Yak-Tribe Tournament

From May 15th through June 15th, I am competing in the Yak-Tribe tournament. If you aren't familiar with Yak-Tribe, it is a kayak fishing community that unites freshwater and saltwater fishermen. Their motto is: "Real people. Real stories. Real connections." They place emphasis on developing friendships and community engagement without all the ego and drama that is found within some clubs and groups.

The tournament I am competing in is a multi-species event. The winner is determined by the combined length of your 8 biggest fish over the course of the month. For a full list of eligible species and all the rules, check out www.yak-tribe.com/tournament

Those of you who know me personally know that I am not really into the tournament scene. This is especially true when the subject of kayak catfishing tournaments get brought up, however, I am very intrigued by the concept of the Yak-Tribe tournament and I am curious to see how a catfisherman from East Tennessee like myself can stack up against these other anglers from across the country. I plan on documenting my entire journey through this tournament. I will be filming every day I fish and posting to YouTube. Below is the link from day one.

I spent the day catfishing on Watts Bar. Since each fish has to be measured and photographed for the tournament, I decided to start out with anchor fishing. Until I get a routine down, I don't want to attempt drifting in this event. My fear is that I will drift up shallow while landing and photographing the fish and end up snagging all of my other lines on bottom. Hopefully as the tournament goes on and I get more comfortable with the process, I can get back to fishing like I normally would this time of year. As far as measuring the fish goes, I have mounted my hawg trough to a larger board. The goal with doing this is to be able to measure fish longer than 30" in the kayak without having to paddle to shore to do so. This will save me a lot of time and allow me to be much for efficient on the water. It is also much better for the fish. Measuring them in the kayak will allow me to get them back in the water much quicker and give them a far better chance of survival.

I ended up landing four blue catfish with the biggest measuring 38". I also topped off the day with one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had while kayak fishing. A spoonbill somehow managed to catch himself on my line. I'm guessing it had been previously snagged at Fort Loudon dam and broke off, leaving the hook lodged in its tail. It apparently swam across my line and the hook in it's tail ended up getting caught by the circle hook I was using. It was a fun battle and an experience I will never forget. All in all, I had a great first day. I am off to a good start in he tournament. Hopefully I can keep this momentum going all month.
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