BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Just days after wrapping their regular season, B.A.S.S. officials announced the schedule for the 2024 Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series powered by TourneyX.
The fifth season of the ever-popular Kayak Series will include five stops in five states — and for the second year in a row will feature all two-day events.
Kayak Tournament Director Steve Owens says excitement has grown exponentially for the trail every year since its inception, and he expects that interest to rise even more next year with five choice destinations.
“Kayak fishing for bass is as popular as it’s ever been,” said Owens. “People buy kayaks for a lot of different reasons. Some don’t want the responsibility of tending to a bass boat. Others just love the freedom a kayak provides for entering places that are off-limits to many others.
“That’s why the technology for kayak bass fishing has improved so much — and why so many people are anxious to compete from one.”
The 2024 Bassmaster Kayak Series schedule will kick off Feb. 24-25 at Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C. The 50,000-acre Palmetto State fishery ranked fourth overall on Bassmaster Magazine’s annual 100 Best Bass Lakes list and hosted one of the more exciting Bassmaster Elite Series events of the 2023 season, which was won by Florida pro Drew Benton with 87 pounds.
“Capital City/Lake Murray Country is excited to kick off the 2024 Bassmaster Kayak Series on Lake Murray. We can’t wait to greet the anglers and showcase our region to all,” said Miriam Atria, President/CEO of the Capital City/Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board.
The second kayak event of the 2024 season will be held April 20-21 at Possum Kingdom Lake in Graford, Texas. Possum Kingdom has become known as one of the top competitive kayak destinations in the country and has been featured heavily in the Bassmaster Kayak Series’ short history. The inaugural 2021 Bassmaster Kayak Series National Championship tournament was held on Possum Kingdom and featured a memorable performance by Mark Pendergraf, who won with what was, at the time, the highest two-day total in TourneyX history — a 10-bass total measuring 209.25 inches. The regular-season event held on Possum Kingdom this year was won by Texas angler Michael Cates with a two-day total of 210.25 inches (an average of more than 21 inches per bass).
Under B.A.S.S. rules, the five longest verified lengths each day will be totaled to determine the angler’s score. Ketch boards and other measuring devices must be brought to and approved at the registration and angler meeting before each event. Scores will be entered and shown, as always, in real time by TourneyX.
“Our relationship with TourneyX has been fantastic,” Owens said. “The system has been virtually flawless for the first four years of the Kayak Series, and we’re proud to have them handle scoring for us again.”
From Possum Kingdom Lake, the Kayak Series will make a return trip to Alabama’s Lake Guntersville in Scottsboro, Ala., May 18-19. Bassmaster Elite Series pro Greg DiPalma of Millville, N.J., made waves during the 2023 Bassmaster Kayak Series event on Guntersville, winning with a two-day total of 189.75 inches.
The fourth stop on the Kayak Series will be July 27-28 on the smallmouth paradise that is the Susquehanna River in Lewisburg, Pa. Those who follow the Kayak Series know that the Susquehanna just hosted a fabulous, season-ending event that was won by Indiana angler Josh Chrenko, who captured the victory with 194 inches of smallies.
Even with the tournament still fresh, officials from that region are excited about the prospect of hosting the Kayak Series again.
“We were thrilled to have Bassmaster consider and select our portion of the Susquehanna River to host their October 2023 Bassmaster Kayak Series (event),” said Andrew Miller, executive director of the Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau, the event’s official host. “To learn that a return in 2024 was a possibility was met with great excitement and anticipation.
“Signing the host agreement for next year’s event was the icing on the cake. Bassmaster has been a joy to work with, and together we will introduce the Susquehanna River Valley to fishing enthusiasts and Bassmaster fans all over the world.”
Tennessee’s Rus Snyders took second at the season-ending tournament in the Keystone State, which was more than enough to lock down the 2023 Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Kayak Series Angler of the Year title.
The 2024 season will culminate on Caddo Lake and Lake Bistineau in Shreveport, La., on Oct. 19-20. The 25,400-acre Caddo Lake is one of the first Louisiana fisheries stocked with Florida-strain largemouth, while Lake Bistineau covers 17,200 acres in Bienville, Bossier and Webster parishes.
The Top 5 anglers from each event, plus several dozen from the Bassmaster Kayak Series Angler of the Year standings, will be invited to compete in the championship, which will be held at a date and time to be announced later. Anglers will earn points in every regular-season tournament, with their lowest finish dropped to determine the final Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Kayak Series Angler of the Year standings.
The kayak championship is held each year in conjunction with the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic, with the anglers’ weights announced on the Classic stage.
“We’ve seen tremendous growth under Steve’s direction, and I look forward to working with him in 2024 as we continue to build and expand the Bassmaster Kayak Series,” said GL Compton, tournament manager for the B.A.S.S. Nation, who oversees the Kayak Series.
For more information on registration for Bassmaster Kayak Series events, visit Bassmaster.com/kayak.
2024 Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series powered by TourneyX
Feb. 24-25, Lake Murray, Columbia, S.C.
April 20-21, Possum Kingdom Lake, Graford, Texas
May 18-19, Lake Guntersville, Scottsboro, Ala.
July 27-28, Susquehanna River, Lewisburg, Pa.
Oct. 19-20, Caddo Lake & Lake Bistineau, Shreveport, La.