Despite cold front conditions setting in across the region, the Tarheel Lunkers found a way to catch nine bass and defeat the Carolina Casters 147.5-95.75 on Falls Lake in Week 1 of the Kayak Fishing League regular season.
The Lunkers start the season 1-0 ahead of a road matchup with the 0-1 Florida Copperheads this weekend while the Casters fall to 0-1 before facing the Norfolk Privateers at home. The Lunkers also secured their second win over the Casters after taking the victory during a preseason contest at Randleman Lake.
Lunkers Matt Dunn and Christopher Decker each caught three bass apiece while Jeremy Hicks added two bass and Dontrell Sullivan caught a 15.5. Dunn also landed the big bass of the day with a 19.25.
Meanwhile, Eric Nelson did the heavy lifting for the Casters, catching over 81 inches, the most of any angler during the game. Stephen Bell added a 14.25 to give the Casters six fish on the day.
Thunderstorms and torrential downpours moved through the area the week before the event, leaving cold front conditions in its wake. When anglers arrived at their launch they were met with cloudy, windy conditions.
The bite however, started pretty quick, with Decker catching an 18.75 inch largemouth 30 minutes into the day in a shallow water area and Dunn posting a 14.5 and his 19.25 big bass within the first two hours, a fish that was captured on Pride Outdoor TV. The Lunkers steadily added bass to the scoreboard throughout the day, adding keeper fish until late in the day.
Meanwhile, Nelson found his rhythm after about an hour of fishing, posting 17.5 just before 7 a.m. and continued to catch his fishing until about midday.
Several of the key bites throughout the day for the Lunkers came via topwater baits. Decker’s topwater bite lasted most of the day before fizzling out with about two hours to go in the tournament while Dunn did much of his damage on a Pop-R, while also mixing in a Carolina Rig.
While neither team filled a limit, anglers from both teams reported catching numbers of fish that did not meet the 14-inch minimum. Hicks and Decker caught plenty of bass that fell just short of 14 inches while Caster Henry Veggian reported catching plenty of non-scorable bass throughout his day.
The Lunkers will enter uncharted territory when they take on the Florida Copperheads at Fellsmere Reservoir. Of the four starters this week, none have fished in Florida but so far during practice, Dunn has landed a largemouth over 20 inches and Sullivan has also caught several keepers.
The Lunkers and Copperheads will begin competition at 6 a.m. Saturday with lines out at 1 p.m.