The Kayak Bass League Orange Club had their fourth and final regular season tournament on Sunday, July 30th at Banner Marsh just outside of Peoria, IL. 26 anglers registered for the event with many of them coming down early to practice and get a feel for the lay of the land. This lake was on the Green Club’s schedule last season so as you can imagine, quite a few Green members signed up for the event looking to make a statement against the Orange club….especially since the Orange club took some cash away from the Green members at their last event at Oconomowoc Lake in Wisconsin earlier in the month.
It was an awesome weekend with plenty of sunshine and manageable wind, but the pre-fishing reports were mixed with most finding areas with spotty bass activity and an occasional rogue musky on their line. Tournament day was not going to be easy on anyone, but everyone knew it was their last attempt to improve on their regular season AOY points.
4:30 AM on Sunday came quickly and many of the anglers were already in the ramp parking lot getting their equipment ready to get on the water. Everyone was checked in, safety checks were performed and we were ready for our pre-tournament and start the event. At the shotgun start it was obvious everyone had their game plan dialed in and we’re off to the races towards their starting spots. Many took off through the main channel towards the main lake, but there were others that stayed close and focused on the bays close to the boat ramp.
It wasn’t long until we started hearing reports of nice fish getting landed including a nice 20.5” largemouth that would end up tying for the big bass for the event. Others struggled finding keepers and weeding through numerous 11 to 11.75” bass to just find one that would measure at 12 inches. It seemed as though the fish were either caught early or late…a big lull in between was a common theme. 1 PM rolled around quicker than most would have liked it to…but anglers started showing back at the ramp with stories of lost fish, barely making their limit or struggling to get past 4 keepers.
After every fish was checked in, it was evident it was a tough event but many were able to turn in fish and earn valuable AOY points. 6 limits and a total of 71 bass were weighed in with an average length of 15.5 inches. The quality was definitely there, but the numbers could have been better.
So here are the results…
The Big Bass pot was tied for the first time in Kayak Bass League history with two 20.5 inch bass that were caught by Hector “Hawg Snatcher” Rodriquez and Scott “Stay Dry” Shaw. One came on a squarebill and one on a punch rig, two completely different techniques resulting in a 20+ inch class largemouth. The pot was split so each walked away with $65 for their catches and Hector also took home a $25 Tackle Trap gift card. Nice job guys!
In 3rd place, with a limit of 81.25 inches of bass, was Susie “Sendin’ It” Magarity! Susie relied heavily on her extensive knowledge of the fishery and key areas that are known to hold larger fish. Her limit was anchored by a nice 20” largemouth that was just shy of also tying for big bass! Great job by her and she walked away with $117 for her limit.
In 2nd place, with a limit of 84 inches of bass, was Brian “Butters” Butterfield! Brian is also a local to the area who relied on previous knowledge of the lake to find areas that would be effective for a punch rig. He landed plenty of quality fish that day but struggled to break past the 17” mark. Brian took home $175.50 for his second place finish. Nice job!
And in 1st place, with a limit of 85 inches of bass, was Alan “Toe Tan” Wiedmeyer! Alan also has a history with Banner Marsh as he fished it often in college, but the main lake where the tournament was hosted was pretty much foreign to him as he only fished it once 9 years ago. Topwater and a swimjig did most of the damage and he barely squeaked by after finding a nice 18.75” largemouth late in the day. Alan took home $292.50 for his win along with the coveted golden bass trophy and a $25 Rocktown Adventures gift card!
As you can see, the Green club got their revenge taking 2 of the 3 top places and also one of the big bass awards. Nice job to all of you turning up the heat on the Orange club…will we see a reversal at the Green club’s last event at Jacksonville this weekend? Stay tuned…
Congratulations to all of the winners and for everyone that came out to the event! Other members walked away with some great door prizes as well from RAM Mounts, YakAttack, YakAddicts, Kingfisher Custom Baits, StankX Bait Co., Bizz Baits, KaRu Lures, JB’s Fish Sauce, and TRC Rod Covers. We appreciate all that our sponsors do for us at these events and we wouldn’t be able to make this series what it is without your help!