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To whom it may concern,

Has FLW or B.A.S.S. ever considered entering the kayak fishing tournament realm? Paddle sports are the fastest growing water sports today, and this growth is dominated by the kayak angler. There are many reasons for the rapid growth of Kayak Fishing including economic, ecological, and ease of access, to name a few. This growth has lead to several kayak fishing tournaments and tournament trails appearing all over the country. It is about time for a “big-name” tournament trail to capitalize on this.

I am a professional kayak angler from Texas. I am fishing several kayak tournament trails in 2012. Two of the larger tournaments I will be fishing are the KATS tournaments and the River Bassin’ Tournament trail, in which I finished 3rd nationally for the River Basser of the Year standings last year. Both of these tournament trails regularly bring at least 40 anglers to “local” events. The River Bassin’ Trail is national, but it is small and generally localized. I do not believe there is enough money in it at this time for anglers to travel far across the country (although I did, and really enjoyed it.) Also, the River Bassin’ Trail is exactly as its name states, a River Bass Fishing Tournament Trail. Although I love and spend most of my time fishing rivers, most anglers I know prefer to fish big waters like lakes. A big tournament that fishes both lakes and big rivers would be a huge draw. There is a lot of money to be made in a larger national kayak fishing tournament trail. There are plenty of sponsors jumping on board these smaller trails, and I am sure a trail with B.A.S.S. or FLW backing and support would attract many more sponsors.

I fish recreationally, competitively, and instructionally, having taught and introduced several anglers the sport of kayak fishing. I have found that kayak fishing has been a breath of fresh air. I became discouraged with the culture behind what I call “power boat tournaments.” Priorities in money making and a disregard for the environment have left me jaded. Shortly after my big-boat tournament days were over, I picked up the sport of Kayak fishing and have not stopped since. Growing up in the Texas Hill Country, I learned to fish on the beautiful spring-fed rivers that flow all around me. River fishing still remains my favorite, and the River Bassin’ Trail has become my favorite of all the tournaments I fish. Kayak tournaments are much more focused on the environment and protection of the fish. Every tournament I fish is a CPR (Catch/Photo/Release) tournament. The fish are released shortly are caught, photographed, and then released immediately right where they were landed. There is no period of time spent in a live-well!

The growth of Kayak Fishing is due in large part to economic reasons. Many Americans just cannot justify spending $30,000 to $70,000 on a bass boat when you can buy an excellent kayak for $800-$3000. Not having a monthly boat payment leaves left over money to buy top end tackle and to pay for travel expenses and tournament entry fees. There are many more anglers in the local kayak tournaments than in the local power-boat tournaments, and many of them are better fisherman and come back with better catches than the “boat-guys.”

That leads to another reason that kayak fishing is growing so rapidly. Fishing from a kayak opens you up to much more water that you cannot take a boat. They float super shallow, that is why many boat guys are selling their boats and buying kayaks. You can access many more fish. Saltwater trout and redfish anglers are flocking to kayaks in droves, and the professional bass anglers are not far behind. Many of the top bass fishing professionals are now carrying kayaks with them on their boats for practice days in order to scout new water without disturbing the fish. The kayaks that companies, especially Jackson Kayak, are now producing are truly amazing fishing platforms. You can stand and fish with plenty of room to store all your gear, while still being able to access skinny water and hit the rapids on the river. I really believe that they are the ultimate fishing vessels.

Another huge reason for the growth of kayak fishing has been the “green” movement. Kayaks simply are much more Eco-friendly than a motor boat. They are human powered, not gas powered. Kayak tournaments are also much more concerned with the environment and waters. Most kayak tournaments are CPR tournaments, allowing anglers to release the fish shortly after being caught and not requiring them to transport the fish long distances in a live-well. The fish are simply photographed on an approved measuring board and released immediately back to the water that they were caught in. Tournaments are therefore based on length rather than weight. Even the IGFA has recognized the growth of Kayak Fishing and has created categories for length in the world record books. It seems that only the big bass fishing tournament trails are yet to jump on board, and it is about time!

I would be more than willing to help you in any way possible create and grow a B.A.S.S. or FLW Kayak Fishing Tournament Series. If you have any questions, or need any help, please let me know. I would be more than excited to be offered a position in running these tournaments and can provide you with a professional resume if needed. I look forward to hearing back from you soon.


Patrick Kellner
Professional Kayak Angler
Owner – P. H. Kellner – Quality Custom Fishing
Jackson Kayak Fishing Team