Things I've Learned From Competitors About Kayak Fishing Tournaments
Posted on March 22 2017
By KP Enderle, 2017 Hi Tempo / Hobie Fishing Team
READ-Most important, read the rules for the competition...more than once.
Break down the rules into sections and go over each one thoroughly. If you have any questions or concerns, contact an official via email so your question(s) and most importantly, the answer(s) are in black and white.
RESEARCH-The more you can do before you get to the lake, the more successful you are likely to be
Google the lake and you will find a plethora of information. Review all information gathered and documented by the Department of Natural Resources. Face Book is another source to gain knowledge of the lake by seeing what others have done or said while fishing the lake. You can also ask questions on social media and people will give you their input about the lake and where to fish. YouTube is another excellent source for information to learn what works such as techniques, baits, colors. etc. for that particular lake.
PREPARE-If possible, pre-fish the lake
You will know where to go immediately to locate the fish on the day of, instead of searching for them. Obviously fish move, but if you've found fish while pre-fishing, you'll have more confidence the day of the tournament. If you've never been to the lake, plan your route to the lake and allow extra time to get there. You don't want to be rushed or anxious the day of the tournament. A week or two prior, start making a list(s) of everything you need to do or have in order, to be ready. Place your gear in your kayak, vehicle or by the front door before you go to sleep the night before your departure.
COMFORT-Again make a list of everything necessary to enjoy the day on the water
Water, food, sunscreen, proper clothing, first aid kit, extra change of clothes, etc. Did I mention food? I've been known to eat occasionally while fishing. Some might say I fish occasionally while eating. There is no reason to ever be hungry if you're around me on the water.
I sometimes wait at least an hour after getting on the water to start eating. It's called discipline (ha, ha).
LEARN-One of my first tournaments, the identifier was a wristband
It was chilly, so I had a sweatshirt on to stay warm. I caught the first of my two fish for the day, took a photo of it on my measuring board and released the fish. Remember I was wearing a sweatshirt? I'll give you 3 guesses as to what was covering my identifier, and the first two don't count, yep, my sweatshirt sleeve was covering the tournament identifier. You can bet that will never happen again...for a while. I still placed third (see pic, shown with Hi Tempo owners, Brad and Debby Nelson) and won a great prize but missed out on a new Hobie Outback. You're welcome Mike Suhsen (winner of the tournament).
SPORTSMANSHIP-It costs nothing to be nice to others and we are all out there for mostly the same reasons
Lead by example. Pick up trash. Be an ambassador of kayak fishing. Be the first one to offer help, advice or a lure.
VOLUNTEER-Give back to the sport from which you get so much enjoyment
There are far too many takers and not enough givers. Volunteer your time just once, chances are you'll be repaid more than double. Research shows that people who do for others, asking nothing in return, are happier in general.
Bent rods and good times everyone!
KP will be riding a Hobie PA14 in camo for the 2017 season. Good Luck KP!