Select Page

This will be a two part story because, the first one I will talk about include friends Clay Guida, Chad Mendes and Brian Grant. It’s was Chad’s and Brian’s first time kayak angling. The second adventure I will be writing about is a local Ncka (Northern California Kayak anglers) group. We had a fish and chill from Friday to Sunday. 

The first adventure started when Brian right at the launch lost his rod. With sunny skies and 60 degree water he had to go for a swim, unsuccessful we decided to do our thing and fish. Clay decided we should do a friendly 2v2 with clay and I on one team and Brian and chad on the other. We talked about some rules and went our separate ways. 

This was my first time fishing this body of water with so much water. With all the rain in northern California it has created a fun little challenge, but as you will read a lot of fun opportunity to catch some big fish.  Clay and I started to pick apart an island and I hook into a healthy 16 inch smallmouth, the fish wanted to dance on the water making it more entertaining.  With one fish landed from this point on this island I decide to cast a few more times. Fish on! With a nice little fight and a beautiful exit from the water followed with a head shake of my lure fish was gone just like that. I knew today was going to be fun how active these fish were so far. We decide to paddle on he worked a few points and inlets and I paddled to the middle where there was normally a huge body of land but now was under twenty feet of water in some spots. 

I grab the Carrot Stix swimbait rod, and within a few casts I launch my Huddleston swimbait into the unknown! I paddle to where I think it landed and start marking waypoints on my fish finder to come back and dive for it at a later time. I proceed to fish this area with a drop shot and Ned rig with no avail. Clay hooks up to a fish in this little cove not far off the bank. I pick apart a few islands and head toward land to get out of the wind. As I’m casting in this cove the wind is pushing me towards to bank, I get into a spot with some nice cover and grass. As my lure lands and the water settles I see what I assume is a lot and think damn this will be fun to dig out. With a twitch of my wrist and spin of the other I remove my lure but the stump moves and swims towards me. My heart sunk as a lunker of a bass swam under my kayak in less than two feet of water. I contact clay and tell him he can find me in this cove for a little bit chasing this bass. I decided to fish the back of this cove and give that bass a chance to get back on her bed. I find a few beautiful red eye bass and then I move back and try to find that fish but I spooked it off. 

I paddle off  into another cove that had a tree hanging into the water, my gut told me to hit this area. So I tucked into the bank and within a few casts BAM! Fish on this fish was pulling drag with my 8lb test.. This fish swims out of the tree and towards two trees. The fish realized it couldn’t go anywhere then starts moving to me as I trying to pick up slack. The beautiful fish comes out of the air a few times so I know this fish is nice. The fish does a couples dives under my kayak then starts going into a bush and wrapping herself in it. This fish was smart and new exactly what it needed to do to try to shake me. I assumed I was going to have to dive in and get this fish because of how tangled it was in the bush. I call over to Clay for help, because I just keep getting pushed away from the fish by the wind. Clay helps anchor me close to the Bush and I start pulling line out of the tree. I get a Great chance to meet the fish and land it. I try twice to net it but on the second swoop I land her. I celebrate then start clearing the tree of my line and tackle. At 19 ¾ this chunk put up a great fight. 

We decide to head back as then other guys had headed in and was looking for the lost rod. They ended the day with more fish landed then Clay and I with 8 and they had 9. But with big fish we called it a tie. Chad and Brian had a great time and are in the process of looking into kayaks. 

Adventure two at Lake Berryessa

I arrived at Lake Berryessa on Friday at about 11 to white caps and rain. I threw on my dry suit and got to unloading, I was going light because the weather and I had an idea of what I needed to target these bass. I launch and paddle and head straight into the wind and chop towards the cove that I had seen the stump that I later spooked. I get to the cove and slowly start working the front so I can inch in and have the current and wind pin me against it and pick apart the area where I had knew that fish was hiding at. I cast a weightless Senko into a few different grass patches with nothing as I get towards the last known place, I cast with a solid strike, and I let the lure fall and just sit in the possible strike zone. With another tick I set the hook and the fight is on! This fish puts up a great fight but I reel this in like my life depends on it as I’m trying to qualify for kbf invitational next year. Get it in the boat and it’s slightly over 19 ½. With a few pictures taken and a release video the fish swims off to do her thing. With one other fish caught I hit up the cove where I caught the momma that took me into the tree. 

So this spot I wanted to pick apart because I had a feeling it was holding decent fish. With the wind again pushing me against the bank I fish this area out then tuck in to fish the tree. The first fish I was able to pull from that tree was a nice looking 16 inch fish, second was a 17, and third was another 19. That fish gave a great fight but I was able to net rather quickly. With the rain pounding and wind picking up I quickly took a photo of it and then released it. I decided to head back load up and start to set up camp. Saturday was a wet day and was only on the water for a few hrs. I had a prior engagement back in Sacramento. I landed two fish one 16 and one very small bass. Sunday after getting on the water after a great breakfast I was able to manage 5 fish. None of the fish on Sunday helped with my overall goal, but was an amazing day fishing a new section I had never explored before.