Well as usual with me I woke up late at 5 am went to the closet for rods and was only left with two had forgotten that I left my other 2 poles at work. and to top it off my two piece spinning rod had the wrong end on it from my micro rod. O well it only take one rod so off I went hit royal farms store to fill the tank and the belly grab some water for the day and be on. Ahhh but not so fast after grabbing breakfast I went to pop the cap on the gas tank and it wouldn't open my 21 year old Honda wasn't having it the panel was stuck so two screwdrivers and a key later I managed to get the hatch open now I was really running late.I contemplated not going but plans were set so even if I missed the tournament at least I could get some fishing in and beside Mattawoman is loaded with snake heads and it on my list to catch some this year. I tore down the road and made it just in time to check in pay and get my card right at 7:30. it took me another half an hour to get my stuff together and shove off. Before I launched I was going to head right out of the ramp because the majority of people headed left but a navy guy on a bike that was checking out my kayak said his honey hole was to the left he said use a white jig next to the hiker biker trail and I cant miss.
So I launch left worked in and around the pads with top water and worms I had two hits right off breaking the second one off looking back now I guess it was a snake head this lead to a problem in my haste I left mt hook box in the car and only had two worm hooks and I just lost one of them. I decide to just paddle pass everyone and hit the wall and see what I could jig up. When I arrived their were several bass boats working the wall so I worked the wooded shore with no luck until they left and then jigged down the wall to no avail I then proceeded to fish back the creek.
It was still a nice fish and the skunk was off then on my next cast I broke off my last worm hook.
I pulled my kayak to shore and went through every hatch and the best I could come up with was a fluke hook off a bottom rig that had dropped out of the box last year. I fished it heading back the river without any bite then finally about 4 hours in I got a hit. The bass swirled next to me teasing and then shook off. the hook never even came out of the worm. I took my pliers and bent the hook out more and finally caught my first bass.
My next cast went long and when I pulled it back it landed in about two inches of water and all hell broke loose a snakehead was sunning itself in the shallows and blew up on my bait I yanked back buried the hook deep and the fight was on. He ran past me then back jumped and snapped me off not only did I lose my first snakehead but also my last hook it would be no more soft plastic from there on.
I made my way to the very back of the river where it narrows this was more familiar ground for me Using a Rapala broken back I managed to catch 3 more bass and a yellow perch one more 10 1/2" a 9 1/2" and my winning catch at somewhere around 4"
Its a Monster it hit a four inch broken back.
Matt was nice enough to give a consolation prize for smallest fish a nice AFTCO sticker pack, all and all a great day, fun tournament and good crowd 32 anglers in all.
In hind sight had I followed my intuition to head away from the crowd I would have been where most of the larger fish were caught and where the top fisherman went but I'm not sure I would have had any better luck there. The winning number was 49.5 total inches for three fish I managed a paltry 30 1/2 but I learned again that being prepared is half the battle hopefully I have my stuff together by the next tournament.