Archive for the ‘Ben Adrien’ Category

February 11, 2012 – 25 degrees, 30mph winds, and snow flurries.

Headed out to Boone Lake looking for Stripes, Hybrids, and Brown Trout. I really wanted to catch a big Brown but went 0-2 on the Brownies with one jumping off behind the boat.

Came out of the boat ramp and saw Sea Gulls going nuts so head right to them. Get my three line spread set up with two planar boards and a free line. As I approached the birds I get a strike on the right board, fish on! Seconds later both the other lines get smashed! Three fish on!!!! I land two nice Hybrids and the other hung me up in the trees.

Decided to move and try and find some stripes or Brown Trout. With in minutes of putting out my spread at location number two I get smashed hybrid on! Fight him up to the boat and while taking a picture I hear by free line start screaming. Turn around grab the rod and set the hook. A nice Brown Trout launches from the water throwing the hook back at me.

I continue on working that area the rest of the morning picking up hybrids here and there and even missed another trout. Then as I let the boat drift in the wind I see my planar board jerk under water. Fish on! This one is fighting much harder and I could tell it was a stripe. Get him to the boat and take a quick picture before letting him go.

Wish the weather would have been more favorable, but had fun all in all 8 fish in the boat.

Check out this cool video from my most recent trip to Jupiter FL.

As all fisherman know you have great days and you have bad days. You got to know how to prepare yourself for the best and the worst. If you plan a trip and invest some money be aware your fishing, things can go either way. Neal and I have been lucky enough to take a few beach trips from time to time. We knocked it out of the park on both the first trips to Destin. This year we experience the lows of fishing in Destin with two weeks of nothing but sharks. We were pretty down. When we planned our latest trip to Pompano Beach we went down knowing we were swinging for the fence. Plan was to catch our first sail from a kayak. We knew were looking for just one fish and things may get tough. We didn’t see things being as tough as it was. Spending the first two days preparing for the first Extreme Kayak Tournament, we didn’t get a chance to fish much. We found bait, checked out the launch, and figured out the currents. Yet to have a fish in the boat we launched Saturday morning on the 20th along side 60 other yakers. We trolled the best baits all day and did everything right…no luck! We thought we were doing something seriously wrong, but weigh in proved otherwise. 3 fish were weighed in out of 60 boats. First place was a 28lb king, second 9lb mutton snapper, and third a 6lb blackfin.

All in all the tournament was a blast, met a lot of new fisherman and I am sure Ill be fishing with some of them in future. Joe did a great job with the tournament and captains meeting! I have to say the greatest part was the safety boat from The safety boat checked on us atleast six times giving us water and making sure everything was ok. Never felt safer in 2-4 foot swells with ripping current before. An hour into the tournament a fellow angler flip his boat and began to take on water. Over a mile offshore we couldn’t do much to help, but the safety boat arrived quickly and helped him from the water. Hated seeing the guy flip and lose some gear, but thanks to great tournament planning he was in great hands the whole time.

With a day and half left of fishing we decided to change gears. Grabbing our bass rods we headed for Miami to take on some Peacocks. I had battled them earlier in the year and caught a few small fish. This time I was hoping for a decent fish with great colors…we didn’t slay them, but I did manage to get the fish I was looking for!

On the last day we decided to head home early, but not without one last shot at some florida fishing. Brian Nelli with Pushin’ Water Kayak Charters a fellow team mate on was fishing in the offshore tournament and had recommend some inshore fishing. He agreed to take us out after some snook, trout, reds, and flounder. He was freaking awesome not just telling us to fish this flat or those mangroves, but telling us exactly which breaks and drop offs to hit. A very detailed and educated guide, Brain, put us on the fish. We knew the fish were there, but struggled to get bites. Brian quickly landed a nice trout and lost another bigger fish. I had some blow ups, but failed to hook up. As the sun came up above the mangroves we changed tactics to flipping the edges of mangroves. Looking for snook or reds we worked our way around the flats. As Brian points out a nice point between two mangrove patches, I flipped my DOA Terror Eyz silver glitter with black back right on the point, before I even turned a crank on the reel I felt a fish smash the DOA. Setting the hook I felt and odd tug back. I had know idea what this fish was I knew based on the fight it couldn’t be a redfish or snook. He was dogging me down trying to stay on the bottom. Then I saw him, a nice flounder! I was stoked. This was a fish I didn’t really expect to catch, but really hoped to find. This nice 17inch flounder is a first from the kayak for me!

Cutting the trip short we took out and had lunch with Brian before hitting the road.

If you ever interested in fishing Florida I highly recommend Brian! Great guy, very professional, and one amazing fisherman!

Brian Nelli
Pushin’ Water Kayak Charters

Saturday July 30th 2011

Boone Lake, TN – I pull up to the boat ramp at Boone Lake about 615pm to see a line of boats loaded with the top of the line tackle, electronics, and off course most ha 250 HP pushing them. A little intimidated and not knowing any of the guys. I went paid my entry an told the guy what I was going to be doing. At 700pm the tournament started and one by one I watched 27 boats take off. The tournament was a 3 fish limit per boat. Almost all the boats had a two man team fishing that night. As I watched all the boats round the bend out of sight I made my way to my first spot about a quarter mile up the lake. I arrived there and began throwing a bandit crank bait. On my fifth cast BAM! Fish on! All the pressure and nerves were eased when I land my first keeper of the night. At 15 inches he barely qualified, but on Boone Lake any keeper fish is a great fish! I quickly filled my Mad Frog Gear Fish Hooper and place the bass in the tank. I quickly got back to fishing. I focused on a 12 foot channel between the bank and a flat throwing cranks, lipless cranks, and spinnerbaits. As it got dark I began switching tactics. Without a bite in the last two hours I decided to move. I switched over to the main channel side of the flat were the channel met a rock bluff. Fishing in 10-20 feet of water I worked a black culprit worm 7 inches long really really really slow! It wasnt long before I felt a tick on the end of my line. I set the hook and watched as a a tiny little fish came flying out of the water….not quite what I was looking for, but a good sign. I kept working my way down the bluff and it wasn’t five minutes later and I felt another tick. Setting the hook I felt a nice resistance, this time I knew it wasn’t going to be a dink. The fish came up to the surface and I had my second keeper of the tournament. Just one more fish and I would have a really good shot at doing well. It was about midnight at this point and I had two hours left to find a kicker. With 3lbs of fish in the tank I knew that one quality fish would put me in the top five and maybe the money. So I decided to make the 30 minute paddle towards weigh in so I could fish up till the last minute. A got to another bluff just down the lake from the boat ramp and began working the black culprit in tight on the bank. Thirty minutes went by not a bite. Knowing I only had an hour left I started to think my luck was running dry. I came to a nice rocky point with a dock light casting across it. I saw some shad working under the light and figured surely there is a bass laying around here. I flip in under a tree. Pulling the bait along the bottom feeling…rock, rock, rock, tick! Fish on! I set the hook and instantly the fish strips of drag. Diving down deep I battled to keep the fish out of the rocks. Finally I turned the fish and he came racing up to the surface launching himself from the water. I couldn’t make out the size of the fish in the moonlight, but knew this was the kicker I was after. The battled seemed to last forever, but was really less than a minute or two. As I netted the fish I began to realize I had a good shot at top 5. I quickly got him in the tank worried I would lose him and didn’t even take the time to weigh him. I continued to fish my way back without another bite. With the fish in the tank including one nice one I was pleased with myself and content with the night regardless to what was going to happen at weigh in. I watched as boats came roaring in full speed to make it at the last moment. I weighed in with a little over 6 lbs and my big fish was a little over 3 lbs. I watched as other teams came in and I continued to stay in the top two. Boat after boat came in empty handed. With one boat left I was sitting third and had biggest fish. I watched as the guy lifted two nice keepers out of his bag, but nothing big yet. Then I saw it he hoisted a nice 4 lb largemouth from his bag knocking me to fourth one spot out of the money and taking my big fish honors. 4th place out of 28 teams was very pleasing and man it was a blast. The guys responded to the kayak very well for the most part and a lot seemed very interested in the sport.   All in all it was a blast and I will be back out there with the glitter rockets again.

A big thanks is owed to Mad Frog Gear! The Fish Hooper is one incredible product! Any angler should have one. For both live bait and tournament fishing it is a great solution to keeping your fishing in the best condition. I used just a power bubbles and it kept my fish alive wonderfully well. My fish came out of the tank at weigh in kicking and screaming more so than a lot of the power boats. A lot of the anglers took more interest in my live well more so that the kayak!

Tyler “Hokiefisherman” cashes in big time with his guide trip he won on!

On July 17th Tyler and I set out in quest for monster striped bass. Though the true trophy striped bass didn’t show up, Tyler was in for something of equal greatness.

We got off to a slow start with only one bite between daylight and 9:30am. We trolled through a rumored hot spot without any sign of fish. So picking up and moving up stream towards colder water we tried again. A week ago we had them located in a deep hole near the river. As we deployed lines Tyler quickly learned how fast stripers can strike. Before he even got both lines out the left rod was doubled over. As fast as the striper showed up he disappeared. Though disappointment set it, it also provided us with a piece to the puzzle.

We continued to troll the area with nothing more than a few nervous baits. As the sun began to rise we worked our way back down stream hitting ever possible spot. With time running out I resorted to a spot that had produced earlier this summer and in the past when the bite was slow. Before we even get to the exact location the outside line doubles over and Tyler is off to the races. It was like hand to hand combat as the fish resorted to diving down under the boat rather than making a long run. Finally Tyler brought the fish to the surface ….

just in time to see his other line get jerked under. An odd strike that just didn’t seem right. Tyler set the hooked and the fish retaliated by leaping from the water. We both instantly knew this was a special bonus! I struggled to gain control of the striper as Tyler battled what appeared to be a large bass. After a few moments we confirmed it was indeed a large bass. What we didn’t realize was how large! Even after pictures we didn’t realize the true size of this Tennessee lunker. Quickly throwing the fish down on a board Tyler said ah he is 22 inches or so. I reached over and snapped a picture of the fish on the board which later revealed the true size! The fish is atleast 23 inches long and 8lbs making it the biggest Laremouth I have personally seen in the Volunteer state. Congrats Tyler on a citation laremouth and for succesfully releasing the fish for someone else to catch!

With a little bit of time left before having to get off the water we set baits one last time. The day wasn’t over just yet as Tyler had one more fish to battle. As his planar board dives under water he set the hook perfectly and the sleigh ride is on. Dragging him towards the middle of the lake I can tell this fish is little better. Granted not the twenty to thirty pound fish we were after, but a respectable personal best striped bass at sixteen pounds!

       I have grown up fishing with my dad and most of the time we targeted Striped Bass. He focused on one thing and one thing only and that was trophy stripers! He had the tactics and skills that everyone lacked to catch fish of a lifetime…all the time! I couldn’t tell you how many forty plus pound fish he has boated and I am beginning to lose count of the fifty plus pound fish he has been apart of catching. Following in his footsteps there is one thing in the sport of fishing that will never get tired of and that is battling with  those monster striped bass!

My sister Sarah Adrien with her IGFA world record!

My little sister was lucky enough to take the IGFA world record title for smallfry female landlocked striped bass with a impressive thirty three pound striper when she was younger. This week I was lucky enough to aid another young angler in capturing her very own IGFA world record and a memory soon to be forgotten.

On June 30th I called Moriah Brantner up and asked her if she wanted to slip out and fish for a few hours and try and get this record. I knew where the fish were and I knew how to catch them it was just a matter of her putting in the time. Without skipping a beat Moriah said yes! So I ran home from work got the kayaks and we head to the river. Upon arriving we saw this gross chocolate milk colored water and I told her its not even worth our time, however I have a second spot and if we can catch bait I think we may have a chance. We drive to the other side of the lake launch the kayaks and begin searching for bait. I quickly cast netted a large gizzard shad and she began trolling him along. Not five minutes later a nice size striper came up knocking the bait from the water multiple times and thrashed about, but never hooked up. We reorganzied and I began looking for more bait. An hour and half went by with no luck so I packed up and we began loading the kayaks. I had called my buddy Trey Taylor ten minutes prior and told him of our frustrations and to my surprise he was waiting at the car with four baits!  We quickly re launched the kayaks and with just thirty minutes of daylight left we paddled back up to were we had missed the fish earlier. As we made are way I notice a fish chasing bait on the surface. Deploying two baits on planar boards Moriah began trolling. Before she even got the second line out she had a fish on! Quickly she was turned away from me and dragged out of camera range before I knew what had happened. I gathered my camera and gear together and before I could begin paddling she had landed the fish. I paddled down got out the scales and to our disappointment it was two pounds shy of the record. Still excited from catching he first striped bass we snapped a couple of pictures and continued fishing.

Moriah's first Striped Bass!

We baited the last two baits and got them set up and she began trolling again. I paddled just in front of her trying to stay clear of the lines and her path. I looked back to see her planar board dive under water and screamed “Fish On!” as the striper quickly jerked the kayak around 180 degrees. Moriah struggled to pry the rod from the rod holder as the fish began stripping off line. Quickly the fish had turned her around and dragged her a good distance away from me. I caught up to her and she began telling me how the fish was going to flip her! Over and over she screamed “Its going to tip me over! Its going to tip me over!” ….a few moments later the fish was boat side! I couldn’t see the fish at the time so I asked if the fish was bigger and she replied “Its a lot fatter!” as I rounded the front of her kayak I see her with a monster. I looked at her and said that’s it Moriah this is your fish! Trey was standing on the bank watching in excitment as we paddled over with the fish. Moriah had caught a 24.25lb and 37 inch long Striped Bass and she now has the pending IGFA junior female world record for landlocked striped bass! Congrats Moriah Brantner on your first two striped bass and your world record and all this by herself from a kayak!!!

Moriahs pending IGFA world record!

Summer time trolling!

Posted: June 27, 2011 by Canonman in Ben Adrien, Fishing - Freshwater

The heat of summer is here and with it are the schooling Hybrids and Stripes! The action has been non stop for the past month with schools of hybrids teamed with the occasionally stripe, largemouth, and smallmouth. Pulling planar boards across an open flat and over the drop offs are producing a mix bag of game fish. With gizzard shad as the bait of choice it really opens up the possibilities and increases the numbers of fish we produce. Some extreme tactics are needed to successful fish with gizzards and to pull multiple lines, but when achieved great results will come.

Locating bait is my first goal once hitting the water and most important. First I have to prep my bait tank and make sure all the pumps and aerator are working properly as this is a must for keeping bait alive especially gizzard shad which I found to be one of the hardest baits to keep. Next I beginning paddling over the drop off onto the flat until I mark bait on the Lowrance. Once I have found bait I stand and gather my net. Turn my Lowrance up facing towards me and begin working the area over again till I found them. Once I pass a school I make a swift paddle to turn the boat ninety degrees and cast my 8ft net. Typically this produces enough bait for a few hours and a little left to chum with. In a normal three to four our trip I catch bait two or three times. With such a small tank I am limited to a dozen or two baits in the tank at a time.

Casting netting bait located with my Lowrance
First cast produces!

When cast netting bait especially in an area you plan on fishing often times you will catch game fish in the net. In most states its illegal to cast net game fish such as bass, hybrids, and bluegill so check your local regulations before using that bluegill for bait. In this case I caught a largemouth that was feeding on the bait from underneath. A few cast later I pulled up three small hybirds.

Often times when cast netting bait you catch a predator fish that was lurking below them!

Once bait is caught I clean up the boat and prep for trolling. With the action we are seeing right now I have limited myself to three lines: a freeline, right planar, and left planar. This method keeps all the lines apart. From here I use my Lowrance to follow the edge of the drop off trolling one line up on the flat, another right on the edge of the drop, and the last line off the drop off in deeper water. This particular location the flat is running about 5-8ft of water and the bottom of the drop off 15-20ft. This extreme drop stretches from a bluff on the bank out 400-500 yards into the middle of the lake. The game fish are scattered on the flat and just off the edge waiting to feed on the schooled up bait.

20 inch smallmouth caught right on the drop off and one of many 3-4lb Largemouth from the last few weeks.

Be looking for a WebTV Series episode showing you how to apply these techniques to your home waters!

Two nice Spadefish caught off a wreck in Desin, FL

Last year I left the comfort of my home waters in search of something more powerful than freshwater could provide. Neal Brantner and I spent 4 days last May in Grayton Beach, FL learning about King Mackerel fishing offshore. We had one epic trip catching 20-30lb Kings that smoked our reels over and over again. I promised myself and Neal that we would relive the adventure.

May 8th, 2011 Neal and I set off on a road trip from East TN back to Grayton Beach. We fished our last exams, loaded the car, and were off. Camping at Grayton Beach State Park for the next two weeks we expanded our skills and knowledge of saltwater fishing.

The first two days we experience the lows of fishing and only produced a few spinner sharks which provide some much needed entertainment. However it wasn’t the game fish we were looking for. The Kings and Cobia were just gone. After talking to locals and guides it was pretty obivious the Kings were just not around.

Plan B. I picked up my Lowrance Elite 5 just for the trip so we could try our hand at wreck fishing for Grouper and Snapper. So after plugging in some coordinates we launched from the beach. Jackson Team member Sarah Meier and husband Jeremy tanged along on our first outing to a wreck less than a mile from the white sandy beach in Destin, FL. We sabiki some bait and began fishing. Picking up a few small fish quick, but nothing to amount to anything. As the sun came up we began seeing silver flashes under the kayaks and then a large school of Spadefish appeared. Suspended above the wreck in about ten feet of water we began to target them. One after another we caught them for hours. Fifteen to twenty Spades later our arms gave in and we decided to paddle back for the day. Pound for pound these five to ten pound fish faught harder than any other fish I have caught.

Hour long battles are a common theme off the beach!

Neal and I felt like we were on to something with the wrecks so we decided to switch our focus over to bottom fishing. The only problem is it required early mornings, long paddles, and good weather.


After taking some time off to catch up on sleep and regroup we decided to hit the beach again since the weather wasn’t right for the wrecks. We trolled two miles off the beach in search of Kings in deeper water, but still no luck. On the troll back in we were pretty down when all of a sudden my line jumps. An odd strike on the line just jerk it softly I wans’t sure I even had a fish. The I looked back just in time to see a small fish leap from the water. First thoughts was its a Spanish Mackerel…moments later another jump…MAHI!!! A dream coming true I reeled in the small Dorado (Mahi Mahi). Finally a fish worth while. My first Mahi from the kayak at only six pounds was a true trophy to me. In the ice box he went just to be grilled up an hour later. Argueable the best eating fish you can find the Mahi produced one the best camp fire meals I have experience.

My first Mahi Mahi from a kayak!
One of the most beautiful fish in the sea!
This Spinner Shark dragged us into 6ft surf!

The highlight of the trip came from one of the many Spinner Sharks we hooked up. It was the very first day not even an hour into fishing when Neal hooks up. Neal screams “Fish On!” and suddenly gets jerked around 180 degrees. I paddle over as fast as I can and try to get pictures but the shark just pulls him rapidly away from me. Mounted over my shoulder was a GoPro Hero that I had totally forgot about that captured one of the greatest and scariest moments I have experienced on the water…..