Kayak fishing clubs, outfitters, and organizations from around the state of Alabama are coming together to put on a “end of the year” celebration and gathering in Wetumpka, Alabama on the banks of the Coosa River.
The event is open to the public. There will be a public fishing division and a “qualifier” division where anglers who have fished in Alabama kayak fishing club trails this year have qualified.
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.
There were four kayak fishing events in Alabama this past weekend held by host clubs: the Coosa Canoe & Kayak Fishing Tournament, Shoals Kayak Anglers, the Kayak Bass Series, and the Mobile Bay Kayak Fishing Association. Also, the Kayak Bass Fishing series finally released their results from their Open and National Championship events held last weekend. The recaps and event links are below.
Coosa Canoe & Kayak Fishing Tournament Lake Logan Martin – The CCKFT held its second event of the year—this time on Lake Logan Martin and its tributaries. Torrential rains earlier in the week and weather conditions were a major factor on this tournament. Despite that, Lance Coley won this event with a respectable 52.75-inch three-fish stringer out of 31 anglers.
Results from the weekend via CKKFT:
Best Angler: Lance Coley | 52.75″
Best Bass: Lanny Watkins | 19″
Best Young Angler: Ethan Floyd | 50.25″
After two events, the Top 5 in the CCKFT Angler of the Year Race:
Lance Coley – 105.75 inches
Jared Atwell – 99
David Meeks – 90.75
Lanny Watkins – 88.25
Patrick Smith – 87
The last CCKFT regular season event of the year will be May 6th on the Neely Henry system. It will be your last shot to qualify for the Championship Division in the Alabama Kayak Fishing Classic through the CCKFT club.
Shoals Kayak Anglers – The SKA club held their second event of the year on Lake Wilson in the Tennessee River chain. North Alabama angler Tony Dean bested a dozen other anglers and took the top spot with a 74.25-inch stringer anchored by the 19.75-inch biggest bass of the tournament. Dean won $260. Richard Woodruff was second with 72.25-inches and won $100.
Kayak Bass Series Lake Eufaula – North Alabama angler Jon Lessmann won first place and $1400 out of a field of 17 anglers. To our knowledge, this was the first kayak fishing event held on Lake Eufaula. Alabama angler Stacey Martin was in 2nd place with 80-inches on his five fish stringer. Results can be found here. Congrats Jon.
Mobile Bay Kayak Fishing Association – MBKFA had an event at Heron Bay. The heaviest fish went to Will Holberg with a 25 3/4″, 5.86 lb. redfish.
Central Alabama’s Iron City Kayak Anglers held their first tournament event of 2017 this past weekend on the Warrior River system.
Allen Fowler won the event with a decisive three-fish stringer of 57.5 inches besting second place angler Robby Stanford by eight inches. Stanford’s second place finish was anchored by a new ICKA club longest bass record 22.5-inch largemouth.
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.
This raw drone footage shot from a flight by Jameson Redding gives you a look at what it was like when the North Alabama Kayak Anglers launched at their first event of the year in 2015 at Mud Creek BBQ.
The NAKA season starts in a little over a week from now on March 25th on Lake Guntersville. Who’s ready?
I remember making the drive from South Huntsville to Hollywood and passing dozens of kayak anglers loaded up, stopped at gas stations, and pulling off onto US Highway 72. As a tournament director, it was an exciting sight knowing that anglers were coming from so many different areas of Alabama to fish and that the event would be well attended. That day, we had 60 anglers at our event making it the largest kayak bass fishing tournament in Alabama to date. NAKA would break that record in 2016 with 89 anglers at their Open event.