Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine Vol 39 No 2 - Spring 2015 - Page 31
by Jeff Herman
Kayak Tournament Time
pring is here, and that means
kayak tournament season is
about to kick off. The best part
of being a kayaker in Texas is the wealth
of tournament opportunities available.
From single one-off events, to
tournament series with multiple dates that
last all year, if you want some friendly
kayak fishing competition you can find
it here on the Gulf Coast.
If you are thinking about dipping
your toe in the tournament scene, my
personal favorite and probably the best
run event is the Lone Star Kayak Series
(LSKS). Going into its 4th year, organizer
and tournament director, Dustin “EasyE” Koreba, has running a tournament
down to a science.
LSKS started in 2012 and has not
only had good and consistent turnouts, it
has grown every year. I asked Dustin why
LSKS has been so successful. “Great
payouts and prizes are key,” he said. “Our
sponsors do a great job. We payout so many
winners, but ultimately it is the anglers
themselves that make it so much fun.”
Dustin went on to say, “Our anglers
are just good people. They are dedicated
anglers and they are decent guys and gals.”
Dustin’s model has proved that
offering quality payouts, fair rules, and
reasonable entry fees is a sure way to be
In addition to a great tournament
foundation, LSKS continues to innovate
and make an impression with the
community. While a majority of their
proceeds go back as payout to anglers
who participate, some extra money is set
aside for “Heroes on the Water” charity.
Supporting our veterans is important
to Dustin. “As a veteran myself,
contributing to HOW is a natural fit.
They do a great job for our veterans and
I think if not for HOW there would be
a lot of guys stuck without an outlet.
HOW gives our veterans a way to get
out there, and I want to support that
anyway I can.”
LSKS also promotes a conservation
ethic. While the event is a live
weigh-in tournament, which makes
for an exciting afternoon, they also
offer special raffle tickets to
anglers who release their redfish
alive. Only live releases get the
special raffle tickets and the
associated prize. Last year, Werner
conservation minded idea and the
vast majority of reds weighed-in
In 2015, the LSKS has four
events all headquartered in
Galveston at Louis Bait Camp
(April 18, June 16, August 15, Oct
3). You can learn more and sign
up here: lonestarkayakseries.com.
Another great series that has
events all along the Gulf coast is
the IFA Kayak Fishing tournaments. They have regional events
in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas.
The regional events serve as
individual tournaments, but also serve as
qualifiers for a national championship
event. This year’s national championship
will be in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana.
The fun and/or challenging aspect of the
IFA tournaments is that they are “CPR”
– catch, photo, release - tournaments. It
takes another level of skill to wrangle a
slippery fish for a clear, clean photo on a
There have been many an angler
over the years (Possibly the author,
ahem.) that have had a fish flop and flip
their way to freedom before a decent
photo was captured. It’s a challenge, but
a fun challenge. Learn more about the
dates and locations of the IFA kayak
tournaments at: ifatours.com.
In the realm of completely different
kayak fishing tournaments is the AFWC
(Adventure Fishing World Championship) event in Delacroix, Louisiana.
AFWC is part kayak fishing tournament,
part endurance paddle, and part survival
skill competition. This annual springtime
event is hosted in a marsh maze. Anglers
Sonny Mills taking 3rd place at the LSKS.
have to navigate their way to 5 individual
check points; once at a check point they
can begin fishing. Then, once a fish is
caught, it’s on to the next check point.
The tournament is a one day event
that can see competitors paddle up to 20
miles, and the possibility of getting lost
and turned around between check points
is not only possible, but highly likely. As
a paddler and a kayak fisherman, this
event has really appealed to me and I have
dusted off my old tournament mojo to
sign up and fish this unique event.
Springtime on the Gulf Coast is
definitely tournament time. Whether you
are a serious tournament angler, or just
enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow
kayak fishermen, there is a tournament
out there with your name on it. I will be
at the Lone Start Kayak Series events and
Hopefully, I can squeeze in an IFA
event on the calendar. Put one on your
calendar and come enjoy the fun!
Photo by Joe Winston GCF
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