I told someone the other day that the reason I don’t have a bass boat is because I don’t know how to work on the boat when it tears up. My other option is to buy a brand-new bass boat, which isn’t likely to tear up for some time. Uhh… have you priced brand-new bass boats lately?
I’m not alone in my thinking.
Option No. 3 would be to purchase a kayak. My cardiovascular system may “break down” for a little while, but that could be for the better.
More and more anglers these days are trading in the dream of a fancy bass boat for a plastic kayak, and some of those anglers are even fueling their tournament desires through several different kayak bass fishing trails.
“One of the big reasons kayak fishing is growing in popularity is the relatively low cost to get involved,” said Jon Hummel with Peach State Kayak Anglers.
The four kayak tournament trails listed below are enjoyed by Georgia anglers, and springtime is when they get started competing. Then, on Oct. 13-14, the top qualifying anglers from each trail will compete in the Kayak Bass State Championship on the Etowah River and in Lake Allatoona.
|DATE||LOCATION||KAYAK CLUB HOST|
|March 3||Lake Blue Ridge||PSKA|
|March 10||Chickamauga Lake, Tenn.||RKKT|
|March 17||Harding/Goat Rock/Oliver||CKA|
|March 24||Lake Sinclair||ECGKA|
|April 14||Lake Eufaula||CKA|
|April 21||Charlie Elliott Pond Hop||ECGKA|
|April 28||Etowah River, Allatoona Dam (River Bassin')||RK/PSKA/CKA|
|May 12||Brushy Brank Park||RKKT|
|May 12||Savannah River||ECGKA/PSKA|
|May 19||Chattahoochee River, West Point/Valley||CKA/PSKA|
|June 2||Lower Etowah River (River Bassin')||RKKT|
|June 16||Ogeechee River||ECGKA|
|June 16||Upper Chattahoochee River||PSKA|
|June 23||Flint River, Sprewell Bluff||CKA|
|June 30||Lake Weiss||RKKT|
|July 14||Flint River||ECGKA|
|July 21||Chattahoochee River, West Point/Valley||CKA|
|July 21||Upper Etowah River||RKKT|
|August 11||Ocmulgee River (River Bassin')||PSKA|
|August 18||Tallapoosa River, Horseshoe Bend||CKA|
|August 18||Lake Oconee||ECGKA|
|August 18||Terrapin Creek Overnighter||RKKT|
|September 8||Guntersville, Alabama||RKKT|
|September 15||Ocmuglee River||ECGKA|
|September 22||Lake Weiss||Reel Krazy Classic|
|October 13-14||Etowah River/Lake Allatoona||Kayak Bass State Championship|
“As the sport has grown, there are a lot of great companies offering kayaks with more features and benefits specific to whether anglers prefer rivers, lakes or inshore saltwater fishing. However, a new kayak angler can still get started out for as little as a few hundred dollars for a kayak, paddle and PFD and hit the water, catch fish and have fun doing so.”
For Jon, he didn’t get into kayak fishing because he was ready to put away a dream of owning a bass boat. At the time, he was looking to increase his odds of catching fish.
“What drew me to kayak fishing more than five years ago was the ability to get off the bank and access some of the great rivers we have in Georgia, and that’s still my passion when it comes to kayak fishing,” said Jon. “What has become equally important over the time I’ve been kayak fishing are the friendships I’ve made. Kayak fishing has introduced me to some great people from across Georgia and the Southeast, people I would have never met otherwise, and people I’m glad to call my friends.”
Jon said that other than the amount of fuel burned, expect kayak tournaments to be very similar to regular bass tournaments.
“Some anglers are highly competitive people, and this gives them a chance to scratch that itch,” said Jon. “For others, it’s about the opportunity to get out fishing with friends and maybe win some money and prizes doing so. Other anglers like the fact that they get to fish new water and chase bass species, like shoal bass or smallmouth bass, that they might not be able to catch in their home waters. For some, it’s about meeting some new people to fish with in the future.”
Since kayaks don’t have livewell systems, anglers measure their bass, take a photograph and then release the fish. The angler with the longest “stringer” wins the tournament. Most kayak tournaments have had a three-fish limit, but most trails are going to a five-fish limit this year.
If you’d like to e-mail Jon directly, reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.