Well, it's tournament season in the southeast! Do you like fishing? Do you like to compete? Do you want to meet others who love to fish? Do you need a good excuse to get out on the water all day? Think about checking out some of your regional fishing tournaments this summer.
One way to get involved is to join a local kayak fishing club. Some clubs do monthly competitions with entry fees and prizes while others just connect you with new friends who like to kayak fish, but all of them allow you to meet fellow anglers and will keep you up to date on local tournaments. You can always check with other anglers and local fishing stores to see which tournaments they recommend.
When looking for a tournament to fish, you want to see a nice, well-organized website. You also want clear, detailed rules. It's nice when they do things like raffles at the weigh-ins so that everyone has a chance to win sponsor prizes from great companies like Johnson Outdoors, Old Town/ Ocean Kayaks Bending Branches, Yo-Zuri Lures, Mirro Lure, Monster 3X, Yak-Gear, RailBlaza, Intova, Engel Coolers, etc,, even if you are not into the money that day. As long as the attendance is good, most of your larger tournaments pay out through the top ten. Also some tournaments have ways to win extra money by signing up for the Angler Advantage or the Calcutta.
Once you find a tournament you would like to fish, get on their website and sign yourself up. Read the rules many, many times! Every tournament is different and you want to be sure that you know what to do to give yourself the best chance of winning without being disqualified. You will be expected to attend a "Captain's Meeting" the night before the tournament- these are mandatory. There, you can get all of your remaining questions answered- anything that wasn't covered clearly on the website or in the rules. You will have a start time when you are allowed to push off into the water on tournament day and specific rules about how to take pictures and measure your fish. You want to be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get back to the weigh-in location, because in most tournaments if there is a tie the angler who checked in first wins.
Some of my favorite kayak clubs are KAWF and Hard Core Kayak Angler Cub. Favorite online tournaments are onlinefishingtournament.com, 321Fish.com, and kayakwars.com.
Some of my favorite Florida tournaments include the Kayak Fishing Classics, IFA Kayak Tour, Kayak Bass Series, and Extreme Kayak Tournament. There are so many more fun tournaments out there that you can fish for just about every species of fish you can think of...
Hope this helps you get motivated to try something new. You've got nothing to lose and lots to gain! Please feel free to come say "hey" if you see me at any of these events. Tight lines and Tight Knots!