When you look at the Fishing Chaos Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) Ledlenser leaderboards today, you will see 4 events listed under “KBF Championships.” Each event has its own qualifying parameters, entry costs and fishing format. This post reviews each individual tournament and explains any changes that were made from previous years.
To begin, one rule change must be noted
- ALL ANGLERS MUST VIDEO THE RELEASE OF EACH FISH SUBMITTED TO THE LEADERBOARD. The angler must be able to produce the video if the TD or Judge requests to see it. Videos must be kept for 48 hours after the end of competition time. Do not upload the video to FC. This rule change will be reviewed in detail during the captains meeting.
This is the youngest of the championship events, so let’s start here. It is in a sense the tournament within the tournament, as team anglers competing in other championship events can submit fish to the Top Team Cup.
The basic format is that a sponsor/company assembles a team (or teams) of four anglers to field. Those anglers each contribute their best fish to the leaderboard each day over the course of the two-day event. The two days are concurrent with the first two days of the National Championship (Oct 19-20, 2022).
Since 2021, teams have four anglers each, so the team with the eight longest fish (two per angler, one per each angler each day) wins the Top Team Cup.
The Kentucky Lake edition will be the fourth Top Team Cup event and the first ever held at the lake. Previously,
- In 2019, Team KayakJaks Outfitters won the first ever Top Team event
- In 2020, Team Ketch won the trophy.
- In 2021, Team Dakota Lithium won the Top Team trophy.
In past seasons, companies such as YakAttack, NuCanoe, Jackson Kayak, Wilderness Systems, Motorguide, NRS, Phillip Maxwell Auto Body and others will field teams. Several have already signed up for 2022, so get your team ready!
A separate Ledlenser leaderboard will allow fans to follow the teams as they post fish and battle for trophies as well as payouts to the top 3 teams. Follow all of the action here: https://app.fishingchaos.com/tournament/2022-kbf-championships
The FishUSA KBF Challenge Series Championship powered by Dakota Lithium
In 2019, Indiana’s Mike Elsea travelled to the Kayak Bass Fishing Challenge Series Championship in Louisiana. He qualified through a Challenge Series event but had never fished an in-person tournament. Elsea left Shreveport as the KBF National Champion.
KBF’s Challenge Series is the gateway to tournament kayak fishing. Every season, thousands of anglers across the continent compete for qualifying spots and prizes. They also compete for points. At the end of the regular season (September) one angler from each state is crowned the state champion based on their cumulative point total of their top scores from 3 monthly events. If there is a tie, it is settled at the Challenge Series Championship.
Here is the beauty of it all: your 2022 points carry over to the championship round. All the hard work can set you up for a big finish at the Championship. And if you finish 1st overall, and you are the Challenge Series Champion, then you earn a spot to the next edition of DEE ZEE KBF THE TEN, the most prestigious and exclusive event in our sport.
Additionally, the entry fee for the championship is low (only $115), but the stakes are high. A portion of each entry during the regular season is set aside for payouts, and in 2021 KBF has guaranteed a minimum total of $25,000 to be distributed to the field. Add in Bonus Bucks payouts, and a Challenge Series champion can have a big payday at the event while also qualifying for a chance to win more money at The Ten house in Florida in 2022.
This year, some heavy hitters will head into the event with full points, and several others will also be favored to win. John DiCenzo, Justin Faircloth, Anthony Garcia, Chris Gomes, Deamen Henderson, Cody Henley and Matthew Conant have all compiled strong tournament records in the KBF Challenge Series, to name a few. But the championship round awards points and a half in the standings, so it is anyone’s to win.
register for the Challenge Series action here: https://app.fishingchaos.com/tournament/2022-kbf-championships
The Realtree Fishing KBF Trail Series Championship presented by Dee Zee
In 2021, the Trail Series Championship was the event that vaulted Utah’s Cody Henley into the national kayak fishing spotlight. After qualifying for the Dee Zee KBF The TEN at the Trail Series championship, Henley went on to win The TEN.
In 2021, Guillermo Gonzalez narrowly defeated Cody Milton in an epic exchange of big bass limits. Milton would win Angler of the Year based on points, but Gonzalez would win the Trail Series championship. On the next day, that win catapulted him to a day 3 victory at the National Championship.
In short, for both Henley and Gonzalez, the KBF Trail Series Championship was the first step toward other victories in major events.
Henley enters the 2022 Trail Series Championship round with the most points at the top of the Ledlenser KBF Trail Series leaderboard . He is joined by established names like Cody Milton and Josh Stewart, and joined also by anglers who, like Henley, represent a young generation emerging in the sport. Nick Audi and Caymen Rasmussen made noise in the Realtree Fishing KBF Trail Series in 2022, and now they find themselves in the top 10, with a chance at big paydays and winning a ticket to The TEN house.
Jay Wallen. Jamie Denison. Cody Milton. Rus Snyders. Guillermo Gonzalez.
They are previous KBF Anglers of the Year. Who will be next?
The YakAttack KBF National Championship presented by Torqeedo
“The [KBF] National Championship was always intended to belong to the sport of kayak fishing.” That is how Chad Hoover described the biggest event in kayak fishing in a recent live video. Since the first event in 2016, the KBF National Championship has been just that – a chance for any kayak angler, regardless of experience, age or brand affiliation, to have a chance to embark upon a career in kayak fishing. From Matt Ball to Guillermo Gonzalez, the history of KBF’s biggest tournament confirms that fact.
The champions have come from all over our great country:
- Guillermo Gonzalez, 2021 Champion (Texas)
- Matthew Conant, 2020 Champion (Massachusetts)
- Mike Elsea, 2019 Champion (Indiana)
- Dwayne Taff, 2018 Champion (Texas)
- Kurt Smits, 2017 Champion (Ohio)
- Matt Ball 2016 Champion (Ohio)
This year, the 2022 KBF National Championship will return to the lake where it all started. On October 19-21, competitors will convene in Paris County, TN to fish on Kentucky Lake in the most accessible and rewarding event in our sport.
This is the fourth time KBF is holding the National Championship on Kentucky Lake, and the first time we will fish there in the fall.
One thing does not change: the next KBF National Champion will be crowned on October 21, 2022, and it could be anyone.
To see the Schedule of Events, click here
Register for and follow the YakAttack KBF National Championship presented by Torqeedo here: https://app.fishingchaos.com/tournament/2022-kbf-championships
To make travel plans, visit the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce at ExperienceParis.
Follow/Search #KBF, #KBFNC and #KBFNC2021 posts on Social Media!
First Published September 11, 2022
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