The Tennessee Valley Kayak Anglers, a kayak fishing club from the Chattanooga area, held an event on Lake Guntersville this past weekend. We show it as the first kayak bass fishing event of 2018 in Alabama. So, 2018 is underway.
And the TVKA anglers caught some fish. 13 of the 33 anglers caught more than 50-inches on their three fish stringer. Garrett Campbell won the event with a 59-inch three-fish stringer which included a 23.25-inch long largemouth bass.
Bubba Jones was the top angler from Alabama placing in third place with 57.25-inches anchored by a 22.75-inch seven-pounder, a personal best. At least five 20-inch fish were caught in the event. Maybe Guntersville is on the upswing?
The Coosa River Kayak Anglers have released their 2018 schedule of kayak fishing events. Like last year, most events are weekday evening events offering a great change up to folks that want something to do during the week. Anglers will be targeting black bass in these events.
CRKA is also going to have three Open tournaments. The Opens are day-long weekend fishing events more closely resembling your typical one-day kayak fishing tournament. All anglers are free to fish each event.
What a weekend at the first Alabama Kayak Fishing Classic held on the Coosa River in Wetumpka, Alabama this past weekend! 48 anglers from Alabama and surrounding states came to this beautiful river to fish against some of the best anglers in the region.
Jared Atwell, with his 56-inch three-fish stringer, took home the trophy and title of “Alabama State Champion” while Michael Cooper, a just 40.74 inches, took home the title of “Open Division Winner”. Lance Coley, an angler known for many podium finishes on this and many other rivers in the southeast, finished just a half inch behind Atwell to take second place.
The Classic represented a year-end grand finale for all the major kayak fishing clubs in Alabama. The event was co-hosted by the North Alabama Kayak Anglers, Coosa River Kayak Anglers, Iron City Kayak Anglers, Coosa Riverkeeper’s Coosa Canoe and Kayak Fishing Tournament, and the Mobile Bay Kayak Fishing Association. Each club was able to send the 10 top anglers from their 2017 kayak fishing trails to the Championship Division ensuring the top anglers in the state were battling it out on the same body of water. Note, due to a leadership change, the now defunct Shoals Kayak Anglers were not able to participate in the event meaning 10 fewer anglers than anticipated were in the field.
Atwell, who gained entry into the Classic’s Championship Division by way of the Iron City Kayak Anglers, also claimed the “Best Bass”. His 21.25 inch Alabama spotted bass was the longest bass caught on tournament day. That fish would go on to anchor his stringer along with two other Alabama spotted bass of lengths 18.75 and 16 inches. Coley’s stringer consisted of 20.5, 17.75, and 17.25 inch bass.
Atwell ended up taking home over $600 for his first place finish and $100 for the biggest bass. Of note, Atwell likely caught the largest fish of the weekend as he netted a 25-pound catfish on Friday while prefishing.
Jared Atwell with a Coosa River catfish during prefishing
The Classic brought out several anglers who had never fished the Coosa River as well as an angler who had never fished in a kayak fishing tournament. In attendance were also anglers from the Mobile Bay Kayak Fishing Association and their large 14-foot-long kayaks, some of which actually made the pass through the rapids on the Coosa River. On Friday, the river saw packs of anglers who had never met each other guiding one another through the rapids and sharing fishing tips.
While large stringers were reported by those at the top of the scoring board, many anglers struggled to find large fish through the day. Strong headwinds as the sun got higher in the sky was just another element anglers had to deal with on the day of tough fishing. On tournament day, it seemed like the bigger fish were in the deeper pockets of the slow moving water. Many small fish were caught on soft plastics, fish that normally would not have been worth pursuing expect on a tough fishing day like this. Grinding out small plastics to catch three 14-inch fish would have paid off as it would have taken just 41-inches of fish to take home the Open Division title and trophy. The topwater bite was near dead and we are close to declaring the death to the Whopper Plopper. Had Lake Jordan been open to competitors it is quite likely that there would have been different winners in each division.
The Classic event brought out some anglers from as far away as South Carolina. Stewart Venerable (we heard he rented a house on Lake Jordan for the weekend) is a member of the NuCanoe fishing team and it was a pleasure to see such a talented angler with Coosa River experience in the field. With Venerable unable to boat multiple large spotted bass, it should have signaled to the field it was going to be tough day of fishing.
It was a pleasure to have Brian Carson, the leader of the Heroes on the Water South Alabama Chapter, participate in the event. Carson made the trip up from lower Alabama with Kayak Bass Series angler and noted lake fisherman Stacey Martin. Carson was able to quickly share details about upcoming Mobile Bay Kayak Fishing Association events and a bit about what Heroes on the Water does.
Plans for the 2018 are still in the works but for the most part the Classic Board has agreed that the format for entry into the Championship Bracket will remain the same. Goals include getting more dealers, clubs, and organizations involved in 2018 as well as standardizing the requirements to be co-hosts in 2018.
Club leaders from each of the Classic co-hosts gave quick talks about what to expect in 2018. For the most part, 2018 will look a lot like what 2017 did for each club.
Thanks to our amazing sponsors, every angler walked away with something.
Big Will’s Outfitters stepped up in a big way at the event giving away $500 worth of products included 10 Hawg Troughs to anglers in need of a measuring board. BWO also donated a pair of polarized Costa Del Mar sunglasses, 100 koozies, a Gillz fishing shirt, an Orion Coolers tumbler, a Gerber River Shorty knife, and a VIBE Kayaks 20-quart cooler.
YakAttack, the leading kayak fishing accessory maker, provided various items including Anchor Trolleys, Rotogrip Paddle Holders, Vertical Tie Downs, YakAttack buffs, and Multimount Cup Holders.
VIBE Kayaks provided a SeaGhost 110 kayak to one lucky Open Division angler.
Bending Branches, a premiere builder of paddles, provided nine hats, six shirts, and two buffs among other items.
Red Fox Wireless provided a Rover which is a battleproof, weatherproof, drop-in-the-bottom-of-a-lake-proof waterproof speaker with YakAttack mount.
The Coosa Outdoor Center provided outstanding hospitality as usual. They allowed us to camp on several acres of land along the river and provided 100 hotdogs and fixings to the field during the weigh-in as well as multiple shuttles to Jordan Dam to retrieve our vehicles.
Robby Cook provided several dozen of his custom shaky head jig which would have come in handy to the pesky spotted bass on the Coosa River that day.
The North Alabama Kayak Anglers graciously donated a $100 gift card to Academy Sports and Outdoors.
Frank Chitwood, of the Coosa Riverkeepers, did another great job hosting the Captain’s Meeting, weigh-in and awards ceremony as well as manning a jet boat during the tournament. His professionalism and river-conscious attitude helped make this event the success it was.
We look forward to the 2018 club trails and 2018 Alabama Kayak Fishing Classic. No doubt this website and Facebook page will provide coverage of kayak fishing news and events happen in 2018.
Of note, this event on the Coosa River ended up being the largest kayak fishing event held on that body of water this year. To boot, so far in 2017 Alabama club event attendance has always topped attendance by national and regional trails hosted on the same body of water and that has been the case for at least the past two years.
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:
“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.