CKA Gate City Classic doesn’t disappoint!

After a long season of travel and points battles across North Carolina the regular season finally came to its traditional finale with the Gate City Classic presented by Get Outdoors Paddlesports! The weather was near perfect throughout the week with cooler temperatures which should have got the bass biting really well which was the case in the lower end of the lake. The main lake area seemed far less active than the previous weekends there however.

The day started with 54 anglers heading out to their choice of lakes in the Greensboro area including Lake Mackintosh, High Point City Lake, Randleman Reservoir, Lake Brandt, Oak Hollow Lake and Lake Townsend. Most of the anglers seemed to but their bets on Mackintosh and Randleman.

Early lead changes were plenty however Justin Faircloth seemed to hold the lead for most of the morning and until the standings were shut off. The bite at Randleman seemed to have been tough in the morning with the lake only giving up some smaller fish. There were similar reports from High Point City lake where the small bite was on, but the bigger bass seemed to be allusive. The folks on the upper end of Mackintosh seemed to be struggling for any bites, and not the size they were hoping for as well.

Around 1pm after some splashing and commotion Eric Nelson was called over by Bryan Tsiolkas who had just landed a fish about 40 yards away. Turned out the splashing was from a giant 23” 7.6lb toad that Bryan wanted a picture with. After snapping a few photos of the big girl, Eric and Bryan were both able to get their limits in short order fishing in close proximity. The big bass ended up being the 2021 Big Bass sponsored by Faircloth Chimney Sweeps and Wildlife Removal, earning Bryan $500 and a custom Ketch board!

Meanwhile Justin and Matt Hawj were busy upgrading fish, while points leaders were seemingly struggling to make up ground. The points leader going into to the event was Rick Rowland who ended the day in 17th place with only 72”, a big drop from his massive 104” win a month or so previously with CCKF!

At the end of the event anglers were welcomed at Get Outdoors who was gracious enough to block off the main parking for the awards, GO also was nice to provide CKA with some new YakAttack gear prizes to hand out to the anglers!

A CKA OG Mr. Matt Hawj came out to play for the second time this year and took the win with 88.5” after being able to slowly upgrade throughout the day including a 22” toad from Randleman! First place paid out

Unfortunately neither Bryan nor Matt Hawj entered the optional Big Bass pot and missed out of $470 which went to Matt Dunn with his 21.75” bass! That fish was tied with Brian Falbe’s 21.75” but Mr. Dunn broke the tie with second big fish that was over 19”.

Second place went to Justin Faircloth who was there all day falling just short of the win with 86.75”. Justin had done what he needed to do in order to contend for Rookie of the Year with a tight race coming down to the final event as well. Following in Third place was the 2020 Tournament of Champions winner Keith McGee with 84.75”. Fourth was none other than Joey Sullivan with 83.5”.

5 Bryan Tsiolkas 83.00
6 Lee Hawj 82.25
7 Shelly Efird 81.50
8 Garriett Chavis 80.00
9 Dustin Matthews 79.75

East vs West Anglers Choice Results

The last regular season event before the Angler of the Year title is decided at the Gate City Classic was a wild one with 16 anglers representing Western North Carolina at Lake James and 26 representing Easten North Carolina. 
Both lakes loaded with local hammers taking on the challenge of clear water lakes in the dog days of summer was more of a tight race than we had planned for! 40 of 42 anglers were able to put fish on the board, only 17 anglers were able to grind out a limit however. 
Mayo Lake anglers put up 101 fish for a total of 1,204.25″ of bass for an average length of 11.9″ with 11 limits being caught. Lake James anglers put up 63 fish for a total 731.00″ of bass for an average length of 11.6″ of largemouth and smallmouth bass with 6 anglers putting a limit on the board. 
At the end of the day, after the boards went down many anglers were finding problems at Mayo and James with uploading their catches on phones using Verizon, regardless of cell signal strength. This caused the director’s to vote to allow additional time for uploads to help anglers at both lakes get their catches submitted, other than that the entire day went smooth for the judging with only 1 fish that was denied due to an angler error with the photo. Always check your photos to be sure the entire board, fish, ID is in the photo along with the other photo rule standards! Release the fish when you are positive you have a perfect photo!
Ronnie Murphy entered the event Friday with the confidence of James being his home lake also believing that he could win a slot in the Tournament of Champions so he opted to send in membership dues as well! Turns out that was a great call as he took the overall win at Lake James with 77.25″ for $780, 2 inches over 2nd place! Ronnie also secured a spot in the Tournament of Champions at Santee Cooper!
Jereme Olshefski takes 2nd place at Mayo Lake and the Tournament of Champions spot!


Jereme Olshefski came in 2nd place with 75.25″ for $468, beating Rick Morris for 3rd and $312 with a tie breaking bigger fish. Jeremy also secured a spot in the Tournament of Champions being the highest place member at Mayo Lake! Rick was also fishing at Mayo Lake.
Melvin Yang came in 4rd place overall fishing at Lake James for $100.
Rick Morris and Melvin Yang both win a pair of Solar Bat Sunglasses for being 2nd highest at each lake,  Jacob Ly win a $50 Gift Cerficate from Yakattack for their 3rd highest at each lake finish! 
Eric Nelson came in 8th place with 69″ with only 4 fish being the only angler in the top 15 without a limit!
The event also raised $100 for Socks and Cookies showing great support for our deployed active military! 
Overall Top 10:
1. Ronnie Murphy 77.25
2. Jereme Olshefski 75.25
3. Rick Morris 75.25
4. Melvin Yang 74.75
6. Jacob Ly 72.50
7. Yee Hang 70.00
8. Eric Nelson 69.00
9. Garriett Chavis 67.50
10. Luke Greco 67.00
By Lake Top 3:
Lake James
Ronnie Murphy 77.25
Melvin Yang 74.75
Jacob Ly 72.50
Mayo Lake
Jereme Olshefski 75.25
Rick Morris 75.25

East vs. West Angler’s Choice Update

This weekend is the Lake Mayo and Lake James Angler’s Choice event and there have been some questions on the format and what it means for the Angler of the Year and Tournament of Champions qualifiers. 


Because we had a couple winners that were not paid members, we opted to add an additional qualifying spot for this event for the ToC at Santee Cooper lakes. We also have the bonus prizes for each lake:

  • Highest Score will receive a Champion award and a Tournament of Champions Slot
  • 2nd Highest at each will receive a pair of Solar Bat sunglasses
  • 3rd Highest at each will receive a $50 YakAttack Gift Certificate

Points and Payouts

There are 2 options for this event based on turnout, so push as many folks as you can to participate! 

Option 1 – Less than 30 anglers at either lake: 

  • Standard points and payouts of the combined total as if it was just a typical multi-lake CKA event. 

Option 2: More than 30 anglers a both lakes: 

  • 10% field payout at each lake, Points scores per lake. Ie. James 1st place is 200 points, Mayo first place is 200 points etc. 

Randleman proves to be a challenge

The CKA Event #6 at Randleman Reservoir presented by Triad Signs turned out be a tough one with only 10 limits being submitted out of 57 anglers! 16 anglers found themselves with a skunk. Sadly, a few fell prey to rules mishaps that caused them to lose some valuable scores! Read the rules!

However, Marcus Smith was onto a pattern he had found a week prior that turned out to be the winning strategy. After deciding to share the water with the current Angler of the Year leader, Mr. Henry Veggian, Marcus proved that his confidence in the area was enough to hook into 83.85” which was enough to push him to the top of the field.  Marcus also landed the big bass of the day at 21.5”, adding $500 to the $969 Champion prize money! Marcus also secures himself a spot in the Tournament of Champions!

In 2nd place was Shelly Effird, another top AOY contender that needed a solid finish to keep within striking distance. Shelly put up 82.25” and won $581! 

3rd was Rick Rowland who has been on a tear as of late. Rick won $388 and earned some valuable points!

Henry Veggian took 4th place with 78.5” and a check for $100 helping keep his AOY aspirations going strong and keeping him in the lead!

5th place went to Denny Romero from On the Water Innovations with 75.5” earning Denny $100! Denny can catch bass after all!

The rest of the top ten included some anglers that have dusted off the yaks this year and joined us for some fun competition! On behalf of all the Directors, welcome back to the madness!

6th – Tony Xiong 74.75″
7th – Bryan Tsiolkas 71.75″
8th – Tommy Xiong 67.75″
10th – Rick Morris 62.50″

Triad Signs donated a Kayak Wrap that raised $200 for the Tournament of Champions and was won by Shawn Worrell! We can’t wait to see what they come up with to make Shawn’s kayak stand out from the crowd! 

The anglers also raised $105 for Heroes on the Water! Thank you for all who support our veterans and active military!

Anyone looking to give their sponsors some extra visibility or even to protect and make your kayak stand out should contact Brandon at Triad Signs! If you own a business, Triad Signs is the place to go to get your fleet wrapped or lettered as well as for any signage you may need!

Next up: August 21st anglers have a choice of James or Mayo to battle for the East vs. West Title as well as for the 2 Tournament of Champions spots up for grabs! The highest finish at each lake will earn a spot! If we can get over 30 anglers at each lake, we can break this into 2 separate events so get the word out and invite all the anglers you can!

CKA 2021 #5: Falls Lake presented by Greensboro Gardens Recap

The Falls Lake event presented by Greensboro Gardens was hot and a grind! This is the type of event were the hard core fisherman come out to play and put in work! Congrats to all of you that got through the event – and safely – on a busy boating day on the lake! A lot of CKA regulars were out of town battling in Florida and just getting back from the BASS Kayak Championship, but we still managed 52 anglers on Father’s Day weekend!

2021 Falls Champion Rick Rowland
Rick Rowland won the event with 86.25″ with a 20.25″ kicker – Rick had a small limit early, and then he was able to find a spot where the bigger fish were roaming around and occasionally would bite. Great job as usual for Rick who always seems to be able to dial in a bite throughout the day! $875 payday!

2021 Falls 2nd Place Joey Sullivan
2nd Place went to another consistent hammer Joey Sullivan with 83.25″. Joey won the Tournament of Champions in 2019 on Falls Lake, and is always a threat in any kayak event – fresh water, salt water, he probably could find a pattern in the middle of the Sahara if you gave him enough time. Joey also wins a Pair of Solar Bat Sunglasses! $525 payday!

2021 Falls 3rd Place Seth Lubinski
3rd Place went to new kayak angler Seth Lubinski, who battled through the day for a total of 82.75″ besting some of the other hammers in the field in what he claimed is a “cheap kayak” – pricey kayaks don’t catch fish guys and gals – anglers do! Great job Seth! Seth also wins a $50 YakAttack Gift Certificate! $350 payday!

2021 Falls Big Bass winner Bobby Bowers – 22.50″
Big fish went to Bobby Bowers with a 22.50″ Falls Lake toad worth $450! Bobby also ended up in the top 10. Congratulations Bobby!
4th Place – 81.25″ – Will Lambert – $100
5th Place – 77.25″ – Parker Carnes – $100
6th Place – 75.50″ – Eric Nelson
7th Place – 73.25″ – Ryan Hayes – tie breaker big fish 17.75″
8th Place – 73.25″ – Calvin Keller
9th Place – 71.50″ – Bobby Bowers
10th Place – 70.25″ – Jared Stanley
The AOY Leader Mr. Hank Veggian ended up in 11th place for the day for some descent points to keep his CKA Angler of the Year goal on a good path! Great job Henry!
Shout out to Vector Fishing Lures LLC.. and Brian Falbe for supplying packs of quality Vector hooks for the check in event – these hooks have a great reputation for quality and the guys are eager to try them out!
Next event will be on Randleman Reservoir presented by Triad Signs with a lot less boat traffic! I hope to see you all and more at the event, we will have Triad Signs at the Check In and raffle for a Kayak Wrap they are donating! $10 per ticket, buy as many as you want! It’s a great was to show off your sponsors or to freshen up your kayak with a new look! Tickets available to attendees and more, you do have to be present to win however! Toyota Series Pro Angler and KBF The Ten qualifier Cory Dreyer will be present with his boat and kayak that were both wrapped by Triad! All proceeds go to the Tournament of Champions to help build the pot for the Santee Cooper slug fest!