In this series, KBF profiles the Tournament Directors of KBF Partner Clubs. The “10 questions with a TD” column features both established clubs and new clubs from across the country in order to showcase the variety of people who tirelessly devote themselves to growing our sport.
This edition features Brian Baulsir, a Tournament Director from Adirondack KBF. His club will host two back-to-back KBF Trail events on scenic Lake George on August 22nd and 23rd. Lake George is a spectacular lake in the heart of upstate New York and also in the heart of KBF’s Northeast region.
- Day 1 Sign up: https://tourneyx.com/app/tourney/20-08-kbf-trail-george-i-northeast-region
- Day 2 Sign up: https://tourneyx.com/app/tourney/20-08-kbf-trail-george-ii-northeast-region
Reminder: Scott Beutjer hosts KBF Trail Directors for a live Captains Meeting on Thursday evenings prior to the weekend events. Watch the meetings on KBF’s Facebook media to meet the directors and for more event information.
- How did you get into kayak fishing?
I’ve been into fishing since I was little boy. At first, my father kept us interested with pan fish. Once I got a little older, I had a fly rod in my hand during any free minutes. During those years, Poppa Baulsir and I traveled to Oregon, Montana, Washington, Florida and Maine and chased native trout. Then back in 2015, a friend showed me a flyer for a kayak bass fishing tourney, where the winner would take home a new fishing kayak. I won that tourney and kayak, and was forever hooked. I really credit my Dad and Family for accepting and encouraging my passion.
- Tell us about your club—when was it founded?
Adirondack KBF started in 2016. While out at a tourney, 5 hours from home, myself and another angler (Felix) decided to direct a league that was centered near the Albany/Saratoga region. At that time, we called the it the “Capital Region Kayak Bass Fishing” league…after saying that mouthful for a full season, we revamped the name to “Adirondack KBF”. It is a bit easier to say and better represents our region.
- Do you work alone as a tournament director or with a team?
Felix and I managed the group for the first year. Felix stepped away after that. He has 4 girls and I can’t even imagine what that’s like. So in year two, Ben and Zack joined as tournament directors. They’re both 6’10″ tall (they seem taller), were born exactly 2 years apart from each other, and have been essential to the growth and leadership of our group! In year three we added Nick and Tyler as TDs too. We operate as a well oiled machine to promote and manage events, fulfill sponsorship requirements, and foster the growth of our group. I think we have a great team.
- Describe the folks who fish your trail—what do they expect from it?
We have some really great anglers in our club, but even better, they are great people! We have angler young and old, from all walks of life who come together and bond via kayak fishing! Its pretty awesome to see how this group has progressed throughout the years. The success of the group is directly related those people.
We are a legacy KBF partner, so we try to provide a tournament series that is right on par with KBF. We follow that model in our local tourneys so when our anglers go on to the bigger events, they know exactly what to do and how to do it!
- How do you promote your club? Do you have a media strategy?
Facebook is our main way of promotion and communication in our group. We also have a website and an Instagram account. During the first few years, I would hammer Facebook fishing groups within our region. After a while, I noticed that an increasing number of anglers were promoting the events on their own. At that point, I knew we had a great group of anglers that really enjoyed the series.
- Can anglers qualify for the KBF National Championship through your club’s events, and will you have one parallel to the Lake George KBF TRAIL?
They sure can! As a legacy partner since 2016, we have been able to invite dozens of anglers to the KBF National Championship. Additionally, we have had several angler qualify and compete in KBF TRAIL Series Championships, the 2021 Dee Zee KBF TENvitational. These events on Lake George will be no different! Several anglers will earn an invite as a result of this event.
Yes, we will be running a concurrent event! It will be a big bass, single fish tournament and everyone is eligible to enter. That tourney can be found on TourneyX, under Clubs – “Adirondack KBF”. #comefishwithus
- What is your view of how kayak fishing has grown in recent years?
I view it as impressive, expanding and ubiquitous.
There was a time where I tried to become a white water kayaker. The realization that someone could do those tricks out of a small plastic boat amazed me. I think the kayak fishing is working in the same manner… people are realizing what can actually be done from a little plastic fishing kayak.
Side note – after buying all the gear, taking lessons and then having a near-miss experience also made me realize that I’ll probably never be a WW kayaker J
- What do you foresee as the biggest goal that kayak fishing should strive to achieve in the coming years?
Hands down: UNITY.
For example, there are 5 active kayak fishing clubs in New York. If we were able to unite, we could hold huge events with huge payouts! It is something We’ve tried to foster since our start, but it so much easier said than done. We will continue to try.
- Have you fished Lake George before during the summer? Tell us about the fishery.
Summer fishing at LG can be tricky. The fish are in their summertime mode and the lake is busy, I mean really busy! Wake board boats, sailboats, tiki bars, steam boats, jet skis, fishing charter boats, wooden boats, parasailing barges, kayaks, yachts…. We will see it all out there in August.
In my experience, the boat traffic has been the biggest factor in summer. The fish are doing what they are supposed to at that time of the year…they’re the easy part.
- What would you like visitors to know about the region or lake before they travel for your events?
NY does have travel restrictions due to the COVID pandemic. The most up to date guidelines are posted here https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory
The lake will be busy, even if the weather is bad. Flags, bright colors and lights (for early morning) are all encouraged. Anything to help you be seen on the water is encouraged.
Have fun and enjoy the amazing lake! She is called the Queen of American Lakes for good reason!