Against All Odds
The Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Clubs’ Fall N Tide tournament is a favorite amongst kayak tournament anglers throughout La and surrounding states, it’s held in Plaquemines Parish, the kayak fishing capital of the world (in my opinion of course). It’s during the fall when the specs are transitioning into the marsh, the redfish look like footballs and the flounder begin to show up at every point with moving water. Unfortunately this year’s event met obstacle after obstacle. First the tournament weigh in location had to be moved from Empire to Venice, then it was rescheduled from October 5th to November 16th due to a tropical system threatening S.E. La, and finally as the week of the tournament approached, a cold front entered the area and the weather man was calling for 3 days of 20+ mph winds starting before and running through tournament day.
With over 120 kayak anglers showing up to compete in the event, it turned out to be one for the books, the weather turned beautiful (at least during tournament hours), there were several slot reds weighed in that were pushing the 9lbs mark, there were only 16 slams weighed in for the day, there was a four way tie for 2nd in the leopard red category, 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall winners were all within .32 ounces of each other, there were four kayaks given away, and the winner of it all was a Cinderella story in the making.
the overall winner of Fall N Tide VII, weighed in his Cajun Slam, a flounder, speck, and redfish, for a total weight of 11.38 lbs. When asked where he fished and what he caught his fish on, his response was simple and surprising. He said, “I fished the white pipes, just like the internet reports said too,” he then followed that up with, “I caught the red on a spoon, I caught the spec on a spoon, and I caught the flounder on that Gulp bait that was in my captains bag.” It was great to see someone new to the sport of kayak fishing come in and pull off a win like this one. Rick was awarded a Hobie Pro Angler 14, courtesy of Hobie fishing and The Backpacker. Other top winners were Brendan Bayard in 2nd, Tommy Eubanks in 3rd, Jason Austin 1st place Redfish, Smokey Cook 1st place Trout, Toby Armand 1st place Flounder, Clayton Shilling 1st place leopard red, Barbara Johnston 1st place in the ladies division, and Rory Craft first place in the kids division.
To top off the great event there were some charitable efforts made and several thousand dollars presented to a couple non-profit organizations.
The FiN Crazy Kayak Fishing Team presented a $1500 check to Heroes on the water, La Chapter (an organization that helps in the rehabilitation process of wounded veterans through kayak fishing), and Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club presented checks for several thousand dollars to the Up 21 foundation
(an organization that raises awareness for Down syndrome) and to Wounded War Heroes (an organization that aids in the rehabilitation of wounded veterans through outdoor activities).