Posts tagged "Tournament"

Tips on Winning Tournaments

May 11th, 2016 Posted by Fishing With Friends, Kayak Fishing, Uncategorized 0 comments on “Tips on Winning Tournaments”


First and foremost, let me say that the tips I’ll be sharing with you here are NOT a guarantee to win in kayak tournaments. These are observations I’ve made in my own tournament experience.

I have failed countless times- more than I’d like to admit. Everyone is a winner if you learn from your mistakes and simply enjoy the experience with your fellow anglers. If you’re not having fun, maybe fishing is not for you.

Let’s start by saying this. If you want to contend with tournament fisherman you’ll have to follow their successful path, but then make it your own. Do your homework.

Tournament fishing off a kayak can be challenging. One of the first questions you ask yourself is where am I going to go? Is live bait an option in this tournament? If so, what size is the bait and color? Knowing these things can really help you plan a better tournament experience.

When I said doing your homework, I meant to go out fishing that day fully prepared. Know what the tides are for the day. Is the current acting in your favor? If not, what is your experience telling you to do? Do that. Also, is it sunny or overcast? Understanding these factors gives you a greater chance of succeeding and a bigger edge against your competitors, but this is just the beginning.

I wouldn’t say the old bait and wait technique won’t work for kayak fishermen, but I also wouldn’t call it a tournament technique either. Know the species you’re targeting and understand what makes them tick. Bait selection is key; it is part of your success. This applies to artificial lures as well as live bait and learning all there is to know about all forms of bait. Fishing with artificial lures can be lucrative if you use them correctly. Assemble your tackle box based on the successful experience you had catching fish with those particular items. Don’t forget what the conditions were that day when you caught that particular species and what colors you were using.

So you caught that fish! Now what? Well, first determine if the fish is legal or not. Most tournaments set the size limit in place before you head out. If you don’t plan to kill your fish do your best to keep them alive and be humane. Some tourneys require you to practice catch and release. Others will penalize you for every dead fish you bring back subtracting from your total weight. This is not true with all tournaments.

Some of the best advice I’ve been given is to not throw back ANY LEGAL SIZE FISH. Other anglers could have had a terrible day, regardless of their winning reputation. I have personally made this mistake one too many times and I regret it. Also pay close attention to where your fellow anglers are fishing. Don’t get too close to them, they can be territorial during a tournament. But if you’re given the OK to be nearby, feel free to pick their brains on how they have been doing and how they have been catching fish. Some fisherman will give great advice. Always listen to other anglers and don’t discount your personal experiences catching fish and reciprocate in sharing your knowledge.

I wish you all great success in kayak tournament fishing! Never give up. Don’t let your friends’ smack talk ever get into your head. Always abide all state and tournament regulations.

It’s your responsibility to learn what they are.

Respect all anglers who decide to fish these tourneys as we all have one thing in common. We’re there to catch fish. We’ll weigh them in for a possible jackpot and of course, bragging rights!.

I hope this article is helpful in conveying understanding of what it takes to be successful in tournament kayak fishing. Again, this is not the be all and end all of tournament fishing. Trust the knowledge you are acquiring every time you go out.

Until next time fellow anglers, enjoy your kayak, stay fishy, and keep your lines tight!


Tommy Ponce


Heroes on the Water, Mission Bay

June 11th, 2014 Posted by Kayak Fishing, Uncategorized 0 comments on “Heroes on the Water, Mission Bay”

More than 110 kayakers came out to support the Heroes on the Water tournament in Mission Bay on May 3 2014.  Two of the those kayakers were part of Team Dana Point Jet Ski, Ken Rosenburg and myself, Gilbert Hernandez.  I did not have much of a game plan going into the tournament and I had little time to fish the area due to our busy tournament schedule.  Going into this tournament I felt a little pressure having won the last event at Mission Bay.  I wanted to bring the title back to Dana Point Jet Ski.  Not to mention Kayak Angler magazine was there and that did not help with the stress.

My game plan was to hit docks with Berkley Jerk Shad and Bass Pro Football Heads.  I mixed this up with some drop shotting as well.  For Ken and I, dock fishing is our bread and butter, it’s what puts big fish in the boat.  As the tournament started, Ken and I went our separate ways.  I went to Quivira and he headed to the Sea World docks.  Quivira docks are really deep.  Most dock fishing is in 15 feet of water, Quivira docks are 25 to 30 feet so when you do hook a fish, chances are, you might lose that fish.  As I went dock to dock, I found my first fish two hours into the tournament on a dock post with a Berkley Jerk Shad. The rest of my day was so slow, I wanted to make a move to the Ski Beach area because there is a lot of good grass to fish, but found out that it was closed due to a rowing tournament. With very little time left I knew of a dock on the backside of Bahia.  One thing about tournament fishing you need to know is time! And tide! The tide was good, but time was running out. With one fish in the tank I knew with the struggle everybody was having that three fish would win it. I decided to make the move to Bahia and on my way I would troll an old school Berkley Frenzy.

As I was making the long move and trolling two baits I got a bend in the rod right away.  I thought I was stuck, but then I began to pull back and landed fish number two. I asked the guys in the weigh boat how much time I had left knowing all I needed was one more fish to seal the deal. The weigh boat responded “you have 40 min”.  I did the math in my head and figured that would give me 10 minutes to fish. I made the move to the docks at Bahia I began to pitch and reel, pitch and reel, and ‘Bam!’ I was hooked up.  The fish gave me a fight.  He turned me around and would not come in.  I had no net and with one last crank of the handle I flung him in the boat.  It was a solid 2lb fish. I peddled like crazy just in time to make the final weigh-in and ended my day with 5.2lbs.

It felt good to win the tournament.  Ken finished 5th with 3.5lbs. The tournament raised $6,000 for Heroes on the Water and I was able to take home a new kayak for winning the tournament.  All in all, a great day and another good win for Team Dana Point Jet Ski.

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