It was an awesome morning when the Orange club members assembled at the Spring Lake North in Manito, IL on June 6th! Some had opted to sleep in their vehicles at the ramp due to the early morning check in and sluggishly awoke as the KBL staff made it to the ramp around 4:00 AM. It was the first official live event for the year as the first event on Newton Lake had to be cancelled, so everyone was eager to compete against each other face to face for the first time this year.
You could really see the camaraderie of all of the familiar faces that had fished with us last year. Friendships that were non-existent a few years ago were created with this shared passion of kayak fishing. It was great to see all of the new faces as well and we know all of them will find their place among the rest of the veteran club members.
Check-in went smoothly with everyone getting their safety checks and pre-tournament briefing before the event started at 6 AM! We had a total of 21 anglers for this event and it was evident even before we got on the water that it was going to be challenging for most with the amount of vegetation on the water. Lilly pad fields which seemed to go on forever and weed lines that could take a kayak angler all day to pick apart. Very daunting fishing conditions to say the least!
As the day went on reports of fast and furious topwater action first thing in the morning was a common theme along with a lot of missed opportunities and fish jumping off of the bump board. Very frustrating stories and you could tell it wore on some of the anglers. In the midst of this, there were quite a few nice fish caught…even some toothy fish in the 30+ inch range. If you threw a spinnerbait at all that day in any of the open sections of water you were almost guaranteed a musky!
1 PM couldn’t have come soon enough as everyone was exhausted from dealing with the heat and the barrage of gnats all day. Everyone came in safely and weigh-ins started around 1:30 PM. It was a unique event for us since the Green Club was also on the premises and were wrapping up their event on Spring Lake South. The Green club would be arriving at our ramp once they were finished, so we hurried to get everyone checked in and weighed in on the Orange side.
So let’s get into the official results…
A total of 10 limits were brought in to weigh-in and every angler brought in at least one fish. A lot of close total lengths were apparent, which was a great thing to see even though we had some tougher fishing conditions.
The story of the day on the Orange club was a largemouth bass coming in at 21.75 inches caught by Steve “Are You Kidding Me” Glinka! This is the biggest bass to date that any Orange club member has weighed in for a live event. Steve walked away with $110 in cash and a $25 gift card from the Tackle Trap for his big bass!
In 3rd place….we had Shaun “All Smiles” Flanagan with a total of 79 inches for his 5 bass limit. Shaun walked away with $99 in cash for his 3rd place finish!
In 2nd place…we had Matthew “Matty Ice” Williams with a total of 80.5 inches for his 5 bass limit. Matt walked away with $148.50 in cash for his 2nd place finish!
And in 1st place….with his third win now in the Kayak Bass League Orange club series…is Don “The Magic Juan” Thompson with his limit of 85.5 inches. Don’s limit was anchored by three 18 inch fish which easily gave him the upper hand over the field. Don walked away with $247.50 in cash along with a $25 gift card to Rocktown Adventures for his win and the coveted golden bass trophy! Congrats again Don!
Rounding out the top 5…
4th Place…Tony “Hawgs Only” Lam with 76.75 inches
5th Place…Joe “The Beard” Palmer also with 76.75 inches…since Tony had the bigger bass of the two, Joe fell to 5th place
We also had one little twist this event since we had both clubs with us at the same time fishing two different lakes. We decided to give away an extra $100 to the angler that caught the smallest five fish limit between the two clubs. Nathen “Nasty Nate” Barto took home this bonus money with his five fish limit of 69 inches! Nice job Nathen!
As a consolation, many other KBL anglers received door prizes from our 2017 sponsors! We appreciate all of their support this season and are grateful for helping us promote this sport in the Midwest!