Monday, August 18, 2014

Hammond River Classic Recap

The Hammond River Classic was this past Saturday, the second of two kayak/canoe derbies that I had organized this summer.   Thankfully the weather was good and things went off without a hitch!   34 participants competed in high, dirty and fast waters after heavy rain in the preceeding days.    Last year this tournament had just 18 anglers, and was in danger of not continuing.    Hopefully with this great turnout, we have turned a corner and will continue to see this event grow as the kayak angling community grows here on the East Coast of Canada.

A huge thank you to all our sponsors, and to eveyone to came out to take part.   I trust eveyone had a great time, and hopefully our numbers grow again next year!

It was a lot of work this year to put my first ever two derbies together, but in the end it was definately worth it.   Between the two, we had nearly 80 kayak anglers in the water, raised over $1200 for our causes, and gave away perhaps $2000 in prizes not including a Trident 15 angling kayak at each event.   Both kayaks were won by individuals who enjoy the sport but did not already have their own kayak, so it's great to know that both kayaks will be put to great use!

On Saturday, after getting everyone paid and registered, Rowan and I hit the water an hour or so after everyone else.    We made a bee line to sturgeon alley to try our luck there, and caught a white perch, yellow perch and a 27 inch sturgeon!    Something much bigger took a piece of gaspereaus I had down for bait, but I had my drag set way too tight and ended up snapping my leader off.    It was either a striper of a much bigger sturgeon, hard to tell which but I definately got a feel for it's weight.   If it was a sturgeon, it would have been in the foor foot range, which would have then claimed the lunker award.

Oh well, at least we got one sturgeon, and that was key as it vaulted us into 4th place overall!    My best finish ever at an event like this!    Not bad considering our late start and early exit, about 90 min before the rest of the group as I had to pack up my kayak and get all the prizes laid out for the end of the day.    That extra time could have allowed Rowan and I to find a smallmouth or Sunfish which would have given us third place!   Regardless, for my prize I was very happy to select this expandable, floating net courtesy of Doirons Sports Excellence in Saint John.    I had really hoped to win one of the trophies, to award to Rowan, but we missed both the lunker prize and third place by just 1!   So close!!!

The next derby is going to be a Muskie event in Sept, and then the next one I'm really looking forward to - the Sturgeon Hunt in early October!   Given all the experience and success I've gained over the past year with sturgeon fishing, I'm really looking forward to trying to win that one... and the $1000 that goes with it!