Sunday, February 22, 2015

Motorized Kayaks in Tournaments: Just Say No

Is this where we are heading?
Let me start by giving my opinion, at its core tournament kayak bass fishing is about man (or woman) vs fish using their own power (arms, legs, or both) to battle the fish and the elements. NO MOTORIZED BOATS should ever be allowed in kayak bass fishing tournaments.

Definition of a kayak by Websters dictionary: a long narrow boat that is pointed at both ends and that is moved by a paddle with two blades. An updated version could include pedals, but both have one thing in common: human power.

Fishing is fishing, so a lot of the tackle, apparel, electronics and other gear mirror what bass boaters use. What separates us from them is the human powered element. On tournament day fatigue is a factor, it is what makes kayak bass fishing such an unique sport. Showing up to the ramp on tournament day facing snow, wind, rain, or other difficult weather conditions can drastically alter your game plan when you are setting out under your own power.

The number one argument for motors in tournaments is "What about anglers that can't paddle or pedal, can they get an exception?". My answer is simple, tournament rules should be the same for all competitors, no exceptions should be made.That is not a disrespectful or heartless statement, I think the advancement in motorized kayaks is great for recreational purposes. Hopefully motorized kayaks help get anglers that are unable to paddle/pedal out on the water to enjoy the wonderful social community kayak fishing offers. But saying someone should get an exception in a tournament situation is like letting someone who can't (or doesn't want to) run a marathon under their own power compete in the race using a motor scooter.

Maybe the answer is two divisions, but I don't really like the idea of dividing the kayak fishing tournament community. This article is just one anglers opinion, but the majority of kayak bass fisherman I ask agree that motors should not be allowed. My hope is that kayak bass fishing tournament directors, anglers, and clubs will stand together on this topic and keep the sport MAN POWERED. When it comes to motorized kayaks in tournaments, just say no.

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