Good fortune and a willingness to adjust. That is how Nick Dyer has found incredible consistency during his first full year fishing the Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series powered by TourneyX.
With a seventh-place finish at the third event of the year at Possum Kingdom in June, the Alabama angler now leads the Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Kayak Series Angler of the Year race with 727 points and leads second place Eric Siddiqi by nine points.
Georgia’s Joshua Diehl is third with 697 points followed by Tom Kazmierski in fourth with 683 points. Garrett Morgan is in fifth with 666 points. Neither Rus Synders, who led the AOY race after two events, nor Elite Series pro Greg DiPalma competed at Possum Kingdom, but only everyone’s best four events will count towards the final AOY standings.
Dyer has placed no lower than 11th through three events, finishing eighth at Guntersville to start the season before adding an 11th at the second event on Hartwell and then the top finish at Possum Kingdom.
“There’s been a lot of luck. I have made some of the right decisions. The one thing that has been consistent with my fishing over the last few years has been that it is inconsistent. In my local clubs I have had some good showings and things I have felt confident with. But in two-day events, I have had some good first days and then flop on Day 2.”
Living on the Alabama side of the Chattahoochee River, Dyer enjoys spending time throwing big baits in shallow water and current oriented scenarios, even if that means he will only get one or two bites a day. That didn’t necessarily translate to the tournaments he has fishing in the past.
This year, he adjusted his strategy, and it paid off.
“A lot of my fun fishing, I’ll go out all day throwing big baits, and I’m content fishing for one or two bites. That school of thought has bit me a lot in tournament fishing in the past,” he said. “This year I have made it a goal to be a better, more well-rounded angler as far as catching limits. I have tried to do some of the things I don’t enjoy doing as much, which is throw plastics and grind out a limit first before moving on to big baits.”
Both Guntersville and Hartwell are fisheries Dyer has struggled on in the past. Dyer overcame that on Guntersville this time despite not having any practice. On Day 1, he picked a ramp on the Tennessee River reservoir and covered as much water as he could until he ran into a group of bass.
“I got lucky late in the day and ran into an area that was loaded with them,” he explained. “Before I realized what was going on I had a pretty solid limit posted. That helped my confidence in the next few events. I realized I could go out and put something together two days in a row if I make myself get bit instead of being stubborn and make fish bite the way I enjoy fishing.”
Similar to Guntersville, Lake Hartwell and other blueback herring lakes have had Dyer’s number in the past. But the weekend before he arrived at Lake Hartwell, Dyer fished a tournament in northern Georgia and had some time to practice at Hartwell that weekend.
“I eliminated water and pieced together a few things,” he said. “I figured they were on points, and I had a milk run that I could go out and do loops around. I put together solid limits and got lucky on Day 2 and found a big fish that made a difference. That has been my problem in the past on Hartwell is finding better quality fish.”
When it came time to prepare for Possum Kingdom, Dyer decided to spend a couple of days practicing, and on the Wednesday before the tournament, he landed on a school of bass that produced several quality bass. A little ways down the bank from that school, Dyer caught a 24-incher and knew he would start in that area once the tournament began.
He then went out and finished with 187.5 inches.
“There were so many fish in that area. I lucked into something good, and I thought it would hold unless something crazy happened,” Dyer said. “That place was amazing. To go somewhere that has so many big fish and find a big bait bite, I’m excited and looking for a reason to go back there.”
With two events on the schedule, Dyer isn’t sure if he will be making the trip to La Crosse to fish the fourth event at the Upper Mississippi River. The final event of the season, however, sets up exactly how he likes to fish and could be the ticket to sealing an AOY title.
“I have fished the Susquehanna before, and that is more of the style of fishing I’m used to at home,” he said. “My goal is to go there, put in my time, do some homework and see if I can’t put together a good finish. We will see.”