Beginning its eighth year, the Kayak Angler Tournament Series is set to start Jan. 11 on Decker Lake.
The tournament trail is ready to go after a successful season last year. This will be the third year the trail has been sponsored by Austin Canoe and Kayak.
Competitors from all over Central Texas and beyond gathered at 6 events beginning in January and finishing up Saturday, Sept. 7 at Inks Lake State Park for the Classic Championship. The first five tournaments were qualifying events in which contestants could compete in one of three divisions: Pro, Semi-Pro and Rookie. Those looking for a more serious competition would choose Pro and keep track of their progress over the season for a stake in the Classic Championship and for prestigious titles such as Kayak Angler of the Year and King of the Fish. Those looking to get started in the sport or improve their skills joined in the ranks of the Semi-Pro and Rookie divisions.
2013 was the biggest KATS season yet and lured in more than 116 different individual competitors, with single event participations as high as 77 anglers.
Brandon Campbell earned the Kayak Angler of the Year title in the 5th event of the season at Canyon Lake. Brandon also won King of the Fish, a title for the angler who catches the most inches over the entire series.
There’s a lot of buzz around KATS 2014. With Austin Canoe and Kayak gearing up for its third year to host the tournament series, the number of events has doubled — bringing it to a total of 10 qualifying events, followed by a 2-day championship. The series has expanded to cater to kayak anglers in the Houston, San Antonio and Dallas areas. Big bass lakes such as Sam Rayburn, Ray Roberts, and Lake Austin, in combination with some lesser known and adventurous waters such as Lake Wood near Gonzales and Choke Canyon Reservoir, will add a new element to this years’ competition.
KATS expects a great turnout this year and has secured over $60,000 in sponsorship from various paddlesports vendors. Along with the traditional cash and certificate payouts, competitors look forward to hefty raffles that include kayaks.