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2017 KBF OPEN Kentucky Lake

March 31, 2017 @ 6:30 am - April 1, 2017 @ 4:00 pm CDT


Major Paris, TN Kayak Tournament Open to All

Everyone, not just KBF Members, are welcome to get in on the fun

InformationKBF Competition Rules StandardsKeep up with the conversation about this event on Facebook TourneyXEnroll in KBF BONUS BUCKSKayak Bass Fishing Membership


Kayak anglers from across the US will converge in late March on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, two of the mid-South’s premiere bass lakes. This tournament is open to both KBF Members and non-members. It will be a qualifying event for both the 2018 National Championship

Guaranteed First Place $10,000

Unparalleled prize money and KBF BONUS BUCKS will make this a don’t-miss event. The final payouts and the number of paying places at the KBF OPEN will be determined by the number of registrants. Bonuses will be awarded above the cash prizes to KBF BONUS BUCKS participants who carry with them and/or use our sponsors’ products during competition.

Most anglers fishing this KBF OPEN will also sign up for a separate but concurrent Big Bass tournament that raises money for Heroes on the Water. It runs the last pre-fishing day and the two days of competition,

Henry County and Kentucky Lake area lodging, dining, and shopping recommendations are offered below and in a map and chart that you can open and download.

2017 KBF OPEN – Kentucky Lake Competition Rules Addendum

    1. KBF OPEN SERIES InformationVenue Host: Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce
    2. Tournament HQ: Paris, TN Convention Center (behind the Quality Inn), 1510 E Wood St, Paris, TN 38242
    3. Tournament Director: Nik Brown
    4. Eligibility: KBF OPEN Series tournaments welcome participation by both KBF Members and non-members.
    5. Register:  Sign up at TourneyX
    6. Competition Rules: KBF Rules are in two parts:
      1. By registering, each competitor acknowledges he has read and agrees to abide by (a.) the KBF Competition Rules Standards (including the Release and Indemnification Agreement and Copyright and Use of Images Agreement) and to (b.) the specific rules outlined in the KBF Competition Rules Addendum on this page; and
      2. The competitor further agrees to abide by the KBF Event Participation Terms and Conditions.
    7. Event Schedule
      1. Competition start times were established as approximately one hour before sunrise.
      2. Thursday 3/30 4:00 p.m.: Prefishing on Eligible Waters ends.
      3. Thursday 13/30 2:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.: Check-in and Late Registrations at HQ
      4. Thursday 3/30 7:00 p.m.: Mandatory Captains Meeting
      5. Friday 3/31 6:30 a.m.: Competition Start Time
      6. Friday 3/31 4:00 p.m.: anglers who did not upload photos via TourneyX and will, therefore, submit digital photos by memory card or cable must be in line at Tournament HQ.
      7. Friday 3/31 4:00 p.m.: all anglers must be in or through the judges line at tournament HQ for photo confirmation and distribution of meal tickets.
      8. Friday 3/31 5:00 p.m.: Mandatory Captains Meeting
      9. Saturday 4/1 6:30 a.m.: Competition Start Time
      10. Saturday 4/1 4:00 p.m.: anglers who did not upload photos via TourneyX and will, therefore, submit digital photos by memory card or cable must be in line at Tournament HQ.
      11. Saturday 4/1 4:00 p.m.: all anglers must be in or through the judges line at tournament HQ for photo confirmation and distribution of meal tickets.
      12. Saturday 4/1 4:30 p.m.: (or soon thereafter): Awards Ceremony begins as soon as judging ends (might be as early as 4:30 or 5:00 p.m.)
      13. FSaturday 4/1 6:00 p.m.: (approximately: National Championship Captains Meeting commences when KBF OPEN awards ceremony ends.
    8. Spring 2016 Kayak Bass Fishing KBF OPEN Fishing Tournament Eligible Waters

      (Click for larger image.)

      Format: This two-day CPR tournament will be determined by the total length of bass caught over the two day period. Each competitor’s five (5) longest bass caught on Friday and five (5) longest bass caught from eligible water during competition hours and submitted within the time frame permitted by the rules will contribute to the cumulative score. In event of ties, the upload time of the last bass submitted to TourneyX for scoring will determine the tie-winner.

    9. Eligible Water & Location: For the Spring 2017 KBF OPEN, eligible waters are Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, bounded by the two dams in the north, I-40 in the south, and the Red River confluence with the Cumberland River in the east, plus any backwaters, bays, creeks and sloughs contiguous to those lakes at present pool level. Basically, if you can paddle to it from KY Lake or Barkley (or at least float your kayak to it), it’s in-bounds.
    10. Entry Fee and Procedures
      1. This event is conducted as an online KBF Challenge powered by TourneyX.
      2. Sign up and pay your $100 Entry Fee at TourneyX.
      3. Entry Fee increases to $125 on February 15 and to $150 on March 1. Late fees are waived for KBF Members.
      4. Check-in and Captains Meetings will be at Tournament HQ. Competitors may register and pay Entry Fees at Check-in if they have not already done so earlier.
      5. Entry Fee Transfers—Up until March 14, 2016, Entry Fees may be transferred to another Competitor’s account. There is no service charge for transfers.
      6. Entry Fee Refunds—Refund requests must be received by Kayak Bass Fishing, LLC by email or in writing by Thursday, February 28. All refunds will be assessed a 10% service charge.
    11. Manual Submission of Digital Photos: The preferred channel for submitting digital photos is upload from the angler’s smart phone directly to to TourneyX. If an Competitor cannot or will not upload photos to Tourney X, Tournament Staff will do so at Tournament HQ. Anglers who need to have their digital photos upload to TourneyX by Tournament Staff must prepared to surrender their camera’s memory card or cell phone and cable. No Competitor who arrives in line after 4:00 p.m. will be allowed to turn in their memory card or cable to Tournament Staff for on-site uploads.
    12. Prizes
      1. First Place is Guaranteed to win $10,000. The additional number of places and payout amounts will vary with the number of registered competitors.
      2. In addition the top 20 not previously-qualified anglers will qualify for slots at the 2018 KBF National Championship. (Qualifying slot recipients must be KBF Members or join KBF immediately following the event to remain eligible.)
      3. BONUS BUCKS will be awarded to Program participants who finish high in the ranks and, in some cases, own and use KBF Sponsors’ products.
      4. 2017 Angler of the Year points will be awarded as well.
    13. Awarding of Prizes
      1. Competitors must be present to receive awards.
      2. Cash prizes and BONUS BUCKS will be distributed at the Saturday Night Awards Ceremony at the Henry County Fairgrounds.
      3. Tournament results will be visible on TourneyX and will be posted on this Website and on Facebook. Competitors must be present to claim their awards and bonuses. 
        A Kentucky and Tennessee reciprocal fishing license agreement permits anglers with a valid fishing license from either state to fish certain areas of the state, as defined below. In all of Lake Barkley and on Kentucky Lake outside of the applicable area, competitors must carry a valid fishing license issued by the state(s) in whose waters they fish.

From the Kentucky Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Page 15

On Kentucky Lake, anglers with either a valid Kentucky or Tennessee sport fishing license may fish from Eggner’s Ferry Bridge (U.S. 68 and Hwy. 80) in Kentucky south to the Governor Ned McWhorter Bridge (U.S. 79 and Hwy. 76) in Tennessee. This includes all embayments and tributaries, except the Blood River embayment in Kentucky. Anglers must abide by the fishing regulations of the state in which they are fishing.

From the 2016 Tennessee Fishing Guide, Page 43

Each state will recognize the sport fishing licenses for the other state on the portion of Kentucky Lake south of the Eggners Ferry Bridge (US 68 & Hwy. 80) in Kentucky and north of the Governor Ned McWherter Bridge (US 79 & Hwy. 76) in Tennessee. This includes all embayments and tributaries within this portion of Kentucky Lake except the Blood River embayment. Blood River embayment shall be defined as a straight line between opposite points where the embayment connects to the main body of Kentucky Lake. A sport fishing license holder from either state may fish from the bank or attach legal sport fishing trot or limb lines in this described portion of Kentucky Lake.
     Sport fishing license holders shall abide by the regulations of the state in whose waters they are fishing. Wildlife enforcement officials in either state shall have the right to inspect the licenses, permits, catches and equipment of any person on this portion of Kentucky Lake subject to the laws of either state.

Unique KBF-TourneyX Identifier

You may wish to open and print a KBF-TourneyX Identifier blank before you travel to Paris, Tennessee to compete in the KBF OPEN and KBF HOW BIG BASS Competition. The same blank will be used for both competitions. KBF staff will post each day’s Big Bass unique ID code(s) on the TourneyX event pages and also email and/or text them to registered competitors at 6 p.m. the evening before each day’s competition. KBF OPEN identifier codes will be revealed at the Thursday 7:00 p.m. Captains Meetings.

Kayaks provide anglers unique access to areas that many other anglers, both powerboat as well as bank-walkers, rarely fish. We’re making the most of that advantage by declaring all publicly accessible waters of Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley in roughly a 50-mile radius of Paris Landing State Park as eligible to be fished by 2016 KBF OPEN – Kentucky Lake competitors. This includes all areas that are connected to the lake at summer pool level—tributaries, sloughs, backwaters, bays and coves north of I-40 and downstream of the Red River mouth.

See a pool that looks promising but is cut off from the main lake by a gravel bar? If it’s connected at summer pool, it’s in-bounds. As long as the water is open to the public, you don’t cross private property to reach it, and you can drag, carry, or float your kayak to it from Kentucky Lake or Lake Barkley, you may fish it.

Kentucky and Barkly summer pool levels are 359′, about five feet above winter pool. It’s hard to predict how hight the lake will be in March. That’s a transition month, and TVA manipulates lake levels depending on the amounts of water from spring rains in the Tennessee Valley and Cumberland watersheds. Last year at this time, lake levels were about three feet below summer pool.

To view a larger image of the 50-mile radius map (above), click the image. When it opens in a new tab or browser window, hover over the map with your mouse and your cursor will become a magnifying glass with a “+” symbol inside. Click anywhere in the image to enlarge. Use your up, down, right, and left keys to navigate.

When you see a river, stream, slough, swamp, or bay off the larger lakes that intrigues you, open one of the many browser maps, find that same feature, and zoom in to find nearby public access points. Then do a little detective work. Call local tackle shops. Search for fishing reports. Not only tournament-winning fish, but state record-size bass may be there for you to find.

It also includes scores of still and flowing water fisheries that may warm up earlier and produce a win. Following is a partial list of waters that you might investigate as you consider your tournament strategy:

  • Duck River from its mouth upstream to the I-40 bridge.
  • Buffalo River upstream to the I-40 bridge
  • Birdsong Resort Marina & RV on Kentucky Lake above the I-40 bridge
  • Dyer Creek area of Lake Barkley off of US Hwy 79 east of Dover, TN.
  • Cross Creek National Wildlife Refuge on the Cumberland River four miles east of Dover, TN
  • Warm water discharge at Cumberland Fossil Power Plant on the Cumberland River
  • Rip-rap banks at Barkley Lake’s Eddy Creek’ along Hwy 93 and around the marina and marina are bass magnets. Don’t overlooks the shallow, warm Eddy Creek and Pilfer Creek waters east of the I-24 bridge.
  • On KY Lake, take a look at the West Sandy Creek area as well as the Big Sandy River itself.
  • Major coves on the west bank of KY Lake include Ledbetter Creek (Kenlake Marina), Jonathan and Ruff Creeks (Sport’s Anchor Resort & Marina) and Blood River/Sugar Creek (Wildcat Beach Road launch ramp).

KBF Recommendations

Smart Phone Apps

  • TVA Lake Info App has lake levels, water release schedules
  • Navionics Boating App has a host of features including GPS, photo option (to help you remember what you caught and where) lake contours at 1′ intervals (the same data used in expensive Lowrance units), distance readings, and more. A bargain at $10 per section, which is a fourth of the US including coastal structures.
  • Kentucky Lake’s Mobile App provides handy information on Accommodations, Dining, Area Attractions, Boating, Camping, Shopping and a Location Map.


Public Access Boat Ramps

Open a PDF Chart and map of Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley public boat access ramps (see pages 4-6). We recommend you purchase a KY Lake and/or Barkley map, too. While GPS and electronic maps are great, we like marking up maps with notes about structure, vegetation, and so forth. You can pull out a map, lay it on the hood of your truck and share public access locations, honey holes, and your discoveries with other anglers. Hard to do all that on your smart phone.


March 31, 2017 @ 6:30 am CDT
April 1, 2017 @ 4:00 pm CDT


Henry County Fairgrounds, Paris, TN
565 Royal Oak Dr
Paris, TN 38242 United States
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