Kayak Fishing Tournaments Beyond the Competition

3-minute read

Besides placing in this highly-competitive paddlesport, what motivates kayak anglers to fish in tournaments? Whether in small, local tourneys or a regional or national event, what are the benefits besides going for the biggest and best?

kayak angler with a big fish

Since several of our National ProStaff and Regional Ambassador team members are active in kayak fishing tournaments around the world, we asked a few of them to weigh in on this topic.

We can distill their answers into two main categories: the personal challenge and the comradery of the sport.

Here’s what they had to say…

Kayak Fishing Comradery

Nova Scotian Chris Arnold is one of our Regional Ambassadors. A lifelong paddler, he’s been competing in the kayak fishing world for over a decade. He has been the narrator voice behind the Hook & Paddle Tournament Series television program in New Brunswick, Canada.

Bending Branches Ambassador Chris Arnold, kayak fishing

Branches Ambassador Chris Arnold (photo courtesy of Chris)

Chris said, “The spark is the comradery in the sport. When amongst friends, acquaintances or strangers, my experience at tournaments is that the competitors are always welcoming and appreciated.”

National ProStaff team member and Ohio native Drew Gregory agrees. “I never understood people who focus on their competitors and what they may or may not be doing as opposed to the fishery. After all, you really can't play defense in our sport. So you might as well enjoy those you compete against and the friendships that develop along the way. It’s one of the greatest parts of kayak fishing, and can easily be left out in a competitive environment!”

Bending Branches ProStaffer Drew Gregory holds up a big fish

Branches ProStaff member Drew Gregory

Drew speaks from the perspective of a highly successful tournament fishing background. He garnered six wins in national tourneys in 2022 alone and has averaged in the top 9% of finishers in his more than 50 tournament outings.

The Personal Challenge of Kayak Fishing Tournaments

Drew also loves the personal challenge of kayak fishing competitions. He said, “It definitely goes well beyond the competition and winning. It’s more about the fun in exploring, adventuring and getting to do it in a way that allows me to compete.

“However, I'm not referring to the competition between myself and the other anglers—I’m talking about the competition between myself and the fish. In each location, the weather and current conditions present a puzzle to solve. That’s the mystery that keeps the sport fresh and drives me more than anything.”

Regional Ambassador Felix Frey is from Sweden and has been fortunate to fish tournaments all over the world. He said, “What motivates me going to competitions is to challenge myself in new waters or countries. I've competed across the world, met amazing people and had amazing experiences.

Bending Branches Ambassador Felix Frey lands a fish kayak fishing

Branches Ambassador Felix Frey

“Fishing from a kayak gets you close to nature and truly puts you to the test! To add an element of competition to that is something I love.”

Arkansas native Jason Kincy is a member of our National ProStaff team. He enjoys the people he gets to meet and helping new anglers get started in the kayak fishing world. His favorite part of fishing tournaments is that “bass fishing is a puzzle sometimes and putting it together for a tournament is what keeps it interesting and challenging.

Bending Branches ProStaffer Jason Kincy, holds up a fish

Branches ProStaffer Jason Kincy

“Anyone can learn to catch fish on one body of water. One of the best things about kayak fishing is the ability to explore and fish various fisheries. Each one has its own personality and techniques that work best. Trying to put the pieces together for a successful tournament day and mastering the baits that will work that time of year on that water is the most fun part of it.”

Thanks to our team members for sharing their thoughts and photos with us!

Do you have paddle questions our friendly Customer Service Team can help you with today? Contact them: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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