The KBF National championship is the biggest event in kayak fishing. Every March angler from across the country competes to be the next Kayak Bass Fishing National Champion. This year, 461 anglers made their way to Shreveport, Louisiana to take their chance at becoming the 2019 KBF National champion.
Anglers had the choice of fishing many lakes and the Red River around Shreveport. After doing research on the river and lakes, my mind was made up to only fish Lake Caddo, one of the best bass lakes in the country. Filled with vast flats and cypress trees as far as the eye can see, there is no lack of cover for these fish.
Jackson gave several team members and I the new Electric Flex drive to test out for this event. Being my first time having a motor on my kayak, I was able to explore areas I would have never made it to without the electric drive. This helped me narrow down key areas by covering a lot of water.
Pre-fishing started off every day at Johnson’s Ranch Marina, just across the Louisiana border in Texas. This marina is the oldest inland marina still active in Texas. Overwhelmed with options to fish, I used my Electric flex drive to explore far into the Big Cypress Bayou.
Not having much luck during pre-fishing, I wasn’t very confident the first day of competition. After leaving my first area with no success, I headed to another flat where I previously caught fish. This spawning area had little ditches the fish used as staging areas for spawning. Finding clean cypress trees without grass and debree was key to finding these fish. Realizing this area had quality fish, I spent the next three days grinding out a limit in this area. All fish where caught on an All Pro Rods APX elite spinning rod with 15lb braid, 12lb fluorocarbon leader, using a Yamamoto senko wacky rigged, on a VMC Neko hook.
Using the Angler bullseye, I was able to visualize my trail and GPS coordinates of where I caught my fish. After reviewing this information on day one I knew exactly where the high percentages areas where. The Anglr app is the easiest way to log your catches and waypoints by simply pressing a button.
After many ups and downs, from losing a few good fish to capitalizing on those late day culls, I managed to pull off a good three-day total with a 6th place finish.
The National Championship isn’t only a great competitive event, it’s also a great way to meet industry leaders, top anglers in the kayak community, and social media friends that live far away. To fish this event, one must qualify through either an online event or live event. If you are new to competitive kayak fishing and would like to fish this event next year, head over to Kayakbassfishing.com to find out how!
– Joshua Stewart