Learning the Water: Kayak Tournament Fishing in Falls Lake


, , , , , , ,

I. The Question

Fishing is an acquired skill. Like just about anything else worth doing, it requires practice. Some people are quick to learn the art of casting and tying knots, others require time to learn the basics. Some simply give up. I was tempted on several occasions, before I even began fishing from a kayak, let alone tournament fishing. It’s much easier to just watch people catch fish on television.

In order to fish competitively, you also have to learn about gear, techniques for specific types of fishing and also how to fish certain waters. Add in kayaks, with their specialization and physical effort, and you can understand why some folks buy a bass boat. Kayak fishing is not easy.

I know. As I said, I learned it all the hard way. I competed in kayak tournaments for nine years without a 1st place finish. Over the past three seasons, I have had four of them on three different lakes (Jordan, Shearon Harris and Falls). Each one of those lakes is a different animal, and I have been fishing them all for the past fifteen years (and in the case of Jordan, even longer).

Continue reading

Jackson Kayak Blog Posts 2022


, , , , ,

As a regular contributor to the Jackson Kayak Fishing Channel, I publish fishing reports, product reviews and kayak fishing advice. This is a compilation of my posts from 2022.

1. Scupper Plugs: Do I need Them?” is my fourth post to the Jackson site. In it I focus on an often overlooked kayak accessory – the scupper plug – and explain its importance and uses.

Click here to read my article.

    2. I fish rivers, and in this article, I explained how the new Mark IV Flex Drive affects river fishing from the Bite FD.

    Click here to read my post.

    Jackson Kayak Blog Posts 2021


    , , , , ,

    As a regular contributor to the Jackson Kayak Fishing Channel, I publish fishing reports, product reviews and kayak fishing advice. This is a compilation of my posts from 2021.

    1. This was my second post to the site, in 2021. Entitled “Late Winter Tournament bass Fishing in the Bite FD,” I wrote it after my improbable victory in a CKA Tournament on a very cold February day. This post gave me the idea to compose my Carolina Trail diary, which covered my entire 2021 tournament season with CKA.

    Click here to read the original post.

    2. This was my third blog post to the Jackson site. In it, I reviewed the Jackson Cruise 10.5, which is my favorite light paddling/fishing kayak from the old Jackson Fleet. No long produced, the Cruise is now considered a “Legacy Boat.”

    Click here to read the review.

    Jackson Kayak Blog Posts 2020


    , , ,

    1. As a regular contributor to the Jackson Kayak Fishing Channel, I publish fishing reports, product reviews and kayak fishing advice.

    This was my first post to the site, in 2020.

    Click here for my complete review.

    Note: since 2022, the newer Jackson Bite FD has a completely new drive system, a new seat configuration and more.

    Heating Up as it Cools Down: Reflections on a Hot Streak


    , , ,

    “Don’t take it for granted.” It’s what I kept telling myself after waking up from an unexpected surgical event two months ago. I sat around the house for nearly 6 weeks, resting and thinking about fishing. The one time I went to fish, I lasted fewer than four hours and had to leave. Lifting the kayak was a task that required assistance. I wasn’t ready for the grind.

    And then I was. Rest, some light exercise, the support of family, and that feeling that you got a new start: those were the ingredients that have gone into these past 6 weeks of my renewed tournament season.

    In 5 events, I’ve had 3 top 10 finishes that include two consecutive 1st place finishes, all on different lakes. I also fished two team events in that time span. I landed limits and placed scoreable fish on the leaderboard in both – in one of the two, I was the team’s top angler.

    If that’s not a hot streak, it’s a very good run. It could continue; it could end with the next tournament. I could blank at my next event and win the last four after it. You can’t know, so I don’t care.

    Continue reading

    The Extraordinary Complexity of a Fishing Life: A Review of Janet Messineo’s Casting into the Light (2019)


    , , , , , , , ,

    by Hank Veggian

    What holds a book “together?” Many readers will look for a theme or a message, a “take-away” that makes a “point” over many pages. I call them the miners, because they look to extract something useful from a book. Other readers read for the story, and take pleasure in moving with the tides. I call them the swimmers, because they go with the flow. A third type of reader: the editor. These readers take pleasure from a book’s style, and admire how the words are assembled, above all.

    There are always exceptions to the types, and other types. Can they all co-exist? How many personalities can inhabit a reader? What about a single life? And can they all be captured in a book? Janet Messineo’s Casting into the Light had me wondering about these questions. Did the book answer them? Maybe, and indirectly, but not because it sought to. And that’s why I enjoyed reading it. It’s a raw book in some ways, without major goals or some splendid architecture to showcase. It’s nonetheless a collection of stories that add up in some way to a portrait of a life, and an interesting one at that.

    Continue reading

    Kayak Fishing: Wading, Portaging and Fishing in Fast Water


    , , , , , ,


    How do you navigate fast, shallow water in a fishing kayak? And how do you fish that water? It isn’t always simple or easy. Prior to a recent tournament on Falls Lake in North Carolina, I consulted the USGS gauges for the rivers on the north end of the lake. There had been some rain, but not too much, and I wondered if some of the resident fish might be active due to food and oxygenated water flowing downstream. So I decided to give it a shot.

    I prepared for some expected obstacles and eventualities, and improvised along the way. The result? A 7th place finish in a field of 57 anglers. Afterward, I made a short post about it on social media. The response was extensive and positive so I decided to expand the post in order to share more details about the effort, problem solving and safety tips involved in fishing this particular type of water.

    Continue reading

    Form and Void: A Review of the Wilderness Systems Kayak Krate


    , , ,

    “Everything dies, baby, that’s a fact
    But maybe everything that dies some day comes back.”

    That’s a Bruce Springsteen lyric from the song “Atlantic City,” but it applies to this product review, too. An earlier version of it was first posted to the Get Outdoors: Pedal and Paddle blog. That blog has since come down, and with it several of my reviews. I  have since decided to update the review, and it has now been re-published by Basstrail.com, which is emerging as the best all around site for kayak fishing industry and tournament new son the web.


    © 2022

    Kayak Fishing in Carolina Country Magazine


    , , , , ,

    As more anglers take up paddles and fish from a kayak, more companies take notice. Outdoors media now regularly feature kayak anglers in their publications, a sure sign that our sport is growing and reaching new audiences.

    In North Carolina, we have one of the oldest and most well organized kayak fishing scenes in the United States. The sport has grown here at a grassroots levels through clubs and trails and tournaments, attracting the attention of outdoors writers.

    In this article below, outdoors writer Mike Zlotnicki interview me for a profile in the January 2022 issue of Carolina Country magazine. It’s a profile of me, but also our sport. Click the magazine title or the full link below, and please share it to spread the word!


    Jackson Cruise 10: Product Review


    , , ,

    My review of the Jackson Cruise 10 focuses on the kayak’s simple, multi-purpose design. I also note other features such as comfort, tracking and portability that make the Cruise a great option for both recreational paddling and fishing.

    Link to full review: https://jacksonadventures.com/2021/07/the-jackson-cruise-10-a-recreational-kayak-for-all/

    Full Disclosure: I am a member of the Jackson Kayak Fishing team, and this review appears on their website. I wrote this article after several months of paddling the Cruise 10. I have fished from many kayak brands and models, and I always do my best to write unbiased, honest reviews.