Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why Kayak Fishing Tournaments Are So Important

Kayak Fishing Tournaments are popping up in every state across the country. From small club tourneys to huge events such as the KBF, KBS Trail and Tournament Of Champions. Some of the larger events are now paying out thousands of dollars in cash and prizes, with this they are starting to rival semi-pro power boat tournaments in both payouts and attendance. Corporate sponsors are getting on board and there is talk of a "professional" kayak fishing trail to mimic the BASS or FLW trails. Heck if this does happen I hope to be able to compete on such a level. But while all of the growth and big money that comes along with this is fantastic, let me explain why I believe kayak fishing tournaments are really so important.

The turnout for the Arkansas Kayak Anglers Christmas Classic 
At our core I believe we all just want to be a part of something. People join softball teams, church groups, bowling leagues, fantasy sports leagues all just to be part of a group and make friends. But over and over I run into kayak anglers who believe themselves to be one of only a few rogue fisherman that choose to fish out of these plastic boats in this area. Almost every time I share information about our group I can see the excitement in their eyes. The kayak fishing community as a whole is unique and almost unbelievably welcoming. Once someone gets involved they are all in.

Our group, The Arkansas Kayak Anglers, has tried social paddles and similar things to try and get people to come hang out with little success. By an overwhelming margin the kayak bass tournaments we organize draw the most people. The entry fees are relatively low, but the big payouts are not what we are after. Sure you can be as serious as you want to be, we even have an angler of the year race that is very competitive. But the vision behind the whole thing is to get anglers together and have a great time ... its working.

I am not from this area, yet I have too many good friends around here to list, all as a result of going to one kayak tournament and meeting a few people. There are countless stories of anglers that would have never met had it not been for the tournaments, and now they are regular fishing buddies. This happens at the larger events as well. I have made friends all over the country hanging out at national kayak fishing events like the Tournament Of Champions. At those events we are all after a big payday of course, but even if you walk away empty handed most people wouldn't trade the experience and new friendships they found for anything.

There are plenty of purists out there that want nothing to do with tournaments and that's ok, tournaments are not for everyone, but here in Arkansas the tournament scene is really taking off thanks to the hard work of some dedicated anglers. Through the tournaments we are building a community of kayak anglers throughout the state that we can be proud of. There will be friendships and memories made that will last a lifetime. So if you have not been to a kayak fishing tournament yet, I would urge you to get out there and find one near you. Win or lose, you won't leave disappointed.

Go to for a state wide tournament schedule

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