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 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 # 5: Falls Lake presented by Greensboro Gardens

Falls Lake is one of the biggest and best bass lakes in North Carolina, and a regular stop on several pro tours. The last time CKA had Falls Lake on the schedule was in 2017, when we hosted an early season KBF Trail event that was won by North Carolina’s Brandon Jessup, and during which Brad Crater landed a 24” LM Bass. Falls is a big, busy lake, and loaded with big bass.

The 2018 Tournament of Champions was held October 13th & 14th on Falls Lake. A field of 24 anglers was cut to 10 for day two. Ronnie Murphy led the field on day 1, when he also won Big Bass with a 22.75″ fish. On Day 2, Joey Sullivan came back from 7th place on Day 1 to win 1st place with a two day limit of 149″. Calvin Keller (2nd place) and David Golding (3rd place) rounded out the top 3.

This event is presented by Greensboro Gardens! We are very thankful to CKA angler Rick Morris, owner of Greensboro Gardens for the support!


Sign up on TourneyX:

Full Event Details

2021 Pre-Tournament Checklist

  • Do you have a valid North Carolina fishing license?
  • Do you have exact change/cash to pay launch fees at the ramps?
  • If you plan to keep your tournament points, did you pay your membership fee?
  • Did you review the rules, practice using Tourneyx, and check the competition and post-tournament meeting times?
  • Are your location settings turned On in both the “Privacy” settings and web browser settings on your smart phone? (This will allow you to upload fish)
  • Did you register for the event at Tourneyx? 
  • Did you print out multiple identifier cards, and put a spare (with a sharpie) in your kayak in case you lose one?
  • Do you have an approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD)?
  • Do you have a 360 degree visible light for early launches?
  • Do you have a Ketch measuring board?
  • If using a motor, is your vessel registration current?
  • Are you ready to catch some fish?!?!?!?!

p.s. We will release the event code to write on the ID card on Friday at 8 pm. It will appear on CKA Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. It will not appear in TourneyX or on the CKA website.