By Chris Payne
With the first event in the Kayak Bass Series kicking off January 30-31 in Astor, Florida, now is a good time to run down the 2015 big-money tourneys. Because if you want to really cash in at a kayak bass tournament this year, fishing in one of the four Majors will be your best bet. Due to the varying details, I'll try to cover what you need to know for each so you can map out your plan of attack.
Kayak Bass Fishing Open, March 13-14, 2015
How Do I Qualify?: The Kayak Bass Fishing Open is exactly that, an open. Anyone can show up and fish with no prequalification necessary.
What is the Entry Cost?: $150 per angler.
What is the Potential Payout?: Based on last year's payout first place will take 50 percent of entry fees.(Details of payout not yet released). 2014 had 120 participants. That will be an approximate $9,000 to first place in addition to a prize package worth over $4,000 that includes:
Wilderness Systems A.T.A.K. (Advanced Tactical Angling Kayak)
Torqeedo 403 Ultralight Motor
HOOK 1 Outfitting Package
Bending Branches Angler Pro Plus Paddles
NRS Chinook PFDs
Where is It Held?: Kentucky Lake, Paris, Tenn.
What's Unique About It?: The KBF Open is a two-day tournament in which everyone fishes. Day 1 you register your best two fish. Day 2 you register your best three fish. Culling is not allowed from Day 1 to Day 2. The top five fish total will crown the Champion. Many other additional sponsor money and big bass incentives are available for anglers to cash in even more.
Kayaks n' Greenbacks, April 11-12, 2015
How Do I Qualify?: Kayaks n' Greenbacks is an Open format. Anyone can attend and fish.
What is the Entry Cost?: $150 per angler
What is the Potential Payout?: Kayaks n' Greenbacks are estimating 150 anglers will attend this event. First place payout based on that number is $10,000.
Where is It Held?: Lake Wylie, SC
What's Unique About It?: KnG is a two day event. You will submit your best five fish on both days and your best five fish over both days will create your total length. Additional sponsor money for biggest stringers and other incentives are available to win.
Tournament of Champions, November 7-8, 2015
How Do I Qualify?: To qualify you must either qualify in the Day 1 Qualifier by finishing in the top five or finish in the top five anglers from your local or regional, sanctioned kayak fishing club or tournament trail and receive an invite directly to Day 2. The trail must be approved by the Tournament of Champions before sending the qualifying angler delegates.
What is the Entry Cost?: $200 per angler
What is the Potential Cash Payout?: If it follows last year's payout structure of 60% to First Place, approximately $10,000. This is if all of the current trails' delegates attend (currently 85 spots). The number of trails sending delegates could grow before November and most likely will. Last year saw 52 anglers
Where is It Held?: Lake Fork, Alba, Texas
What's Unique About It?: The Tournament of Champions is the first real attempt at a sanctioning body event. Your club or trail must enroll early in order to send qualifiers. The Tournament of Champions claims to be the "Kayak Bass Fishing World Championship".
Kayak Bass Series Classic, Fall 2015
How Do I Qualify?: To fish in the Kayak Bass Series Classic you must fish in a minimum of three events on the KBS trail in 2015. The first event is January 30-31, 2015 in Astor, Florida.
What is the Entry Cost?: Entry cost to the Classic is free however, you must be a paid member ($50) and fish three events ($100 per event with early registrations) which would make total cost a minimum of $350.
What is the Potential Payout?:
An estimated $5,760.00 for first place. 10 percent of entry fees from all ix Opens will be withheld for payout at the Classic. On top of the 10 percent hold back for the Classic, Sponsors will be adding to the KBS Classic purse. The following figures are based on a projected 200 anglers per tournament. For every 20 anglers above 200, an additional place will be added to the payout board.
Where is It Held?: The final location is yet to be announced, but is likely to be near Nashville, Tenn.
What's Unique About It?: The KBS Classic as well as the Opens will have kayaks and rods available to rent to accommodate anglers who are flying to the events. KBS will also employ a live weigh in using the iAngler app which will have a real time scoreboard, reducing weigh in times greatly. The six Open events are spread across the country in multiple states. Events will be held in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.