Each year in Austin, Texas, a group of kayak anglers come together to hold a kayak fishing tournament in the spirit of Christmas. Mike Garcia, took the time to share with Yak Outlaws the history behind this tournament, their charity donation, and quite simply an amazing tournament idea promoting the spirit of the holidays.
It would be an understatement of epic proportion to declare that the Kayak tournament scene in Texas is hot. I can confirm that it is not. It’s downright volcanic! The recent explosion of tournament activity in the kayak culture is expanding at a rate that is only rivaled by the roll out of dedicated fishing kayaks from manufacturers large and small. Last year we had around 15 or so fresh water tournaments here in Texas. This year we had 30 tournaments between KATS ( Kayak Angler Tournament Series) and CCKFT, (Capital City Kayak Fishing Tournaments) alone. The tournament scene is very accessible here and it draws a large cadre of experienced and skilled kayak anglers. Its possible to go and fish with some of the best kayak Bass fishing talent, on some of the best year round waters in North America. On top of it all, you can do it without breaking the bank. Wives love it.
On December 13th , CCKFT held their 20th and final tournament for 2014 and it was a fantastic close out. It was a fund raiser for the United States Marine Corp, Toys for Tots program. CCKFT Director, Beau Reed is a former Marine and he promoted this as a 100% proceeds donation event. In fact, you had to also dress up with something Christmas and bring a toy. The sponsors all stepped in with prizes and SWAG so all of the entrants had a good day. Beau raised $1200.00 for Toys for Tots and filled 3 large boxes with toys.
Ladybird Lake, formerly known as Town Lake is a dam on the Lower Colorado chain of 6 dams in Central Texas. The lake cuts 5 miles directly through downtown Austin and it’s always full of activity. There’s a new boardwalk along a quarter mile of it and 6 bridges run across it with plenty of spectators. On this day, it was filled with gift requests, picture takers, tourists and much cooler than all of it, the gaggles of runners, kid’s and paddlers stopping to flirt with Santa Claus. There were 43 entrants and 2 camera boats, all dressed up , with mostly Santa as the theme. Just after sunrise we noticed the high rise dwellers on their balconies with binoculars and phone cameras with a news truck stopped on the bridge taking video. Santa Claus had made it to town baby! Hundreds of facebook pictures were taken. It was a day to smile about Austin.
The “Lady” can sometimes be fickle and selective and this day was a good example of her demeanor. 23 of the 43 participants zeroed out. The rest of the top 20 pack was led by Reid Fairbanks with 83.75 inches of Bass and Kevin Werner took the “Big Bass” trophy with a single 24 inch fattie. Trophies were also given out for “The Spirit of Christmas”, won by Clinton Holstine, and “Best Dressed” won by Chris Coufal with a kayak decked out in full sled, complete with Rudolf on the bow, and a stern mounted Christmas tree, which also made it on the evening news. Chris is not known for doing “a little bit” of something. But I’ll be willing to wager that someone is going for bigger things next year…..
Merry Christmas from Austin.
Mike Garcia is a Premier Pro Staff Videographer for Johnson Outdoors, Team Ocean Kayak and the Dunkin-Lewis demo team. His water pedigree
comes from his Hawaiian mother, 6 years as a Navy Gunners Mate and 21 years in Rescue/EMS and Instruction. He resides on the shores of Lake
Travis, near Austin where he follows the Texas Kayak scene and gets wet 5 days a week.
or this video report at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze-hE_IWHKc
For more information on the Bass Tournaments……..
To learn more about CCKFT check out the activity on Facebook or the
website at: http://capitalcitykayakfishing.com/
Kayak Angler Tournament Series: http://www.fishkats.com