This past weekend was the annual Chesapeake Bay Kayak Fishing Association's charity tournament to benefit the Coastal Conservation Authority and Make-A-Wish. We had anglers from as far north as New York and as far south as North Carolina. The tournament had a pretty good turn out for only having been the second time with over 60 anglers joining the fray.
Several folks arrived on Friday to pre-fish, and I opted to do the same having never fished the area. The weather on Friday was awesome with temps in the low 90's with a steady breeze all day. With an approaching storm front though, the winds began to gust at 15-20 and foretold of things to come for the following day. Before we even finished the Captain's Meeting on Friday night, the National Weather Service had issued a small craft advisory for the entire region.
The advisory warned of a storm moving at 40 mph with winds gusting up to 72 mph. I knew that fishing too far from the weigh-in location would not be the best plan, so I found a cove on Kent Island about a mile and a half away and targeted there for my tournament. I ventured out to the bridge but found the waters to be too difficult to fish properly, so I sought the safety of the coves. I only spotted 2-3 other boaters out there as well, so I think I made the right decision.
In the end, I caught several fish including 2 redfish, a smallish striper, 20 white perch and a spot - none of which were worthy enough to be entered, but still no skunk on either the pre-fish day or the day of the tournament. The fish sizes for the area are smaller than the fish I am use to catching or seeing caught down on the Hampton Roads/Virginia Beach & Chesapeake peninsula area, but we were all witness to a citation being entered. It wasn't the massive reds or gator trout us saltwater anglers long for, but the winning perch was measured in at 13" which is a Maryland citation.
The raffle was a great time as well with most everyone going home with something, but we all were anxious for the top raffle prize - a 2012 Hobie Revolution 11. In the end, although I missed out on the new Hobie, I ended up with a nice Redington bag that retails for about $50, so it was worth it. This was a well run tournament from the folks over on MKF (snaggedline.com) and they deserve mad props for running it. A big thanks go out to the sponsors that contributed prizes for the raffles and placings in each division.
I pieced together my tournament experience late last night in the following video.....