What You Need For Your First Kayak Fishing Tournament
If you are new to the world of kayak fishing, here are some helpful tips to get you started on the right track. One of the most exciting parts about kayak fishing is participating in tournaments. There are some things that are usually pretty standard regardless of the tournament you are in, but I would just like to stress to everyone reading this to make sure you check your local tournament regulations to be sure you know all the rules so you are not disqualified.
The goal of any fishing tournament is obviously to catch the biggest and best fish. In order to measure the length of the fish you catch you will need a Hawg Trough. We offer these with an option of being pre-lined and floating to make it even easier for you! You simply place your fish on the hawg trough and measure from lip to tail. Again, please check your local rules to make sure you are measuring your fish correctly for your tournament!
In order to show that you have caught the fish during the time constraints of the tournament, you will need an identifier. This is provided by the tournament and you are usually able to access and print this out sometime late the night before. Some tournaments will have meetings the night before or early morning tournament day and may also have them there to pass out. This will need to be visible in every picture you take of the fish you catch. If your identifier is not easily seen your fish will most likely be disqualified. Most kayak fishermen keep this tied up to the center of their kayak so it is readily available when they reel in their monster!
In order to show the fish you caught, you will need to document with a picture. Usually there will be a website you will use to upload your pictures during the tournament. For this reason, camera phones are usually the preferred method for most fishermen in a tournament. People usually upload their pictures in real time so everyone can always check in on the leader board to see where they currently stand.
Any time you head out on the water, safety should be your number one concern. For this, you need to make sure you have a whistle and flashlight with you at all times. This is extremely important if you are in water that has no horsepower restrictions for boaters. You need to be able to let someone know you are there as fast as possible!
Continuing with the safety topic, you want to make sure you always have a life jacket with you and WEAR IT!!! Especially if you are going to be near any type of rapids or rough waters, you want to make sure you will stay safe if something bad were to happen. Make sure you have a proper fitting jacket to ensure the most safety!
If you are on a body of water without horsepower restrictions, you should also consider a safety flag. This safety flag will help boaters see you from a distance.
The last thing I recommend is lots of sunscreen and a hat! Even if you think you do not burn, or if it is cloudy out and you think you won't need a hat-think again! You are out on the water and exposed for so many hours, protecting your skin needs to be at the top of your list.
If you are new to kayak fishing, I wish you the best of luck in your first tournament! If you are reading this as a refresher, I hope you continue to have luck as well!
Just to reiterate, make sure you always check your local tournament rules to make sure you follow everything correctly and don't make any mistakes! Enjoy your time on the water.
- John Harley