Freshwater kayak fishermen will have their shot at a big payday by competing in the second annual Exotic Bass Roundup April 23 out of Lake Ida Park in Delray Beach. The angler catching the heaviest total weight of one peacock bass and one clown knifefish wins $2,500 courtesy of Nautical Ventures Marine.
“I’m really excited about it,” said tournament organizer Joe Hector of Extreme Kayak Fishing, who is also the co-host of the Nautical Ventures Weekly Fisherman radio show that airs from 6-8 a.m. Saturday on Fox Sports 940 Miami and live-streams on the Nautical Ventures Facebook page.
Second place pays $1,000, third pays $500 and the fourth-place finisher wins $250. The entry fee is $100. There is also a $50 snakehead calcutta, which pays $200 for the heaviest snakehead, and a $25 crappie calcutta, which pays $200 to the winner. Included with the $100 entry fee is entry into the oscar division, which pays $200 to the winner, and the sunshine bass division, which pays $250 for the biggest of that species.
Anglers are allowed to use lures and live bait. Capt. Alan Zaremba of Hollywood, who provides the freshwater report for the radio show, prefers to use topwater plugs and jerkbaits for peacock bass. Both lures also catch other exotic fish like the tournament’s calcutta species.
He fishes the jerkbait by casting it to the edge of the vegetation lining a canal and taking up slack until his braided fishing line is fairly tight.
“I don’t like to reel it right away. I let it sit there. I try to make it make a little noise to get their attention. Then I’ll get it coming,” said Zaremba, who repeatedly twitches the lure so it lives up it to its name with a jerky motion that peacocks find hard to resist. “Peacocks are funny. They’re curious fish.”
The tournament kickoff party is 5-8 p.m. April 21 at Duffy’s at 1750 South Federal Highway in Delray Beach. Open to the public, the party features free finger food, music and a raffle that benefits the Broward Children’s Center.
“Our main raffle prize, donated by Nautical Ventures, is a fully rigged, decked out, awesome, Bonafide kayak,” Hector said. “On top of that, we’ve got a whole bunch of fun stuff for these guys for the raffle.”
Last year’s Exotic Bass Roundup winner was Julie Garber, who caught a 4.11-pound peacock. Auriel Leyes was second with a 3.95 peacock, followed by Daniel Stein at 3.9, Cristobal Colon at 3.4 and Heynar Mejia at 3.2. Tyler Drew won the Clown Knifefish division, followed by Jesus Gonzalez and Jon Venarchick.
To register for the tournament, visit www.extremekayakfishingtournament.org/exotic-bass-roundup.html.
For more information on the Exotic Bass Roundup, plus the latest information on where saltwater fish are and how to catch them, listen to The Nautical Ventures Weekly Fisherman radio show every Saturday morning from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. live on Fox Sports 940 Miami, an iHeart station. If you can’t tune in live, the Weekly Fisherman radio podcasts are available through:
Fox Sports 940 Miami:
https:// foxsports940.iheart.com/featured/weekly-fisherman/about/ (click on podcasts)
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