08 Feb 1st Place HardCore Kayak Angler’s Club Tournament Finish!
This past Saturday, February 5th, myself and tournament partner Cameron Schurlknight competed in the Hard Core Kayak Angler’s Club (www.hckaclub.com) Tournament Series Event #1 which took place on the south shore of Tampa Bay.
The rules are simple, two man teams compete within the designated boundaries (Bullfrog Creek south to Miguel Bay) to catch th largest inshore slam (one snook, redfish, and trout). The largest combined inches of the three fish wins, with prizes being awarded for the lagest fish in each category as well.
The day start early with the captain’s meeting from 5:30-6:00 am and launch time being at 6:30. Cameron and I launched into a very foggy, gloomy morning at 6:30 sharp. We chose to fish an area that we have had a good deal of success in before, and an area that I have spent much time fishing and learning.
By 7:00 am Cameron was hooked up to our first fish of the day, a 24″ red. After landing, photographing and releasing the fish we both began to wade the flat dissecting the area we believed to hold larger redfish and large trout. After several trout and small redfish, I landed a 21.5″ trout that satisfied us both for 2/3 of our slam. By now it’s still only 9am and with 2/3 of our slam completed we were both feeling pretty optimistic.
We then paddled back in to relaunch our kayaks into the area I believed to be holding snook. After a short drive we were launching our kayaks into a south Tampa Bay creek that looks as pristine as the day it was flooded. Within the next hour we caught several snook, first a 22.5″ fish that completed our slam, but left us wanting more. We continued fishing when Cameron hooked up to a nice fish at 27.5″. I rushed to his aid to net the fish as it towed him into the trees… team work at its finest!
By now it’s still only 11am and we have a 73″ inshore slam. Confident that no one would best our slam, we fished a little while longer, but got off the water early enough to clean up and eat a well deserved lunch. The “weigh-in” began at 2:00pm, we were the second team to arrive which meant, should a tie occur between us and the first team, they would win. Fortunately for us, they were unable to complete the slam, which left us feeling very confident.
Team after team began arriving to the weigh in, and finally at 2:30 the weigh in was closed, leaving the judges and tournament committee to sort through the photos and designate the winners for each category.
To our avail we came out on top, finishing 1st place and besting 2nd place by nearly a foot! 2nd place came in with 63.75″ and 3rd place with 63.5″. Definitely a solid finish for Cameron and myself!
This organization is a great club full of even better people, the tournament series is well run and the prizes are great (cash and sponsors), but most of all good times with friends! If you’ve never heard of the Hardcore Kayak Anglers Club before, be sure to look them up, join the forum and participate!
I’ve attached some photos of the winning fish laid along a ruler.