2009 NEKF Striper Shootout Report E-mail
Sunday, 06 September 2009 16:15

The Striper Shootout is a tournament put on by New England Kayak Fishing.  They’ve been holding it for several years and I got to attend.  I booked an RV spot in Winter Garden Park.  That’s where the barbeque and awards were going to be held on Sunday.    nekf_thumb

I had already paid for the spots and refunds weren’t available.  Besides if the weather got miserable I had my camper and laptop and I’d get some work done.  Last a bunch of people I knew were going to be staying there and knew the terrain.  When I got there I found Carl 4x4 and family, John, George and several others.  I knew some of the members of the KFM forums were going to be there in an area called the igloo.  After checking it out I don’t know how it got that name.  Danny was going to come with his wife and was staying in town in a hotel.  Also the Wolf pack had reserved three spots and several were going to attend.  I didn’t register because I didn’t want to compete.  I came up to take pictures and video.  I had with me both my electric kayaks.  My Bassyaks that I’d had for 7 weeks and a Torque.   I arrived on Thursday afternoon after a 5 plus hour drive from NJ.  I lost about a half hour to a big accident at the confluence of Interstate 84 and the Mass Tpk.  I set up the camper and settled in.

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A bunch of the guys were going to hit the water that evening so I joined them.  There were about a dozen of us.  I took the Torque and every other kayak was a Hobie.  At the JBay tourney almost half the kayaks were Hobies but here the numbers were ridiculous.  The previous year I learned there were over 100 and the tournament only had about 130 participants!  The plan this evening was to work up the shoreline towards Marblehead.  It was a zoo with so many kayaks fishing together.  We spooked some fish and a few were caught but it was slow.  George and I worked our way back.  There were some fish very close to the bank so I was cutting under the walkways to the docks.  On one as I got under it I noticed ropes hanging down.  I quickly put the kayak in reverse to prevent tangling with the ropes and learned a valuable lesson.  Don’t go fast in reverse when you have lines out.  I had run over my line and had braided line wrapped around the motor.  I still had forward but lost reverse.  In the dark I didn’t want to play with it so I worked my way back to the ramp and George went on to fish the power plant that was right around the corner from the ramp.  The next morning when I pulled the prop off the motor I found red monofilament under my braid.  Turns out the prop can be removed with pliers. 

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A bunch of us went fishing in the morning.  Some guys launched from the ramp but Danny and the rest of the Wolf pack launched from Malibu Beach, which was around the corner.  Some fish were picked up with the TnW.  It was not fast fishing.  There was the occasional blitz but the most reliable fishing was tubing near the power plant.  The fish were schoolies with and occasional keeper mixed in.  We were catching a lot more stripers than we would have in NJ.  I got to take a bunch of pictures and do some filming.  Even though I knew doing both would be better from an electric kayak it was nice to finally do so.  I really enjoyed using the EKs over the four days. 
We found the best fishing in the back of the harbor.  George easily caught a few dozen fish.  Again mostly larger schoolies but there were more keepers.  On Saturday, mid morning they found a cove with a bunch of better fish.  All the fish were keepers with the largest being caught by George.  It went 37 inches. 
There wasn’t a captain’s meeting.  Registration started Friday at 5PM and you could fish anywhere within a 25 miles of Winter Garden until 12PM Sunday.  Because of this I didn’t meet many people I didn’t already know.  Most of the people at Winter Garden were from out of state.  Many locals stayed home and fished other places.  That’s one thing I missed about this format.  We heard fishing was better by the airport in Boston.  This was confirmed as that’s where first place came from. 
I had a great time.  As usual the people were great.  The weather was excellent.  The wind never exceeded 15 mph and Cape Cod protected us from Bill.  The better fishing was deep in the harbors and we were well protected.  It only rained a couple hours Saturday around midnight and for less than an hour Sunday evening.  We’ve never had weather this good all the years I’ve been to JBay.  The guys said the fishing was much better in years past.  They’d have 50 plus fish days regularly with some big fish.  Hey that’s fishing.

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The awards were combined with a barbecue.  Anglers placing received trophies.  Categories consisted of an open division, artificial and fly.  All gear was raffled off.  There was a lot of great stuff.  It was a very well run event.  I look forward to hitting it next year. 

 

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Open Division
Divebuss -Rick Buss 43”
Latin Lui - Luis Santillana 43”
Lefty- Bob Harnish -40”

Artifical Division
Garbageband - Tomo Shiraushi 38”
ShinyFakeKarma- Tucker Bixby 33.5”
Pa Hillbillly - Martin Mood 28”

Fly
Pike Slayer - Ian Peterson 36.5”
Bill Kuczewiski 25”

Rick and Luis tied with 43” but Rick’s second fish was 42” and it broke the tie.  Ian got a very nice fly fish at 36.5” in the fly division.  Jose and Dee both entered the fly division and didn’t get a fish.  That shows how impressive his 36.5” winner was.

 

 

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