2017 Kayak Bass Fishing Angler of the Year

KBF Members' AOY Program Details

How do you get to Bienville Planation? Practice, practice, practice.

Sorry; old joke…but true. KBF’s 2017 Angler of the Year along with nine other top-ranked KBF Members will meet in January for The TEN, a battle of KBF titans. Not only that, but he and the 2017 KBF National Champion will square off in February for the KBF Best of the Best fish-off to determine who reigns supreme in bass fishing’s kayak kingdom.

So, really; how do you get there? That’s what this page is about: what you can do to earn more KBF Angler of the Year (“AOY”) points than any of the other 1,000-2,000 competitors who have their eyes on the crown, too.

Eligibility – AOY awards are restricted to KBF Members who win them by registering and competing in KBF-sanctioned Tournaments and Challenges. To earn KBF AOY Points a competitor must be a KBF Member before start-of-competition time. There are no retroactive point awards for competitors in OPEN events who achieve a high ranking and then join KBF afterwards.

Events – KBF Members may receive 2017 KBF AOY Points only at KBF-sanctioned events (KBF OPEN and TRAIL Series Tournament and KBF Challenge Series events.

Points Accrual – Points may be earned in the following ways:

KBF Series Max Points Decrement Participation Registration Max # Events Category Cap
OPEN 300 ≤ 5.0 ≥ 60 30 2 400
TRAIL 200 ≤ 4.0 ≥ 40 20 8* 1200
Challenge 100 ≤ 3.0 ≥ 20 10 14* 1200

*No more than 2 KBF OPEN Tournaments, 8 KBF TRAIL Series Tournaments and 14 KBF Challenge scores count toward the 2017 KBF AOY race. Only two KBF State Challenge scores each month “stick;” if one fishes three or more State Challenges in a month, the top two are “keepers” and those with lower scores are “culled.” No such limitation exists for TRAIL Series Tournament and KBF Special Challenges (like One Night Stands), but when one reaches the max number of events permitted to contribute to his score, culling kicks in. For the 100 Challenge championship, each KBF Members’s top Challenge scores (both monthly State Challenges and Special Challenges, and up to 20 events, max) are added together.

At each event, the maximum number of AOY Points are awarded to the KBF Member who ranks highest. Notice we did not say “whoever takes first place” because a guest competitor might take top place in a KBF OPEN Series Tournaments. For OPEN tournaments, non-KBF Members are trimmed from the list before AOY points are calculated, and points are awarded only to competitors who were members of KBF prior to start of competition.

Each successive KBF Member below him receives a gradually diminishing number of AOY Points. The step-down in points (“decrement”) varies depending on the number of participants, but it’s never more than the numbers in the “Decrement” column above. The range between the maximum points and participation points (maximum 300/minimum 60 for OPEN tournaments) is divided by the number of active participants (not registrants). If more than 48 competitors submitted one or more photos in an OPEN, then the decrement starts shrinking. For example, if there are 100 participating competitors (even if they blanked) in the open, the decrement shrinks to 2.4. So instead of the second-highest KBF Member getting 295 points, he would receive 297.6 points…which makes sense, as he had to best a lot more anglers to achieve that rank than he would if there had been only 48 participating competitors.

KBF Points will be tallied on December 1 and the final tally will be posted shortly thereafter. The 2017 KBF Angler of the Year will be announced and awarded a Prize Pack provided by KBF Sponsors.

AOY First Place Tie-breaker

If two or more KBF Members “cap out” or otherwise tie for first place in the 2017 KBF Angler of the Year race, then the tie will be broken at The TEN in January.

  1. All KBF Members who tie for first—no matter how many there may be—will be invited to compete in The TEN.
  2. Two concurrent events will take place: The TEN, and the KBF AOY Fish-off. The competitions are concurrent, but separate, and the results of those two competitions are independent.
  3. The KBF AOY Fish-off is for the KBF Members who tied for First Place in KBF AOY ranking.
  4. The final scores, accumulated over two days of competition, will be compared, and the KBF AOY Fish-off competitor with the highest score will be the 2017 KBF Angler of the Year.
  5. KBF AOY Fish-off ties, if any, will be broken according to KBF Competition Rules Standards.

Note: Not all competitors in The TEN will necessarily participate in the KBF AOY Fish-off. The Fish-off is only for those who tied for first in the KBF AOY race; others will not be included in the Fish-off. Conceivably, one competitor may win The TEN, and another competitor finishing below him in score may win the KBF AOY Fish-off and be crowned as 2017 KBF Angler of the Year.

Difference between Registering and Competing

As soon as you’ve launched your kayak onto competition waters, start every KBF-sanctioned competition by uploading to TourneyX a photo of an empty Hawg Trough on your kayak with the correct identifier—exactly as you would a regular submission, but without a bass—and submit a score of 0.00″. Why?

  1. Doing so turns you from a registrant into an active participant. Without even catching a fish, the number of KBF AOY Points you will receive double.
  2. Registrants received ten “AOY Registration Points” for Challenges, twenty for TRAIL Series Tournaments, and thirty for KBF OPEN Tournaments. By uploading the 0.00″ no-bass photo, you merit twenty “AOY Participant Points” for Challenges, forty for TRAIL Series Tournaments, and sixty for KBF OPEN Tournaments.
  3. Going through the photo routine as soon as you’re on the water ensures your Hawg Trough is onboard and intact, your camera is functional, and that you’re able to upload to TourneyX.
  4. Uploading a photo also ensures that your name appears on the TourneyX LOWRANCE Leader Board. And that empty Hawg Trough presents you an opportunity to promote a sponsor whose logo appears where a bass normally lies.
KBF AOY Participation Points Photo

Angler of the Year FAQ

Why such a complicated AOY Process? Why not just.... (fill in the blank)

KBF Management, like everyone else, would prefer a very simple points system. KBF is, essentially, running three separate tournament trails for over a thousand potential competitors scattered across the country, with different population densities and fishing opportunities. Simple is nice…but it doesn’t work.

The 2017 KBF AOY Points Plan represents our best efforts to keep the AOY crown, a place in The TEN, and a spot in the 100 Challenge attainable to the majority of KBF Members. We want to make achieving the maximum number of points pretty difficult, if not downright impossible. At the same time, we want to be cognizant of how the sacrifices in time, travel, and expense involved and not create undue burdens on individuals and families.

The points cap for OPENS is below the max, which favors members who live two or three days’ drive away from the tournament sites. “Meet-up” tournaments (OPEN and TRAIL) combine for potentially more points than “virtual” tournaments (Challenges).

We balanced the TRAIL and Challenge caps and adjusted the number of events that can be considered in contributing points toward those categories caps.

How do you figure the decrements (drop in points at each step down in rank)?

KBF Members can earn varying number of AOY Points at OPEN Series Tournaments, TRAIL Series Tournaments, and Challenges. The top-scoring KBF Member gets that maximum number of points, and then the number drops at each step down in rank. The decrement (how much of a drop from one step in rank down to the next) shrinks the more KBF Members actively compete; that is, submit a photo, even if only an empty Hawg Trough with score 0.00″. Therefore, every competitor who uploads at least an empty Hawg Trough photo with a score of 0.00″ increases the AOY points of everyone above him who submitted bass photos.) Until we reach a certain number of active participants, the decrements remain at their maximum, and then they start shrinking.

  • OPEN: 5-point maximum decrements up to 61 KBF Members actively participating
  • TRAIL: 4-point maximum decrements up to 51 KBF Members actively participating
  • Challenge: 3-point maximum decrements up to 35 KBF Members actively participating

Want to figure this out on your own? Look at the LOWRANCE Leader Board on TourneyX to find out how many people submitted photos, and identify the number of those who are KBF Members. Once you have that, you can plug your numbers into a formula to calculate the results.



Why do you change the points distribution depending on the number of participants?

Everyone prefers a very simple points system. One easy to understand and manage. On the other hand, we need one that that’s designed to accommodate an incredibly diverse set of variables. We’re shooting for something between “so simple that it doesn’t work and no one likes it” and “so complex that only a mathematician can calculate it.”  What we’ve come up with is fairly comprehensible while still rewarding performance.





Here’s the problem we ran into in awarding AOY Points in Challenges during 2016: For each Challenge (as in the OPEN and TRAIL tournaments we awarded the maximum number of points for first, and then dropped five points for second, another five for third, etc, down to the minimum registration points. When we started at 100, we hit it at 16th place. Everyone below that, even if they limited out, performing better than 45% of anglers, got the same number of points as some who blanked or just registered and didn’t even show up to fish.

We could have set 1-point increments, sure, but we’d be left with the same issue: 10th place…someone who caught one 9-inch fish in a Challenge with 10 competitors, would get as many points as someone who came in 10th, submitting a 3-fish limit of 57.00″ to beat 189 other competitors. Is that equitable? Nope.

We used 5-point increments last year for every event last year, so an angler who beat eight other anglers out of 10 to take second place got 95 points. An angler who beat 195 other anglers (a much more difficult proposition) also got 95 points. Are the rewards proportional to the accomplishment? Which one of those second place finishers is deserving of more credit for his performance?

Taking into account the feedback we received (weekly, throughout the entire 2016 season) plus advice from the KBF Partner directors, we’ve attempted to address those issues.

First, we set as the maximum increment 5 for OPEN tournaments, 4 for TRAIL, and 3 for Challenge. In each, though, the actual increment (up to those maximums) is determined by the number of participants and the range from Participation points to First Place Points.

Second, we kept last year’s feature of awarding more points for OPENs, fewer for TRAILs, and the least for Challenges. Those reflect the relative investment competitors have to make (travel, time, entry fees) to compete in them

Third, by implementing a points system that awards more points for besting more anglers, and by ensuring that all participating competitors’ scores reflect their relative performance in the event (and exceed the minimal Registration Points) we’ve ensured that the points awarded more accurately reflect the accomplishment. Not perfectly, of course; a 5-bass limit scoring 95.00″ might win a Challenge in one state or one month and place 20th in another. But the points still reflect the performance in the particular event.

Are AOY Points awarded to KBF non-members at OPEN and TRAIL Series tournaments?
No, KBF AOY Points are distributed only to KBF Members. If a tournament in which KBF Angler of the Year Points are awarded has non-members competing, they are skipped as the AOY points are awarded. The maximum number of points go to the top-ranking KBF Member, and then each KBF Member going down in rank gets successively fewer points, right down to the participant(s) who scored the fewest points, who receive Participation Points. Non-members do not receive points. Even if they join KBF after the tournament, they receive no points for whatever they accomplished prior to joining.
If I register but cannot compete, do I get any points?

Yes, a minimum number of Registration Points are awarded to each person who signs up and pays the entry fee. So if you sign up for an OPEN Series Tournament, a TRAIL tournament, or a KBF State Challenge, pay the entry fee, and then do not attend, the minimum number of points for the event, AOY Registration Points, will be added to your total score (assuming you’ve not already capped-out for the category). That’s 10 AOY Points for Challenges, 20 for TRAIL Series, and 30 for KBF OPEN Series.

However, if you compete, you deserve more than the minimum AOY Registration Points, even if you catch no fish. To receive twice that minimum number of points, set up a photo exactly as you would had you caught a bass, but with no fish (empty Hawg Trough, KBF Identifier Form, kayak in background, etc.) and upload it with a score of 0.00″. That will give you  20 AOY Points for Challenges, 40 for TRAIL Series, and 60 for KBF OPEN Series.

Isn't earning AOY points just for registering like buying the buying Angler of the Year award?

KBF award a minimal number of points per event to every registrant, and while it’s possible that the number of points can affect one’s status in the top 100 (helping to secure a place in the 100 Challenge championship), they will not contribute enough points to  have any impact on who ends up as Angler of the Year or on who ends up in The TEN.





KBF’s goal for its AOY program is engagement and participation. We urge everyone to compete in each event for which he signs up, but that doesn’t always work out. They helped ensure their state(s) passed the minimum number threshold and contributed to the prize pot, so we want to recognize their contributions and reward every Member who registered, even if they were unable to compete.

If I fish more than eight TRAIL Series Tournaments, do my first 8 scores count or my top 8?

Fish as many TRAIL Series Tournaments as you wish, but only keep your top eight scores. You can “cull” events with lower scores, just like you cull shorter fish in a tournament.





KBF imposes no monthly limit on the number of TRAIL events; that’s just for Challenges.


Are the monthly KBF State Challenges and Special Challenges in the same category this year?

Yes, the “Challenges” category includes both monthly state-level Challenges and the special Challenges. All KBF Challenges award a maximum of 100 Angler of the Year Points, and the 1,200 Point Cap applies to the entire Challenge category. They each have the same $21 Entry Fee and the same KBF-NC awards, cash prizes, and bonus awards structure.





Within the category are two sub-sets: (a.) monthly KBF State Challenges and (b.) Special Challenges. The final number of KBF State Challenges each month depends on registration numbers. For April, we will create a KBF State Challenge for each of the contiguous 48 US states. To hold the event, 10 or more KBF Members must register in each state. After some combining of states with fewer than the 10-registrant minimum, we may end up with 35 or so.

A KBF Member may fish as many different of these as he likes; however, just his top two scores each month will count toward his AOY Point total. So if in April one fishes the GA, FL, and SC Challenges and earns 100, 94, and 20 points, respectively, then KBF will cull the lowest score (25 for SC) and keep the other two (GA 100 and FL 94), totaling 194 AOY Points. Since the State Challenges run from April through October (seven months), one can retain points from no more than fourteen KBF State Challenges.

Special Challenges include the monthly KBF One Night Stand Challenges — our dusk-to-dawn competitions. 100 AOY Points max will be awarded at seven of those. KBF will schedule up to six other Challenges from April through October with names like:
– “Back To Bed(ing bass) Challenge” in April;
– “Momanem Challenge” around Mothers Day in May. (In the South, the polite inquiry, “How are your mother and the rest of your family?” is shortened to, “How’re yer Mama ‘n’ ’em?”); or
– “Memories Challenge” around Memorial Day, at the end of May
– “Me, Dad & Chad Challenge” to promote parent/child fishing for Fathers Day in June
– “Freedom Rings Challenge” for Independence Day Challenge in July)
– “Dog Days Challenge” in August
– “Back-to-School(ing bass) Challenge” around Labor Day in September)
– “Tricks & Treats Challenge” that wraps up the season in October

How many Challenges can I fish, and how many will help my AOY Points score?

KBF imposes no limit on the number of Challenges for which a KBF Member may register. With close to 300 Challenges scheduled for 2017 this year, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to maximize your AOY Points score.





No matter how many monthly State Challenges you sign up for or compete in, only your top two scoring events count. If you compete in three, four, five or more states in a given month, scores for all except the top two evaporate. Since these run March through October, you’ll have as many as seven x two (14) KBF State Challenges that can help you build up your AOY Points.

KBF will run seven One Night Stands, which KBF considers “Special Challenges” along with six or so other Challenges scattered throughout the season.

For the AOY Race, which includes opportunities to win a berth in The TEN, the maximum number of Challenges that one may count is 14. All fourteen of them can be State Challenges, of they can be a combination of State and Special Challenges.

For the 100 Challenge championship on Toledo Bend in November, up to 20 Challenge scores count. If you compete in State Challenges through six months (April through October) and keep your top two scores each month, that’s twelve (12). We’ll hold six more One Night Stands. Now you’re at 18. Throw in four or five other Special Challenges during those months and you’re at 21 or 22 Challenges…meaning that you can cull just a one or two scores, tops, to establish your points score that counts for the 100 Challenge Championship. That event takes place on Toledo Bend, concurrent with the “End on the Bend” KBF OPEN the first weekend in November. The October State Challenges wrap up only three or four days before you need to pack up and drive to Many, Louisiana for that.

Which AOY Points count toward an invitation to KBF's 100 CHALLENGE Championship?

Only AOY Points earned in KBF Challenges determine who gets invited to compete in the 100 CHALLENGE Championship. Scores from each KBF Member’s top 20 Challenges will count. That includes up to two KBF State Challenges each month (or the All-Canada KBF Challenge and one US State), but as many Special Challenges as one is able to fish.

I think I earned more points than what you show in the totals column. Where did they go?

Several possibilities exist.






  1. Each category of competition has a points cap. It could be that you earned more points in a single category than the cap. If so, all points over the cap spill off and don’t contribute to your total.
  2. You assumed points not awarded. Not all competition provides points. For instance, KBF AOY Points were not awarded at KBF Members Only – Bienville Bassin’ in January. Refer to the Event page on this website and on TourneyX.
  3. Miscalculation. Check your points and tally them up again. First place gets the maximum for the event, second place fewer points, and each place below gets less.
  4. We might have goofed up. That happens sometimes, like when anglers changed the spelling of their name on their TourneyX account so our spreadsheets sort the points into two accounts rather than one, or we failed to award points where earned. If you think you’ve found a mistake, we’ll be happy to check and correct any errors. Email Joe Haubenreich at KBF, explain the discrepancy, and ask him to investigate.
Do KBF Partners distribute KBF AOY Points to their members this year?
No, not in 2017. Last year each KBF Partner organization had 200 points to distribute among its active members and/or event participants, but this year all KBF AOY Points must be earned in KBF-sanctioned Challenges and Tournaments (KBF OPEN and TRAIL Series).
When is the 2017 KBF Angler of the Year race over?
The KBF AOY Points Race ends November 31, 2017. It includes points awarded at the KBF “End on the Bend” KBF OPEN Series Tournament on Toledo Bend, the Veterans Day Challenge, and the Black (Bass) Friday Challenge. Even if there are KBF competitions in December, no further 2017 KBF AOY points will be awarded after the last day of November.
When will the AOY and roster for The TEN be published?
All points submitted by midnight, November 31 will be tallied, eligibility verified, and results announced the first week of December. We don’t want to rush through the process and make any mistakes but will publish the results as soon as we can.
What happens if someone ties for Angler of the Year?

Using a scoring system that includes a single decimal place this year reduces the probability of ties at any level. But could two or more KBF Members max out at 2,800 points?

For two or more KBF Member to max out, they would each have to average a top-15% finish in both OPENS and eight TRAIL Series events to max out in that category and fourteen top-20% finishes to hit the Challenges. Possible? Yes, but not very likely considering how much time and travel would be required to achieve this feat.

But let’s acknowledge the possibility, anyway. KBF has a plan in case two or more angler max out with 2,800 points or the top two or more end up with exactly the same number of AOY Points. We will coordinate with those anglers to stage a fish-off between them toward the end of November at a body of water to be announced. The winner of the fish-off would be crowned 2017 AOY.

What happens if one of The TEN or 100 Challenge anglers cannot compete?

As soon as KBF is notified that a KBF Member invited to compete in The TEN or the 100 CHALLENGE championship has a scheduling conflict or, for other reasons, will not participate in one of those events, his invitation will be rescinded and rolled down to the first alternate (eleventh place in rankings). If the first alternate cannot compete, KBF will roll the invitation on down to the second alternate, and so on down the list of alternates until the full complement is met.