Will Bevard and the Fish Stalker at the KBF National Championship
Kayak Bass Fishing is a rapidly growing fishing tournament series that has gained coast to coast attention in the United States and Canada. Founder of KBF, Chad Hoover, recognizes that this style of fishing is now the fastest growing in the Sportfishing market and KBF has now reached over 50,000 annual and lifetime members.
The annual membership fees for KBF go toward the entire development of the sport, including the support of grassroots kayak fishing organizations, program administrative costs, the promotion of youth fishing, natural area conservation, member rewards and premiums, and the all-around promotion of kayak fishing.
The 2018 KBF National Championship had 754 qualifying kayak fishermen competing in Paris, Tennessee. This year’s tournament saw a unique addition to the rules and regulations of the competition and was the first year a standup paddle board was allowed to compete.
Fish Stalker Pro Ambassador, Will Bevard, contacted Hoover about entering the National Championship on his SUP. Hoover was excited about the opportunity of expansion and saw a paddle board as a human-powered vessel that should be allowed to compete. Hoover and Bevard examined the rules, searching for anything that would need modification. There were no major kayaking standards that excluded the abilities of a SUP fisherman and only slight modifications were needed in KBF ruling.
In this competition, fishermen enter their qualifying catch by submitting a photo of each fish to the KBF judges. This is taken and send via a mobile phone and has to meet the following standards: each fish must be unique and no retakes of the same fish. Photos must be legible and each photo must be centered on the bass’ body. Each photo must be first generation and not a copy or a screen-shot. Photo must show fish completely so fish is identifiable. Background of the photo must visibly show fishing craft. Fisherman’s hand and bass’ mouth must be positioned a certain way.
Years prior, photos had to show fisherman’s legs in or on the craft, as he or she would be sitting down in the kayak. In the 2018 ruling, this photo requirement was removed since a SUP fisherman would inconvenience by this. This small adjustment to rules allowed KBF to add a standup paddle board to the list of acceptable vessels to compete next to kayaks and canoes.
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