Hank Veggian with Chad Hoover
Kayak Bass Fishing streamlined its tournament operations in 2023 to bring Dee Zee KBF The TEN close to the end-of-season Championship events. That’s why the 2023 season begins – and ends – with an edition of the tournament.
By concluding the season with Dee Zee KBF the TEN, anglers were able to compete in the Realtree Fishing Trail Series Championship with a chance to qualify all in a single trip.
Every angler takes a different road to get there. Tennessee angler Jordan Marshall, for example, qualified through the first ever AmBASSador Series Championship. Garret Wade got in by winning the 2023 Challenge Series Championship powered by Dakota Lithium Batteries.
North Carolina’s Eric Nelson had a late-season surge to make the cut. A former KBF Regional Champion in 2020, Nelson had been pursuing the TEN since joining KBF in 2017. Now, thanks to a strong showing in the KBF Trail Series Championship he has moved up from thirteenth place in the points standings to ninth place. A member of the Wilderness Systems Kayak Fishing team, Nelson is excited to finally fish the event:
“It feels great to qualify. One of my biggest goals when joining KBF was to make the TEN. It’s humbling to finally be here.”
Rus Snyders has won the event once, in 2020, and he has made it a habit of returning every season. Like Nelson, Snyders also benefitted from a late surge, moving up from the high teens into 8th place.
“The odds were not in my favor this season, but it’s a goal of mine to qualify every year. I have a lot of memories from that first year , where I made a lot of close friends like Josh [Stewart], Matthew [Scotch] and Cody [Milton]. This lake sounds tough, with deep clear water. I left my Live Scope boat at home, so I am just going to beat the banks with topwater [lures].”
By contrast, Casey Reed of the Old Town Fishing team is looking forward to the lake. “I feel great,” he told KBF. “I feel a lot better after doing some research. There’s not a lot out there, but from what I read I think this lake suits my style.”
Indiana angler Mike Elsea fishes for the Native Watercraft team. He’s fished Dee Zee KBF The TEN before and knows what it takes. He reflected on how the Trail Series Championship ended as a way of setting up his approach: “I lost some fish this week, including one today that probably would have won the tournament. I lost it right at the net. But tomorrow is a different ball game. It’s anybody’s day – a one-day shootout with an even playing field. I’m just going to go out there and leave it all on the water.”
Every angler travels a different road. Tomorrow, the roads all meet on Duck River Reservoir in Cullman, Alabama for Dee Zee KBF The TEN, where they will compete to take home the title of The TEN CHAMPION and a $10,000 payout.
For the Record
The history of DEE ZEE KBF THE TEN is a who’s who of our sport. To qualify for it shows you are one of the best, to repeatedly qualify demonstrates outstanding consistency, and to win the event engraves your name on an exclusive monument. Simply put, there is no single event that is more exclusive or prestigious in the entirety of kayak fishing.
Every year, a new champion is enshrined. From first to most recent, they are as follows:
In 2017, Ron Champion tied Cory Dreyer for first, followed by Jamie Denison, Jason Broach and AJ McWhorter.
In 2018, Jamie Denison won THE TEN, and Cory Dreyer was runner up. The top 5 was rounded out by Jody Queen, Brian Aliff and Ron Champion. And Cory Dreyer won the tiebreaker rematch with Ron Champion.
In 2019, Cody Milton won the title, followed by Eric Siddiqi, Jay Wallen, Matt Ball and Josh Stewart.
In 2020, THE TEN was won by Rus Snyders, followed by Ken Wood, Derek Brundle, Cody Milton and Brad Case.
In 2021, Jody Queen prevailed to win THE TEN, followed by Alex Miller, Jeremy Mitchell, Cory Dreyer and Adam Petrone.
In 2022, Cody Henley won the TEN, followed by Jimmy McClurkan, Josh Stewart and Brandon Bissell.
In 2023, Ryan Nye prevailed, followed by Glenn Landstrom, Derek Brundle, Rus Snyders and Anthony Winkleman.
The KBF Trail Series Championship, TENvitational, Challenge Series Championship and Dee Zee KBF The TEN are being hosted by Go2Hunstville, AL on October 19-21, 2023.
For complete standings, click here: https://app.fishingchaos.com/tournament/qn93uabFJOFzwtIqhZ0g
About the KBF Trail: The Realtree Fishing KBF Trail powered by Dakota Lithium is a 5-fish, Catch-Photo-Release, members-only tournament series. Become a KBF member today and get ready for the 2024 season!
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First Published October 20, 2023. The authors of this article were not assisted in any way by AI or machine learning in the composition of it.
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