By Marty Hughes
Just a few years ago there was only one national kayak fishing event. It was held at Lake Fork and called the TOC (Tournament of Champions). It grew into the Yak4It Tournament of Champions. Anglers could qualify from their local events in any state.
The kayak bass fishing trail events are expanding even more in ’24! Kayak bass fishing has grown exponentially the last few years and the offerings for high stakes events on premier fisheries has made these premier tournaments for the kayak anglers who wishes to travel and compete in them.
Choosing the trail that is best suited for you can be a daunting challenge when looking at the map. Most tournament directors are working together these days to schedule their events so that they don’t stack up on each other. They are also coordinating rule changes and common practices to make things more uniform for the regional and national trail kayak angler.
This year features some of the regular national trails we have grown accustomed to such as the Kayak Bass Fishing Trail Series, Hobie BOS, and the rising popularity of the Bassmaster Kayak Series. There is also the All American Trail which is more midwest oriented and the new kid on the block, Drew Gregory’s Kayak Adventure Series which stretches out in the eastern sections of the country and the upper midwest river systems. Whatever your style or strength there is a trail for you! Most all of them have a championship event you can qualify for in the end. With all that is out there coordinating these events with your local tournament trails could be quite the challenge this year!
Let’s take a brief look at some of these trails. The Hobie BOS directed by AJ McWhorter is well known in the kayak bass fishing world. It offers some big money with $80,000 going into the hands of numerous elite anglers just this past month of November on Chickamauga Lake, Tennessee. There is an AOY race and it should again be a dandy with the top 3 usually qualifying for the Hobie World Championships. Next season they will start out at the Harris Chain of Lakes in Florida on January 27th. They will then move on to Sam Rayburn, Texas in February. Other destinations this next season include Logan Martin, Alabama, Lake Norman, North Carolina, Wright Patman Lake, Texas, Cayuga Lake, New York, Saginaw River and Bay, Michigan, Lake Chickamauga, Tennessee, with the Championship slated for Santee Cooper Lakes late next fall. The sleeper here could be Wright Patman near Texarkana, Texas which doesn’t get the pressure that most Texas lakes get during the spring and summer months. There could be some big fish caught there! It’s also going to be an even slate for all anglers as there has never been a major event conducted on this fishery.
The Bassmaster Series coordinated by Steve Owens who has brought this series to the top of the food chain has put together events on numerous premier fisheries for 2024. The series starts out on Lake Murray in South Carolina this year. It looks to be timed at the right time of year for some big fish to be caught there! This event will be followed up the the Bassmaster Championship in conjunction with Bassmaster Classic in Oklahoma. The anglers will compete on Lake Tenkiller in what looks like just around pre-spawn. The top 10 anglers will cross the Classic stage and be recognized on a national level. The Bassmaster events will then proceed across the country traveling to the Susquehanna again, Guntersville, Possum Kingdom, and finishing up at Caddo Lake next October.
An “Old Dog” of sorts in the kayak bass fishing world is the KBF which was started by legendary Chad Hoover who has grown the sport of kayak fishing with trails all across the country from coast to coast. While the entire trail series is not out yet a few events have been posted to help anglers plan their 2024 trails.
These three trails seem to be the top series in the country as we speak. Emerging into the lineup would be the All American Series and Drew Gregory’s Adventure Trail Series.
If you are looking for something unique the guys over at Native Watercraft offer a “Catch All You Can” format that encompasses a “Power Hour” big bass cash bonus as well. You can win $1,000 cash each hour for the biggest bass caught during that time period. There are also cash prizes for the top placers and a drawing for kayak giveaways as well! These events are spread all across the country and their schedule for 2024 should be out very soon.
Also, two big events to look forward to are the All American Classic which requires qualifying through your local clubs and the Eco Fishing Shop Big Bass 250 in Missouri as well. They offer big cash and lots of great prizes!
Organizing our fishing schedules can be a daunting task so we have put together a tournament spreadsheet and national map to make it easier for anglers to plan. The spreadsheet shows the events by series and you will be able to click on the title of the event which will take you directly to the registration page. You can also scroll down and look for any conflicts in your schedule. A great way to see if your local schedules blend in with your national trail schedule is to add them in sections at the bottom.
There is also a map feature where you can click on the icon of your favorite series and it will give details on the event for that area. You can click on a link taking you to the registration page as well. There is also a way to check for directions to the event.
It should be another exciting season ahead in the kayak bass fishing world and we are looking forward to seeing you all on the water at some point! In the meantime, we hope you find this information useful in planning your 2024 season! Good luck and tight lines to you all!
To see more kayak fishing events you can visit the Kayak, Buy, Sell, Trade events page. Tournament directors can list their series or events there as well.
About the Author: Marty Hughes is an avid kayak angler who is passionate about growing the sport of kayak fishing across the country. He has competed in hundreds of kayak fishing tournaments along with running a kayak fishing guide service in Nebraska. He is most known for his legacy in the growth of the sport of kayak fishing.
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