This past weekend I wrapped up my first tournament season with KBF, placing 36th in the nation for Angler of the Year. To me this is quite a statement. Getting to this spot wasn’t easy, and it definitely could have been better. Most importantly was all the lessons learned throughout the season, goals achieved, and setting goals for next season. It has been quite a ride, but I’m ready for some much needed time off to regroup.
Obviously with all the work and guests that I have talked to since the start of the podcast, I knew this season wouldn’t be easy. However with the knowledge I have gained it definitely prepped me for some success. Tournament fishing isn’t easy, and you have to do a ton of work if you want to be successful at it. Many think that tournament anglers are just out there having a good ole time, but let me tell you first hand it’s a grind.
As schedules rolled out last Fall/Winter I sat down to see what was going to be feasible. I had a plan to fully commit to a lot of tournaments. Although I didn’t get to partake in all, I stayed focused on the National events. I fished the Central Trail Series run by Kayak Bass Fishing. I had a goal just to place in the top ten every tournament. It was a little far fetched, but I thought with the right determination it was achievable. I did manage two top 10 finishes in the trail events. I also partook in the Pro Tour as well, and managed a 2nd place finish there. There were only about 10 of us who fished the Central Pro Tour so placing top 10 there was no issue.
Another goal I had in mind was placing Top 50 for Angler of the year, and possibly taking home Rookie of the Year. I had no clue really where I would stack up against some of the best in the business . As stated in the beginning I ended up ranking 36th for Angler of the Year. That’s top 40 out of 991 people that competed in Trail Series events this year. As bummed as I was I didn't finish higher, looking back at the number of overall competitors, I feel thats pretty impressive for a Rookie.
Things learned this year, I think are going to be a major help as I look forward to next year. The one major thing I learned was don’t worry about everyone else, just worry about the battle between yourself and the fish. Don’t worry about the Angler of the Year standings. Do as much preparation as possible. Study, Study, Study, and do even more studying. But the most important thing overall, Have Fun doing what I love!
Looking forward, I will take everything from this year to help me progress through the tournament world. I made Top 40 this year so I will bump that to Top 30 next year. I feel if I don’t get greedy, stay humble, then great things will happen . To all of those considering making the leap, Just Do It! The best way to learn is by doing. So get out there and have a good time, and just have fun!
Tight lines and smooth paddlin!