Back 2 Back
The amount of work it takes to jump on the podium twice in a week can have you looking like a mad man, but it can be done! Thanks to some amazing technology and watercrafts offered by ACK, I’m able to reserve my energy for the big day.
IFA Kayak Fishing Tour September 13th, 2020
While motorizing your kayaks from products like Bixpy isn’t exactly tournament mainstream, it’s definitely making an impact for scouting.
Pre Fishing Day 1 (Bixpy Equipped with Ocean Trident-15)
– Biggest Redfish: 48”
– Biggest Trout: 22”
– Total Length 70”
A recent north wind would make things interesting for me going into this. Typically this can impact my trout fishing in this particular area, but trout bite held strong day 1. A total of 4 trout ranging between 18-22 inches. A few redfish went between 42-48 ish inches. Off the water by 10am with very little energy used thanks to much ground covered in little time with Bixpy Jet.
Tournament Day 2 ( Old Town Predator PDL with no motorization)
I knew I could give 110% of my energy and waste little time searching for quality redfish.
– Biggest Redfish: 47.50” (tournament only allowed 45” as it ran off the tournament board)
– Trout: 0”
The plan was to be off the water again by 10am as I felt confident on the size of redfish I could bring up. At 8:25 the redfish fight was on. Was far too big to lay straight on the kayak, so I hit land for measurement. Pictures submitted at around 8:40 am leaving me plenty of time for trout.
I’m pretty familiar with trout fishing in my area and I’ve seen how quickly they can shuffle in and out on rare occasions. Unfortunately this was the case on day 2 and the trout bite was completely shut down (very rare).
A little upsetting to say the least with trout being one of my favorite species to target, although I was able to take the heaviest redfish division. As I said on stage… That’s the nature of the beast, live by it, die by it. A simple 15 inch trout could have taken it all, but anytime you walk away with money off competition, you have to be proud of your efforts.
Fin Addict Angler Foundation Tournament September 26th, 2020
The following week I would rinse and repeat the order of operations, this time with my tournament partner (Poco Cedillo) even though we competed against each other. This one was for a great cause, and against some stiff competition as over 90 anglers from all over Texas join in on the fun. The layout made for challenging adjustments with the open division set for 2 trout 1 redfish stringer, side pot categories, and a grand champion overall stringer. Poco Cedillo and I tackle some well known waters with a plan. The tour would take us on a 10 mile journey and give us an opportunity at every species involved for the event. My weapon of choice for every species was Boca Chica Baits (yes even the gafftop) using the “Fantasma” and “Texas-T” Flex Mullet. Vehicle of choice for slicing and dicing around structure, the Predator PDL (Old Town Canoe & Kayaks) from Austin Kayak – San Antonio. Morning bite was a little shy for me, lost two really nice trout (20”+) with some unfortunate hook shaking by the kayak. Did manage a qualifying gafftop though! The morning bite was done and I had zero qualifying open division fish. Poco had a great start and I didn’t want to slow down the plan. We decided to push for reds and we both stuck a couple chunks around noon. At this point Poco was a contender, and the only way I’d have a chance would be to get trout redemption. We peeled off from each other and time was against me. I’m back where I started and if it’s one thing I know about trout, sometimes they like an afternoon snack. First cast was an 18” inch trout and the bite was familiar…they hangry! I put my Hummingbird finder on mark to hold that area and used my manual spot lock to dissect the area without getting too close. Another cast and another qualifying trout with 20 minutes left on the clock which resulted in a down to the wire podium appearance. On my way back someone summoned my redfish demons. With my legs burning and time exhausting, I casted and landed another redfish but chipped off 5 minutes. 15 minutes left on the clock and now I’m pedaling back like my life depended on it. We arrived at a high rate of speed with 10 ish minutes left. Heard my name get called to stage and took home some money. Managed 5th place overall and considering how slow my day unfolded, I’ll take it! My partner on the other hand cleaned up and I couldn’t be happier for him, he isn’t new to fishing, but he is new to kayaking and already making multiple podium appearances. He took 2nd on the open division, grand champion on total weight division, and took the gafftop sidepot with a slab!
It’s important to give it your all in a tournament setting, not just 100%, but 110%. I was able to do that with all the tools available from my outfitter at Austin Canoe & Kayak. Next week I’ll go from a personal record to try and make 3 consecutive podium appearances in 3 weeks. Wish me luck!
– Chris Castro
ACK Kayak Fishing Team