Tactics for the Four Styles of Fishing Tournaments
Kayak tournament anglers who approach competition with a game plan increase their chances of having a positive experience and maybe even leaving with a check. Outdoors writer Henry “Hank” Veggian’s “Tactics for the Four Styles of Fishing Tournaments” is an older article that has aged well in how it explains four different tournament formats. Breaking single-day, multi-day and month-long events into bite-size chunks, the article will benefit both novice and veteran tournament anglers. [Photo: Michael Ernst]
by Chad Hoover
Chad Hoover breaks down all of the basic components of the selecting, operating and transporting a kayak in this essential article. “Getting Started” offers indispensable advice and includes a list of relevant videos.
Note: some of the other content in articles on this page may refer to expired products or products that are no longer permitted for use in competition.For example, as of 2021, Ketch Boards are the only permitted measuring boards allowed in KBF competition. Likewise, KBF events have used Fishing Chaos as a tournament management system since 2021.
Before You Launch
- Review all KBF tournament rules and regulations.
- Print off a couple spare identifiers. Better too many than one too few.
- Print the ID code on your identifier form. (You’ll find a sharpie is also useful for turning a spinnerbait, soft plastic, or crankbait into a nighttime lure or adding camo to a frog.)
- Put the Tournament Director’s cell phone number in your contacts. His name and phone number are on the Fishing Chaos Event page. Text, call, PM, or email him to alert him to technological problems that may be systemic. Also, you can transmit photos to him for manual uploads if necessary.
- Test your Fishing Chaos app and dashboard login and photo submission functions minutes after the competition start time. Take a photo of your ID and KBF-approved measuring board (Ketch board only for KBF TRAIL events) to make sure your camera is working and that your app can access photos to upload. Might be a good time to test the “cull” feature, too.
- Add flotation or a tether to your KBF-approved measuring board and have your camera/phone tethered to your PFD.
- Have a USB cord or spare removable media and batteries/power source for a phone/digital camera.
- Under the “it goes without saying,” make sure to top off your cell phone charge as you drive to the lake, and turn off all unused apps that slurp up power and shorten a battery charge.
- A pre-flight checklist is not a bad idea. Rods. PFD. Navigational Lights. Sun Screeen. Water. Float Plan. etc.
Submitting the Catch
- Take multiple photos of each fish, ensure the tournament ID tag is clearly visible in each one, then upload to Fishing Chaos. It is always best to review the photo to make sure is correct, and having alternate images may provide a substitute in case the first photo you submitted is denied.
- Be patient. Don’t release a fish before you have a clear photo. keep the fish in a net or on a clip attached to the kayak while you review photos to minimize stress to it.
- Watch for upload speed. A weak signal can drain a phone battery. If it takes too long, cancel and then upload when you have a better signal.
- Don’t miss the tournament upload deadline! Identify the closest place with wi-fi or a good data signal and bear in mind how many minutes you are from it.
- Paid KBF Membership dues no later than 11:59 p.m. CST the evening before competition. Note: AmBASSador, Competitor, or Lifetime Members may all compete in KBF Challenges. Competitor or Lifetime Membership is required to compete in KBF TRAIL Series Tournaments.
- KBF-approved Measuring Board on your kayak, possibly secured with lanyard. Good idea to have a backup stowed under the deck.
- USCG-approved chest-style PFD (life jacket) in good and serviceable condition, properly sized, fastened and adjusted; worn at all times for KBF competition when in the watercraft, wading, or fishing from shore.
- Paddle (even if you pedal).
- “At hand an electric torch (flashlight) or lighted lantern showing a white light that shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.” (USCG)
- Whistle or other audible signaling device (required by USCG) that can penetrate the whine and roar of a bass boat’s 2-stroke motor to alert boater of your presence or to signal for help.
- “Anchored Vessels, At night: All vessels at anchor (in or near a narrow channel, fairway, or anchorage, or where other vessels normally navigate) must display anchor lights…an all-round white light visible where it can best be seen from all directions.” (USCG)
Note: A 360° elevated light, preferably one equipped with a bright-colored flag for daytime hours, can alert boaters to your presence. Recommended, though not required, by KBF or USCG, for use between dusk and dawn. A steady, white, slow-moving light a meter above the water’s surface 50 yards away can be mistaken for a shore light across the lake, so keep a bright flashlight close at hand to signal approaching vessels.
- Set up Fishing Chaos account.
- Read, understand, and agree to compete by terms and conditions of KBF Competition Rules, which are in two parts:
• KBF Competition Rules Standard: https://www.kayakbassfishing.com/kbf-rules-standards/
• KBF Event Rules Addendum, on the KBF Website’s Calendar Event Page and/or Fishing Chaos registration page.
- Registered for event on Fishing Chaos (no later than deadline shown in Rules Addendum).
- Printed and cut out a supply of current KBF Identifier Cards:
- Obtain KBF Event ID Codes:
- Posted at 7:00 p.m. (with some exceptions) CST on KBF Website: https://www.kayakbassfishing.com/identifiers/
- Log into Fishing Chaos and click on “View Tournament identifier”
- Check the email attached to your FishinG Chaos account for a link.
- Spare KBF Identifier Card blanks and Sharpie in your glove box, in a plastic bag in your gear bag, in your PFD pocket….don’t be caught on the water without one on you, and be prepared to lose one to wind or waves. (A TourneyTag is very popular with kayak competitors; just make sure you don’t cover the next two numbers past the fish’s tail fin if you strap it to the measuring board. http://tourneytag.com)
- Recommended: spare measuring board, dry towel, space blanket, warm clothes, fire-starters, and personal first aid kit in dry bag stowed under hull.