So I've been doing some research lately into Tournament Kayak Fishing, I'm looking to at least try one this upcoming season. This is what I've learned so far...
One of the biggest detriments to your kayaking performance throughout the season is the lack of exercise that gets done in the winter. Its much easier to sit around the fire, watch TV or drink at parties than it is to be active, especially outside! Tournament paddling can be even more grueling as you bounce from spot to spot and in a hurry!
So exercise during the offseason for peak in season performance. Pay special attention to your shoulders, neck, back and arms.
Watch all your favorite instructional videos and then go out and find a few more to watch. Now this can pertain to paddling or fishing. Seeing and imagining yourself using these techniques is much better then sitting around wishing February would hurry up and end.
All that is great for the off season, but what about when season rolls around and you're just weeks from your first tournament?
Based on the type of tournament you will be fishing and the lake you're going to be on get your tackle ready just as you would for any other tournament. Make sure your GPS and Fishfinders are fully charged and loaded with the areas you plan to hit. As for prepping the Kayak, nothing major. Make sure all your screws are tight, your seat is comfy and your paddles are in fine working order.
Planning your Tournament
Chris Payne from PPF offers this checklist to get yourself prepped.
- How far from me is this lake?
- How many times will I be able to prefish it?
- Have I ever been on the lake?
- Do I know anyone who knows the lake?
- Are fishing reports available for the lake?
- What is the main forage of the lake?
- What species of bass are there?
- What time of year is the tournament?
- What is the typical water clarity?
- What is the weather forecast for the week leading up and day of?
- What is the moon phase?
- What are the water temps?
- Is it a power generation lake?
Now go hunting for reports. Anything will do at first as you familiarize yourself with the body of water, but the best are seasonal maps pertaining to when your tournament is. Pictures are great too because they can give you visual bearings while out on a foreign lake.
Prefishing is an extremely important aspect, I think more so on a Kayak. Bring the tackle and rods you plan to fish the tournament with, and make sure to document your pre fish with a digital camera or GoPro.
Please feel free to add whatever you can, I'm only a rookie and this is what I've gathered so far. To be completely honest I haven't fished a tournament in probably a decade and even then I was never quite serious about it....