Tournament bassing from a kayak

by Paul Lebowitz

The Hobie Bass Open (June 3-5, 2016), a premier kayak bass fishing tournament fished on fantastic Kentucky Lake, is coming up quickly. Prize money is on offer, but so is the priceless opportunity to qualify for the spectacular Hobie Fishing World Championship.

We asked 2014 ‘HBO’ champion Tom Michael how a boater or even a bank walker should prepare for kayak bass battle. In this content, anything paddled or pedaled (kayaks, canoes and stand up paddleboards) is fair game.   

Think local. You can’t run 50 miles up the lake from your launch to fish a given area, but there’s compensation. A kayak can sneak onto skinny water and up narrow creeks where bass boats can’t go.

Prefish even before you hit the water. Do your homework. Fire up Google Earth, put in some map research and see where water is. On a kayak our range is 3, 4 or 5 miles. 

There’s more than one way to power fish. Bass pros are known for racing from one area to the next, all while slinging casts at a furious pace. Kayak anglers have to be more deliberate and fish an area more thoroughly. You can’t waste too much time moving from one fishing area to the next. Stick to your game plan.

Choose your weapons carefully. You can’t bring the entire rod locker, but you can easily carry a half dozen sticks. Choose rods for your applications. Michael carries a jig rod, crankbait rod, finesse rod, spinnerbait rod and a Senko rod, plus a spare or two. The six or seven tackle flats and five or six bags of soft baits Michael carries on the kayak is plenty of tackle.

A kayak may not glitter, but it’s plenty of boat with its own strengths. Michael’s Hobie Mirage Pro Angler is as stable as a standard bass boat. He has space to land fish, swap tackle and work his rods. It’s also quieter than any motorized boat, even one on a trolling motor. Kayaks blend into the surroundings. The fish need never know you’re there.

Take on Tom Michael and the rest of the field following the June 3 captain’s meeting at tournament host site Kentucky Dam Village on Kentucky Lake. The format is 3-fish per day Catch Photo Release.

Fish whatever ‘yak, canoe or SUP you like. One hundred percent of entry fees will be paid out with a ratio of one place for every 10 entrants. Even better, the top two anglers will qualify to fish under the bright lights of the 2016 Hobie Fishing World Championship. Event sponsors Hobie Polarized, Lowrance, YakAttack, Bassin’, RAM Mounts, St. Croix, Daiwa, Power-Pole, Rhino-Rack, and Plano are providing additional prizes.

Sign up now hereJunior anglers can compete for only $25, and a free Family Fun Fest will take place on Kentucky Dam Beach Saturday and Sunday. 

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