Tomorrow is the annual Beer & Gear event over at Pack & Paddle. This is always a great event to see the latest in outdoor recreation gear. The craft beer from across the US is a plus too. It brings two of my favorite things together so I’m hoping I can slip away and head across the Atchafalaya Spillway. It’s from 5-8pm so if you’re anywhere near Lafayette tomorrow evening, be sure to head over because you don’t want to miss it. I hear the big raffle this year is Steve Lessard’s kayak from the 2016 Hobie Fishing Worlds event!
With Beer & Gear tomorrow, that also means it is the start of demo season. On Saturday Pack & Paddle will be doing a kayak demo from 10am – 2pm over at Vermilionville. Acadiana residents – head over there if you’re interested in trying out the latest kayaks. Also on Saturday, if you’re around New Orleans, Massey’s will be holding their first demo day of the year at Bayou St. John, which will be from 10am – 3pm. The location is across from Cabrini High School, 1405 Moss St.
It’s that time of year, there’s no excuse if you’re in the market for a new kayak or have been wanting to try out the new models not to head out to a demo. They are free and are the best way to try out as many different makes and models as possible to see what will fit you best. Whenever someone asks for some good advice in picking a new kayak, the best thing anyone can tell them is “demo, demo, demo”. I’ve found it really important to try as many different boats as you can before making a purchase because sometimes which one is your favorite will surprise you.
For the last few years the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club and Massey’s Outfitters have gotten together and offered one of my favorite kayak fishing events, the Massey’s BCKFC Fish Pics Tournament. It’s an 11 month long CPR style (catch-photo-release) tournament that starts on Jan 1st of each year and is free to members of the BCKFC. It has two divisions, one for conventional tackle and one for fly fishermen, and each division winner is awarded a kayak at the end of the year. You heard that right, a tournament with essentially free entry awards two kayaks! Other awards are also given out for the biggest fish in each category – redfish, trout, bass, and flounder. I love this style of tournament because now every trip becomes a potential winning trip.
Last year I started off hot, catching some big redfish in January. This 42.25″ red was good enough to land me the award for biggest redfish in the conventional tackle division.
In the fly division, I took home 2nd place overall with the help of a 35.5″ redfish also caught that same day in January.
My bass and my trout weren’t the biggest, but they were enough to eek out a 2nd place finish. They were both caught during my week long stay in St. Bernard in October.
This past year was the most participation that the tournament has ever seen, which was around 40 people total, so as you can tell, it didn’t take much for me to place. It’s a shock to me that more BCKFC members aren’t taking advantage of this opportunity and submitting fish from their trips. Maybe this year the tournament will see even more growth.
For more information on the Massey’s BCKFC Fish Pics tournament or to start competing, sign up to become a member at www.BCKFC.org.
Come on out to the Massey’s at Towne Center this Thursday at 7pm to talk kayak fishing with me. I’ll be doing a seminar intended to help shorten the learning curve for folks getting started in kayak fishing, with an emphasis on catching redfish. I’ll also talk a bit about sight fishing redfish and catching them on the fly. Should be a lot of fun and I heard there will be some raffles, I do hope some of y’all can make it out.