Getting Started in Kayak Fishing Tournaments

It’s the perfect time of year for the topic of kayak fishing tournaments (and I’m not the first one to bring it up). Kayak fishing clubs are either already underway or close to holding their first event.

Noah Heck Getting Started in Kayak Fishing Tournaments

In a month or two, there will be events going on all across the country. I speak from experience—I’ve been involved with organizations holding events ranging from 6 anglers all the way up to over 100, and as an angler, I’ve fished events of all sizes too.

I’ve helped hundreds of anglers get their feet wet (both literally and figuratively) in a sport I still love as much as the day we met.

If you’re a beginner and are thinking about giving the competitive side of this sport a shot, below are some things to consider. I hope these topics help to make your first year as successful as possible.

Give Kayak Fishing Tournaments a Try!

First and foremost, my theory is that it’s worth a try for anglers of almost any skill level and mindset. I don’t think you can look at words on a screen and truly talk yourself into or out of kayak tournament fishing.

Entry fees range from $20 to $250 and you can walk away with enough money to fill your gas tank or to buy a small home. The good news is that the level of your commitment is completely up to you because both large (national) tournament organizations and smaller (more local) clubs offer opportunities to compete.

Begin at the Club Level

Most who are new to the sport begin at the club level. Often it provides an opportunity to become a member of your hometown group and usually provides a smaller, less expensive investment as compared to hitting the road focused on bigger payouts.

The local level introduces anglers to the format of catch, photo and release (commonly referred to as CPR). This sustainable format has been present in kayak tournament fishing since inception. Before you get too far ahead of yourself with tournaments in this sport, make sure you are completely comfortable with this method.

Noah Heck Getting Started in Kayak Fishing Tournaments

With the presence of technology in combination with the CPR format, anglers even have ways to fish on their own water (and on their own time) using several different online leaderboards. Learn more about the catch, photo and release format in this video.

Bigger Payouts

Relatively new to the sport is the presence of life-altering payouts, and this has caught the attention of anglers who previously hadn’t shown interest in the sport. Perhaps even with the current offering, it is looking more and more like the most successful kayak fishing tournament anglers could be landing careers in kayak fishing.

Noah Heck Getting Started in Kayak Fishing Tournaments
A medium-size kayak fishing event

Through both big and small events, there are many reasons to give the tournament side a look. If you are after camaraderie, competition, financial gain or just a self-fulfilling day on the water, there’s a kayak fishing tournament organization for you so give it a shot.

I’ll see you out there!