HKB TOP PERFORMERS | WEEK 24
Tyler Perdue dominates the White River, Michael Luke finds a Kicker and the W, Zeck closes out the season strong on Nyona, Jones doubles down on the month-longs, 4 more AOYs are crowned, and so much more in this week's edition of the HKB Top Performers Recap!
Whoa!! Did we just witness one of the best months of fishing this year, maybe of all time, for the Kayak Bass Fishing scene here in the Hoosier State!?
Some absolute giants were caught in August and Week 24 was no exception. I honestly can't recall a time when I've seen so many bigs posted at events all over the state.
Week 24 also capped off some big success stories, as well and we got it all broken down for you, so buckle in.
GRBY | NYONA #5 PRESENTED BY SOREMOUTH TACKLE
What an incredible end to a dramatic season up on Nyona Lake. Going into the final event, the stakes were high as a handful of anglers were neck and neck for the AOY title. 27 anglers registered to compete in the 5th Nyona event of the season and just under 80 Bass were submitted. while more than half the field struggled to find a limit in the heat, the top 7 anglers all broke the 70-inch mark and 2 anglers surpassed 80 inches.
Caden Zeck of Galveston, IN. took home his first victory, wrapping up the season with an 81.00 inch bag, including a 20-inch Nyona Stud for Big Bass! Caden finished 4th in the AOY standings, just 4 points from the top.
Ryan Reedy has been putting in the work this year, gunning for that coveted GRBY Overall AOY title. Well, the work is paying off. Ryan takes 2nd in this one, just .25 inches behind Caden. Ryan wasn't in the running for AOY in the Nyona Series, but this event helped land him back on top of the GRBY Overall race where he now leads by 1 point over "The Sheriff," James Miller.
Speaking of "The Sheriff".... James takes 3rd place in this one with 78.75 inches, tying Chip Romonavich. James had the tie-breaker though, with his best fish measuring in at 17.50" trumping Chip's 16.50"
So who won the AOY? That's where this thing gets really good.
Going into this event, there were several variables at play, with at least a handful of anglers in the running. As the event wore on though, it really came down to a battle between Hrabos, Chip, and Miller. Chip fished on Thursday and put up 78.75. In order for Chip to get AOY, he needed James to finish one spot under him and Casey to finish 7th or lower.
Casey did end up in 7th, leaving him in 3rd for the season - just 1 point behind Chip. However, as mentioned before, Chip and James tied for 3rd, but James had the tiebreaker. So... Chip landed in the number two spot for the second year in a row! Which means...
Your 2023 GRBY Nyona Series AOY is indeed, "The Sheriff" James Miller!!
What a crazy ending to such a great series!
HKB TURKEY BOWL
The Annual HKB TURKEY BOWL & FOOD DRIVE is just around the corner! Grab your fishing buddies and join us for one last hoo-rah before you put away the kayak for winter and help us support Hoosier families in need during the Holiday Season.
GRBY | RACCOON LAKE #5 PRESENTED BY XZONE LURES
Another great ending to an epic battle in the Raccoon Lake series. This race has really been a back-and-forth dogfight between two hammers all season long. Going into the final event, it was Brian Moore defending his position on the hot seat and Steve Martin looking to deal a last-minute blow for the knockout.
In the end though, it was Brian Moore on Top with 392 points, just two points ahead of Steve who finished 7th in the final event.
As for the final event standings, some impressive fish were caught and several solid limits were posted. Over 30 anglers competed in the 5th event with 134 fish submitted. I can speak from first-hand experience that many more were caught and not submitted. It took over 70 inches to crack the top 10 and a 20" bass wasn't even good enough for Big Bass Money.
Michael Luke finished things out with a bang, putting up 81.00 inches for the Win, anchored by a 20.00-inch kicker!!
Coming in 2nd with a kicker of his own was Jim Bailey. Posting 77.50 inches, including the Big Bass of the derby, a 21.25" tank he caught cranking a deep brush pile. Jim posted an amazing recap on the GRBY Facebook group if you haven't checked it out, it's worth your time.
And your 2023 Raccoon Lake Series AOY, Brian Moore, takes 3rd in the final event to seal the deal on his 3rd AOY title in this series since 2020 - Total Domination!
Check this out - Not only did Michael and Jim Bailey bust a big, but Dave Atwell shocked all of us leaderboard stockers last Friday when he posted a 20.50" Smallie!! Not often do we see smallmouth come out of the lake so one has to assume he was up the creek.
GRBY | WHITE RIVER #5 PRESENTED BY ACHIGAN
The White River is one, of if not the most, popular series in the GRBY format or possibly in the tournament scene as a whole. 37 anglers signed up for the 5th and final White River derby of the year and an impressive 231 fish were submitted. 14 anglers broke the 70-inch mark and at least three-quarters of the field landed a limit. This one was a blow out at the the top though. Even though 2nd place had a big bag of their own, they didn't even come close to the #1 spot.
Tyler Perdue of Noblesville, IN absolutely dominated the final event, putting up one of the largest limits we have seen this season at 95.00 inches and finishing more than 10 inches ahead of 2nd place.
Tyler posted 2 fish over 20 on Sunday, Including the Big Bass of the derby - a 21.00 freak of nature Hoosier smallmouth bass. This was Tyler's best finish by far this season on the White River, so it will be interesting to see if Tyler picks up where he left off next season.
David Cox also wraps up the season with his best finish, coming in 2nd with 83.25" inches. Rounding out the Top 3 was Alex Deneau with 82.00 inches. Alex also finished 3rd in the series AOY standings, 5 points behind AOY runner-up, Nathan Pickering.
Your 2023 GRBY White River Series AOY was Mr. Achigan himself, Josh Chrenko!! Josh won 2 events this season and also a 2nd place finish. His lowest score was 94 in the 2nd event of the year. Josh finished with 393 points, 7 Points ahead of Nathan.
SIYAK | MONTH-LONG CHARITY EVENT PRESENTED BY BIOENNO POWER
Each year, SIYAK hosts a state-wide month-long challenge/charity event. For the past couple of seasons, the proceeds of this event have gone to The Fallen Outdoors - IN Chapter. This year, 23 anglers competed in the event raising $230 for TFO. In addition, this year SIYAK added a team event to help support the Adair Family.
Tony Adair was a member of our Kayak Community and passed back in July due to health complications. Tony was a father, husband, and friend to many in our community.
The SIYAK "Teams For Tony" event raised over $400 for the Adair family.
How great is the Kayak Community!? Huge shoutout to the admins at SIYAK for always bringing a charitable aspect to their season and hats off to the anglers who participated and stepped up to support not only TFO, but also the Adair Family.
Alright, lets get to the results. What a month! No doubt, Tony was looking down on the anglers as they fished their butts off. Giants were caught from beginning to end. Over 230 fish were submitted to the leaderboards. Some true Giants were caught, so let's start there.
Big Bass honors go to John Gittner with a 22" Mondo caught back on August 11th.
Dalton Over cracked himself a 22 as well 4 days later on the 15th.
There were twenty-five 20" or better fish submitted, which is just crazy considering we're in the dog days of Summer! So next time you think it's too hot to get out, think again.
The individual leaderboard standings were equally impressive, taking 90 inches just to crack the Top 10 and over 96 to crack the Top 5.
Coming out on top was yours truly (Sam Jones) with 105 inches. This was my best 5 fish total in competition ever. I went into this month knowing I needed a win to qualify for the SIYAK Championship, considering I hadn't made it to the previous events this season. With this in mind, I put my confidence baits in hand and went to work, targeting big fish. I had the best month of fishing I've ever experienced and learned a lot along the way. I will be posting some recaps on my personal pages soon with a more in-depth look at how I caught them.
Matt Kiefer made it interesting all the way to the end though, putting in the work and grinding out 103.50 finishing runner-up in the individual leaderboard, the team leaderboard, and SIYAK AOY. An impressive end, to an impressive season.
Dalton Over posted 98.75 for third place. His best performance to date as well. As mentioned before, his limit was anchored by a 22-inch giant, but he also landed a 21.75!
In the "Teams For Tony" event, it was the duo of John Gittner and Dalton Over, A.K.A. The Double Deucers on top of the Team Leaderboard with a combined 5-fish limit of 106.25"
Your 2023 SIYAK Angler Of The Year is Adam (Samuel) Murray!
What a battle all year.
Adam duked it out with the Multi-time AOY Matt Kiefer and the 2022 SIYAK Champion MH3 all season. Going into the final event, it was Merlin who was left with an opportunity to steal this one but in order to do so, he would need to win.
Merlin stumbled though, finishing in 9th place and 3rd overall in the AOY Standing with 489 points.
Matt is the 2023 AOY Runner-up with 490 pts.
Adam scored 493 points on the season with a win in the SIYAK weekend brawl, a second-place finish at the Hoosier National Forest, a set of 3rd place finishes at Brookville & Sugar Ridge and his lowest finish was in the final event where he placed 4th. A Pretty impressive run for Murray!
Adam is also now the first official qualifier of the 2024 HKB State Championship. This will be Adams's second time on the State Championship Roster. Adam finished 3rd in the inaugural State Championship held on Summit Lake in 2021.
KBF CHALLENGE SERIES | AUGUST PRESENTED BY DAKOTA LITHIUM
The results were similar in the August KBF Challenge Series with many of the same anglers for the SIYAK event competing in this one as well. However, there were a few differences.
At the top though, it was Matt Kiefer and Myself breaking the 100" inch mark and this time, Tweezy rounded out the Top 3 with 98.25inches
Congratulations to all the week 24 Top Performers!
That's a wrap for August and Week 24. Now we wait to see what September and the Championship season brings!
IKA CHAMPIONSHIP | SEP 09-10
SIYAK CHAMPIONSHIP | SEP 16-17
GRBY CHAMPIONSHIP | OCT 07-08
KBF CHALLENGE SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP | OCT 19-21
2023 HKB STATE CHAMPIONSHIP | OCT 27-28
HKB TURKEY BOWL | NOV 4