What tournament did you compete in?

I recently had the incredible opportunity to participate in the 2024 Bassmaster Kayak Series National Championship.

Where was the tournament located?

The tournament took place at Tenkiller Lake in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, a stunning location that offered both challenges and rewards for all anglers involved.

How did you do?

I am thrilled to share that I secured a 7th place finish among 164 of the best anglers across North America. This achievement granted me the honor of walking across the Bassmaster Classic Stage in Tulsa, Oklahoma, an experience that is the dream of every angler.

What is tournament fishing like?

The tournament was a remarkable experience for several reasons:

  1. Community and Camaraderie: The friendliness and respect I experienced on the water were unparalleled. The boaters at Tenkiller Lake were not only accommodating but also enthusiastic about following me on the live standings.
  2. Fishing Conditions: Although Tenkiller Lake is on the smaller side, it boasts a healthy fish population with quality-sized largemouth and smallmouth bass, as well as some good spotted bass. The fishing conditions were excellent and added to the overall enjoyment of the competition.
  3. Cherished Memories: Walking across the Classic stage is the pinnacle of bass fishing. It’s a moment I’ll cherish forever, and I’m incredibly proud to have had the opportunity.

Tell us what you learned..

The tournament taught me several valuable lessons:

  • Adaptability: I entered the tournament without a solid patternbut I remained positive and adapted to the conditions. Initially, I found a location with spawning fish, but after a challenging Day 1 with only one shallow fish, I realized the bass must be in a staging area. By finding the right spot where bass had access to both deep and shallow water, I discovered a large school of quality fish. The key takeaway is to stay open-minded and adaptable.

Advice for Fellow Kayak Tournament Anglers?

One of the most powerful tools in an angler's arsenal is positive visualization. From the moment I aimed to qualify and compete in the Bassmaster National Championship, I visualized my success. I imagined what it would be like to qualify, to stand on that stage, and to catch that crucial big fish. This practice helped me steel my spirit against adversity and maintain focus.

Negative thoughts lead to sloppy fishing, which results in missed opportunities. Positive visualization, on the other hand, fosters a productive mindset and can make all the difference. It takes practice, but over time, it becomes an invaluable asset for any successful angler.

The 2024 Bassmaster Kayak Series National Championship was more than just a tournament for me; it was an enriching experience that reinforced the importance of community, adaptability, and a positive mindset. I look forward to applying these lessons in future competitions and continuing to grow as an angler.

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