This past year there were 10 fishing clubs that had memberships in the Kayak Anglers’ Society of Tennessee(KAST). Each club has to host at least 7 tournaments throughout the summer and then at the end of the season, the top 7 anglers, along with the angler that has the largest bass of the season, gets sent to the KAST State Tournament.
I fish with KBFTN(Kayak Bass Fishing TN) every year. We fish in middle Tennessee. Most of our tournaments are on Percy Priest, Old Hickory and the Cumberland River. I have qualified for the state tournament the 3 years that it has been in existence. A club is nominated to host the state tournament every year, and this year it was CTKA(Central Tennessee Kayak Anglers). It was on Center Hill in the middle of September.
You have to stop prefishing on the lake 2 weeks before the tournament starts. I had prefished it several times, and the clear deep waters of Center Hill were definitely challenging me. A few fish each trip was all I could pull, but the last night out, I finally stumbled upon a pattern that was catching some nice fish.
Tournament day 1 arrives and it is dead calm with temperatures pushing 80 degrees. Not exactly fishing weather! The first day was on a Friday and fishing hours were only 4-9 pm. I stuck with the pattern I had found prefishing and after a few hours, realized it was not going to work. I did manage a nice 17” smallmouth and a small spotted bass trying some new things. Not what I had hoped for, but on the way to my 5 fish limit.
Day 2 was a long day, fishing from 6 AM to 3 PM, another brutally hot day with absolutely no wind. 3 minutes into the tournament another 17” smallie made its way into my net. Then the next 8 hours were absolutely mind challenging, grinding away to put 2 more dinks in the boat to finish my 5 fish limit. Well the fishing had been tough for everyone and my 2 decent fish and 3 dinks were enough to take 11th place out of 64 anglers.
Each year they take the scores of each of the 8 participants of each club and add them together and have a Club winner. For the 3rd year in a row, KBFTN has taken the paddle home. I am very excited for next year and hope to qualify again and hopefully KBFTN can keep the paddle home!