Hoosier Kayak Bassin
HKB TOP PERFORMERS | WEEK EIGHT Multiple rounds of storms put a damper on the fishing, but a few a
Multiple rounds of storms put a damper on the fishing, but a few anglers still found a way to have an epic week on the water!
Thunderstorms and heavy rain plagued many this past weekend, cutting down their time on the water, or in some cases, shutting them down completely. Last week, we talked about how the conditions were set up to make for an epic weekend of fishing, but as she has all year, mother nature threw a twist right in the middle of the action. That said, there was plenty of amazing fishing and with it, some really strong results from our HKB Top Performers this week.
GRBY | White River presented by Achigan Brand
The White River event put on by GRBY was the most affected by the weekend's weather. High waters lead to the cancellation of Thursday and Monday. That said, there was a silver lining as water levels contributed to a slugfest at the top of the leaderboard Friday - Sunday.
2022 GRBY White River AOY, Nathan Pickering, came out on top of the battle with an epic 98.25" Limit of Hoosier Smallmouth Bass. Nathan's limit consisted of a 20.25” kicker and his smallest was 18.75 inches. To put that into perspective, his smallest was bigger than 90% of the fish submitted for the event!
Of course, Nathan also cashed in on Big Bass with his 20.25” trophy smallmouth bass. This thing was a beauty!
The Philosophic angler, Justin Kivett, takes second place with a 90” limit and Nick Matthews rounded out the top 3 with 88.50 inches.
We asked Nathan what contributed to his win and this is what he had to say…
“Simple. Time on the river. Having a good idea of what they were doing this time of year and where they were doing it.”
Nathan went on to say he used his knowledge of smallmouth bass and the river to choose a later day in the event when the water would be more stable, leading to better fishing conditions.
GRBY | Raccoon Lake presented by Xzone Lures
The GRBY Raccoon Series finally opened up its season with an impressive 46 anglers signed up. Over 173 fish were submitted during the 5-day span of the tournament. Several limits were posted, with almost half the field above 60 inches and the Top 9 all at, or above, the 70-inch mark.
Just shy of the 80-inch mark, Raccoon Series Tournament Director and 2021-2022 Raccoon Series AOY, Brian “ The Coach” Moore, brought home the victory with a solid 79.00-inch limit.
Brian didn't run away with it though. After fishing Saturday, Brian had to sweat it out in the hot seat as several hammers were yet to fish. One of those Hammers was Steve Martin, who gave the coach a run for his money on Monday. Steve ultimately landed just shy of the mark, with 78.00 inches. David Cox of Coatesville, IN., fished Thursday and put up 75.25", which was enough, in the end, to hold down the 3rd place spot.
Eric Stansberry found himself a good one on Saturday, taking home big Bass honors with a chunky 18.50” Largemouth Bass.
GRBY | Sullivan Lake presented by American Legacy Fishing & Outdoors
The second event of the 2023 GRBY Sullivan Lake Series had some big swings in the results. 7 of the 22 anglers in the event did not post a keeper and over half the field failed to get a limit. Looking at the top half though, you would think these anglers weren’t even fishing the same lake, especially considering the top four all had over 80 inches.
Leading the pack was 2020,2022, GRBY Champion, Bryan Sparks, with a 5-fish limit of 88.25" including a 19.75-inch kicker. Bryan also had a 19.50” and an 18” well on his way to breaking 90, but Bryan had to cut his day short and be off the water by noon to attend his son's baseball game, making this victory all the more impressive!
Wyatt Gard took second place with 83.00” and taking the number 3 spot on the podium was the GRBY Godfather himself, Mr. Jim Strunk, with a solid 82.75” limit.
Marty Ryan of Bowling Green, Indiana found a tank of a largemouth bass, measuring 20.75” inches on the Ketch Board, narrowly edging out Troy Stinson’s 20.50” for Big Bass.
Sparks now leads the AOY Race by two points over Ryan Reedy, but Wyatt Gard isn't far behind.
SIYAK | Weekend Brawl presented by Bioenno Power
SIYAK was back in action this past weekend with its annual Weekend Brawl. This year, the club changed things up a bit by having the event a little earlier in the season. I think it's safe to say they made the right call. Falling during the spawn and a full moon, this event was set up for angler success and despite some delays due to the storms, most anglers were able to put up some really strong performances over the 4-Day statewide tournament.
Multi-time SIYAK Angler Of The Year, Matt Kiefer, got off to a quick lead on day one of the event but struggled to maintain the lead throughout the weekend as Samuel (Adam) Murray stole the show with big fish, after big fish!
Adam ended with a total of 99.25 inches anchored by two 20.75-inch kickers. Now tied for the AOY lead, Adam has his eyes set on the SIYAK 3rd event at Brookville Lake where he looks to put some space between him and MH3.
Nick Money made a late upgrade on Sunday, securing the second place spot with 97.00 inches, holding off the impressive surge from TJ Aylward, who posted a 95-inch limit on the final day, including a 22.00" kicker at 4:21 pm which earned him Big Bass and the SIYAK Wicked Weights Catch Of the Week!
If TJ wasn't already, he definitely is now on the watch list for Top Performers of the Year!
TJ currently leads the KBF Challenge Series with 101.25 Inches and is a Major contender in the GRBY Overall Lake AOY race, where he currently has the most wins and the highest average points per event total in the top 10. Adding to TJ’s impressive stats, he currently sits number one on the GRBY earnings list for the 2023 season.
Congratulations to all the Week Eight Top Performers
Before we close out this week's recap, we have to of course mention one of the hottest anglers in the state, Mr. Antoine Hayes. While he didn't make a podium this week in the Hoosier State, he did represent across the border in the Prairie State.
Antoine made sure the anglers from KBL knew his name, finishing 2nd with a 91.75" bag and taking home Big Bass honors with a 21.75" Lake Newton Stud.
Oh, and of course, he currently leads the KBF Illinois Challenge series for the month of May with 101.75 inches.
We will have more on Antoine and his recent success soon as we look forward to re-launching the "HKB Angler Spotlight" with Mr. Hayes as the first in the 2023 series. This year, we are taking a more in-depth look at our anglers here in the Hoosier State, so be on the look out for that as it is dropping soon.
There is no rest in the action, as we have a full plate in week 9, check out the list of events below and get signed up!
GRBY | Columbus Moving Water - May 11-15
GRBY | Brush Creek - May 11-15
GRBY | Dogwood Lake - May 11-15
GRBY | Summit Lake - May 11-15
USA BASSIN | Monroe Lake - May 13
USA BASSIN | Patoka Lake - May 27
IKA | TRI-LAKES - May 21