Gear Up for Your First Kayak Fishing Tournament Season

So you’re a kayak angler who wants to get into the tournament scene. Here’s how to get started, with Kayak Bassin’s Chad Hoover…

kayak angler

How should a rookie approach his or her first kayak fishing tournament season?

Angler, media producer and Branches’ ProStaffer, Chad Hoover, offers several great tips in this video:

Here’s an overview of Chad’s advice for new tournament anglers…

Your First Tournament should be Close to Home

Don’t drive across the country for your first tournament! Fishing a lake you’ve never fished before adds even more intimidation to a tournament when you’re a rookie. When you know the lake, know the weather, know the conditions, it helps build your confidence.

When you choose a nearby tournament you’ll have a chance to fish the water prior to the tourney. Chad recommends practicing on the tournament lake at least three times, preferably three consecutive days if possible.

Find some go-to places on that lake that give you success. Get comfortable with it. You’ll be glad you did when that tournament day comes.

Your Second Tournament should Intimidate You

For you second tournament, try a new setting that scares you. It’ll give you a great assessment of your current skill level and how well you can fish in a defined timeframe.

You won’t know how well you can handle higher levels of intimidation until you put yourself in an intimidating setting. It’ll be a great way to show you what you need to work on and learn.

You can spend the entire off-season, then, to improve on those things. Or it may show you the tournament scene isn’t for you.

Chad Hoover
Kayak Bassin's Chad Hoover talks about getting started in tournaments

Chad’s 60-30-10 Rule for Any Tournament

Chad goes by what he calls his 60-30-10 Rule for fishing any tournament:

  • 60% of your success is based on knowledge: about the specific fishery, the type of fishing you’re doing, the body of water you’re on.
  • 30% of your success is based on preparation: scouting, knowing where the fish will be that time of year, how to eliminate unproductive water.
  • 10% of your success in based on luck.

Don’t approach your first tournament season depending just on luck if you want to be successful long term. Do your homework, read maps, do online research, have a plan.

Use each tournament experience to learn, grow and improve. It’ll keep you fired up and excited for the next one!

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