For Zachery Warren, the 2019 tournament season is in the books. Now it's time to reflect on the lessons learned in preparation for next year's spawn- symbolic of a new season. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness......" For Zach, Charles Dickens might as well have been describing the 2019 Oklahoma Kayak Anglers' tournament season. A tournament angler wants to be tested, pushed to achieve more than he could think possible. Zach landed some nice bass, witnessed nature's beauty, learned lessons about tournament fishing and about himself.
As for the personal experience, it was brutally hard work. At the same time, there was a great
sense of pride in his performance and an achieved level of confidence in his ability to catch big fish under all kinds of conditions- swarming mosquitoes at night, soaring temperatures under the summer sun, and the driving wind and rain of prairie thunderstorms.
Zach found his best fishing under overcast skies and during afternoons when the big fish were offshore. He also found he had to dig deep when hours would pass without a bite, and dig even
deeper when, after catching, measuring and recording some really good fish, he would not move one position on the leader board.
The culmination of Zach's season was the Oklahoma Kayak Anglers' Dog Days Tournament- an on-line tournament of 54 anglers fishing day and night on Oklahoma's public waters over a two month period that concluded August 31st. His very worthy 7th place finish reflected a commitment to spend every weekend in July, and August fishing days and even some nights. It was a true test of patience and endurance.
Zach found himself fishing a lot of shad imitations, which really paid off in targeting schooling bait fish on the drop offs. Most of his big fish came imitating shad with Strike King Lure Company's Rage Tail swimbaits rigged Carolina style or on a drop shot, working points and drop offs. Some of his good fish also came on a Texas rigged 10" Power Worm suspended in heavy timber. A shakey head with a Rage Tail menace was another crucial bait for locating fish although it didn't produce any sizable fish. As an angler who built confidence over the season, baits like a black and blue craw were "old reliable" when the going was tough. To place where he placed required a 6.5 lb fish and a
number of five pounders.
One of the accomplishments Zach achieved which differentiated this season from 2018 was the ability to target fish on drop-offs and deep structure as well as target schooling bait all with his electronics. This helped him think "outside the bank" and allowed him to probe the depths- where his picked up the 6.5.
With his second season under his belt, Zach's experience serves as a great example of the challenges and rewards of Kayak Tournament Bassin'- one of the fastest growing areas of our sport. To all the Kayak bass fishermen out there, #LiveThePassion!