COUNCE, Tenn. — Talented kayak anglers from around the country take to the waters of Pickwick Lake, Tenn., October 8-9 for the final regular-season stop of the Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series powered by TourneyX season.
Competition starts each day at 6:30 a.m. CT, with lines out at 2:30 p.m. An award ceremony will be held Sunday at The Lodge at Pickwick Landing at 4:00 p.m.
The Tennessee B.A.S.S. Nation ranks Pickwick as the best lake in the state and, in the recent Bassmaster Magazine ranking of the country’s 100 Best Bass Lakes, beautiful scenery paired with a chance to catch a trophy trifecta — smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass of above-average size — helped Pickwick claim the No. 16 spot in the Southeastern division.
Not only will the Old Town Bassmaster Kayak Series Angler of the Year be crowned, but it will be the final chance to qualify for the kayak series championship that will be held on Chickamauga Lake in conjunction with the 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic in Knoxville, Tenn.
Sitting atop the field with 972 points in the Angler of the Year race is Justin Largen of Roanoke, Va., who won the second event at Florida’s Harris Chain of Lakes and followed that up with Top 10 finishes in the next two tournaments at Oklahoma’s Grand Lake and Lewis Smith Lake in Alabama.
“When I saw B.A.S.S. was doing an Angler of the Year, I signed up for all of them right away,” Largen said. “The win was huge for me. It was my first win at a national level and there were a bunch of big names fishing. It was a huge confidence boost.
“Going into Grand and into Smith, they weren’t places I have fished before and I didn’t have a ton of confidence, but my goal was to be competitive and stay relevant. Don’t have a bomb and take myself out of it. To be leading it feels great.”
Largen is followed closely by West Virginia angler Larry Edwards (967 points) and Garrett Morgan (950), who led the AOY standings through the first three events and took the victory in the season’s first tournament at Lake Fork.
Instead of a standard weigh-in that requires scales measuring pounds and ounces, anglers will practice “catch, photograph and release” to determine the kayak tournament standings.
When an angler catches a bass, he or she will photograph it lying on an approved measuring board and submit the photo through a special mobile app provided by TourneyX. The boards will measure each bass in inches down to a quarter of an inch, and the angler with the longest five-bass limit will win.
The tournament is being hosted by the Hardin County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 515,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, St. Croix Bassmaster Opens Series presented by Mossy Oak Fishing, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Strike King Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Abu Garcia Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Team Championship, Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series powered by TourneyX, Yamaha Bassmaster Redfish Cup Championship presented by Skeeter and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic.