The KBF “10 questions” blog series profiles the Tournament Director of a KBF Partner Club. The series 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 a legendary figure in our sport, Mr. Barry Davis of the Palmetto State Kayak Bass Fishing Trail. Barry is a retired first responder who has worked in the kayak fishing industry and also competed nationally. While many know Barry as a fierce competitor on the national scene, not many know about his great work as a Tournament Director. Barry and the Palmetto State Kayak Bass Fishing Trail will host KBF Trail events on Lakes Hartwell and Keowee on august 1st & 2nd.
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.
1. When & how did you get into kayak fishing?
A friend of mine, Gordon McDonald, talked it up to me around 12 years ago. We were camping at Lake Hartwell and I went out in his Pelican and the rest is just a matter of history and a lot of spent cash lol.
2. You recently won a KBF Trail Event (Tennessee River, June 2020). Describe that feeling, and what advice would you give to first-time Trail competitors?
Man, that’s a cloud 9 feeling. I have won several local and online events. I finished 2nd at Santee in a trail, finished 3rd at Lanier last year but the win at Knoxville was awesome. As far as first timers, fish. Time on the water makes all the difference in the world.
3. Do you work alone as a tournament director, or with a team?
I’m pretty well on my own with a bit of judging help on check in. We (Palmetto State Kayak Bass Fishing Trail) are still fairly small so it’s not too bad.
4. Describe the folks who fish your trail – what do they expect from it?
We have a few KBF veterans, we have a few local veterans, we get a lot of new guys that come out because we promote ourselves as a teaching trail. Most want a easy going, fun day on the water and a chance to make friends. With that in mind, we try to show how it should be done, when and if they want to move on to the big boy tournaments.
5. Your club recently changed its name. Tell us about it – when was it founded, and why did you change the name?
When I joined 10 years ago. we were the Upstate SC kayak fishing club. We tried to have several things going on to fit all kinds of fishing. It burnt a few people out and the club was falling apart. We had a bass trail side that was being ran by one of the guys but he backed off due to work. I took the reins and tried to revive it under the old name. When we partnered up with KBF the new name was formed and we concentrate on Bass only.
6. How do you promote your club? Do you have a media strategy?
Face book and word of mouth is what we do at this time.
7. What is your view of how kayak fishing has grown in recent years?
It has went crazy the last 10 years. I never thought it would be this big when I started. The last 2 years I think we have hit a plateau but there are still hills to climb to make it even bigger and better.
8. What do you foresee as the biggest goal that kayak fishing should strive to achieve in the coming years?
Cut the drama and strive to make this a sport where several can do this as a job.
9. What is the craziest thing that ever happened at one of your club’s tournaments?
As far as tournaments go it’s been fairly smooth. We did have 12 of us that went to Port St Joe, Florida and we had a pretty bad storm form on us while we were 8 miles out in the Gulf. 2 of the guys broke off and tried to make it back to the inlet, we picked them up 20 miles down the coast later that day.
10. What would you like visitors to know before they travel to the Clemson, S.C. region for your events?
Leave your Bama hats at home lol. Clemson is a nice area with nice folks. The whole Upstate area is awesome. Both lakes have Great Bass fishing, and are Shad and Herring driven. Spotted bass galore but the Largemouth are there. I will be at the Hartwell State Park from July24th – Aug 3rd I’ll gladly try to help with any questions that you may have.
About the author — Henry Veggian is the KBF Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator and is on both the Jackson Fishing Team and Ketch Outdoors Team.He runs the “10 Questions” blog series and solicits/edits other articles for KBF’s blog. If you have an article idea, write him a pitch and send it in messenger on FB.