Recap: Lambert Wins at Falls, CKA Points Race Heats Up in June

The weather held off, just long enough. Saturday, the fourth of May, 2024, saw a big crowd of North Carolina’s kayak anglers descend on Falls Lake for the third event of the 2024 CKA season. The sky threatened rain all day, but rarely delivered more than a sprinkle.

The hesitant weather made for a great topwater bite in some areas at the combined event that took place alongside CKA’s tournament; the Carolina Classic grew in its second year, with competitors from Foothills Kayak Anglers and the host, Central Carolina Kayak Fishing, also participating. The heavy rain stayed off the lake until just after the awards ceremony, but by then everyone had hit the road, and CKA’s third tournament of the year was in the books.

When the final scores were tallied, there was a new points leader in the CKA Angler of the Year race. Suddenly the two CKA events in June took on added importance in what is shaping up to be a very competitive season.

Third Place finisher Paul Roberts.

CKA’s third event was presented by On the Water Innovations. As a result, the top three anglers won great prize packages from On the Water Innovations. If you are in the market for a custom trailer, contact Denny Romero at OTWI, and tell him you fish with CKA!

Lambert wins, takes over points lead

After Justin Faircloth’s back to-back wins at Burlington and High Rock, the CKA points race became a question of who would step up and challenge the leader. At Falls Lake, multiple anglers did so, and while Faircloth maintained pace with a decent showing, the CKA Angler of the Year race presented by Get Outdoors Paddle and Pedal took on a new character. At nearly the half-way mark, the event is now wide open.

Will Lambert took first place at Falls, and with it he also took over first place in the AOY standings. As he posted to his Facebook page:

“Sometimes it’s about being at the right place at the right time and this was one of those days. Found four of my best five fish on one shallow point that bait was moving across and the bass were ambushing them around brush. That bite died and I viewed the leader board and noticed Bryan was chipping away and Paul was just one big bite away from passing me as well. Managed a +1.5” cull at 2:35 and it made me breathe a little easier but still wasn’t sure. Honestly can’t believe how the day went.”

With that late bite Lambert secured the top spot. He now sits in first place in multiple AOY races – he is in first for CKA as well as CCKF, and also holds first place overall in the BassTrail North Carolina Angler Ranking. His blistering pace from 2023 has carried over to this season and he is currently in a better position than he was at this time last year across each leaderboard.

The top 10 in the CKA AOY standings after three events.

June Double-Header

But the season is still young, and with two events in June, the CKA 2024 season picks up pace in the summer. On June 15th, we will first be at Randleman Reservoir, the club’s historic home. Bryan Tsiolkas won the event there in 2023. Will he win again, and begin a push for an unprecedented third-straight AOY title?

Tsiolkas is looking forward to the June bite. He told CKA:

“June is by far my favorite month to fish outside of pre-spawn. The fish are done doing their deal and are feeding up. It can be hit or miss, but if you get on the right rotation it can be a magical day. I’m feeling confident heading into the latter half of the season for sure.”

Given his record as a summer angler, Tsiolkas could make the points race even more interesting at the top end.

Also in June, CKA will be at Jordan Lake at the end of the month. It is our first visit to Jordan since 2022 when Virginia angler Bruce Deel won the tournament on his way to becoming CKA Rookie of the Year. That will be the fifth event of the season, and another pivotal tournament!

Additional Info

Up next:  Lake Randleman on June 15th. Register here:

And for Jordan Lake on June 30, too!

Click here for complete standings from Falls Lake

For complete Angler of the Year points standings, click here

Ketch Boards: If you are in the need of a Ketch X or Ketch Karbonate measuring board, please visit Get Outdoors and buy yours there using your CKA member discount. The shop also has Ketch Keepers in stock to hold your board!

About the Anglers

Will Lambert fishes with JB Custom Rods

Bryan Tsiolkas fishes from a NuCanoe

CKA’s 2024 Season is brought to you by

Dakota Lithium Batteries

Click here to see the full 2024 schedule.

Click here to become a member.

First published May 19, 2024 All content and photos © Carolina Kayak Anglers LLC, 2024.

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