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Over the last five years I’ve heard about a tournament in Virginia small-town USA. I would hear things like, it’s not about winning the tournament, there’s great food, awesome camaraderie between team mates as well as others who love the sport of Kayak Fishing, it’s all for great cause that benefits Heroes on The Water and of course some of the coolest spots to fish from a kayak. I couldn’t pass it up this year so of course I asked my wife for the ok and booked the last spot available at Twin Lakes State Park for the 9th annual Yakattack Heroes On The Water tournament.

Wednesday May 17th right after work I came home and started packing my fishing gear, camping gear and my newly rigged and ready custom Big Rig. Fellow Jackson Kayak Team Members Nik Brown and Gene Jenson as well as my good friend Cameron Gatlin were making their way over. After hitching up the Camper and putting our fleet of Jackson Kayaks on the trailer which consisted of Jacksons Premier Mayfly, Cuda HD, Coosa HD and my Big Rig, we all went in to break bread and get some rest. We had some traveling to do early in the morning at 6:00am.

We arrived at Twin Lakes State Park and set up camp, hung out, met a few people, and actually bank fished at sunset. The next day we loaded up our Jackson Kayaks and made our way to prefish at Sandy River Reservoir. An awesome lake where we caught a good amount of fish. The storms were coming in so it was time load up and head back to camp for a quick lunch, the Captain Meeting, and an awesome dinner.

The morning of the tournament arrived early in the am, but there was no anxious feeling, just a calm and lets just go fish and have fun feeling. We arrived at the head of the launch and unloaded our Jackson Kayaks and geared up. We had to carry our kayaks through a short-wooded path that opened from the early morning glow of the moon to a beautiful area of water that had a massive amount of standing timber. The place was jumping with action across the water that less us know we were about to have some fun. We launched, we fished and met back at the launch at 2:30pm to make it back to weigh in. We all caught fish, but one of us had a bag that could possibly win the Slam.

After Dinner, it was time to call out the winners of the different categories that consisted of the two best Bass, two best Crappie and two best Blue Gill in overall length. Out of our group of friends/family we had two winners. Nik Brown came in second in the best Crappie division, but for the overall win for the best three fish and the win for the Slam was Cameron Gatlin. The tournament raised over $20,000 for Heroes On The Water and that in itself says a lot.
Overall, I met a lot of teammates from Yakattack, some new Jackson Kayak teammates, and some people I would consider family. This tournament usually sells out quick and there are only a certain amount of entries allowed so if you have the opportunity take advantage of it you will not be disappointed.
Maxwell DeRussy
Rigged and Ready