On May 21, the 2022 Elite Kayak Fishing season kicked off with a return to the angler-favorite Messalonskee Lake in Maine. A world-class bass fishery, Messalonskee is home to monster largemouth, but the smallmouth rule here, and they did not disappoint this weekend.
Once again, Snow Pond Center for the Arts hosted the event, offering their campus to the majority of the 84 anglers who fished the event (our biggest turnout yet).
Leading up to the tournament, anglers battled windy conditions and saw bass making the transition to shallow waters to spawn. Saturday morning, anglers crisscrossed the lake, often fishing in closer quarters than they would have liked, eager to jump to the top of the leaderboard. Throughout the day, anglers were consistently submitting entries, looking to gain an edge over the competition who were often vying for the same spawning bass.
At the end of the event, 473 scorable bass were submitted for judging by Reel Tournament Management, with eight anglers amassing over 90 inches for their best five bass, making it very tight at the top.
When the dust settled, Pennsylvania’s Nick Audi was crowned the champion with 93.25 inches, followed by Domenic Eno with 93 inches, and Ryan Matylewicz rounding out the top three with 92.75 inches.
The remaining of the top ten went as follows: Robert Bifsha (91.75), Jake Angulas (91.25), Ken Wood (90.50), Derek Brundle (90.50), Jacob Stem (90.25), Steve Hedges (88.75), and Dave Renfro (87.75).
The Bixpy Big Bass was awarded to Peter Lambeau, who submitted a 19.75-inch largemouth. For this, Pete received a Bixpy J-2 Outboard Kit and $500!
Thank you to all who came out and supported the event!
The next EKF event takes anglers back to New York, to Oneida Lake, on June 25. We hope to see you there!