Kayak Fishing Slam Wrap-Up Article.

The Group of Guys

Saturday
September 24th, 2011 marked the first ever Kayak Fishing Slam Event. The inaugural
event was hosted at the Val-Monte Resort and on Lake Guntersville, Alabama. The
event was sponsored by: Jackson Kayak, Onyx Outdoor Inc, Vicious Fishing, Guntersville
Lake Tackle Shop, and KFS Funding. A total of eighteen hundred in cash and
prizes were given away to the top five (six) anglers as well as a cash pot paid
to big fish. The grand prize was Jackson Kayak Coosa, and Onyx Outdoor Inc
followed up second and fourth place with great life jackets and a waterproof
fishing Jacket. Vicious fishing packages rounded out third and fifth place;
third place also received a pair of Wiley-X Fishing Glasses to sweeten the pot.

The
event started the night before, Friday the 23rd, when we got together at the
Val-Monte Resort to sign up and go over rules. People from all over came, three
from Georgia, two from Tennessee, and seven from Alabama. That night five of us
went to Top of the River, where we ordered way more food than we could eat, and
showed one guy how Alabama serves up food. A few fishermen enjoyed some drinks
and we talked over what was going to happen the next day. No one wanted to
leave the restaurant because it was going to be a long sleepless night for all
the participants. So, we waited the hours away for a few Georgia boys to make
it over and go over the rules. After meeting with the boys from Tallapoosa
Paddling Company and them registering for the tourney I informed the hotel that
we were done with the meeting room, which we never entered, and we all departed
our own ways to prepare for the upcoming tournament. At 5:00am the tournament
would begin.

A total
of twelve anglers showed up to compete for the title of the first ever Kayak
Fishing Slam. Not many compared to the 106 anglers the BFL had present at the
same host location that weekend. But, our kayaks definitely competed with those
bass boats. The fishing was tough for everyone. The out of state guys had received
information from me and other locals, and the locals hit their spots with high
hopes of big bass on the first weekend of fall. The rat bite, aka: frog bite,
was what everyone was relying on, but the fish apparently disagreed. It was a
fight for all the catch fish. One angler went home without a bite. Two other
anglers, my brother and father, chose not to submit their fish knowing that
they were not going to hit the top 5; so they both took a score of zero.

The anglers
never found a pattern that led to a consistent bite, actually, half the field
did not reach the three bass limit. Fish were caught on frogs way up north, and
a mixture of lures down south. The winner fished the farthest north, all the way
up to the northern boundaries, and it paid off for him. Even though he limited
his time having to drive the farthest.

The anglers
were due back at the Val-Monte Resort at 5:00pm for check in. They came pulling
up to a crowded parking lot, being shared with the BFL, we met on the back lawn
which is a very nice venue for anyone looking to host an event, and KFS plans
to be back next year. I began accepting cards and cameras and began to process
the entries.

While I
was working in the corner I could hear the stories of the day coming from each
and every angler muffled by mouthfuls of barbeque from a local restaurant. I
could hear stories of struggles, but one person never told his story, he had a
secret and planned to keep it. The anglers mulled over the prizes, rested, and
talked to each other until finally I announced it was time for the presentation.

We
started by thanking the sponsors and the host; then I told the anglers of the
importance of fishing for a cause. Every tournament needs a good cause to
support, and the cause we were fishing for this September was the Lake
Guntersville State Park and its recovery since the April 27th storms that
ravaged Alabama.  Then onto  presenting  the top five.

Angler Name Total Length Place
Stewart Venable ### ???
Justin Tadlock ### ???
Jonathan Gladden ### ???
Bryan Tadlock ### ???
Michael Elders ### ???

The top
five was definitely hard to get into, but moving up the ranks once in the top
five was even harder. The places were separated between inches instead of
halves of inches. Going through the presentation we got a look at everyone’s
fish and had a chance to hear the story from an angler here and there and the
final standings ended up looking like this:

Angler Name Total Length Place
Jonathan Gladden 52.50 1st
Justin Tadlock 50.25 2nd
Bryan Tadlock 47.75 3rd
Stewart Venable 38.50 4th
Michael Elders 31.75 5th
Josh Tidwell 29.25 6th
Jeremy Meier 28.50 7th
Doug Morris 24.75 8th
Jason West 11..50 9th
Kevin King 00.00 10th
Cody King 00.00 11th
Kevin McCulough 00.00 12th

Jonathan
Gladden came out on top by a long shot, also catching a 20.25 inch bass giving
him the big fish award and taking home the Jackson Kayak Coosa. Justin, taking
second, went home with some great gear from Onyx. His father Bryan placed third
just about three inches behind his son. Those were the big winners for the day.
And the rest of the anglers took home some Vicious Fishing Line.

Now, I
have to publicly apologize to angler Doug Morris, I made a serious error when
scoring his fish. Not a 1/4 inch error, but a 10 inch error. Doug submitted
three fish, and two were the exact same length and I could not find a marking
that separated them into two fish. I even had a back up opinion that agreed
they were one fish. Being the kind person Doug Morris is, he waited until after
the tournament was over to approach me about my mistake. He did not want to
make a big deal out of it, but I did. And he will be receiving  a new Abu Garcia Veritas Spinning Rod in the
mail in the next week or two to compensate my mistake. Doug actually placed a
total of 35 inches on the board, putting him in 5th place. And, I apologize
that I made such a great mistake.

Over
all, the tournament was a success for all the anglers, as well as my personal
experience. I know I had a great time, as did the anglers. KFS plans to host a
few more tournaments over the next few years at various locations and I want to
invite you to participate. KFS will also be undergoing a name change as we head
toward becoming an official business. We will be changing from Kayak Fishing
Slam, to Kayak Fishing Series; having slam in the name, I fear, will mislead
participants into thinking it is a multi species tournament.

Thanks
to all who made this a success for me, and I would also like to thank sponsors
for your time and help and prizes you donated to the event.

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Comments
  1. Jeremy says:

    Thank you Hunter for this great event. I plan on being back next year and bringing more people frpm Tennessee.

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