Ever since the first time I fished the LA1 Slamboree, LKFC‘s largest event, it became my favorite kayak fishing event of the year. No time that I’ve fished it have I done very well, and it’s usually one of the tougher events of the year, but I enjoy it greatly. This year, I wasn’t even sure I was going to get to fish it with the way things have been going at the shop. Things did come together and on Saturday morning, I was at the launch.
Last year, I pre-fished the day before the tournament and stayed at the marina that night. Though Karl and I had a place to stay lined up this year, we didn’t actually leave until the morning of the tournament. We ran late and didn’t actually launch until about an hour after the start time. We decided to fish near Topwater Marina in Leeville because of the uncertainty in what the weather was doing. Neither of us have fished the marsh near Topwater so we relaxed and enjoyed the adventure. Most of the morning was spent watching the clouds as storms were formed and gradually passing us over.
The fishing was slow, and I wish there were more details to write about. I eventually picked up a mid-slot redfish in a marsh choke-point at the end of a canal. No pictures of him as we were again watching the skies…
After checking the maps we moved a bit further east and found another choke-point. Karl, while drifting hooked a trout that ended up jumping off right at the boat. I anchored down right inside the cut, and started casting a Tsunami Swim Shad (holographic green) and a GULP minnow, swapping out every few casts. I caught several trout here, both speckled and white. The largest measuring a hair under 12″. Too small. As I was about to get a picture of one, it jumped out of my hands, tail-slapped me in the face (slime in my beard) and hit the water. Not long later, I hooked another redfish. He went straight into the cooler measuring 17″. He was smaller than the first but no matter. Then, a flounder… the elusive flounder… I had a flounder! I had him out the water and in the net. He was small but I wasn’t sure if he was too small. After searching the regulations (both tournament and state), back he went. He only measured 10″.
It was then we decided to move off the water with lightning popping to the north and more storms moving in. I even spotted a funnel cloud in one of the cells headed our way. We were tired and hungry. We made our way back to Topwater and loaded up. We were then going to find a place to eat while waiting for the weigh-in. Leeville Seafood was closed and Grand Isle was jam packed for the Tarpon Rodeo. Not knowing the local restaurant too well, we headed to Golden Meadow. We got back in time for the weigh-in and awards ceremony. My lone redfish didn’t do too well but I had something to weigh-in, so no complaints.
Here are the top finishers:
Slam Category (1 of each – Slot Red, Trout, Flounder):
1st place – Brendan Bayard (3 fish Slam 10.39lbs + 2 lb bonus = 12.39 lbs)
2nd place – Timothy Thomas (3 fish Slam 7.45lbs + 2 lb bonus = 9.45 lbs)
3rd place – Chuck Bahan (3 fish Slam 6.82lbs + 2 lb bonus = 8.82 lbs) — Jackson Kayak Team Mate
4th place – Steve Lessard (3 fish Slam 6.80lbs + 2 lb bonus = 8.80 lbs)
5th place – Tyler Drude (3 fish Slam 6.29lbs + 2 lb bonus = 8.29 lbs)
Calcutta Category (Speckled Trout):
Graves Bayard (youngest angler registerd) – 2.76 lbs
Leopard Redfish Category:
1st place: John Berube – 5 spots ($115 Pack & Paddle Gift Card)
2nd place: Jeff Robinson – 4 spots ($50 Pack & Paddle Gift Card)
Congrats to everyone!
The next LKFC tournament is on 8/20. It’s Cajun Castaway which will be held at Calcasieu Point Landing in Lake Charles. It is also a slam format tournament and the leopard red winner will win a kayak donated by Pack & Paddle. Info can be found HERE! I will not be fishing this one, unfortunately. My next tournament will be on 9/10. It’s BCKFC‘s PAC Attack, a redfish tournament in Pointe Aux Chenes. More info to come on that one.