challengeContributed by Richard Penny

Tournament fishing and recreational fishing are typically two different mindsets. Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) has recently introduced an online tournament series which allows these mindsets to work together. The monthly series is setup by Region and runs for 30 days. Anglers use the CPR or Catch-Photo-Release Format to document their catch via TourneyX. Anglers compete for prizes and an opportunity to qualify and fish in the KBF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP on Kentucky Lake March 24-26, 2016.

This series offers a great opportunity for newcomers to experience tournament style fishing, with very little of the actual pressure that some place on themselves during single day tournaments. Consider that you have thirty days to catch your top three or five fish as opposed to 6-8 hours. You can go out, get skunked and no one has to know! You can go out and have an epic day on the water and everyone gets to know. Having to work on the day of the tournament is a non-issue, as is missing one of your child’s sporting events or other important milestones. With the KBF Challenge Series format, you don’t have to chose or miss out on the action.

Speaking of the little people, this format is a fantastic way to get your child involved. I have done this very thing with my twelve year old son Jacob. It has been a win/win for us both. With zero pressure to worry about “getting a limit”, I have found myself taking even more time to teach him about nature, fishing techniques or just having those conversations that he wants to have on the lake. Truth be told, the last day tournament he fished with me, I did not fish after lunch. I spent the time working with him. Did it cost me a top three finish, and being in the money? Yes. Do I care? No. Was it worth it? Yes. The growth he got that day as a young man was worth more to me that any one of the checks available for the top three finishers. When your twelve year old tells you “my biggest mistake was getting frustrated and losing my Positive Mental Attitude”, try not to tear up and have a proud “Dad” moment. A word of caution…once they get the bug, do not be surprised if they are trying to schedule your days off work and a day of “nothing is going on in school, so we can fish”!

With social media, the online series also does a good job of getting anglers together. I have found that in a short seven days after the start of the online series, both local and statewide anglers are not only commenting on their own trips, but sharing in known good water, techniques that are working and in some cases, getting groups together to fish. At the end of the day, that is what this is all about!

If you have been considering tournament style kayak fishing, I urge you to give the KBF online series a try. If you have written off tournament fishing, I urge you to reconsider the KBF Challenge Series CPR format. With a ten dollar entry fee, state bragging rights, an entry into the KBF open and a growing prize list, this deal it is hard to beat. The hardest part now, is you getting your kayak on the water, and catching a fish.