The first tournament of the 2019 Western Canada Kayak Fishing Trail kicked off at Dickson Dam on the weekend. There was 18 anglers competing for top spot. The tournament started at 6 am so I was up even earlier to make the drive from Edmonton. Being May long weekend I didn’t plan on camping because the campground was first come, first served and the weather can be unpredictable.
The winds were strong with gusts up to 45 kms and the temperature was no more than 6 degrees all day. With such a strong wind from the south there were some pretty nasty waves and I was getting swamped, the waves were coming over the sides and everything was thoroughly wet. There is an upside though, with all the effort I was putting into paddling and pedaling I wasn’t cold.
I worked hard looking for trout and made my way all around the pond. I’m sure I put on a lot of miles looking for deep holes, drop offs, or any sort of structure but, apart from the islands in the center, the lake seemed to be one big bowl. It was also not very deep, most of the lake was 15’ with some areas gradually dropping to 18’.
After fishing from 6 am to about 11 am I decided to head to shore for some lunch. I met up with some fellow anglers and found that the bite was tough all over. No one I talked to was able to find any trout. That’s pretty bad news considering the pond was stocked the day before the tournament! Once I finished lunch I went back out but the wind was getting worse. I decided to stick close to the south shore where the waves couldn’t build up any energy because I was running out of it myself!
At 3 pm, after being skunked all day, I decided to pack it in. On my way back to the launch I noticed a couple of anglers sitting in their kayaks, backed onto the shore, and casting into the shallow corner. Once I packed up the kayak I walked down to where the group was fishing and found a large school of eager trout. Determined to not go home skunked yet again, I tied on a dark red balanced leech and joined the crowd on the shoreline. It wasn’t even a minute until I had the first trout to hand! Boy it feels good to catch a fish!
It was a tough bite for everyone at the tournament, and when it came to adding up the final measurements there was nothing much bigger than 10 inches. No one managed to catch anything beyond the trout that were stocked the day before. If it wasn’t for the one angler who was able to find them and let everyone in on the honey hole I’m sure it would have been an 18 way tie!
Thanks for putting on a great tournament! I look forward to the next stop on the trail. For information on the upcoming tournaments make sure to check out my April update: