Paddling to Victory: Get to know Kayak Bass Fishing
September 18, 2023
Lake Murray is no stranger to bass fishing. In fact, Bassmaster named it #1 “Best Southeastern Bass Fishing Lake” and #4 in the US in their 2023 100 Best Bass Lakes Revealed List. Whether you’re a visitor or a local, it’s normal to see bass boats zooming across the waters of the lake. However, you may notice kayak anglers skillfully maneuvering their slim boats in places typical engine-powered watercrafts can’t reach.
Queen City Kayak Bass Fishing (QCKBF) is a competitive group that organizes fishing tournaments across the Southeast. Capital City/Lake Murray Country recently hosted one of the QCKBF’s biggest tournaments on Lake Murray, featuring 100 anglers and a $2,000 first-place prize. The award ceremony, held at Harbison Theatre in Irmo, SC, was filled with excitement and camaraderie as anglers exchanged tales of their adventures on Lake Murray and showcased their passion for kayak bass fishing.
Vinny Ferreri, originally from Queens, NY, founded QCKBF nearly a decade ago to fill the void of a competitive kayak bass fishing series in Charlotte, NC. With his experience (and love of competing), Vinny offered some insights about the art of kayak bass fishing:
One advantage of kayak bass fishing is to reach areas on the water that a typical bass boat won’t reach. Are there any other benefits of kayak fishing that you can share? Affordability, maintenance (or lack of maintenance) compared to a bass boat. Different bodies of water are going to be better for kayaks versus boats. So, if you’re competitive, you have a lot of opportunities. You have a lot of varying events that you can enter from high dollar to low dollar, all the way up to what we call the national level compared to the local level.
For the angler, what’s the difference in strategy between fishing on a bass boat versus a kayak? You definitely have to slow down and pick your water apart more in a kayak than you would in a bass boat.
Are there more obstacles while fishing in a kayak compared to a boat? I would say just the inability to travel as far; you can’t run around as much. You have to focus more on your creek or cove than the lake itself.
Along with accessibility, affordability, and maintenance, some other benefits of kayak fishing include conservation, fitness, versatility, and stealth:
Without an engine, these boats provide a less intrusive way of approaching the fish and their ecosystem.
Kayaking demands a level of fitness that requires anglers to stay active as they paddle (or pedal) around bodies of water. Like Vinny said, you can’t get across the water as quickly as a bass boat, so moving around requires strength and athleticism.
Regarding versatility, kayaks come in different sizes and styles with the ability to add on various accessories, facilitating a personalized experience for anglers.
Kayaks are quiet and relatively low profile, making it easier for anglers to sneak up on fish in clear or shallow waters.
Kayak bass fishing has become a popular competitive sport, with numerous tournaments and events occurring nationwide and worldwide. This community upholds a deep sense of fellowship as they safely navigate the waters and fish responsibly with one another.