October 19, 2023

The 2023 KBF Challenge Series and KBF Trail Series Trophies, courtesy of Ketch Products USA

Bass tend to bunch up in the fall. Their biological clocks tell them to eat, and they work in schools to herd and attack bait. On day one of the end-of-season KBF Championship events, the dinner bell was ringing on lakes Wheeler and Guntersville.

As a result, the anglers bunched up too – not literally, but on the Fishing Chaos leaderboards. When it was over, fewer than 4” separated first place from fifth, and fewer than 15” separated first lace from twentieth. In sum, nothing was decided today – but the table was set for a feast on Friday.

For context, in the new KBF format, the ‘regular season’ ends with the championship rounds for the tournaments below. Additionally, the wait for Dee Zee KBF the TEN is eliminated from previous seasons. In sum, the city of Huntsville, Alabama hosted three KBF tournaments on October 19-20. They are

  • The Realtree Fishing KBF Trail Series Championship Powered by Dakota Lithium Batteries
  • The Realtree Fishing KBF Challenge Series Championship Powered by Dakota Lithium Batteries
  • Dee Zee KBF TENvitational

Qualified anglers could fish one, both or all three events. Each event provides a path to Dee Zee KBF The TEN, which will be fished on Saturday, October 21. The KBF Trail Series Championship determines the Top 10 in the points standing, who then go on to fish Dee Zee KBF The TEN, while the Challenge Series Champion and the winner of the TENvitational each get a ticket to fish the TEN.


  • The KBF Trail Series Championship determines the Rogue Gear Company Angler of the Year and Rookie of the Year
  • The Challenge Series Championship functions as a tie-breaker to determine individual state points champions

Ninety anglers set out on Thursday morning to compete for prizes, trophies and more over the course of two days of bass fishing on two of the world’s greatest bass fisheries. Here’s how it went!

Day One

The morning started with West Virginia stalwart Jody Queen making his presence known on the leaderboards, as he quickly posted a pair of bass that put him in first place in both the TENvitational and the Realtree Fishing Trail Series Championship events. Queen would have a strong showing maintaining a presence at the top of the field all day long. North Carolina angler Justin Faircloth also made an early statement by posting a 20.25” largemouth Bass to the new Bass Forecast Big Fish leaderboard.

By 9:30 a.m. central time, Faircloth’s bass remained in the top spot for big fish but the other leaderboards had changed dramatically. Alex Miller led the field with 91.75” (followed by Kristine Fischer with 87.75”) on both the Trail Series and the Challenge Series leaderboards. Those leaderboards quickly read like a who’s who of kayak bass fishing: Jaxton Orr, Jimmy McClurkan, Rus Snyders, Garrett Wade, Eric Jackson, and more were making their cases heard.

The KBF Trail Series Championship leaderboard at 9:30 am (Central Time)

Pennsylvania’s Lynn Yester also made her case. Kayak bass fishing on the KBF Trail and Challenge Series since 2021, Yester refused to be intimidated by the veteran crowd, posting a strong bag that had her in the top 10 through the mid-morning.

As the day wore on, bigger bites came in. And just like clockwork, Rus Snyders made his presence felt. He stood atop the field of the Trail Series Championship with a five-fish limit of 94.5” when the leaderboards were taken off-line near the end of the day. And he stayed there until the end of day one. Behind him were Josh Stewart, Alex Miller, Jody Queen and Mike Elsea.

Snyders needs  no introduction. Kayak Bass Fishing was the first to profile Rus Snyders after he became the 2020 Kayak Bass Fishing Angler of the Year. Since then, his legend has only grown, and he is regularly mentioned among the best in the sport. Currently, Snyders is both the defending KBF National Champion and the newly crowned Bassmaster Kayak Series Angler of the Year (he also has a shot at the Hobie B.O.S. title for 2023).

If anyone wears the bull’s eye well, it is Snyders. His lead is not insurmountable, however, and with a stacked field of ninety competitors in Alabama, anything can happen on day two.

The Challenge Series Championship concluded in a similar manner, with one exception: Snyders did not register for it. Conversely, the angler who finished atop the leaderboard at the end of Day one did not register for the Trail Series Championship.

That angler is Brian Shotts. A rookie to the KBF Challenge Series, can he do what Mike Elsea did in 2019 and win a major event after qualifying through the on-line series?

We will find out that and more tomorrow, in day two of the KBF Championships!

Additional Info

The KBF Trail Series Championship, TENvitational and Challenge Series Championship are being hosted by Go2Hunstville, AL on October 19-20, 2023.

For complete tournament standings, click here: https://app.fishingchaos.com/tournament/qn93uabFJOFzwtIqhZ0g

To see how standings affect the Challenge Series and Trail Series points races, click on the “Series Standings” to see automated standings: https://app.fishingchaos.com/club/iPHm2IcM5Pz0pmqsoqmG

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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REALTREEFISHING  KBF TRAIL Series Tournaments are Powered by Dakota Lithium Batteries

Additional Sponsors

Dee Zee Truck Accessories

Rogue Fishing Co

Xcite Baits FishUSA     Yak Rods    FishOPS

  Ketch  Power-Pole   YakAttack    Torqeedo     Yeti

First Published October 19, 2023. The author of this article was not assisted in any way by AI or machine learning in the composition of it.

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