KAYAK KORNER- IT'S TOURNAMENT DAY!
So you're registered for the tournament. You've gotten everything ready- the kayak, your gear, and you've done your homework and readied your presentations. You need to think through the tourney day itself. A lot of anglers would be surprised at the differences between a typical kayak tournament and a boat tournament. Here're some things I've found to be different.
1. You really need to read the rules! It is interesting that Kayak tournaments vary one to the next- sometimes by a lot. Each has its own format and that could vary based on your state, club or the tournament sponsor.
2. Launching is pretty cool. A lot of times there isn't a specific boat ramp you are required to use. This is beneficial when traveling long distances as you can put in at the closest, or most convenient ramp to the waters you plan to fish. This means it is more likely you won't have to race other anglers for a particular starting spot.
3. Length versus weight- scoring the fish. All kayak tournaments are considered CPR- catch, photo, release. This works very well for catch and release advocates, as your fish gets released immediately without having to ride in a live well all day. It reduces stress to the fish, and significantly reduces the chance of a fish dying.
4. Everybody has to have their own certified measuring device, and is responsible for scoring, and submitting their fish using an app. that app also allows you to check the leaderboard throughout the day up until the final hour.
5. Mad Max. I use this term because most kayak anglers have built their rig specifically to their own preferences. It is interesting to check out the differences, maybe even gaining ideas for your own modifications. There are really very few limitations as to how you set up your kayak except your own imagination. It leads to some very crafty DIY boats.
6. Relax and enjoy. As I write this, I am sitting at Grateful Head Pizza, Hochatown, OK, drinking a dark beer and reading the rules one last time. Gonna be a little tough out there, but I'm ready for the competition on Broken Bow Lake, an impoundment on the Mountain Fork River. This location pushes back 22 miles into the Ouachita Mountains. It covers 14,000 acres with an average depth of 62 feet and maximum depth of 185. It features bluffs and rock walls, rock piles and plenty of points with steep drop-offs. It also has plenty of islands, standing timber and coves, plus 180 miles of shoreline. That means anglers have a lot of options to fish their strengths whether that be finesse fishing, working crankbaits or jerk baits at mid-depths, or digging into the brush for bass that are moving up toward the shoreline. Broken Bow has a reputation for fast action and some real lunkers. In short, it’s a lake that’s just full of possibilities, so on to the tournament!
The angler behind Kayak Korner, Zachery Warren, from Denison TX, is a carpenter. He works to build houses while teaching young people who have faced challenges to not only learn a trade, but also learn to fish. Zach has become a well known competitor on the Texas and Oklahoma Kayak Bass Tournament scene and has become increasingly competitive. He holds the Largemouth Bass record on Oklahoma's Durant Lake- an 11.3 lb. monster. He is pro staff for The Reel MVPs baits and is a frequent contributor of Kayak Fishing articles to the iBass360 blog.