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Best of the Best 2017

February 24, 2017 @ 5:30 am - February 26, 2017 @ 6:30 pm CST

KBF Best of the Best, Wetumpka, ALabama

Battle of the Kayak Kings

Two titans of kayak bass fishing square off in KBF BONUS BUCKS BEST of the BEST presented by Bending Branches

In March 2016, Jackson Kayak Pro Matt Ball from Little Hocking, Ohio shook up the kayak fishing world by setting the record for earnings in a single kayak fishing tournament. While there will be other KBF National Champions, like Bobby Murray who secured his place in bass fishing history by taking the first Bassmaster Classic, Ball will always be the first Kayak Bass Fishing National Champion. An active Mountain State Kayak Angler who’s at home chasing smallmouth bass on West Virginia rivers, Ball will be returning to Kentucky Lake on March 31 to defend his title against a field of over 450 of the top kayak bass anglers from the US and Canada.

Hobie Pro Jay Wallen of Lexington, Kentucky bested over 500 kayak bass anglers across the US to claim the KBF Angler of the Year crown in 2016. This achievement reflects consistently high performance and year-round dedication to being the best in his craft. Later this month, Wallen will have an opportunity to add another title to his credit when he competes againt nine other top-ranked KBF Members in The TEN, a winner-take-all tournament on America’s most outrageous trophy bass resort, Bienville Plantation. The winner of that event paddles away $10,000 richer — coincidentally the same winner-take-all purse that Murray won in 1967 on Lake Mead. Wallen not only is a formidable competitor; he’s also a director of Bluegrass Yakmasters, a KBF Partner organization headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky.

Best of the Best Fish-off

Watumpka Area Chamber of CommerceOver a span of three days in February, the Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce will host a clash between these two KBF Champions. Ball has proven his angling ability on rivers. Wallen earned his reputation fishing on lakes. This event includes both.

KBF Champions will luxuriate throughout their stay in Alabama at the region’s finest riverside resort, Wind Creek Wetumpka Hotel & Casino.

Event Schedule

*Note: Instagram Webcasts are viewable only while streaming is in progress; video disappears when video feed ends. YouTube and Facebook Webcasts are archived for later viewing.

KBF’s top two anglers from 2016, Ball and Wallen, will launch each day at 5:30 AM EST (approximately 45 minutes before sunrise) and end at 6:30 PM (approximately 45 minutes after sunset). On Day 1, they select a stretch of the Coosa River and work the current and eddies or seek out back-waters and stream mouths. On Day 2, they go to work on Lake Jordan. Depending on the results of those first two days, and going with their strengths, each competitor gets to choose either lake or river on Day 3.

Wind River Wetumpka Hotel & Casino

This watershed will be new to both, so learning how they prepare, explore, break down, analyze, and execute a winning strategy. on new water will be interesting. As they work to answer the question, “Who’s best?” video crews from Jackson Kayak and from Heleconia Press (Hoover’s television production company) will join Hoover and Gene “Flukemaster” Jensen in chronicling the two anglers’ highs and lows over one day of prefishing and three days of competition. Then, each night of competition Chad Hoover will present a live webcast to report, interview, and analyze the day’s events. Sunday night’s Webcast will, of course, focus on which angler earned the right to the title, “Best of the Best.”

Eligible Water: Lake Jordan from the dam up to the power line crossing 7 miles upstream.  The Coosa River from below the dam to the mouth of the Tallapoosa River below Wetumpka.

Wetumpka River, Coosa River, Alabama

Best of the Best Competition Rules Addendum

    1. Dates: Dawn to Dusk, February 24-26, 2017
    2. Tournament Director: Chad Hoover
    3. Judge: TBD
    4. Eligibility: 2016 KBF National Champion vs. 2016 KBF Angler of the Year
    5. Venue: Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce
    6. Eligible Water & Location: Competitors may fish on Lake Jordan, from the dam upstream seven miles to the powerline crossing, and on the Coosa River from the Lake Jordan dam to the confluence of the Tallapoosa River.
    7. Species: Largemouth bass and Alabama spotted bass, a subspecies recognized in 2010 and native to the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers and tributaries. Similar to Kentucky spotted bass, but bigger and meaner.
    8. Format: This is a 3-day CPR tournament where the combined length of up to five (5) bass each day (fifteen in all) will contribute to each competitor’s score
    9. Competition Rules: By entering this event, each competitor acknowledges he has read and agrees to abide by the following three documents:
    10. Event Schedule
      • Thursday, February 23: Prefishing cut-off at 4 p.m.
      • Friday, February 24: Competition on the Coosa River starts at 5:30 a.m. EST and ends at 6:30 p.m. EST
      • Saturday, February 25: Competition on Lake Jordan starts at 5:30 a.m. EST and ends at 6:30 p.m. EST
      • Sunday, February 26: Competition on water of angler’s choice starts at 5:30 a.m. EST and ends at 6:30 p.m. EST
      • Sunday, February 26: 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. Winner announcement on live YouTube Webcast
    11. Registration Procedures: This event is conducted using the TourneyX Tournament Management System. No entry fee is required in this fishoff between KBF Champions.
      • This event is conducted using the TourneyX Tournament Management System.
      • No entry fee is required in this fish-off between KBF Champions.
    12. Identifier
      • Every photo must include a legible KBF Identifier Form.
      • At each evening’s Captains Meeting, a Unique Event ID Code will be presented to the two anglers. Day 1 code should be printed in the Top-Left field. Day 2 in the Top-Center field. Day 3 in the Top-Right field.
    13. Scoring:
      • The score for each fish is the actual length, less any penalties.
      • Rankings will be determined by the cumulative score of each angler’s top five bass each day over the three day period
    14. Prizes
      • Cash Payout:
        • First Place: $2,000
        • Second Place: $1,000
      • KBF 2017 Angler of the Year (“AOY”) Points: None
      • KBF National Championship Qualifying Slots: None; not a qualifying event.
      • BONUS BUCKS: None.
      • Cash Distributions by PayPal Funds Transfer or check after collection of IRS W-9 forms


February 24, 2017 @ 5:30 am CST
February 26, 2017 @ 6:30 pm CST


Wetumpka, AL
110 E Bridge St
Wetumpka, AL 36092 United States
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