Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Interview with the AOYs

Wow, what a season on The Razoryak Tournament Trail! The RTT expanded to include three different chapters sponsored by clubs all over the state. The level of competition this season was through the roof and anglers really had to bring their "A" games to have a chance of winning a tournament much less the prestigious title of "Angler of the Year". Three anglers showed the elite skill and consistency needed to fight off the field and walk away with the AOY title (Brandon Fink - Kayak Bass Anglers of Central Arkansas, Jason Adams - Arkansas Kayak Anglers, Lloyd Mize - Western Arkansas Kayak Anglers). They were gracious enough to answer a few questions for me and hopefully give the rest of us some good advice heading into 2016.

What a great year these guys had on their respective trails, read below to get some great advice from the champs!

1. What were your keys to success this season? 

Fink: "Confidence was the key factor to my success."

Adams: "Have a plan and stick to it. Go for singles and doubles and don't think about catching the biggest fish. I always contributed to big bass pot but haven't won it. Yet..."

Mize: "I really didn’t start to finish consistently in top 3 finishes until our 4th tournament. I didn’t change what I fished with but how I fished. I had a game plan to fish certain areas and I pounded those areas slowly and methodically and it worked out."

2. When times were tough, what was your go to pattern? 

Fink: "I've got a few "go to" patterns, but when times where extremely tough I've got utmost confidence in my cranking as well as the wacky rigged senko, whether the fish were shallow or 10-20 foot off the bank I made sure to find what it was they were wanting and how they wanted it. I threw my cranks to cover the majority of water and then I'd throw the senko once I found where they were. Seems I'd get more bites on the senko weightless than anything, that's always my go to when needing to get a quick limit. Also I love my jig fishing, yes it's something I've always been weak in but thanks to TerrorDactyl I've finally got my hands on some product that'll put fish in the boat. Check em out, tell them I sent ya. You won't regret it!"

Adams: "Bottom fishing with a jig or Texas rigged worm."

Mize: "It seemed when I couldn’t get the bite going with Texas Rigged plastics or jigs, I could go with plastics such as a Swim Senko that could be used as drop and a retrieve bait. When that didn’t work, square bill crankbaits or Rat’l’Traps pulled around Rip Rap would get something going."

3. What was your most memorable moment of the season? 

Fink: "My most memorable moment was at the Atkins tourney when all of the RTT got together, as some of you know I lost my step mother June 26, the tourney was mid to end of July. I prefished like no body's business but couldn't seem to find what it was they were wanting to bite. That morning I told myself I was fishing in my "moms" memory, she was always encouraging in my fishing and very proud of how well I'd been doing in the tourneys. I hit one particular spot that I'd prefished, Golden happened to be on the opposite end of the cove and I threw in the same exact spot 10 times and each time caught a fish, crazy how things work out. Every single fish I caught that day was on a Golden's senko (watermelon/junebug). As I was going to weigh in I thought there's no way I could win this I'd be lucky to place, but as luck had it I was able to secure 1st for the win and was happy with that knowing she'd be rejoicing with me!!"

Adams: "I will never forget Swepco. That was my first kayak tournament. I couldn't believe how many kayaks put in at that ramp. As the sun came up through the fog seeing everyone getting ready to race to the outflow will always be etched in my mind."

Mize: "At Charleston Lake I had several keepers on the card and I hooked a 20" bass and it was the first time I thought I had a chance of actually winning a tournament."

4. What are your biggest goals for next year? 

Fink: "My main and biggest goals for this next season is bringing more people to the sport and letting them know how fun and exciting it is to tourney fish out of a kayak. I'd love to be able to fish out of my kayak for an actual living, that's my true dream. It'd be awesome to be able to travel the US with my yak in hopes of becoming the next Professional Kayak Angler from Arkansas. Thank you all for the support you've shown me."

Adams: "This year was about getting out there and trying new locations around NWA. Next season I plan to fish the RTT as well as exploring some of the other great clubs around the state. For a stretch goal I would like to fish some of the KBS tournaments around the country. I would love to visit some of great bass lakes like Guntersville and Okeechobee."

Mize: "To gain more sponsors and members for the RTT as a whole. I think WAKA had a successful inaugural season and I know it will grow next year into something really special. Great group of people that loves doing the same thing I do so it’s easy to set a goal of expanding our sport."

All three of these anglers will be competing next month for the Arkansas State Championship on Lake Atkins and at the Tournament of Champions World Championship on Lake Fork. Good luck down there and congratulations once again on a fantastic season! As always check out for an event near you, tight lines everyone!

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