Mackintosh was one of the most highly anticipated events of the season and the CKA turnout was exceptional – especially for a mid-summer event. Thank you to all who competed!
While Mack did not show out with century club limit lengths, it did deliver huge fish – over one dozen bass over 20” in length were caught, including Jeremy Way’s 22.5” toad, which is the new top catch in the Str8Up Mounts Big Bass contest for the season.
Also, our new sponsor delivered in a big way, by hosting us at the beautiful Lager Haus and Biergarten at Red Oak Brewery.
Here are a few significant story lines from an amazing event……
North Carolina and Virginia
In the early years of CKA, our anglers reached out to a tournament director from Virginia named Casey Reed. Perhaps you know that name.
CKA anglers started to fish his on-line series and his live Virginia Kayak Bass Challenge (VKBC) events. Casey came down and fished with CKA, too. In 2019, the two clubs established the Battle on the Border, an event that celebrates the friendly rivalry between Virginia and the Old North State.
Ever since, 2019, Virginia anglers have made their presence known in CKA. First, Charles Crews (R.I.P.), won at Tuckertown in 2020, on his way to winning both AOY and ROY titles. In 2022, Bruce Deel became the second Virginia angler to win a major CKA points race when he became Rookie of the Year.
The CKA tournament on Lake Mackintosh this past Saturday was won by a Virginian who has fished with CKA for the past few years. His name is Sean Boorsma, and by taking the victory against a stacked field on one of our best lakes, Sean has earned his place in the CKA Hall of Champions.
Sean accomplished something else with his win at Mack: it is the first time this year that someone who isn’t named Tsiolkas or Lanier won 1st place in a CKA tournament.
We caught up with Boorsma after the event and asked how he fished his way to victory. He told us:
“I started my day fishing shallow trying to get a quick limit. Caught them on a wacky worm and jackhammer Around 930-10ish I had a limit and went off shore looking for bait balls. Didn’t find what I wanted on the main lake so I headed down to Beaver Creek and found a massive bait ball with fish chasing in 20’ of water.
Once the sun came up they bass started pushing the bait to the surface and that was the ticket. Whenever they would bust on top I would use my livescope to see where the active fish were and caught them on an Alabama rig and chatterbait. I caught my last fish with an hour to go on a chatterbait in some grass off a point. The lake fished a little different than it did Thursday and Friday but I was able to catch them how I practiced just in a different location.”
With his win, Boorsma qualifies for the lucrative CKA Tournament of Champions, to be held on September 30, 2023 (location tbd).
Angler of the Year Update
The 2023 CKA Angler of the Year race is shaping up to be a nail-biter of legendary proportions. There have been a few of those. The more memorable races include Keith McGee’s Rookie of the Year victory over Graham Reay in 2018, Will Lambert’s AOY narrow victory over Sammy Wilson and Joey Sullivan in 2019 and Rick Rowland’s AOY win over Hank Veggian in 2021. All of those races came down to the last event – the Gate City Classic.
As any of those anglers will tell you, it’s stressful, but it’s totally worth it.
With two events remaining (and two events to drop), CKA veteran Brooks Lanier has taken the top spot. The contenders: defending AOY Bryan Tsiolkas and ROY leader Leland Stiff.
We asked Brooks about the points race, and he said:
“Going into this CKA season I don’t think anyone would’ve anticipated our first 5 events being won by only two guys, that being Bryan Tsiolkas and my brother (Clay Lanier). It’s made it hard for me to imagine an AOY victory until this point. I’ve had a consistent year with 5 top 10’s in a row but I’m still hunting for my first CKA win. It’s ridiculously exciting to think about the possibility of our 10th season being decided on the final day at the Gate City Classic. It’s a nerve-racking experience, especially when you are trying to keep up with a hammer like Bryan.”
It should be kept in mind that while Brooks Lanier, Tsiolkas and Stiff hold the top three spots, anything can happen in the remaining events, and an angler may suddenly catch fire and challenge for AOY (it happened in 2021 when Ryan Freeman and Rick Morris lit up the late summer events). The wild card is of course Brooks’ own brother, Clay, who has two wins on his resume’ and a top 3 finish from Gaston this year.
There are of course, also two more spots on the line for the CKA Tournament of Champions, so there is plenty to fish for at Tuckertown and the Gate City Classic.
20 for 23 update
Speaking of the Tournament of Champions….
The top two finishers in the CKA online 20 for 23 series earn a place in the ToC. As it stands, Will Lambert is in the top spot, and Garriett Chavis is right behind him. Only the August monthly remains, and it would seem that they are on their way to locking those spots up and making the ToC!
On August 12, 2023, CKA will fish on Tuckertwon Reservoir. The event is sponsored by Yadkin River Crappie Trail
To register, click here: https://app.fishingchaos.com/tournament/auhFYkX0bOSqHzZTvlp9
CKA Event 6 at Mackintosh was presented by Faircloth Chimney Sweeps and Wildlife Removal.
Judging for CKA Mackintosh was provided by Hudson Valley Kayak Bass Fishing. We extend our gratitude to the organization for its support.
CKA’s 2023 Season is brought to you by Dakota Lithium Batteries
First Published July 24, 2023
All content and photos © Carolina Kayak Anglers LLC, 2023.
The author of this article was not assisted in the composition of it in any way by a machine.