Pearce takes first KATS tournament

akatstournamentOn January 23 at 7:15 a.m., 62 kayaks competing in the Kayak Angler Tournament Series parted the morning mist, all with an angle to hook a big bass.

All morning the boat dock at Decker Lake rumored the sun would warm up the cold conditions, and alas it did … at 2:30 p.m. when the fishing had just about ended. Competitors arrived back on shore at 3 with tales of catfish, swamped kayaks and a long day of tempted bass. But all hope was never lost by these men! 

Our top finalists showed us the possibilities of Decker Lake with first place winners, Chris Pearce (Pro) who also took Big Bass with a 23.5-inch catch and 93-inch total stringer, Phillip Vela with 78-inch (Semi-Pro) and Beau Reed (Rookie) caught a total of 63.75 inches of fish. In the pro division, pay outs were as follows:

  1. Chris Pearce — 93 inches, Payout:$724
  2. Chris Coufal — 91.25 inches, Payout: $402
  3. Mark Nordstrom — 89.75 inches, Payout: $225
  4. Steve Garcia — 87.75 inches, Payout: $161
  5. Ervin Coonrod — 83 inches, Payout: $96

Chris Pearce also walked away with an extra $490 for catching the biggest bass, giving him a total of $1214 in winnings. There’s something big to be said for all of the competitors as no one expected a 40-degree cold snap with weather predictions topping out at 75 degrees.

Luckily, thanks to the many KATS sponsors, including our platinum Decker event sponsors Scotty Fishing Products and Rodbenders LLM, the prize table was longer than anyone’s stringer. Nearly everyone went home with some new gear to better their luck at Lake Bastrop on February the 23rd. We wanted to particularly thank Patron sponsors, Kelty, Diablo Paddlesports, Bending Branches, Malone Trailers and Yak Gear who have gone above and beyond to ensure for a great 2013 year.

If you’re trying to compete for Angler of the Year, be sure to register for the Pro division to qualify.

If you need info for sign-up and dates, want to do a little smack talking or need to access the rules, visit the tournament website at