This report written by Mark Knowles of the HardCore Kayak Anglers Club
Hats off to Mark Nichols, Jerry McBride, and the entire DOA Lures team for putting on yet another great tournament ! As always, the tournament was well thought out and the Captain’s bags included a full Plano box of about 50 DOA lures, hooks, jig heads, Deadly Combo’s & accessories that were identical for each participant, a vinyl 321fish measuring board, and a commemorative T-Shirt. Also included in the entry fee was a BBQ lunch that was catered in for the weigh-in.
The HCKAC had a record 19 members participate in the DOA Tournament on April 21, 2012. Many folks bunked up at the River Palms Cottages & Fish Camp where the Captain’s meeting and event was held, others selected nearby local hotels, and yet others opted to camp out. Some folks arrived Wednesday night or very early Thursday morning to get 2 days of pre-fishing in, others arrived on Friday morning early to get in 1 day, and some even arrived Friday night just before the Captain’s meeting with no pre-fishing opportunities. Talk about a mixed bag !
The River Palms is a quaint little place with a group of small cottages on the property. Pricing for the tournament was reduced to $89/night for a single room with 2 queen beds, a small fridge, microwave, & coffee maker.
Other local prices ranged from $60 upwards of several hundred depending on how extravagant you wanted to be. The guys that camped had their prices down to something like $10/person for several nights. There were some local freshwater ponds on the Savannah Recreation camp area and the guys pulled out a few bass.
The weather controlled most of our pre-fishing actions. The wind wasn’t too strong most of the time, but the afternoons were challenging. The best time of day for the winds was the early mornings, but you couldn’t always get the fish to bite at sunrise. Most guys were successful in getting slams or doubles on Thursday. Friday was a bit tougher, but several HCKAC members recorded slams or doubles while others like myself struggled. Tournament Day was supposed to be the worst with very low pressure plus high winds from the SE at 25 mph from late morning and into the evening with lots of rain predicted as well. OK….so all of the weather guys were 100% wrong. It was lightly sprinkling at 0630 launch time and quit less than 30 minutes later. The wind actually died to almost nothing, but was changing direction constantly 360 degrees. Go figure. It did make the fishing the most challenging of the weekend. About 1:30, most everyone had packed it in and headed for the weigh-in.
Tampa based HardCore representation
The “HardCore” table at the weigh-in
Out of 120 anglers, only Mr. Bob Gallot turned in a legal slam to take 1st place and a new 14’ Hobie Pro Angler
Our own Chuck Statham took 2nd place and elected to receive a new Humminbird 385Ci chart plotter/fish finder
Jeff Harrell of Finatic Design walked off with 3rd place and a new Ocean Prowler 13 kayak
Logan Narcowich took the Junior division title
And the luckiest guy of all was Chip Gibson. He won a new Ocean Prowler 13 during the raffle
Here’s a few more fish that were caught over the long weekend.
Rick Klosicki and a monster 28.7” Trout on Tournament day
Ron Henderson with a 30” Thursday Snook
A2OZ’s 27.8″ Tournament Day Snook
Jose’s 15 lb Jack on light tackle
Ridgeback’s 30.7” Tournament Day Snook
A2OZ’s fat Friday Trout
Please feel free to add any pictures you took at the tourney to this post.
Once again, big thanks to the Mark, Jerry, and the full team at DOA Lures. I recommend that you get your reservations in very early next year after the tournament date is announced. The event was capped at 120 anglers and I was told there was in excess of 25 on the waiting list.