got him to the surface and realized I had hooked a flathead. Most flathead fishermen target them with live bait but I tend to catch several every year on cut bait while fishing for blues. They are always a welcome surprise. This fish just topped off an amazing day of fishing. 

I was running out of daylight and was down to the last of my bait, so I decided to call it quits. For the day to have started out so frustrating, it turned out to be one of the best days of fishing that I have had all year. For the first time in my life, I was thankful the pleasure boaters ran me off from where I wanted to fish. Mark this day down in history. I will never say that again. Here is the full video recap of the day. 
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