First of all lets talk about why I decided to start kayak fishing. I bought a kayak, I love fishing, I love to compete, I hate losing and I like meeting new people. Seemed like a perfect fit. Ok on with the entire experience.
I bought a kayak in early 2007 around February (I think) and googled kayak fishing tournament just because I love to compete in everything I do. Challenge me and chances are I will accept the challenge and raise you 1. I found that this KATS organization was having a tournament on May 5th 2007 in Austin, TX on Town Lake. Now living in San Angelo, TX at the time one would think we (Jon and I) would just drive from San Angelo to Austin and fish this thing right? Nope, Jon and I were doing some work to do at a colo (CI Host) datacenter in Bedford Texas on May 4th. Since it was maintenance on a couple production servers we had to do it at night. We grossly underestimated the time it would take us to do the work or we just didn’t care because we were young and bulletproof. We ended up not getting to our hotel room at the Baymont Inn somewhere close to Bedford, TX until around midnight. We had to wake up around 2ish AM to make it to captains meeting on time on Town Lake in Austin, TX. So off we went southbound on I35 when most people were just leaving the bars. We had two sit in 10 ft kayaks crammed in the back of a single cab ford ranger pickup. You could barely fit a tackle bag between your legs while sitting in these kayaks, or the truck for that matter. After a long trip down I35 we get to the captains meeting and we were given a bread tray like you see the Mrs. Bairds man stocking the shelf with and it had one of those flexible rulers taped or glued to it and that was our measuring device.
I remember fishing all day long without a bite and enjoying every minute of every cast. At the end of the tournament I could sense that Jon was ready to leave, but I had to know who won and what they caught. I don’t remember who won or what the winning stringer was. I do remember getting advice from another angler at the weigh ins that I still use today. The advice was that day he had to back his kayak up to the bank and cast almost like he was fishing from the bank in order to get a bite. Was it true for that particular day? I don’t know, but I have used that technique more than once on the Concho River in San Angelo and it has produced some fish. I also remember saying to myself one of these days I will win one of these fishing tournaments. Well I haven’t fished another KATS tournament and would say that my chances of winning one of them are slim to none due to the stiff competition these days. I sure wish I could make one of these tournaments next year to see first hand how much has changed in 10 years. I sure as heck will not win one sitting here behind this keyboard. I better go practice!
I am not sure if KATS is still ran by the same people/organization or not. If anybody by chance have any photos of this event please contact me as I would love to see some photos. Here is the receipt I found for this event that prompted me to chronicle “My first fishing tournament experience”.