So you want to be a kayak tournament angler? Sounds easy doesn’t it? I just need a kayak and a fishing pole. I catch fish all the time from my bass boat or at my local pond, right? Well, I was that guy four years ago and got a rude awakening my first tournament. I have been an avid kayaker for over 20 years. Yes, I’m that old.
I primarily kayaked only on creeks and rivers in my Perception Patriot 12. It was a great kayak and did what I needed. My first kayak fishing tournament came in 2016 and it was my first time on a large body of water in a plastic boat. I took everything I thought I needed to catch fish. Well, everything that works in the creek and at the pond. I was in awe with all the angler setups. From the sit on top kayaks to “what the hell, that thing has pedals”! Look, are those fish finders? Needless to say, I had my butt handed to me. Mostly because of not being prepared and of my arrogance.
Now that I have got the newbies rethinking this easy sport, I will discuss the basics to get started so maybe it will help someone coming into the scene. I am by no means a professional at this sport, but I do have hundreds of hours in the tournament seat. The main focus is to have fun and learn.
Kayak: Let’s start with the most important item, the kayak. I cringe when I see a post about “what is the best kayak”. Everyone is going to respond with their brand and the person asking will end up buying the popular suggestion because that’s how
people are. I am going to say, GO DEMO AT LEAST 6-10 KAYAKS BEFORE BUYING! Your second or third should have been your first purchase. With all the propulsion options, get a kayak that fits you not everyone else!
PFD: Personal Floatation Device. This is of the highest priority, no questions asked! This is mandatory at any sanctioned tournament. There are only two accepted types: inflatable and standard. You need to make sure it fits comfortably because you will be wearing it for 10-12 hours in different types of weather conditions. Also make sure it floats your body. A sinking PFD does you no good in a time of need.
Measuring Device: Kayak Tournaments are CPR (Catch Photo Release) based. You will need an approved measuring device. Luckily there are only two to choose from. The Hawg Trough and Ketch boards are the only accepted devices.
Your phone required to upload pictures to the tournament scoring server, i.e. TourneyX or IANGLER. Make sure your phone is secured in a weatherproof floating case or a tethered leash. Of course you need fishing tackle. You will eventually figure out how many rods to carry. Some carry 2 or 3 and others can carry up to 10. I’m not going to say you need a fish finder, trolling motor, or any other super cool gadgets to help you win a tournament. That will be for you to decide. The interweb is your friend for how to videos and social media pages for kayak fishing. Do your homework and study the bodies of water you plan on fishing. I use Google maps and Navionics to dissect the water. It is especially helpful when I can’t prefish or have never been on a body of water. Lastly, be proficient with the rules of each tournament for they may change between organizations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember, everyone was a beginner at one time.
There is always vast knowledge by seasoned anglers that will be shared. Have fun! Once the fun leaves, the sport is pointless.
2020 is in full swing and means a third year of excitement for the Kayak Anglers of Missouri. We had a record setting membership in 2019 and we are on track to exceed that number in 2020. The season will consist of the Trail and Online tournament schedule. Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/1745901928761835/ to keep up on all the action.
There are new events planned for the tournament season along with the standard trail series and online series. The first being B.A.S.S. Kayak Series. BASSMASTER has excelled to a new level with their first year in the kayak tournament spotlight. There will be regional and state tournaments with a chance to qualify to fish the Classic.
Also new to KAMO 2020, is the acceptance of youth to fish the trail and online series alongside the adults. Who knows, maybe the 2020 AOY will have to be chauffeured to check in. Check tournament rules for details.
New for 2020 is the All American Kayak Classic, presented by Everharts Outdoors in Clinton, MO. This will be an event with the best of the best competing for a huge payday. For more info, see rules and regulations.
We have again partnered with KBF to give anglers a chance to qualify not only for the National Championship in 2021 but the new KBF Partner Club Championship (more news to come on this so stay tuned!) in October of this year. KBF also has regional and online tournaments in which an angler can qualify. Check out the website for rules and regulations.
As always, KAMO is dedicated to the kayak community and promoting the sport. We invite you to check us out on Facebook and see all the exciting things that are happening.
About our author,
Avid angler, KAMO co-founder and KAMO's 2018-2019 president, Carl aka "Shady" is also a member of Team Nucanoe and makes his home on the banks of Bull Shoals. When not in full fishing mode you might find him riding his tractor enjoying the beautiful Ozark mountains on his farm or reminding his fellow anglers to "GETDANED" all the while, inspiring others with his true passion for the sport.
The first onsite and second leg of the Kayak Anglers of Missouri (KAMO) Trail Series took place April 13, 2019. Anglers had their choice of fishing either Stockton or Pomme De Terre Lakes. The bass were starting to become more active leading up to the tournament until early in the week when an artic blast dropped lake temperatures to the low 50’s and fish that were close to spawning decided to hunker instead. With air temperatures in the 40’s and high winds, this was a mentally and physically tough tournament. Not only did the anglers have to be on their “A” game with their fishing abilities, they also had to use all of their kayaking skills to stay on the spots they needed to fish. The 54 anglers in the tournament caught a total of 181 bass with the Big Bass awarded to Jeff Hook with a 20” fish. It was revealed at the check in that the angler who caught the biggest bass of the year from the onsite tournaments will win a completely decked out kayak!
The overall winner of the tournament was Travis Ueke with a total of 81.50”, earning him those ever-important Angler of the Year (AOY) points. On top of the AOY board is Jeff Hook with a 25 point lead.
It was also announced that since KAMO is a partner club with KBF and there were over 30 participants in this tournament, the top 10% would get invitations to the KBF National Championship 2020 if they were a current KAMO and a KBF member before the start of the tournament. The top 5 spots were given their invitations but only 3 had established KBF memberships. Congratulations to Travis Ueke, Bill Dipman, and Kevin Rockwell who have all punched their ticket to the National Championship! The next Trail Series event will take place at Table Rock Lake May 18th with more points, prizes and money up for grabs.
KAMO would like to give a Big Shout out to all of their sponsors for all their support and to KBF for their partnership!! For more information on all of our amazing sponsors and KBF click on the links below and to the right.
2019 KAMO Trail Series Stockton/Pomme De Terre Top Ten
1st – Travis Ueke – 81.50” - $808.00
2nd – Bill Dipman - 79.50” - $386.00
3rd - Jeff Hook – 77.50” – $239.00
4th – Kevin Rockwell – 77.00” - $165.00
5th – Tj Mcmurray – 77.00” - $120.00
6th – Jarred Anderson - 76.00” - $110.00
7th – Alan Berding – 76.00” - $75 SheAngler Custom Bait Box
8th – Justin Coon - 75.75” - $50 OMTC Gift Card & $15 of Yak Attack gear
9th – Jacob Nunn - 74.75” - $50 Liv and Jens Gift Card
10th – Brent Rodgers – 74.00” - $25 Everharts Outdoor Store Gift Card
Big Bass – Jeff Hook – 20.00” - $380.00
2019 KAMO Trails Series AOY Leaderboard
2019 Tournament Schedule
KBF Membership Details
About our author,
Nic Allen is an avid angler, fly tier and wildlife photographer but his actual job is creating Mission style furniture using traditional joinery in his 550 sq ft shop in Parkville, Mo. Nic became a KAMO member this year and has been an amazing asset to the club with his artistic talents. Find a peek of his amazing creativity below.
After a long, cold, snowy winter, the Kayak Anglers of Missouri (KAMO) season kicked off with the March Online Event. Competitors were eager to get back into competition and try to snag the first Angler of the Year (AOY) points. A very large field of 73 anglers signed up to compete making for a large payout and some serious bragging rights. Those 73 anglers caught a total of 420 bass throughout the month with the largest bass at 21.50 inches caught by Aaron Simms of Saint Robert, Missouri. The lingering winter added a few different challenges but those willing to tough the weather out or drive to open waters still put up some impressive lengths.
In April there are 2 exciting tournaments. The first is the Members Only Online Monthly Challenge where anglers will be competing throughout the whole month for cash, prizes and points. At the end of the Online Monthly Challenge season, which runs through September the top 10% will receive an invitation to compete in the 2019 KAMO Classic Championship.
Becoming a member and competing in the Online tournaments are a great way to get started in tournament fishing. Month long online tournaments allow anglers to fish on any Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) public water, alleviating travel requirements and the pressure of having to fish a new body of water and catch all your fish in one day. To join KAMO and enjoy members-only opportunities, go to https://www.kayakanglersofmissouri.com/become-a-member.html. The second stop on the 2019 KAMO Trails series takes place on April 13th and includes both Stockton and Pomme De Terre Lakes. This single day onsite tournament will put the best kayak anglers in Missouri in a battle for AOY points, bragging rights, and what promises to be a great payout of prizes for the top ten. Even if you’re not ready to compete, come fish and have a great time with fellow KAMO anglers.
2019 KAMO March Online Trails Series Event Top 10 & Big Bass
1st - Justin Coon - 93.25” - $1,021
2nd - Brandon Prince - 92.00”- $498
3rd - Jeff Hook - 89.00” - $274
4th - Cody Pender - 87.50” - $249
5th - David Pilgrim - 87.50” - $174
6th - Aaron Simms - 85.50” - $149
7th - Tj Mcmurray - 84.75” - $125
8th - Jonathon Dominguez - 84.50” - $75 SheAngler Custom Baits gift card
9th - Melody Isaacs - 84.50” - $50 OMTC gift card
10th - Rick Lemar - 84.25” - $25 Extreme Outdoors gift card
Big Bass - Aaron Simms - 21.50” - $440
2019 KAMO Trails Series AOY Leaderboard
2019 Tournament Schedule
As we fish into 2019, we would like to pay tribute to Everhart's Sporting Goods for being KAMO’s title sponsor! We spent some time visiting with the team of fishing and hunting professionals who are there to help you each time you visit, and here's what we learned.
Why Everhart's Sporting Goods?
Come on out and check out what we have to offer, because here at Everhart's Sporting Goods, we are not a big box store; we are outfitters for just about every sport you have in mind. Our goal is to get you ready to be involved in your activity of choice. It's not all about selling you a new kayak, but rather to see more people ready and able to get out on the water and enjoy the sport.
The Everhart name in fishing and hunting has been around since 1945 here in Clinton, Missouri. It began as a hardware store that sold everything. Now, operated by a 3rd generation, Everhart's has evolved into a full-fledged outfitter with a 10,000 square foot showroom and a 7,500 square foot warehouse right off of Truman Lake.
Our wide selection of products and knowledgeable staff will get you ready for all forms of hunting and fishing. We have a large variety of guns; long guns, pistols, rifles. One unique thing you'll find is our indoor archery lane where people can get a bow and then test it. Customers can sight in their choice of bow right inside the store.
We can get you outfitted for all types of hunting, from waterfowl to deer hunting, and for the trapping enthusiast, we have all the traps. And that is just to name a few of the many hunting accessories you will find here at Everhart's.
On the fishing side, we are a complete tackle store. Everhart’s carries all the soft baits, hard baits, even live baits such as goldfish, minnows, worms, and frozen shad. We keep up with the latest trends, so if there is a new lure you’re wanting, chances are we will have it. You'll find our live bait section that will help you catch bass crappie white bass trout, all the fishing species. You won't want to miss out on our extensive assortment of fishing rods. We carry everything from bass rods, big catfish rods, even snagging rods for spoonbill.
Our fishing kayaks are NuCanoe™ and Bonafide™, and we offer a full range of accessories with a selection second to none in west-central Missouri. We have a massive selection of kayaks accessories, from brands you know and trust like Yak Attack, Yak-Gear, Bass Assassin, Bending Branches, Boon Docks, and NuCanoe. We offer Minkota™ trolling motors, we are also Hummingbird™ electronics dealer so we can fix you up with a state-of-the-art depth finder.
We also provide complete clothing lines to fit all your sporting needs. Boots, waders, decoys, life jackets, paddles, tackle, and trolling motors, if you hunt or fish, it's here. We also have a small city lake that is a really great place to demo a kayak. We want you to know you are buying the right boat. We care about our customer and want to gear you up for that. When it comes to bow-fishing, kayaking, crossbow or rifle hunting, or any other sport you can think of, we have someone here who is knowledgeable and ready to help you get exactly what you need.
Make plans to come out on February the 23rd when we will host Crappie Days, which means a huge sale for our customers. There will also be lots of professionals out here to talk with folks right here on the floor along with many manufacturer representatives that are prepared to answer any questions that people may have.
Everhart's always gives military discounts, and all KAMO members get a discount with us, so be sure to tell your friends. Find us on Facebook
@Everhartsoutdoorstore and check out our Website https://www.everhartssportinggoods.com .
Hermatige Days Warsaw Missouri 2018
About the Author: Lacey Chantel Keenan is a gritty writer living in the River Valley of Arkansas. She writes both fiction and non-fiction stories about local events, inspirational people, environmental issues, and human rights. KAMO is proud to have Lacey on our team of writers. Read more of her work on her independent News-based Website “Straight From the Panic Room News” http://www.laceychantelkeenan.com
The 2019 tournament's ahead will kick off KAMO's second season, which promises to hold plenty of excitement, friends, fun, family, and FISH! Here's your hook up for plenty of chances to compete for cash prizes, earn AOY points, and even learn from some excellent anglers. Remember, the Trail Series is open to all anglers, however only members are eligible to win those coveted AOY points. Start making plans now to be ready for the month-long Trail Series Online Kickoff on March 1st, where you'll get the chance to earn points towards the Angler Of the Year series. Register by the 28th before 10:00 pm on Tourney X to get in on this competition.
Next up, on April 13th, you'll get the opportunity to try your luck on either Stockton Lake, or Pomme De Terre Lake, angling among those beautiful bluffs and tree covered hills in a roadrunner style tournament. Make sure you attend the Captain's Meeting to find out the boundaries for each lake and the time of the Official FIRST CAST. This is another chance to rack up on those "Angler Of the Year" points for all KAMO members who enter this competition.
Also, in April the Members Only Monthly Challenge is just like the title suggests. A month-long opportunity for KAMO members to fish and compete for a spot in the KAMO Classic Championship, earn AOY points, and work towards that chance to be crowned the KAMO Online Angler of the Year, plus opportunities to win more of our fabulous prizes and cash. The monthly online challenges for members only starting in April are a separate series where anglers can fish any MDC managed or assisted waters and earn AOY points too. More information on these challenges is coming soon.
As the weather warms up on May 18th, anglers get another shot to test their skills roadrunner style on Table Rock Lake. And again, Angler Of the Year points going out to all KAMO members who enter. Beat the deadline and make sure to register on TourneyX by May 17th, 10:00 pm. Once more, the competition is sure to heat up in June with the Lake Wappapello roadrunner style tournament scheduled for the 15th. Get registered by June 14th to beat the cutoff and be sure to attend the Captain's Meeting to learn what boundaries are in effect and when exactly is the Official FIRST CAST.
Anglers are always faced with choices like, which lure? Which rod? Or, which Lake? In this case, fish your choice between Lake Taneycomo, or Bull Shoals on July 13th, in yet another roadrunner style competition. This competition offers chances for prizes, cash, and AOY points. Competitors must attend the Captain's Meeting on June 12th, online, at 6:00 pm. Be sure to look at our 2019 Tournament Schedule Page for all the details.
The month of August brings two separate tournaments running back-to-back at Mark Twain Lake, the KBF Regional Trail Event, & the KAMO Trail event on the 3rd. Both will run during the same hours, but will each have their own fees. Those boundaries will be announced at the Captain's Meeting. Deadline to enter is the 2nd at 10:00 pm.
We are excited to bring you September's event, which will be a roadrunner style tournament where you can test your skills on some great waters in the northwest region on the 14th at any of the following landings; Smithville, Pony Express, Grindstone, or Cameron. KAMO's Classic Championship will be a roadrunner style event held on Truman Lake on October 5th & 6th. Keep watching our website and Facebook Page for new details as they develop.
We want to give a big shout out to our Sponsors who ensure our continued success while always making sure all KAMO's anglers have the chance to have a good time and get on board with the best equipment and fishing supplies out there on the market today! Tell your friends about KAMO's Title Sponsor Everharts Outdoor Store. Put Tri-State Trolling Motor and Extreme Outdoors on your list too. Check out She-Angler Custom Baits, Liv & Jen's Bait Bucket, and Kayak Tuff Lights by Joe Florida,Yak Attack, OMTC. Other businesses that are offering great products/services and awesome experiences are Vicious Fishing, For Fun Embroidery, Yak Lights, and TourneyTag , so tell folks about them every single chance you get to help us grow our affiliation and show our appreciation for these businesses' continued support of KAMO.
So whether you're new to the sport or a seasoned fisherman, KAMO is looking forward to having you come on out and join us and help make 2019 our best year yet!
About the Author: Lacey Chantel Keenan is a gritty writer living in the River Valley of Arkansas. She writes both fiction and non-fiction stories about local events, inspirational people, environmental issues, and human rights. Read more of her work on her independent News-based Website “Straight From the Panic Room News” http://www.laceychantelkeenan.com
With the end of our first season just around the corner, KAMO would do nothing short of seeing to it that it goes out with a BANG! Check out the flyer below to see whats going on now and how you can join in on the fun. KAMO Stop 8 Mark Twain lake is Saturday September 15th and members as well as non-members will be fishing for cash and prizes. To register head over to www.TourneyX.com and sign up. A Very Special Thank You to Vibe Kayaks for helping make this an Extra fun ending to an AMAZING first season! We look forward to seeing you there!!
Kayak Anglers of Missouri (KAMO) stop 3 was held on a gorgeous Saturday in May on Lake of the Ozarks. Twenty-four anglers would need to find the top five fish in 54,000 acres of lake holding 646,000,000,000 gallons of water to take the crown. Not an easy task. Add to that the fact that Lake of the Ozarks is the most popular recreation lake in the state of Missouri, and those anglers would have their work cut out for them.
The day started like any other tournament. Calm winds, very little boat traffic, and nearly perfect conditions. Anglers had their choice of fishing shallow or deep. Chunk rock was plentiful. Docks were everywhere. It didn’t matter what your strength was, Lake of the Ozarks offered prime bass fishing habitat for all of the KAMO anglers. A peaceful day where everyone could concentrate on just pulling in bass without any distractions. And then the clock struck 11am.
Like some sort of a cruel joke, the weather changed and the wind became a huge factor for the competitors. The strong wind made it a challenge for all to keep their kayaks anchored, even if they were deep into coves. Calm water suddenly turned into Gulf of Mexico like conditions, complete with rolling waves and the occasional whitecap. Yep. It just got real. But Lake of the Ozarks wasn’t finished yet.
Remember the part about Lake of the Ozarks being the most popular recreation lake in the state? Seems as if all of those recreational boaters remembered it as well, because they all seemed to launch at the same time and hit the lake in force. While it isn’t unusual to fish a tournament surrounded by boats, Lake of the Ozarks adds a special twist. It just happens to be incredibly popular with the owners of cigarette boats. We all know the wake a jon boat can create. The kayak anglers at Lake of the Ozarks all now also know the kind of wake a 48’ long cigarette boat travelling at 80 mph can create as well. And they often run in packs. At one point during the day, I saw two of them running at full clip in the main channel and pointed them out to Steve Leaman who was fishing nearby. Those two were followed by at least another dozen traveling just as fast. Just to make sure we knew that we were fishing on “their” lake, they had a helicopter following them for just a bit more impact. Only on Lake of the Ozarks.
Although the really big fish seemed to be hiding well, there was no shortage of smaller fish and this would be the theme throughout the day. Pulling a 15” bass into the kayak could have a significant impact on the anglers standing on the leader board and the leader board changed often during the day. In the end, Travis Ueke would pull out the win with 81.75.
Travis was followed by Jarred Saffle in second with 75.25 and Billy Reynolds rounding out the top three with 70.25.
Kevin Rockwell would take home a check for big bass by hooking on to a 19.25.
The top ten and their prizes are listed below…..
4th - Justin Coon from Springfield, Mo. 69.75"
5th - Aaron Sims from St Robert, Mo. 69.00"
6th - Steve Leaman from Herculaneum, Mo. 66.50"
7th - Simon Tapprich from Nixa, Mo. 64.00
8th - Kori Whitchurch from Quincey, Il. 63.75"
9th - William Bastura from Springfield, Mo. 60.50
10th - Tyler Hibdon from Lees Summit, Mo. 58.50
A special thank you goes out to all of the sponsors. KAMO has become extremely popular and continues to grow and much of that growth is because of the solid support offered by the sponsors. This is the real deal folks. While everybody loves to take first place, every KAMO tournament is a fight to get into the top ten thanks to the valuable prizes offered up by the sponsors. This has helped turn the competition into high gear because everyone fishes until the final minute knowing that there is a good chance of being rewarded for their efforts.
Next Stop........ KAMO Stop 4 Memorial Weekend Special Event Online Challenge. But until then
Tight Lines everyone!
Article Credits: KAMO member Billy reynolds from St Louis, Mo.
Billy Reynolds www.billyreynoldsfishing.com
JanPro of St. Louis
So what is the deal with kayak tournaments? I’ve been fishing them for the last seven years or so but I also understand that to the general public they remain fairly unknown. Other anglers always seemed shocked on the water when I mention that I am fishing a tournament. People I work with always have questions about how my tournaments work, where do you keep the fish, and how do you keep people from cheating? This article will hopefully shed a little light on the subject and at least explain how the kayak bass fishing tournaments that I’m involved with are run.
In a time where the trend seems to be a downsizing of bass boats, downsizing of tow vehicles, and a great expenditure of energy in making the American dollar go farther it only seems logical that many people are turning to kayaks as a more economical solution to getting out on the water and catching fish. These “little plastic boats” are low maintenance, easy to transport, beginner friendly, and can be as cheap or as expensive as you want to make them. Kayaks come in all shapes and sizes. Your local big box store will have selections ranging from $200 right on up to some of the top of the line offerings that may run you several thousand dollars. How much you spend is up to you but all of them will get you off the bank and out on the water enjoying the fun.
Kayak tournaments aren’t very discriminating when it comes to your choice of paddle craft. All types are welcome whether you own a sit-on-top (SOT) or a sit-in-kayak (SINK), whether you prefer paddle or pedal powered, and even thosethat opt for the electric motor powered kayaks are able to join in most events. The largest nationwide organizing bodycurrently hosting kayak tournaments is KayakBassFishing.com or KBF as most of us refer to them. The group was founded by Chad Hoover, a retired Navy Officer, that
after leaving the service has poured his heart into getting more and more people on the water in kayaks and more recently is making strides at uniting the kayak bass clubs across the nation by hosting regional events, trail stops, and having a National Championship event each year that brings us all together for a single “main event” where we not only compete for a substantial monetary prize but where we also get to enjoy the community, put faces with names from social media, and just plain have some fun!
Chad Hoover, the founder of KayakBassFishing.com
I’ll use the KBF National Championship tournament as my example here. There will be slight differences in tournament rules and structure depending on what club you choose to look at but it seems that most groups pattern themselves off of KBF since it has been proven to work and be successful. Just like boat tournaments we have a five fish limit per day for the events. Where we differ is in the fact that most kayaks don’t have the deck space or carrying capacity to hold a “livewell” capable of keeping five fish alive all day. A new format had to be developed that removed the need for bringing fish into the scales for an actual weigh in. Catch-Photo-Release has become the accepted standard in kayak fishing tournaments. CPR events are based off of the length of fish rather than a weight. Because we aren’t carrying the fish around all day in a livewell fish mortality is greatly reduced. We simply catch our fish, measure their length, snap a quick photo and then they are released.
In order for this to work everyone must use the same model of measuring device, have a unique identifier in the picture to prove the fish was caught during the event, and follow the same set of rules as to the positioning of the fish on the measuring board. For example we all use the Hawg Trough measuring device. It is a concave plastic ruler with a bump stop or fence at the end and has raised lines on the board in ¼” increments. The fish must lie on the board facing to the left, with mouth closed, dorsal fin facing up, lip touching the fence, and the tail cannot be pinched to try and gain extra length. Cell phones are used to capture the photograph. The cell phone geo-tags the photos with position information as well as a time stamp.
This picture shows the correct orientation of the fish on a Hawg Trough measuring board. Also note the
unique identifier on the hawg trough that ensures the photo was taken during the event.
In order to keep all these fish straight and maintain the tournament standings we utilize a website called TourneyX.com. Dwayne Walley, a kayak tournament angler and Wilderness Systems Regional Manager for the Gulf Region, developed the site as a way of hosting tournaments and speeding up the process of fish submissions and judging. He also developed an app for smartphones that streamlines the process and simplifies it for anglers that already have enough to worry about on the water. After taking a photo of your catch you simply open the app and submit your fish to the leader board.
Dwayne Walley – the man behind TourneyX.com
The software automatically culls your fish to only show the five largest that have been submitted and maintains a “real time” leader board for the tournament so that you can see how you’re doing compared to your competitors throughout the day. Judges are employed by KBF to check each fish picture that is submitted to ensure that the fish conforms to the tournament guidelines, the correct identifier is visible in the picture, and that the angler entered the appropriate length for the fish. If the picture was taken correctly and all of the guidelines are met then the fish is approved and your total length is tallied by the software. At the end of the tournament day everyone can see how they did and can view the pictures of each fish on the leader board by simply clicking on an anglers name and each of the fish are displayed.
Kayak fishing tournaments provide different things for different people. Some folks, like me, grew up fishing bass tournaments from boats and for whatever reason have now become part of the kayak community and like to maintain that competitive aspect of the sport that tournaments provide. Other people came into kayak fishing as a way to get away from the bank and view tournaments as a way to further hone their skills to become more proficient at putting fish in the boat. Kayak tournaments in general are a little more laid back than boat tournaments. There seems to be a greater sense of community and those that are struggling to figure out the fish are more apt to receive help from a fellow tournament angler. We consider each other as family and genuinely want to see everyone succeed while out on the water. If any of this sounds like something you’d be interested in then contact your local kayak fishing club and consider joining them for their next event. You’ll find that there are people of all ages, genders, and experience levels in every club. All are welcome in the kayak fishing community!
Post Credit: A Big Thank you to Matthew and Amanda Brannon authors of "The Outdoor Power Couple" for writing this awesome article and allowing us to share it with our viewers. Matthew and Amanda are an inspiration to the kayak fishing community and spend a lot of their time sharing their journey and love of the outdoors in hopes to bring more couples outside together to enjoy such past times as hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and kayaking.
Until Next time,
We’ve all heard the saying. “March comes in like a lion, and out like a lamb.” Well, the anglers who competed in KAMO’s inaugural event, are still waiting for that lion to hit the road. It came in and never left.
A total of 54 anglers signed up for the KAMO March online tournament. All public waters in the state of Missouri were eligible. All an angler had to do to win was catch the five biggest bass, take a picture of them on an approved measuring device, and then let them happily swim away. Sounds simple, right? Not even close!
The weather was a huge factor throughout the state. March gave us a few sunny days, but we also had plenty of rain, a bit of snow, sleet, and incredibly high winds. I myself made a last day effort to improve my standings while fishing in wind gusts in the 30-mph range. If you haven’t been in an 80-pound plastic boat when the wind is pushing close to tropical storm levels, then you haven’t experienced extreme kayak fishing. In every aspect, the inaugural tournament of Missouri’s fastest growing kayak fishing club was a grind, but the anglers persevered and made the event one to remember.
With 440 fish having been submitted, the quality of the fish that were judged was incredible. Winner Jordan Isaacs put up an impressive 96.25”. That is an average size of 19.25”.
Considering the state of Missouri recognizes anglers in their Master Angler program for catching a 22” largemouth bass, Jordan’s numbers are astonishing. There are a lot of quality bass in Missouri and the submissions by the KAMO anglers just help to prove this fact. Let’s hope everyone can continue this trend throughout the year. It isn’t unreasonable to think that some future events may take over 100” to win.
Gina Ueke took second place with 94”. Gina came on strong and never gave up.
Those of us who fished events with her last year, knew that she was going to be a force to contend with, and with an average size of just shy of 18”, Gina has shown that she knows how to find the big bass.
Third place in the event went to Jay Arnold of Galena, MO.
Jay was just ¾” shy of matching Gina’s total. This is a testament to how intense the competition was and shows how it’s never safe to crown a winner until the last cast is thrown.
Rounding out the top ten…..
4th Jerrad Saffle - 92.75" - $165.00
5th Tommy Probst - 92.50 - $129.00
6th Jeremy Miller - 91.25 - $110.00
7th Jacob Nunn - 87.75 - $75.00 prize pack from Sheangler Custom Baits and Yak Attack
8th Travis Ueke - 85.00 - $65.00 prize pack from Everharts and FishingSir
9th Billy Reynolds - 84.75 - $50.00 prize pack from Liv and Jen's Bait Bucket
10th Steve Sisson - 84.00 - $45.00 prize pack from Flat Creek Resort and Grill and Yak Attack
Steve Sisson also earned the big bass award with a 22.25”.
In a surprise twist, the awesome KAMO sponsors stepped up and ensured that everyone in the top ten was awarded a prize for their accomplishments including the winner of the "Mean Green" drawing. Cody Pender was the winner and received a $50.00 Gift card from OMTC!!
Well, that's it for March. We would like to give a BIG KAMO THANK YOU to all those who participated and to our amazing sponsors. We could not do this without you. Next stop, Tablerock Lake, Saturday April 21st as KAMO host it's first onsite event. Will Mother Nature cooperate only time will tell. You know what they say about April, "April Showers"
Tight Lines everyone!
Article: Billy Reynolds, www.billyreynoldsfishing.com
Photos: Mel Isaacs, www.sheanglercustoms.com