Showing posts with label cap city kayak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cap city kayak. Show all posts

Santa Claus Knocked Me Out

Santa Claus knocked me out. More specifically, The First Annual Santa Claus Classic. I'll have a full tourney report later next week for Cap City Kayak Fishing but for now, here is my story. 

I knew Saturday was going to come early. This weekend was my son's birthday and we wanted to do it up right so we went to his favorite restaurant and then to see the new Hobbit movie. The movie got out and we arrived home Friday night at 11PM. I had a 3AM wake up call to get loaded and down to Austin by 5AM. Unfortunately at 1:30 alarms started going off and it wasn't my clock. It was my back. I had a burning, searing pain between my shoulder blades. I couldn't turn my head and I had to roll carefully to get up out of bed. This was not good. I had Robert Field down from Dallas, already set up in Austin and I couldn't let him down. I gulped some Aleve and Tylenol and closed my eyes for a few minutes. The alarm went off again, this time an actual clock, and I got out of bed in more pain than previously. 

I struggled. 

I ran through my mind whether or not to keep stretching and hope the medicine would kick in or call Robert and admit defeat. After 35 minutes of agonizing physically and mentally I decided to load up, fight through it and go. It was for charity after all. 

I sent the red bearded Aggie a text saying I was about 30 minutes behind schedule and he said no problem. 

We checked in, chatted for a minute and headed to the launch spot. I took forever to get unloaded and the sun was starting to peek out before we launched. Thankfully Robert has a lot of gear to set up as well.  

The weatherman predicted gusts up to 30 mph and cold. As we launched we chatted about the cold part being right but the wind seemed to be a non-factor so far. I know better than to say that out loud.

We headed for a well known creek and started tossing baits. I adjusted and fussed at my seat and my back for over an hour. I also got a face full of water and some water down the front of my waders when trying to get out for a shore break. Cold and miserable I battled on for another hour. With little to show for it and a boat parade already formed we decided to move. As we rounded the corner at the mouth of the creek the wind proved the weatherman right again. We paddled for what seemed like six years against the wind to go try some deeper water. We wasted an hour before regrouping. 

At this point I was biting my lip from the pain. The medicines I had taken seven hours previous were useless. We decided to grind out the rest of the tourney in the creek, out of the wind. As we ventured back into the mouth we saw we weren't the only ones with that plan. 

The plan paid off pretty well. We landed five keeper fish in the creek that measured for the tournament. The Hag's Tornado F4 in Purple Haze was my go to. I used my Smith Optics Tenet Glasses to sight cast all of the fish I caught, including the keepers. The five were good enough for 5th Place which was pretty cool. What I didn't count on though was the other fish I caught. I thought at the time it was a big bluegill. It turns out it was a redear. It wasn't the state record I thought it was (and subsequently made myself look like a fool) but it was big enough to qualify for a big fish award from Texas Parks and Wildlife. I'll send off the paperwork this week to get it documented. The redear measured 13.5" long. It was released unharmed and feisty!

The after party at Joe's Crab Shack was festive and merry as always. Boxes of toys for Toys for Tots overflowed and the Lone Star beer did as well. (I can't have it because of my celiac but many others enjoyed it.) A lot of good happened but at the weigh in I was spent. I probably seemed like a scrooge and a bit aloof but I felt like Freddy Krueger had julienned my back. Paddling against that heavy wind twice, meds not working and being cold all day meant for a Grumpy Cat looking Chris at weigh in. Sorry fellas. I feel awful I wasn't more talkative but I was done. 

I'll get the full recap with some video from Robert up in a few days but until then, check out the only smiling pics of me known to exist from Saturday.

No Sleep Till Fayette

It was grueling. It was hot. It was maybe a little stupid, but I did it. And more importantly, I don't regret it.

Last Saturday was the two man team event for Capital City Kayak Fishing Tournament Series at Fayette County Lake outside La Grange, TX. Fate played a cruel trick on me and I had a double date in Austin Friday night. Ouch. I live in Temple, about an hour north of Austin. For fear of getting my kayak stolen while we were playing downtown, I opted to drive to Austin, have some fun and then drive back to Temple, load up my kayak and gear and drive to Fayette, two and a half hours away. I would get there during the registration period and be on the water shortly after arrival at about 3:30 AM. The tourney started at 4 and went until noon. How could I pull this off? And why?

My dad taught me a trick a long time ago that works for staying awake late at night while driving. Sunflower seeds. I stopped into a local gas station on my way out of town, got my liquids and snacks for the day and picked up a large coffee cup and bag of sunflower seeds. I hit the road and started working the seeds. As long as I kept hulling and spitting, my mind stayed sharp. It was keeping it busy I suppose and it worked.I arrived without incident and pretty darn alert. But why would I do this?

First off, I told my partner I would be there. Fishing a lake I had never been on, I didn't have great expectations but a promise is a promise. Secondly, the CapCity tournaments have huge payouts. 17 teams fished and first place took home over $1100. Big bass was $340. That's pretty decent for a $50 buy in. Additionally, the sponsors that Beau Reed has lined up with these events are amazingly gracious with their prizes. Smith Optics, HOOK1,Powell Rods, Lone Star Beer and many others donate prizes and refreshments. To go one further, these guys are pretty cool to hang with. As a newcomer to the group this year, I have been able to visit with lots of these guys. They share information, like to tease and have a good time. I haven't left any event with the Austin boys where I have felt like I never wanted to be around them. Maybe it's kayaking in general that calms everyone down but when a guy or team comes in with 120 inches of fish, you know how hard it was to do that. Everyone appreciates the accomplishment, enjoys a cold Lone Star and kicks it at the ramp.

My day was short lived. I fished until about 10:30 and I hit the wall. The heat, sleep deprivation and not enough fish to keep me in contention had me beat. I caught plenty of fish but only one measured over 14" so one fish for me. I made the long trek back to my launch point, struggled to load up and drive back to the weigh in. I called my partner on the way in and he was struggling too. We didn't finish last but we didn't finish well either. I visited with Beau and Chewy Linton at the weigh in for a bit and hit the road. Again munching my seeds and trying to stay awake before the impending sleep coma set in. I made it home and hit the hay.

The trip was exhausting but I don't regret it at all. I'll be back, hopefully with better planning. If you are in the Central Texas area, you should come see what this Cap City thing is all about. Just bring your cash and a good attitude!