New to Kayak Tournament Fishing

I am assuming if you ended up here you are new to the kayak tournament fishing scene and want a little bit more insight on what to expect? First of all Kayak Fishing Tournaments use what they call CPR (Catch Photo Release) meaning that you catch the fish and take a picture of it and then release it immediatly. You will be given a unique identifier the morning of the tournament that must be present in every photography that you take of the fish. See more of rules and regulations here.

Here is a very basic breakdown as to what to expect and what to look forward to at a West Texas Kayak Fishing event. First lets get any of the key terms down so we are all speaking the same language.

  • Hawg Trough or Ketch Board are fish measuring device(s) that YOU MUST HAVE. NO EXCEPTIONS. These 2 measuring devices are the only approved devices for use in our tournaments!
  • Captains Meeting is a mandatory meeting usually the morning of the tournament. This is where Identifiers are distributed and big bass fees are taken by tournament director. The tournament director will go over the major rules and answer any questions about the rules. Anglers must read all the rules here prior to captains meeting (possible pop quiz on all rules).
  • Identifier is a marking on the anglers hand or a card with specific number and letter combination used to make sure the anglers caught the fish that day. All fish photos submitted must have this identifier clearly visible in the photo!
  • Entry Fee is the fee to enter the tournament only. Any boat ramp or park entry fees are
  • Big Bass is the additional side pot you can enter and the angler that catches the single biggest bass in the tournament will win 100% of this side pot. See rules for tiebreakers.
  • Launch Time refers to the time where anglers are allowed to leave the Launch Locations and head to their fishing spots.
  • Lines In Time refers to the time where it is acceptable to begin fishing, if you are caught fishing(a line in the water) before this time, you can be disqualified.
  • Lines Out Time refers to the time when the tournament has officially ended. All photo submissions must be submitted(and timestamped) prior to this time.
  • Weigh Ins/Awards refer to the time when you are expected back at the Captains Meeting location for the awards announcements and any associated prizes and raffles. You do not actually keep any fish so the term “Weigh Ins” can be misleading. You are not required to attend the Weigh Ins, but at a minimum please let the tournament director know you are safely off the water.
  • Launch Locations are legal places you can launch your kayak into the water. When we say a specific boat ramp that means stay within 200 yards of each side of the boat ramp. You don’t have to launch on the ramp itself. Please ask the tournament director if you have any doubt as to the legality of where you are launching.
  • Road Runner is used to describe large area’s with multiple bodies of water and legal launch spots for an event. I.E. “You are potentially running the road from one location to another location, during the tournament.”

Here is how a typical tournament day will go. These times are arbitrary so make sure you look up each events official times.

5:00 am Anglers begin to show up to get their identifiers and pay for Big Bass entry if they’re interested(You should be).

5:30 am – Captains Meeting begins. Tournament Director will go over all rules and answer any questions. Upon completion the anglers are released from the Captains Meeting and head to their desired Launch Locations.

6:30 am – Launch, anglers are allowed to leave the Launch Location and head to their designated fishing spots.

7:00 am – Lines In, anglers can now begin fishing, time to SNAG EM!

3:00 pm – Lines Out, the tournament has officially ended, and no more fish submissions will be accepted.

3:30 pm – “Weigh In” and Awards ceremony are held at the Captains Meeting location where the Tournament Director will go over the winners and any prizes for the event.

Then we all generally hang around and talk about the huge fish we caught or didn’t catch. Make sure to follow along on the Face Book event page to meet others and see if there are any activities before or after the tournament.