The Third Annual Lake Cumberland Kayak Fishing Tournament

LCKFT launch at Lee’s Ford Marina

launched Saturday, May 12th from Lee’s Ford Marina in Nancy, KY.

For the first time since the inception of the LCKFT, the day was beautiful and the weather was spectacular! Keep in mind that launch time of year one was an icy 28 degrees, and year two hovered around the mid-90s with somewhere around 100% humidity. The returning anglers were quite grateful for the overcast morning, afternoon sun, and 70+ degrees.

Two of the tourney sponsors, Canoe KY and Quest Outdoors arrived early with many kayaks available for visitors to check out as well as take to the water for a demo paddle. Other sponsors that attended the tournament were the Energy Guy, Kayak Rigging Supplies, and Fat Man’s Barbecue (who also provided the post-tournament meal).

Without further adieu, the winners of Saturday’s Tournament were:

  • 1st Place:    TJ Strong who caught a total of 37.5″
  • 2nd Place:   John Walters with 32.5″ caught
  • 3rd Place:   Chris Hayes “Striperyak”  with 32″ total

As with the first two tournaments, Susan Powell of Somerset,KY, organized this year’s tournament and paddlefest. Participation has continued to grow each year with 33 anglers participating on Saturday. Susan dedicated this year’s tournament to Heroes On the Water (HOW) and the profit of close to $2000.00 is going to their cause. Great job Susan!

Grand Prize Winner T.J. Strong of Lexington KY
Photo by Mark “YakSushi” Watanabe

I’m sure all the Kentucky Yak Anglers will be anxiously waiting for the date of next year’s tournament. I know I will be.

Introducing the Hobie® Mirage® Pro Angler 12

Just when I thought they couldn’t get any better, Hobie® has unveiled the newest addition to their fleet of angling kayaks. The new Mirage® Pro Angler 12 is possibly their most versatile fishing craft to date. No matter what type of water you fish, the Pro Angler 12 is ready to handle it, and boasts more features than you can swing a graphite rod at.

The Essentials:

MirageDrive:   The always-popular pedal-driven propulsion system is still key to the maneuverability of the Pro Angler 12. With self-centering pedals and the included turbo fins, the Mirage Drive is the proven leader of a stealthy and efficient approach to fish.

Vantage Seating:  With the new Vantage seat, Hobie has raised the
bar. Boasting both fore/aft reclining action and a five-inch up or down adjustment, you can count on comfort that fits your style without getting out of your chair. Made from Hobie’s new comfort mesh, the Vantage Seat includes
the Boa® System for lumbar support. When you are ready to do some sight fishing the chair folds neatly out-of-the-way.

Boa® Adjustment:  Located on the back of the seat is a one-handed dial that provides a full range of adjustment to provide lumbar support.

Transducer Mount:   Hobie has included a Lowrance®-ready, built-in
transducer mount with pre-installed through-hull cable plugs. Mounting your fish finder this time takes no glue or marine grease and no need to drill holes in your yak.

Other Important Features:

  • Pivoting Tackle Management System
  • Port/Starboard Dual-steering
  • Horizontal Rod Storage with Tip Protection (for six rods)
  • Brass Inserts for Anchor Trolley Installation
  • Replaceable Mounting Boards for Electronics and Rod Holders
  • Anti-skid Floor Mats



  • Length: 12’
  • Width:  36”
  • Weight: 120 lbs. (fully rigged)
  • Capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Projected Availability: June 2012
  • MSRP: $2549

Made in the U.S.A.

Note:  In Kentucky Canoe KY is a Hobie Dealer! Stop by and check them out!

Disclaimer: I am not offering a review of the Pro Angler 12 at this time because I haven’t been in one at the date of the article. I am a member of the Hobie Pro Fishing Team, but have received no compensation for sharing this information.


Yes, you’re reading it right. Fishing without water! As addicted as I am to all things fishing, especially fishing from my kayak, there is a season of the year when I have to make a choice. This season only lasts three to four weeks which is either lucky or not depending on how you look at it. As hard as it is to pull myself away from the water on a beautiful weekend, sometimes you just have to make a decision. The decision to go walking headlong deep into the woods.

For those who don’t know, there’s a fish that thrives deep in the woods.  It’s an illusive little thing, maybe among some of the all-time, least-often-seen species around. There are people who never see them, and there are others who see them and don’t recognize their value. But those of us who are in the know about such things, know all about Dryland Fish.

Hey, you can’t make this stuff up! Actually I guess you could, but I’m not. In the state of Kentucky they seem to go by a couple of different names.  People in the central and southeastern parts of the state refer to them as “Dry land fish“, while folks in the western part of the state prefer to call them “Hickory chickens“. Confusing huh? Is it a fish, is it chicken, is it a fish that tastes like chicken? There’s even people who call them merkles, which is actually “miracle” when spoken with a deep Appalachian accent.

If you haven’t guessed by now I’m talking about the Morchella, though hardly anyone uses that name, relying on the simpler form of the word “Morel”.

Around this part of Kentucky you can generally find them from the beginning of April till the end of the month give or take a week. This year they’ve arrived a bit early because of the unseasonably warm temperatures we’ve had. Any way you slice it, there’s only a three to five-week window of time to find these beauties then they’re gone again for another year.

I included some pictures of dryland fish taken in their natural habitat, along with a song by the Kentucky Headhunters paying homage to our quarry.

With any luck I’ll be back Sunday with pictures of the mother load if we’re lucky enough to actually find it!

         Yellow Morel                      Grey Morel                        Black Morel


Learning to “Fly” — But I Ain’t Got Wings

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Alright, I know the title is bad grammar, but I’m quoting Tom Petty. That should count for something! For a couple of years I’ve said I’m going to learn how to tie flies.  I kept putting it off for one reason … Continue reading

Can You Say Scotty Dealer?!

I went to one of my favorite haunts this afternoon, Canoe Kentucky in Frankfort.  Man have those guys been working!  They’re carrying more fishing kayaks than ever plus now they have Yak Attack products, Scotty mounts, the list could go on and on!  Can’t wait till I need to go back over to see them again!!  Way to go Nathan and Allison! This will make getting the gear we long for so much easier!

Can’t wait to get all the new bling installed in my Hobie!  Woot!