Let me start by saying that I was nervous, scared and intimidated by the sheer size and reputation of Sam Rayburn Res. I have fished this lake so many times but this was a unique experience. I was fishing in the East Texas Kayak Fishing- Classic Championship and the field was stacked with 26 of the best sticks across East Texas. My Mind was racing on how do I catch a limit in 100 degrees heat, 100% humidity, 4mph winds and a lake with 200 launch points and many many ways to catch quality fish. Well between my confidence in map reading, my tackle, equipment and most importantly my kayak, Coosa Fd (Arctic, yes the color had a lot to do with it, HAHA). I had prepared by fishing a similar lake as Rayburn and I had reports from Rayburn on the vegetation there so I was glad to know my Coosa FD could handle anything thrown at it. I had a game plan going in but you know what they say about game plans? Everyone has a game plan until they get punched in the face and then instincts kick in. Well, my morning bit was slow, I had 1 fish by 10 am. I had traveled approx 4 miles paddling and pedaling and I had a ton of energy left. I was bummed because spot #1 was the promise land until it wasn’t. So then it’s off to spot #2. I had to load up and travel 20 miles, 30 minutes and unload and get back to fishing. I had to go approx 1.5 miles to my new spot and the FD was handling great! I was nervous about the move and the energy it took but my FD drive system is easy and smooth.
I get to spot #2 on day 1 and go to town with a huge midday bite from 12pm-230pm. I had moved from 14th to 2nd place with 89.25″. This was a very unique tournament because it was your best 5 over 2 days, so its literally anyone’s game. I start day 2 at the same spot and back to my waypoints I go and they were loaded up again with big fish. I was able to catch 12 more fish and make 3 huge culls. I went from 89.25″ to 97.50″. Let me tell you that I would not have done this without my Coosa FD. The amount of water I had to cover between waypoints and the distance from the ramp it was made you tired thinking about it. Also, doing it in 100+ degree heat takes it all out of you. I was still refreshed and pumped about my bag and it was now a waiting game until 4 pm.
I had so many people compliment me on my rig and I had a ton of Glitter Rocket, I mean Bass Boat guys ask me about it and how I attached a Power Pole, HDS 7, Rod holders, Jkrate and my tumbler to it. The asked how fishing out of that changed my game and my approach to fishing. So I got to talk to them and let them look over the kayak. It was awesome to hear how they had done really poorly in their big boats and I had done well. I told them my #1 take away from kayak fishing is it makes you pick apart spots and plan better. They all said they run and gun and miss bites. The Coosa FD impressed men in $80k Glitter Rockets.
Well to sum it up, the Coosa FD and I took home 1st place in the Classic and 2nd place in AOY. I could not have done it without my FD and my gut.