Several major kayak fishing tournaments took place over the weekend and a familiar name walked away with a nice payday.
North Alabama Kayak Anglers Classic and Anglers of the Year
Alabama’s largest club, the North Alabama Kayak Anglers, held their season finale NAKA Classic on Pickwick and Wilson lakes in the Shoals area of North Alabama. Near 100 anglers competed on the NAKA Trail all season long for a chance to earn entry into this 5-fish black bass event. 23 anglers ended up qualifying for this event.
Nate Mayfield walked away as the Classic champion while Jason Lack was crowned NAKA Angler of the Year (AOTY details). Mayfield scored a 86.25″ inch 5-fish stringer edging out John Tayler by three inches. Mayfield also had the biggest fish of the event, a 19″ largemouth bass. Over $1100 in cash was handed out to the field along with over $1000 in prizes. A recap of the event and details about sponsors of the NAKA Trail can be found here.
The NAKA Youth Angler of the Year was Riley Johnston. His consistent top youth performances earned him the Youth AOTY prize, a 2017 Skipper fishing kayak from Jackson Kayak. Details.
Watson wins two national trail stops
The story of the weekend was how Brandon Watson won both the Kayak Bass Series and Kayak Bass Fishing events held on Lake Guntersville. Since both events were hosted on the same eligible bodies of water, Watson was able to fish both events and coordinate weigh-in times for both.
There are only a few fishing events on the calendar for the rest of the year. Click here to get a look at what is to come. And everyone is invited to come get introduced to kayak fishing at the first annual Alabama Kayak Fishing Classic in late October. That event is hosted by the major kayak fishing clubs of Alabama and is billed to be a fun time for kayak anglers of all skill levels.
The North Alabama Kayak Anglers are hosting their “River Stop” fishing tournament this weekend. Anglers can fish any small flowing body of water in North Alabama. Creek and small rivers are the targeted eligible body of water for this event. For a boundary map and rules for this event, check out the NAKA Facebook Event page for this event. Oh, it is also a qualifier event for the River Bassin’ Tournament Trail.
North Alabama’s new Heroes on the Water chapter is already positively impacting the lives of service veterans and others. The upstart club is hosting another event on August 5th at the Town Creek Fishing Center near the Guntersville State Park. The last event saw near 40 people and dozens of kayaks from 8 or 9 different manufacturers. This is a great time to relax and try out other people’s boats while supporting a good cause. Details about the event can be found on the HOW NA Facebook page.
The annual Bayou La Batre Kayak Classic is on August 5. This is a big laid back family-friendly event and all around good time. Check out their website for pictures of past events and details about what is going on this year.
Here’s an outlook of other events happening with Alabama kayak fishing clubs in the coming weeks.
There were four kayak fishing events in Alabama on May 6th, 2017. Let’s break them down:
44 anglers attended the Coosa Riverkeeper’s Coosa Canoe & Kayak Fishing Tournament (CCKFT) on Lake Neely Henry making it the largest kayak fishing event in Alabama this past weekend. A new “Angler of the Year” was crowned and the second longest bass in CCKFT tournament history was caught.
Robbey Stanford won the Neely Henry stage with a big 57.5-inch three-fish stringer. His large stringer was anchored by a 20.5-inch spotted bass and takes home $500 for his effort. Brian Wilkes finished second with a very respectable 56-inch stringer.
A 23-inch long largemouth bass was caught by Brandon Calloway making it the second longest fish in CCKFT history. Unfortunately, Calloway could not cull the 13.5” fish on his stringer and he finished in 5th place 4-inches behind the winner Stanford.
Nine anglers had stringers longer than 50-inches. For complete results, see this Facebook post.
On the year, Lance Coley’s consistent presence atop the season’s leaderboard landed him the 2017 Big Will’s Angler of the Year award for the CCKFT series. Coley scored a 159.75” cumulative stringer on the year and won a 2017 Jackson Kayak Coosa for his outstanding fishing this season. Last year’s CCKFT Angler of the Year, Jared Atwell finished 2nd in this year’s AOTY race and was 11.5” inches out of first place.
The Best Youth Angler in the CCKFT series this year was Jack Freeman, a very respectable angler no matter what his age is. The Best Female Angler this season was Kristen Woods.
For more information about this year’s best anglers and the AOTY race, see this post.
Due to their terrific performance on the year, ten CCKFT anglers have qualified for the “Championship Division” of the Alabama Classic, an end-of-the-year kayak fishing celebration hosted by the bass fishing clubs of Alabama. CCKFT will be sending the following anglers to the “Championship Division” of the Alabama Classic:
Lance Coley – AOTY
Jared Atwell – 2nd Overall
David Meeks – 3rd Overall
Patrick Smith – 4th Overall
Josh Tidwell – 5th Overall
Jack Freeman – Best Youth
Kristen Woods – Best Lady
Barry Walker – Lay Lake Best Bass
Lanny Watkins – Logan Martin Best Bass
Brandon Calloway – Neely Henry Best Bass
These anglers have earned a shot of the title of “State Champ”. Others not qualifying for the “Championship Division” are welcome to enter into the “Open Division” and to try to win prizes there as well. See the CCKFT website for more information.
41 anglers attended the Kayak Bass Fishing stop on Lake Jordan this past weekend. Georgia’s Mitchell White scored an 87-inch 5-fish stringer and won $2,000. Alabama’s top finisher was Jake Garner with an 82” 4th place finish. Twenty total Alabama anglers participated in the event.
Results from the KBF event can be found here.
The KBF Lake Jordan Top 5 were:
1) Mitchell White – 87
2) Ron Champion – 85.25
3) Joshua Stewart – 84.5
4) Jake Garner – 82
5) Stewart Venable – 78.5
The Tennessee Valley Kayak Anglers held their fifth event of the year, this time in Alabama on Upper Lake Guntersville from the BB Comber Bridge to Stevenson. 26 anglers battled tough fishing conditions and struggled to put together a three fish stringer. However, Robert Barnett managed to trick a 21” largemouth into biting earning him the longest fish of the event.
Seth Lassitter won the tournament with a 49.75” 3-fish stringer. The top 5 finishers were:
22 anglers showed up to fish the Wednesday night tournament held by the Coosa River Kayak Anglers. Fred Minyard took first place with a 32-inch two fish stringer.
The Coosa River Kayak Anglers seem to have great turnouts during their evening quick events with their attendance rivaling many weekend tournaments. In fact, most of the CRKA events will be evening tournaments held during the weekday.
Full results from last night’s event can be found here. This event factors into the CRKA Angler of the Year race. Here are the latest standings according to CRKA.
Here’s a lot of the CRKA schedule for the rest of the year:
There will be plenty of kayak fishing action in Alabama this weekend as several clubs are hosting tournament events.
New to our calendar is a YakTribe meetup in Orange Beach. YakTribe is a group of laid back kayak anglers, kind of like some of the clubs in our state. They are looking to hold a meetup with other kayak anglers this weekend in Orange Beach. Info. Details on their Instagram.
The Coosa Canoe and Kayak Fishing Tournament event is one of the longest running and most consistent tournament series in Alabama. Its laid back style makes it approachable for anyone in the family. They even have a flyfishing division. Their final regular season stop is this weekend on the Neely Henry System and this event is designed to promote a great cause. Details.
The Tennessee Valley Kayak Anglers roll into north Alabama and will be fishing on upper Guntersville. TVKA is a regional club and they fish most of their events in the middle Tennessee area. This tournament will be based out of Stevenson, AL. Details.
The Chattahoochee Kayak Anglers are another out-of-state club hosting an event in extreme eastern Alabama near Valley, AL and West Point, GA. CKA will be fishing the Chattahoochee River were on one side of the river you are in Alabama and the other you are in Georgia. Details.
Kayak Bass Fishing, a national competitive bass fishing trail, will hold an event on the Coosa River. Details.
“Throwdowns” are slang for a quick kayak tournament. They are usually extremely laid back and low stakes. They are usually planned a week or two before the actual day of the event by a club member just looking to get together with some friends to fish. Someone will pop into a forum as say “Hey, anyone want to have a throwdown next week at Ditto Landing?”
It is a good way to fish along side someone on some new water. Rarely do more than 20 anglers fish these events but $100 or $200 can be won depending on the location and attendance.
Here’s video a look back to April 24th, 2015 when Corey Galloway took home some money after fishing a Throwdown with anglers in Gadsden.
Alabama is full of kayak fishing action in April. Each week in April you will have an opportunity to participate in a kayak fishing event in Alabama. Eight different clubs, to include a national trail, will be holding events throughout the month.
This weekend the Iron City Kayak Anglers hold their first tournament of the year on the Black Warrior River.
The North Alabama Kayak Anglers are holding a demo day in Scottsboro this weekend as well. You’ll be able to take a wide range of kayaks for test drives on the flat water around Jackson County Park. NAKA is also host a “Major League Fishing” style event that day. More info here.
The national Kayak Bass Series trail visits Lake Eufaula on April 8th. It is the first national event held on that body of water.
The North Alabama Kayak Anglers held their first event of the year on Saturday. 70 anglers braved the persistent breeze, whitecaps, and the threat of strong afternoon storms on a mild weather day on Lake Guntersville. Many anglers had spent the night camping out at Goosepond Colony in Scottsboro, AL, the site of the early Saturday morning Captain’s Meeting.
Jason Lack won the Guntersville tournament with a 57.25-inch three-fish stringer. He won $675 for his first place finish. His big stringer was anchored by a 21.75-inch largemouth bass which won him the tournament’s “biggest bass” pot and a bonus $350. Lack won $1,025 on the day. His winning stringer:
NAKA is giving away a Jackson Kayak Skipper to the Top Youth Angler of 2017. Riley Johnston jumps out to an early lead in that race by scoring an 18-inch fish yesterday.
Top 10 results from the 2017 NAKA Guntersville event:
Angler – Inches
Of note, big congrats to NAKA members Lisa and Will Green yesterday. Will was on the water fishing this tournament when he got the call from his wife that she was going into labor. They have since had a healthy baby girl.
NAKA is hosting an online “biggest bass” tournament throughout the month of April. Their next day tournament is at Smith Lake on May 20th. NAKA is also hosting a demo day and tackle swap on April 1 at Jackson County Park in Scottsboro, Alabama.
The Top 10 NAKA anglers in the NAKA Angler of the Year race will qualify for the Alabama Classic later this year in Wetumpka.