California’s Rachel M. Uribe finished the 2023 Realtree Fishing KBF Trail powered by Dakota Lithium Batteries as the overall points leader in the Rogue Gear Company KBF Angler of the Year standings. This means that she will have a chance to be the first woman to win Angler of the Year when the KBF Trail Series Championship event launches on October 19th, 2023, near Huntsville, AL. She will be competing for the Angler of the Year title and also a place in KBF the TEN (on October 21st, 2023).

Based in Long Beach, California, Uribe has competed and cashed checks in tournaments at every level of our sport. With a growing list of wins on her resume’ and a road-tested skillset, Uribe has joined an outstanding, growing group of West Coast kayak bass anglers who have made a name for themselves nationally.

She is also the first woman to occupy first place after the final regular season event of the Realtree Fishing KBF Trail Series. As a result, she is carrying on a tradition set by trailblazers in our sport, women like Rebecca Golden† and Kristine Fischer who proved by their resolve and their results that they do not need a separate league. We all fish together.

But let’s admit the facts: West Coast kayak anglers don’t always get the attention they deserve and women anglers are still considered novelties by some.

Does that make her an outsider and fuel her determination? Or is it all irrelevant?

We caught up with Rachel to get her thoughts on these topics and others as she and other KBF competitors begin planning for the KBF championship events this October in Alabama!

  1. When did you start bass fishing from a kayak?

This is my 3rd year.

  1. We have to ask about Marco. His presence in your travel photos is very sweet. Tell us about your travel companion.

Marco is the best fishing partner I could ask for. Every morning before our kayak tournaments we go to Starbucks and I get my brown sugar oak cold brew and turkey bacon egg white sandwich. While I’m ordering my food, Marco is sitting up on the center console in my car licking his lips making sure I don’t forget to order his pupachino. When we get our order we “cheers” and head to the lake. While on the kayak he just sleeps under his umbrella until I catch a fish, as soon as he hears me set the hook he sits up and is intensely watching me fight the fish. If I take too long to net the fish and the fish starts splashing in the water he will start barking, like he is telling me “mom hurry and net the fish.” Once I net it he stops barking and sits behind me patiently till I take a picture of the fish on the board and then I let him sniff the fish before I release it.

  1. You have a history fishing KBF events and with KBF AmBASSador clubs out west. Can you remember your first tournament? If so, tell us about it.

My first KBF Tournament I remember doing is the June or July Monthly tournament last year that I won which qualified me to fish the 2022 KBF national championship at Kentucky Lake. That was such a great event, well put together, professional venue and meeting. I don’t remember what place I ended up but I made the top 100 so I was able to fish the last day. I remember catching a huge bass first thing in the morning on the last day that went viral online.

The 20″ bass that started Uribe’s day on Kentucky lake in 2022….

  1. Some anglers set goals for every season. Did you come into the 2023 season with set goals, or a plan of any kind? Or are you the type of angler who goes into each season without expectations, and just fishes hard?

My goal this year was really focused on our local kayak trail in which I won ROY with. So this year my goal is to win AOY and right now I’m in the lead point wise with winning 2 of their events this year and only having one more event left on the first weekend in August. My other goal was to do good in the KBF trail so I can go to the championship again since my parents and I had such a blast last year. To my surprise after the Delta tournament I was informed I’m leading in AOY points, I couldn’t believe it and still can’t. My goal for KBF is to win AOY.

As far as the boat side of fishing goes, my goal has been for a little while to win a boat with MLF so I can move up to the pro side. I truly believe the kayak platform will help with my fishing skills when I win that boat as I’m getting experience finding my own water, charging my batteries, learning my electronics and getting an understanding of when to move to other areas, etc.

  1. Tell us about your 2023 season. What were the highs?

2023 has been a very accomplished year. I had the biggest weight ever on the co-angler side at the Delta for the MLF event. Winning my first ever kayak event and just winning another. Leading in AOY points for a local kayak trail (SoCal Kayak Anglers) and for KBF.

  1. Now for the lows. We often talk about victories in sports, but sometimes the mistakes and low points teach us even more. Did you have any this season, or previously?

I always use my lows and mistakes on tournaments as learning points. I try to analyze and collaborate with my brother and dad (those 2 have been fishing forever and are very successful) to see what I did wrong and what I could have done better. We even look at my GoPro videos at times and they will pause it and say see right here you could have just bounced the fish or you should have reeled up your slack a little more before setting the hook or see how you slacked your line and the fish came off, etc. Also, I know that when I’m high up in the standings and we still have another day to fish my nerves get the best of me so it’s more of learning to control that and just go out there and fish. Try not to over analyze and just go “Do my thang.”

  1. You’re a woman and competing on the West Coast scene, neither of which receive the credit or attention they deserve. Does that underdog status drive you or is it a non-factor?

It’s definitely had its share of obstacles, being a female angler. I remember guys saying “oh do you have your nail polish and stuff in your bag” (because I used to have a pink tackle bag) but I didn’t entertain the comments. I’m more a woman of less words and more actions. So I would fish even harder and load up the boat with fish while they were struggling to catch fish. Then as the years went on I continued to do well and I feel I have gained more respect of some of the anglers……

 

[The obstacles] still won’t stop me from my goal of winning a boat and to inspire others that fishing is a sport where sex, age, race doesn’t matter. It’s about technique, passion, creating memories, practicing, congratulating those who win and making the top 10 as its no easy task, staying humble and just having fun. Plus, I’m very competitive so I love the thrill of the competition.

  1. You are no stranger to big events. For example, you traveled to the KBF National Championship on Kentucky Lake in 2022. What did you take away from that experience that you think might apply to the Championships this October?

I’m excited to be part of another big, professional, well-run kayak event. The kayak scene is still new to me so I love meeting others that have been doing it for a while that have been successful to learn from them. One of the biggest experiences I’m looking forward to is all of us ( my mom, dad, Marco and I) packing in the Toyota Prius with the kayak up on top to make that day and 6 hour drive (but of course we stop a few times and get some rest). That experience is a once in a lifetime [experience] that fishing is about, creating memories with your family.

  1. Tell us about what you expect from the Trail Series Championship. Have you ever fished in Alabama?

I fished Lake Guntersville with MLF Championship last year so looking forward to going back there and having some more alligator bites [smiles].

Also looking forward to just going and being able to fish the event. Should be lots of fun and I will be passing out some bags of Bridgford jerky at the meeting.

  1. Let’s end on a high note – what is your favorite fishing memory from a kayak?

Rachel M. Uribe with the 23.5″ that got her hooked on kayak tournament fishing. Photo courtesy of Rachel M. Uribe

Favorite memory would be my first time ever putting my kayak in the water to do my first tournament. That was an experience, getting it off my car for the first time, paddling around and trying to cast and measuring the fish on the board for the first time while taking a picture. There was about an hour left in the tournament and I threw a white spinner bait up shallow by some submerged trees and wham…it was on, I was fighting the fish and it was pulling me closer to the trees.

Finally I see the back of the fish and I was like omg, that’s a big one (also thinking he is going to ram me into all these trees lol) I finally managed to get the fish and the net and ohhhh baby, it was a big’n. I was shaking from excitement and was nervous thinking how am I going to take a picture without it falling in the water. So I paddled to the shore and took my picture… 23.50! From there I was hooked on this new adventure of kayak tournament fishing.

Additional Info

Rachel M. Uribe is sponsored by Bridgford Foods, A&M graphics, Torch Eyewear, Performance Tackle, Dalton Toyota, Reaction Innovation, Voss Weights, Sunline, Daiwa, Roboworms, BioennoPower, and Simms.

The KBF Trail Series Championship will be hosted by Hunstville, AL on October 19-20, 2023. For more info and to register, click here: https://app.fishingchaos.com/tournament/qn93uabFJOFzwtIqhZ0g

About the KBF Trail: Realtree Fishing KBF Trail events are a 5-fish, CPR, members only tournament. KBF weekends comprise two single day Trail tournaments and the Dakota Lithium Double Up Program which spans both days.

Questions regarding event details (i.e. eligible water, schedule, etc..) email Jason@kayakbassfising.com

 Follow/Search #KBFTRAIL posts on Social Media!
Twitter: @kayakbassfish
Facebook: @KayakBassFishing
Instagram: @kayakbassfishing

REALTREEFISHING  KBF TRAIL Series Tournaments are Powered by Dakota Lithium Batteries

Additional Sponsors

Dee Zee Truck Accessories Xcite Baits

FishUSA     Yak Rods    FishOPS

Rogue Fishing Co  Ketch  Power-Pole   YakAttack    Torqeedo     Yeti

First Published August 2, 2023. The author of this article was not assisted in any way by a machine in the composition of it.

© 2023 Kayak Bass Fishing. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the written consent of Kayak Bass Fishing.