1st fish of 2020 – Ken Beam is a Believer.

January is hardly considered to be a kayak fishing month. Usually all of the waterways are locked up and we`re using our augers to set up tip-ups as we drill through the “hard water” wrangle up various Winter-time fish.

But 2020 is starting out quite different indeed.

It seems every few weeks we have been having a little warm-up to ruin any possible chance of having safe ice to fish on….at least so far. So last Tuesday the forecast was calling for a “balmy” 38 degrees for the high of the day. Thought to myself, “Hell….. might as well toss the Yak in the pond and have a go at something”

And to be quite frank, it is January folks, so believe me, I`m not too particular as to what I catch! lol Just about any fishy will do just fine!

I loaded up the 4Runner with a different destination in mind…….. White Lake up near Blairstown. Never fished it and only stopped there once to briefly eye it up.

The problem was that it was getting later in the day and I wouldn`t get there much before 3pm. I would still have a good hour and a half of fish-able light. At 3:10 the kayak hit the water and I began my quest for my 1st fish of 2020.

Let me show you one of my rod and reel set-ups that I have been using lately as it is pretty interesting how it came about. My good Friend Dennis Peterson does a lot of fluke fishing and actually caught this awesome Abu-Garcia Bait-caster paired with this medium-weight Bass Pro Graphite Rod while fluke fishing just last Summer. He cleaned it all up and asked me if I was interested in it. Upon seeing it, he didn`t have to ask twice! As I held it in my hands I was thinking what an awesome Muskie/Pike set-up.

So I had this set-up in my SUV along with my two other bass set-ups and decided to put it in the Yak. You see last month, the beginning of December, I actually was trying to wrangle up a Muskie and I inadvertently ended up with a pretty decent Largemouth Bass that afternoon using this set-up and using a seven inch Muskie Believer Lure. This is the Bass that I caught in the picture below, back on that extremely cold day on December 5th with the Believer lure.

I have become extremely intrigued with the Believer lure ever since my good friend and fishing companion, Pat Gallagher introduced me to them a year ago while we were chasing Muskies one afternoon. Since then I have acquired a very nice array of these awesome lures. Now back to the story….

Time and daylight was of the essence obviously as daylight was slowly fading away. I paddled into a few cut-out coves tossing the Believer lure. Was it purely a fluke that I nailed that beautiful bass on that freezing day last month on the over-sized seven inch lure? I began to wonder.

After about an hour or so, I was just about ready to switch rigs, but decided to switch the Believer for another color. A rather wild looking one with a dark back with a “orange-ish” hue.

And I decided to try a different retrieval as well. A much slower, twitch-twitch, reel – twitch method in a about a three foot depth. As there seemed to be a bit more cover weed-wise as well. The time was now about 4:20pm and the day was fading quickly.

On the third cast, as I very slowly twitched it back towards to Yak, suddenly there was a very heavy pull!! Not a violent whack as you would expect in the Spring or Summer, but rather this very heavy pull. The huge Greenback literally felt like he inhaled the large, seven inch Believer lure! As I reeled back to set to hook, the big Bucket-mouth rolled in the icy cold January water and calmly came to the net. I had just landed my 1st fish of 2020 and what a fish indeed!

What a Winter Hawg Bass! Apparently an Eagle had him recently as you can see by the fairly fresh scar on his side. Below is the exact Believer lure that I used to catch this big bass.

The Believer

Quite the way to start off the New Year! I hope you all have a wonderful New Year and catch a lot of fish.

`Till next time…….

See all of my Adventures here.

Ken Beam