Monday, April 4, 2011

River Bassin' Tournament--3rd place

I fished the Charlotte stop of the River Bassin' Tournament Trail this past weekend and put in a tough day of fishing on the Wateree River. I caught a few decent fish and took 3rd place against 26 other anglers.

The River Bassin' Trail is a kayak/canoe fishing tournament format and participants are allowed to fish within 100 miles of the weigh-in spot. The Bass Pro Shops at Concord Mills served as that spot Saturday, and I fished the southern-most point within our boundaries. All the rain we had last week made for some tough fishing with most of the rivers having much higher than normal water levels.

I had planned to fish the Broad River because I've had good luck with smallmouth there, but the water there was just too high. So I opted for plan B, putting in at the Wateree Dam and paddling over to a small creek called Grannie's Quarter Creek. I've bream fished this spot and have always caught a few small bass while throwing panfish spinners. I upsized my lure offerings on this day, and totaled six fish. The limit for the River Bassin' Trail is 3, so I was in good shape.

This trail, like most kayak tournament trails, uses the CPR (Catch, Photograph, Release) method of judging fish, so Friday night we all met at Bass Pro Shops and were given a Gorilla Glue icon that was required to appear in all photos, along with the measuring device and the fish. The winning 'stringer' is actually represented by the photos of an angler's three longest fish. My stringer was 45.5 inches.

Eric Boyd of Kings Mountain, NC took the top spot. His 3-fish stringer measured 48.75 inches, including one fish that went over 21 inches. Drew Haerer came in 2nd place with 46.75 inches.

It was a fun event and Drew Gregory and his staff put on a top-notch post-tournament meal and show. The next River Bassin' event will be held in Birmingham, Alabama on April 16, with 13 more stops before the championship in Roanoke, Virginia in early fall. To find out more about the River Bassin' Tournament Trail, visit

PhotosByBrianCope: The River Bassin' Tent greets anglers and visitors to the Concord Mills Bass Pro Shops. This was my biggest fish of the day, and helped me into 3rd place for the tournament.

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