The 2021 Kayak Fishing Tournament season has begun with a series of highly attended, successful events in the U.S. Southeast. First, the Realtree Fishing KBF TRAIL Series presented by DEE ZEE held its first events in Kissimmee, Florida on January 30-31st with big crowds of anglers and big bags of bass. Many anglers who fished the KBF TRAIL at Kissimmee decided to make a week of it and stay in the region for the 1st Hobie Bass Open Series event of the season, too, where more attendance records were broken.
175 anglers registered for the Hobie event in Georgia on the weekend of February 6-7. Day 1 of the tournament saw a top 10 leaderboard busy with early limits by 10:30 am. Minnesota’s Joey Vanyo took the early lead with a giant 98” limit of five bass, followed by Rus Snyders of Tennessee, who was coming off a KBF Trail win at Kissimmee the previous weekend, in 2nd place. With two hours left to fish in the tournament, Joey Vanyo’s limit still held the lead, but others were gaining ground. Drew Gregory had climbed to4th place with a 92” bag and 2017 KBF National Champion Kurt Smits was also moving quickly up the board with a limit of 88.75”. Snyders had faded, managing only a small upgrade by lines out, but finished the day in the top 15. A surprise came at the end of the event, as Bryan Howell of Texas posted a limit of 101.50” to take 1st place at the end of the Day 1 standings.
Joey Vanyo came roaring back on the morning of Day 2. After only 2 hours of fishing, he had posted a 5 fish limit of 99”, besting his previous day’s limit by 1”. Mike Husar of Illinois had also found them early, posting a 90” limit, too. Matt Ball, Rus Snyders and Drew Gregory also jumped on early fish as they increased their early position in the event’s overall standings. It was clear that the story of the day would again be Vanyo, and whether anyone could overtake him and the quality bass he was catching.
It was Bryan Howell who again posted a massive limit on Day 2, besting Vanyo’s 103.50” limit with 103.75” of his own. 2016 KBF National Champion Matt Ball placed 3rd on Day 2 to round out the top three, posting a 95” limit. Howell won the event with an impressive 2 day total of 205.50”, besting Vanyo by 4”. Zak Hall, Drew Gregory and Jason broach rounded out the top 5 in the overall standings.
Looking ahead, two of the three major kayak fishing series will again compete 1 week apart at nearby lakes in late February. Hobie B.O.S. will be at Watts-Bar Lake in Tennessee on the weekend of February 20th and the Realtree Fishing KBF TRAIL Series presented by DEE ZEE will have KBF anglers competing on Columbia, South Carolina’s Lake Murray on February 27-28th.
Stay tuned for more!
© KBF News 2021