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Teamwork - A Little Brag For Us Kayakers (Saltwater)

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Here's a story of how a kayak based organization bested seven other power boater based anglers clubs in VA this past weekend.  I was proud to not only be a board member of this group but also one of the anglers who weighed in a points qualifying fish!




As the sun rose on the Chesapeake Bay, the members of the Tidewater Kayak Anglers Association (TKAA) made their way to their designated launch sites with a solitary goal in their collective minds – catch as many quality fish as you can.  At first glance, this is not unfamiliar to anyone that fishes in their own native waters.  On this day, a different challenge was faced by these kayaker anglers for they were stepping into the ring with not one, but seven other notable and skilled anglers clubs from the region that were fishing out of their power boats.   These kayakers had taken on the challenge of competing in the 23rd annual Catchin’ For Kids Anglers Club Challenge charity tournament.  The rules were simple – 20 anglers per club with no more than five anglers per team/boat;  fifteen species with the top three fish by weight earning points for first through third; and best combined point total wins the Anglers Club Challenge trophy.


To the novice angler or kayaker, this would appear to be an insurmountable task.  For the members of the TKAA, this was neither their first dance, nor the first time that these members had competed in a fishing tournament.  They had participated in this challenge for the last few years and had started to rise in the standings each year with a third place showing most recently in 2012 as their best to date.  The goal each year has always been to finish higher than the previous year.  On this day, the goal was clear – to be the best, you have to beat the best.


The locations were strategically selected, and the teams were formed to facilitate a broad spectrum attack!  In order to succeed, every team member would need to focus and concentrate on the task at hand.  By the end of the day, the tale of the tape was clear, the kayakers had come to serve notice and did so with emphasis by posting a tournament record 32 points with three species sweeps, four citations, and several multi-species points.  The second place team finished with 19 points, further exemplifying how successful this group of kayak anglers was on this day.


Kayakers around the world all have their preferences when it comes to brands of kayaks and the kayak and fishing accessories they employ.  All too often, people focus on what kayak or paddle is the most popular or even what rod and reel someone else is using.  On this day, members of the Hurricane, Wilderness Systems, Native Watercraft, Ocean Kayak, Jackson Kayak, Malibu and Hobie Fishing teams all formed a unified front.  They utilized gear from a virtual melting pot of manufacturers including but not limited to: Bending Branches, Werner, Aqua Bound, Adventure Technology, Kokatat, Simms, Stohlquist, Astral, Daiwa, Shimano, Abu Garcia, Okuma, Penn, Boomerang, YakAttack, Yak Gear, FishGrip, Maui Jim, Costa del Mar, Smith Optics, Hobie Polarized and others to demonstrate the true meaning of teamwork.


On this day, the Tidewater Kayak Anglers Association served notice to the other clubs in the region that we are here, and we know how to fish!


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