I do not know when the first kayak fishing tournament occured. I do know, however, over the past several years, fishing out of a kayak has grown in popularity, largely due to the ease and low cost associated with it. Kayak fishing groups in just about every state have been formed, holding tournaments for anyone that may be interested.
There is a high level of camaraderie among these anglers, on and off the water. The willingness to help out newcomers is the foundation of a lot of these groups. If you’re interested in kayak fishing, but don’t know where to start, run a Google search around your state and kayak fishing. I’d be willing to bet you’ll find a few kayak fishing groups in your region. There are kayak fishing tournaments out there for every angler level.
Catch, Picture, Release
Kayaks do not come equipped with livewells. The standard method for kayak fishing tournaments, especially for bass, is known by Catch, Picture, Release, or CPR for short. These CPR tournaments are scored through the combined length of the fish rather than weight. Using a standardized measuring board and a tournament identifier card, make sure a clear image has been taken affirming it’s in accordance with the rules before releasing the fish.
CPR tournament management system
There are a few tournament management systems, but in kayak bass tournaments the standard is TourneyX. TourneyX offers a live leaderboard option so anglers can CPR their fish, then immediately submit photos and measurements using the TourneyX app or website to update the leaderboard. Although each submission will immediately adjust the leaderboard, every picture submission will need to be verified by a tournament official or judge before it's accepted. The judge will have access to your GPS location through the EXIF data embedded in the image file, including timestamps to verify the picture was taken on tournament waters, and inside eligible fishing hours for the tournament.