The First Oregon Kayak Bass Fishing Tournament Series
On August 27th the Oregon Kayak Bass Fishing Tournament Series wrapped up its first season. Alder Creeks very own anglers just happened to be there the whole way! Given the first year of the series just three tournaments were held on three different bodies of water over this past spring and summer. The first a well known Largemouth Bass haven just outside Coos Bay, Oregon called Tenmile Lakes. Followed by Crane Prairie outside of Bend, Oregon and the series finale on the Willamette River in Newberg.
The Oregon Kayak Bass Fishing Series isn’t the first of its kind. KBF (Kayak Bass Fishing) has grown quickly over the last 10 years and is now competing nationwide with regional and online tournaments held across the U.S. Many tournaments are used as the qualifiers for the KBF national championship that is held on Kentucky Lake, Tennessee. Last years winner took home $35,000 in tournament winnings and sponsorships. Pretty crazy given it is just as simple as fishing out of a kayak!
How is a tournament scored?
Unlike traditional boat tournaments were all 5 fish are kept and and weighed at the end of the day. Kayakers do not have the luxury of a live well to keep the fish healthy and alive, so they use a catch, photo, and release system. Kayak tournaments are scored on length instead of weight! After catching the fish anglers use a hawg trough which is a long measuring board. Sounds easy right? Well not so fast! Not only do you have to make sure your fish stays on the board, but you also have to make sure its mouth is closed and up against the face plate. Also, each tournament will typically have a tournament identifier. This is something that must be in each photo to prove the fish was caught that day. Without the tournament identifier the fish does not count. Now once you have figured all that out take the best photo of your fish that will score you the maximum amount of inches. At the end of the day you turn your best 5 fish & photos into the tournament director for scoring. The 5 lengths are then combined to equal your overall score.
2017 will be even bigger!
In just three tournaments last year the number of competitors in each tournament grew from the 1st tournament having just 6 to 9 and the final tournament ending with 14! These are impressive numbers for a first year tournament. Many series across the nation had less than 10 members their first year and now have over 200 competing members in their tournaments series. With that said, 2017 looks to be promising as the OKBF will be holding 6 tournaments throughout Oregon as well as a Heroes on the Water benefit event! Oregon Kayak Bass Fishing has already established a good community of anglers and friends and looks to build on a good first year.
National Championship Qualifiers
As the OKBF grows so will the amount of Oregon members that can qualify for the National Tournament. Members also have the chance to qualify for the Tournament of Champions held on Lake Fork, Texas. This year the top two finisher in the AOY would be eligible to compete in the National Tournament. Strong finishes from Alder Creek’s own Nicholas Chin & Brian Cornelison have qualified them for the KBF National Championship on Kentucky Lake next March. They are both excited to compete in the tournament this upcoming March!
Nicholas Chin out of his Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 13 fishing kayak not only finished 1st in the Series opening event on Tenmile, but also finished 2nd on the Willamette River finale. This gave him the win for Oregon Kayak Bass Fishing’s first (AOY) Angler of the Year!
Brian Cornelison out of his Jackson Kayak Coosa HD finished 2nd in the first tournament on Tenmile and 6th in the finale in Newberg giving him enough for 2nd in Angler of the Year.
Learn More About the Oregon Kayak Bass Fishing Tournament Series here!