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Jackson Kayak Fishing Team members Damon Bungard and Brian Cadoret made an appearance at the 2013 Ditch Pickle Classic, catch-and-release fly fishing bass tournament on Lake Champlain in Swanton, Vermont. Started three years ago, the tournament has grown by leaps and bounds, going from 10 teams to over 51 in three years, and fly anglers from as far away as Germany. It was hot and sunny, but over the course of two days, plenty of smallmouth and largemouth bass were brought to hand, photographed, and released back into the waters of Lake Champlain. The tournament proceeds benefited the Friends of the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, and their headquarters served as home base for the tournament and after-BBQ and award ceremony.

The tournament was open to any watercraft, and Brian and I were some of the few in kayaks, both choosing the Jackson Kayak Coosa for this particular tournament. Winds were a factor on the lake, and we stuck to some of the river tributaries and sheltered areas of the lake with the heavy lilly pads that the bass love. We started below the falls in Swanton, using the kayaks to access the base of the falls and get into some smallmouths. Later we moved to the lake to target largemouths, with some great topwater action using poppers. Some battles were lost with large bass seeking refuge in the lilies, but others cooperated nicely and scored well. 

Jackson Kayak was proud to support the event, and hopes the DPC continues to grow. Maybe even a ‘Kayak Fishing’ category for next year?! We’ll see.

I don’t often fish for bass, but when I do, I choose LMB. Stay fishy my friends!