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.
“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:
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. Bassmaster.com 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.