Bob Maindelle Guide Lines Oct. 17

Via participation in B.A.S.S. Nation's forthcoming kayak tournament to be held on Stillhouse Hollow Lake in early December, local anglers may advance directly to national-level competition. Pictured is local kayak bass angler P.J. Condit fishing from his Ascend H10 kayak.

On Dec. 4-5, B.A.S.S. Nation will host a kayak-oriented bass fishing tournament on Stillhouse Hollow Lake The top 10 percent of the competitors will earn the right to compete in B.A.S.S. Nation’s Classic event, which is their most prestigious national event, scheduled to take place on Lake Hartwell, Georgia, in mid-2022.

This event will constitute B.A.S.S. Nation’s first-ever state level competitive kayak fishing event, and it is taking place, literally, in our own back yard.

According to long-time Killeen bass angler, and current Texas B.A.S.S. Nation president Randy Fleeman, his organization is preparing for 400 to 1,000 kayakers to compete in this event which will be based out of Dana Peak Park on Stillhouse Hollow’s north shore.

B.A.S.S. Nation is currently seeking to jump-start kayak anglers’ participation in competitive bass fishing.

To accomplish this, the organization is taking the unusual step of allowing winners at this local-level contest to bypass regional competition and go directly to the high-stakes, high-dollar national championship event.

Online registration for this event on Stillhouse is now open at www.texasbassonline.com/2021-kayak-state-championship. The cost is $150 per angler in addition to the annual B.A.S.S. Nation Texas membership fee of $60 per angler. Anglers 16 and older may participate. Registration closes on Nov. 10.

In order to get the word out about this rare opportunity, Fleeman addressed the roughly 150 participants of the popular “Lonestar Throwdown” kayak fishing event during that series’ two-day visit to Belton Lake last weekend.

In addition to allowing Texas kayak anglers to register for this B.A.S.S. Nation event, the organization will also accept registrations from kayak anglers located in states without B.A.S.S. Nation representation.

According to B.A.S.S. Nation’s kayak tournament rules, there will be no designated off-limits period.

Official practice will begin at midnight the Monday before the competition. Contestants may not enter tournament waters for any reason after the start of the pre-tournament rules briefing and in between weigh-in and launch of multi-day events except during official tournament hours.

A mandatory pre-tournament check-in will take place at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3, at Dana Peak Park. The primary reason for this check-in will be the inspection of participants’ fish-measuring devices.

All practice during official practice and competition must be done in a compliant kayak. If a kayak is legally licensed, electric motors will be permitted. All state rules for motorized kayaks will apply.

B.A.S.S. Nation’s rules regarding tackle and equipment include the following. All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner by the angler out of their vessel. Only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits. Alabama rigs and similar umbrella-type rigs are allowed and are only limited by the laws within the state they are fishing. Only one fishing rod may be used at a time.

Trolling as a method of fishing is not allowed. Long-lining and drifting with current/wind are allowed. All bass caught while sight-fishing must be hooked inside the mouth. No fish are to be kept on stringers.

Fish gripping devices are acceptable to temporarily hold fish in the water.

B.A.S.S. Nation’s kayak tournaments follow a catch, photograph, release format. Scoring is determined by length using quarter-inch increments of each contestant’s catch during each tournament day via the Catch, Photograph, and Release (CPR) method.

Each competitor will be provided with a unique identifier for the tournament. The five longest verified lengths will be totaled for the angler’s score. Officials will round down and to the nearest quarter-inch. Only the black bass species consisting of the following: largemouth, spotted, Guadalupe, shoal and smallmouth bass and any hybrid of the above, are accepted species. The best five fish make up a daily limit. All fish must measure a minimum of 12 inches.

Interested kayak anglers may contact Fleeman at 254-368-3429.

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