The 13th annual New England Kayak Fishing Striper Shootout was held this past weekend in Salem, Massachusetts. The tournament drew over 140 anglers and the competitors vied for first place in six divisions, open, artificial only, fly, Junior, Winter Island, and Barbie rod.
The shootout draws anglers from throughout the northeast to take part in the great striper fishery from Boston to Gloucester and the fishing didn’t disappoint. The tournament lived up to its name as a shootout as competitors caught a number of very large bass including a handful of 48- to 49-inch fish. Fishing from Friday night to Sunday at noon, kayakers spread out on the water trying a variety of techniques and catching all sizes of bass. A worm hatch in Salem Harbor during the tournament made the big ones tough to catch around there, but brought in hordes of smaller bass.
The tournament was centered around Winter Island, Salem, with many anglers camping at the Winter Island campground for the weekend. The tournament ended Sunday with an awards ceremony and cookout for all; the cookout was one to remember as Galindo’s Roadside Roasters BBQ catered the event. One of the highlights of the awards ceremony was a raffle with kayaks from major sponsors Hobie, Old Town, and Wilderness Systems.
This year was the debut of the Barbie rod division—a competition for the largest striper caught on a Barbie rod! Competitors were required to use a stock Barbie or cartoon character rod, but were allowed to change the line. Reels were re-spooled with 30- to 50-pound-test braid, and the tackle was put to the test on…