Get to know kayak angler Duc Tran


Old Town angler Duc Tran.

One of the greatest benefits to kayak bass fishing is the fact that a new angler can get out on the water at a much lower starting cost. That’s what it’s all about right? Getting new anglers into a sport that we all love and growing the sport over the course of time. This is one of the top priorities of well-known kayak angler Duc Tran. The Dallas, Texas, native got into kayak fishing more than 10 years ago and hasn’t slowed down since.

“I started out with an inexpensive kayak from Academy Sports to access a local powerplant lake,” said Tran. “About a year later is when I really got into the kayak bass fishing scene.

“I got started fishing a couple of the Working Man’s tournaments and about that same time, I volunteered to help run the events.”

Over the course of 10 years in the Kayak fishing game, Tran has taken on the role of running several major kayak bass fishing trails in Texas. Some of his responsibilities include serving as the regional director for Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) in Texas for several years, hosting an annual Lonestar Showdown, helping run the Tournament of Champions (TOC) and currently runing the North Texas Kayak Championship trail.

After a career as a civil engineer, Tran began working at Mariner Sails, a local kayak shop located in Dallas, Texas, that he frequently visited for years. This has granted him an even greater opportunity to bring new people into the sport and utilize his knowledge of kayaks and kayak fishing in general.

Although Tran started out with entry level kayak, he now runs what he feels is the best kayak that he has ever had — the Old Town Autopilot 136. 

“I’ve been in an Old Town for about six years now,” he said. “This kayak that I’m in now is easily the best kayak I’ve ever owned. Between tournament fishing and fun fishing, it does everything I want.”

You can catch Tran fishing out of his Autopilot 136 at the 2021 B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series National Championship on Possum Kingdom Lake in Mineral Wells, Texas. The event will take place the two days prior to the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk. Tran qualified to fish the National Championship through the 2020 B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series. The Texan has experience on Possum Kingdom, which will inevitably give him a bit of an advantage on the 147-angler field.

“Possum Kingdom is by far one of my favorite lakes,” said Tran. “The water on the north end of the lake is pretty muddy, but the further south you go, the clearer the water gets.”

Tran described the lake to be a steep, rocky lake that has a good number of trees, docks and marinas that the fish will relate to. It is often difficult to find flat banks with shoreline cover because the banks are so steep.

“Sometimes you’ll fish a dock but it is still in 40 feet of water or more,” he described. “For guys that are fishing this event with very little experience with this kind of fishery, it may be tough.

“If you have good electronics, this may be your time to shine.”

The 2021 B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series National Championship is sure to be a huge turning point in kayak bass fishing.

“It has potential to be huge,” said Tran. “This tournament sets the stage. Everyone looks up to this tournament to be the granddaddy of the sport.”

Be sure to follow along with all the action from the Kayak National Championship on June 9 and 10.