Posted by Joe Floriolli on July 27, 2016
Kayak fishing tournaments were very easy for me to jump into when I first began fishing from a kayak. Since starting, I have fished all over the state of Pennsylvania along with many other states, even making my way as far south as South Carolina just to chase tournament trails.
Some tournaments I have done well in and others I was simply not able catch a fish. This, in turn, has left me feeling extremely frustrated, irritated, and just downright miserable. Along with all of the ups and downs that come with kayak fishing tournaments, I have been lucky enough to have met a tremendous amount of new people who I am now able to consider good friends. Men and women who literally open their homes to me for a night if I am in their area to fish. The fact that I have made more friends over the past 4 years just by traveling and participating in fishing tournaments adds to the amount of fun these trips can be.
The first few tournaments I have fished this year did not go too well for me. Although each and every kayak fishing tournament trail is geared towards having fun I have found myself not actually having an ounce of fun at all because of my competitive nature. I decided to change that ASAP!. Over the last two and a half months, along with some of the friends I have met over the years I "relearned" what kayak fishing is all about and why I started fishing from a kayak in the first place. Have you ever just paddled out to the middle of your favorite river or lake or to the remote ends where no boats can go and just watched and listened? Have you seen how beautiful mother nature truly is? I challenge you to go out one day on your kayak and (after that top water bite of course) sit there for an hour, half hour, even ten minutes before you get back to throwing that lure and I want you to just relax and take it all in. I have done this quite a few times now while I am out fishing and it has brought back the fun in all of this for me. I have spent countless hours now just fishing for fun and in turn I have been catching some of the biggest fish I have ever caught with some new and old friends that enjoy this sport as much as I do. I also have several overnight float trips planned for later this year to get the full effect. I have found that just taking a break every once and awhile; by just stepping back from a tournament to go fish with a friend for fun, can make a world of difference. If you find yourself getting irritated like I was, please take my advice and just get out on the water and fish for fun. Do not prefish the next lake for the upcoming tournament because you then lose the fun factor of a new exciting body of water. Your focus then becomes on the tournament, and not on the moment. Travel as far as you can to a new body of water and just FISH, FLOAT, and HAVE FUN.
I forgot where this all started for me, but luckily with the help of all the friends I have met along the way I realized why I do this. It is not just the next tournament or the next fish, it is the scenery, the escape from the everyday worries and woes. It is a place to forget, or maybe, a place to remember. So get out and have fun. Do not get wrapped up into the competitive nature like I did. I am not saying to stop fishing kayak tournaments, I know i never will. Just make it a point to do what you loved before the tournaments came around and I bet you will have a better time while you are trying to catch that 20"+ bass in your next tournament.
As always, Tight lines!