Season Preview: Shoals Kayak Anglers

March 11th begins the start of a new kayak fishing trail in an underserviced area of Alabama. The Shoals Kayak Anglers (SKA), based around the Muscle Shoals and Florence areas of Alabama, will hold official events in the northwestern corner of Alabama on some fine kayak fishing waters.

Their first event starts in just three weeks.  Their trail will be on the lakes below the Guntersville Dam on lakes Wheeler, Wilson, and Pickwick. Each lake will host two regular season events.

Club shirt from 2016

“Northwest Alabama has so much water that we don’t have to travel as far as other clubs do” says SKA founder Silas McGee.  “SKA has three awesome lakes within less than 45 minutes of each other”.

SKA has big things planned for North Alabama anglers.  Not only are they holding multiple events on lakes that have not traditionally held kayak fishing tournaments, they will be hosting a SKA Classic event at the end of the season and awarding a title of SKA Angler of the Year to one top angler. SKA will be led by club president Chris Bracken this year.

SKA looks to charge a $25 entry fee for each event.  Anglers will have the option to buy into a $5 Big Bass pot for each event and the $5 AOTY pot.

The Top 10 SKA anglers will be invited to the first Alabama Kayak Fishing Classic where one angler will walk away with the title of “State Champ”.

Their schedule will be as follows:

March 11th – Pickwick Lake
April 8th – Wilson Lake
May 13th – Pickwick Lake
June 10th – Wheeler Lake
July 8th – Wilson Lake
August 12th – Wheeler Lake
September 9th – Classic TBD

We asked Silas why he thinks the SKA trail will stand out this year.  His reply:  “I think three reasons why Shoals Kayak Angler’s tournament trail this year will stand out is because we are itching for new participants and new people to get involved, we are fishing local and getting to really learn our home lakes, and we are going to have a good, laid back time doing it! We aren’t just a tournament trail. We are a group of friends who want to have fun, fish hard for the title, but still be able to talk like friends after the competition, no matter who wins!”

Anglers that place in the Top 3 of any of the five regular season tournaments will gain entry into to the SKA Classic.

According to Silas, because each lake offers different underwater environments, multiple techniques will be required to be successful throughout the year.  Wheeler, Wilson, and Pickwick are definitely some of the lakes in the state. perennially lists Wilson and Pickwick lakes as two of the best smallmouth lakes in the US.

The SKA events should draw in anglers from all across north and central Alabama.

For more information about the Shoals Kayak Anglers, check out their Facebook group.




Season Preview: Coosa Canoe & Kayak Fishing Tournament. Registration Open.

The Coosa Canoe & Kayak Fishing Tournament (CCKFT) benefitting the Coosa Riverkeepers has announced they have opened registration for their 2017 kayak fishing tournament events.

The dates and locations are:

The top 10 anglers over the season will qualify for the Alabama Classic to be held on October 21, 2017 on the Coosa River in Wetumpka, Alabama.

These CCKFT events, sometimes called CRK events, are hosted on a body of water on the Coosa River Watershed.  Anglers are allowed to fish any feeder stream that flows into the host lake.  In fact, that is what most anglers do as the average angler on this trail likes to fish rivers.  That said, a B.A.S.S. pro has been known to show up and kick everyone’s butts by fishing a flatwater lake.

We expect several dozen anglers to fish the entire series.  A fly fishing and youth division also helps to draw anglers to these events.
I was talking to someone the other day and said that if it weren’t for these fishing tournaments, I wouldn’t even know about the Coosa Riverkeeper and their cause.

Check out this laid back tournament series and contact the Coosa Canoe and Kayak Fishing Tournament organizers to learn more.  It is for a great cause and some substantial prizes can be won.



Shoals Kayak Anglers Update 2017 Schedule

The Shoals Kayak Anglers (SKA) have updated their 2017 kayak fishing schedule.  We previously had reported on their schedule and while most of the dates have stayed the same, they did move locations of several events back closer to the Muscle Shoals area.

The Shoals Kayak Anglers are going to have five regular season stops and a year-end Classic event at a location to be determined later in the year.  These TVA Reservoir locations should offer excellent tournament fishing for kayak anglers in the North Alabama area.

Their schedule will be as follows:

March 11th – Pickwick Lake
April 8th – Wilson Lake
May 13th – Pickwick Lake
June 10th – Wheeler Lake
August 12th – Wheeler Lake
September 9th – Classic TBD

KBF Trail to hold event on Coosa River

The Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) Trail will host an event on the Coosa River below the Jordan Dam on May 5th and 6th.  That particular site has hosted kayak fishing events in years past.  It hosted the River Bassin’ National Championship in 2014 that drew dozens of top kayak river anglers from all over the country.  In addition to several other club-level events with the Coosa Canoe and Kayak Fishing Tournament and North Alabama Kayak Anglers throughout the years.  Of course, kayak bass fishing clubs in the Alabama will be hosting our end-of-the-year gathering and state championship at the Alabama Kayak Fishing Classic at this same location.

Corey Galloway sticking a 5-pound largemouth
Corey Galloway sticking a 5-pound largemouth on the Coosa River

KBF Trail events often draw dozens of competitive anglers due to the prizes and cash awards for the top winners.  KBF is the same organization that gave away $30,000 to the winner of their “National Championship” in 2016 and they are lined up to do it again in March of 2017 this year.  Winners of KBF Trail events in 2016 often walked away with a new kayak and about $1,000 in cash along with a ticket to the KBF National Championship.

Bringing the KBF Trail to the Coosa River is a change up for KBF.  KBF events have almost always been held on public or private flat water lakes.  This year, KBF is venturing off into riverine environments.  They have announced river stops in Georgia and West Virginia this season.

The Coosa River is one of the most scenic rivers in the south.  It is also one of the most punishing.  Anglers will need to use caution throughout the float below Jordan Dam.  It is almost inevitable that given a few dozen anglers, someone is going to loose some gear on the water and perhaps go for a swim.

Josh Tidwell with a near 22" Spotted Bass
Josh Tidwell with a near 22″ Spotted Bass

But the risks can be worth the reward.  Magnum spotted bass lurk in those waters.  There will be several legit trophy bass caught during this tournament.   While not common, trophy largemouth bass are also found in those water.  And while trophy fish may or may not be caught, the experience of running through difficult rapids with friends could be just enough to bring you back.

Unfortunately for Alabama anglers, this event is scheduled on the same day as the Coosa Riverkeeper’s event on Neely Henry.  Anglers vying to win the CRK’s Angler of the Year or qualify for the Champion Division of the Alabama Kayak Fishing Classic will have a choice to make.

Georgia Kayak Fishing clubs headed to Alabama in 2017

Several kayak fishing clubs from the state of Georgia will be coming to Alabama in 2017 to host kayak fishing events.  Up to nine events will take place in east Alabama waters such as the Chattahoochee River, Lake Guntersville, and the Coosa River.   The combined schedule for five different kayak fishing clubs in Georgia was posted to Facebook last week.  We’ve added it below.  As always, check with the respective clubs prior to the event to learn the latest detail.

We’ve added the events to our list of kayak fishing events in Alabama.

Georgia Kayak Fishing schedule 2017
Georgia Kayak Fishing schedule 2017

Tennessee Valley Kayak Anglers hosting 3 events on Guntersville

The Tennessee Valley Kayak Anglers, a kayak fishing club in the Chattanooga area, will host three fishing events in Alabama this year.  Of the 13 stops on the TVKA trail, three of them will be on Lake Guntersville.

Each event will come with a twist.  The first event will be hosted on May 6th on the waters between BB Comer Bridge in Scottsboro and the US Highway 117 Bridge in Stevenson.

The second event will be a night fishing event on June 17th and the third event will be held in conjunction with the Reel Krazy Kayak Tournament Trail.   We will update this post and our kayak fishing tournament tracker page once we learn more details about the locations of their final two events.

Also check out each club’s respective Facebook pages for details and updates.

Tennessee Valley Kayak Anglers 2017 Schedule
Tennessee Valley Kayak Anglers 2017 Schedule

Chattanooga Bass Yakkers hosting 2017 event in Alabama

The Chattanooga Bass Yakkers will again be holding a kayak fishing event on the upper part of Lake Guntersville.  As in previous years, this year’s event will be held in Stevenson, Alabama in the northeast corner of our state.

CBY is a great kayak fishing club and they often hold events and activities that support local charities and causes.  We hope anglers in Alabama will look into participating in this and other events on their trail.  Stay tuned to the CBY Facebook Group for more information.

Chattanooga Bass Yakkers 2017 Schedule
The 2017 CBY Schedule

MBKFA 2017 AOY Tournament underway

Mobile Bay Kayak Fishing Association
Mobile Bay Kayak Fishing Association

The Mobile Bay Kayak Fishing Association, perhaps Alabama’s oldest kayak fishing club, has started their MBKFA 2017 AOY Tournament and it’s a doozy.  MBKFA members will tally up their longest catches of 16 different species of freshwater and saltwater fish.

The tournament started on New Year’s Day and will run November 26th, 2017, cost $25 to enter, with 80% of the entry fees going to the payout.

The species you will be angling for to claim the MBKFA 2017 AOTY title:

1. Speckled Trout
2. Redfish
3. Flounder
4. Bass (only one species)
5. White Trout
6. Mangrove Snapper
7. Black Drum
8. Spanish Mackerel
9. Sheepshead
10. Catfish
11. Lady Fish
12. Croaker
13. Bream (freshwater species)
14. Jack Crevalle
15. Bowfin
16. Goggle Eye/Warmouth (rock bass)

1st place 55%of the entry fees + trophy
2nd place 30% of the entry fees
3rd place 15% of the entry fees

Details about the tournament can be found in this Facebook post.