New to Kayak Tournament Fishing

Check out 2018 WTKF Scheduled Here

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 is a measuring device that YOU MUST HAVE. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Captains Meeting is a mandatory meeting usually the morning of the tournament. This is where any entry fee or big bass fees are taken by tournament director. Then 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.
  • Weigh ins refer to the time when you must be back at the designated area to submit your digital photographs of the fish you caught. You do not actually keep any fish so the term “Weigh Ins” can be misleading.
  • 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.
  • Road Runner is used to explain the legal launch spots for an event.
  • Launch spots 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.
  • Cut Off Time is the cut off time you are required to be at the designated “weigh in” location. If you are not there you are disqualified according to the rules.

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

6:00 am Anglers begin to show up and pay Tournament Director the associated tournament fees.
6:45 am Tournament Director goes over the all the rules and answers any questions. As soon as dismissed you go catch fish.
6:45 am-3:00 pm SNAG EM!
3:00 pm is the Cut Off Time. You must be checked in at the weigh in location.
3:00-4:00 pm the tournament director will judge all the fish and add up the lengths to declare the winners.
4:00 pm Awards ceremony where the Tournament Director will go over the winners and any Sponsors 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 comment below each of the specific tournaments or on the Face Book event page to meet others and see if there are any activities before or after the tournament.