If you have ever considered kayak fishing, but hesitated to take the plunge because you just were not sure of what sort of kayak to get, or what length would be appropriate, or what means of propulsion would be best, the upcoming kayak demonstration day and fishing tournament is for you.
On Sunday, May 15, there will be a two-part event at the Islandview Pavilion at Stillhouse Park off of Simmons Road near the Stillhouse Marina.
Experts will be on hand to answer your questions regarding kayak fishing.
The demonstration portion of this kayaking event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is a free event, open to the public and includes free refreshments.
The various styles of kayaks available for a test drive include sit-on kayaks, moving water kayaks, a full range of fishing kayaks, recreational kayaks, 11- and 12½- foot-long standup paddleboards and electric kayaks. Brands include Predator, Necky, Ocean, Trident, Old Town, SUP, Carlisle, Extrasport and more.
Kayak-specific fishing accessories, such as the Humminbird Helix sonar, and rod holders, sonar mounts, camera mounts and slide tracks will all be on display.
Trained personnel will be onsite to help interested participants get launched and gain confidence on the water. One of those helpful people will be Captain Fil Spencer, a professional kayak fishing guide from the Texas Gulf Coast, out of Corpus Christi.
Spencer cites increased access as one of his prime motivations for using kayaks.
“Utilizing kayaks over all these years has allowed me to get to places that I could never reach in my boat or much less get out and wade to,” he said. “Being able to use a kayak to sneak up on schools of fish and explore areas that most people have never seen is one of the most exciting things about kayaking.”
A “CPR” (catch, photograph, release) style tournament will be conducted on this same date and out of this same location. It, too, is open to the public. The deadline for preregistration is May 13 at 6 p.m. after which the lake will be off-limits to tournament anglers until 5 a.m. The tournament starts at 6:30 a.m. Participants may also register at Stillhouse Hollow Marina the morning of the tournament.
The cost to enter the tournament is $60 per kayak. Unlike bass tournaments involving motorized bass boats, this kayak tournament will be based on the length of fish caught, not on the weight of fish caught.
Anglers will compete against each other to catch the five longest bass (largemouth, smallmouth or spotted) exceeding the statewide 14-inch minimum. Once the fish is captured, it must be placed on a measuring board and photographed with the mouth closed and the tail in a natural position. The image is then saved to an SD card.
As the tournament concludes, the SD cards will be turned in to tournament officials and the winners will be judged based on the photographs.
Such CPR-style tournaments avoid the need for heavy, space-consuming livewells on the kayak, and allow fish to be returned to the water much more quickly after capture than is the case in more traditional bass tournaments.
For more information about this event, contact Rick Smith at 254-773-9931.