In the summer of 2023, Kayak Bass Fishing announced two new series: the multi-month KBF Smallmouth Series and KBF River Series. Each would have its own unique features and each would have its own unique championships. The Fall frames of each series would take up some of the space that opened up when KBF moved the Realtree Fishing State Challenge Series from March to September of each year, too, providing opportunity for anglers in the cooler months.
The Smallmouth Series began first, and its first two frames (in the summer and fall) were a hit. The combined result was excellent competition and qualification action as anglers from across the United States of America held their own against their northern neighbors, splitting the series to date at one victory apiece for Canada and the U.S.A.
The first frame of the 2023 KBF Smallmouth Series attracted a whopping 175 anglers. It was followed by the Fall Frame, which added another fifty-plus competitors. In all, over 225 competitors from Canada and the United States competed for Bronzebacks and qualifying spots. They posted some amazing fish along the way.
They also raised a question: Is there a rivalry in the making?
French-Canadian angler David Faille won the Summer frame of the Smallmouth series after posting a total limit of 106.75”. With an average of more than 21.25” per fish, it was an impressive showing, to say the least. It was also the first time a Canadian KBF angler won an international KBF event. Not to be outdone, his countryman Jonathan Daigle took second place with 105.5”.
David did so by breaking down water to fish productive areas, and also by mixing up his selection of baits. As he told KBF:
“I chose bodies of water that were already known (to me) to hold very big fish, and more precisely, I fished the ‘money’ spots on those bodies of water during very specific bite windows (as my photos reflect, I also did a lot of night fishing.”
“I mixed it up a bit [using] a Senko as a follow up bait) but I mostly stuck to my bread and butter: big swimbaits, wakes/rats and loud topwater.”
Jon Brooks finished in ninth place in the Summer frame of the Smallmouth Series, and followed that with a win the Fall frame. Brook’s five best fish measured out at 105.75”, while Canadian Adam Connor took second place with 103.25”. Brooks’ kicker fish was a 21.75”, the biggest bronzeback of the event. Once again, top spots were taken by Canadian and U.S. anglers, with distribution throughout the continent and even more southerly states like North Carolina (see Arlie Minton, 22nd place) having good showings.
Speaking of geographical distribution, most anglers tend to think of Smallmouth Bass as a northern species, but the KBF Smallmouth Series proved otherwise. The biggest Smallie submitted and approved in the summer frame was a 23.25” giant landed by Virginia angler Troy Wines. Brooks is from Maine, while Faille is from Quebec and Wines is from Virginia.
We caught up with Jon Brooks, the overall points leader in the KBF Smallmouth Series, to get his perspective. We asked him how he managed the multi-month events:
“I struggle with national events for Largemouth Bass because we don’t have as many lunkers here in Maine. I usually go all in and fish a lot, but for this Fall [Smallmouth] Series, I was only able to fish five times because of my work schedule. I had two amazing days of over 100” each. In late October, the fish are eating up for the winter, and I found the right fish. The bite changed though – at first I caught them on a Z-Man Shroom tipped with a Berkley Flat worm with gold flake. When the bite slowed I used a swim shad on an Angler Tungsten Eclipse jig head.”
As Chad Hoover discussed in a live feed in late December, the format of the 2024 KBF Smallmouth Series Championship will distribute anglers over five fisheries for five days (precise locations and dates are t.b.d.). When asked about it, Brooks said “I’m completely blown away to be in first place against the talent in KBF, and I can’t wait for the spring.”
Given the quality of the competition and the catches in this new series, we can’t wait either. The spring frame will also break the tie between the U.S. and Canada.
Is there a rivalry in the making? We hope so!
To become a KBF Member, click here.
To register for the Spring Smallmouth Series, click here.
For Complete Series Standings, click here
For complete standings of the Summer 2023 KBF Smallmouth Series Bracket, see: https://app.fishingchaos.com/tournament/i5XRCcYs6iidS5bgD0M0
For complete standings of the Fall 2023 KBF Smallmouth Series Bracket, see: https://app.fishingchaos.com/tournament/C5BnR0SpWaBArZ09rDtU
David Faille is sponsored by Elite Bass Fishing Tackle.
Jon Brooks is “Pro Staff for Angler Tungsten and as Jody Queen would say, ‘my wife is my other sponsor.’”
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First Published January 4, 2024. The author of this article was not assisted in any way by AI or machine learning in the composition of it.
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