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The Fish Like A Kat logo with a silhouette cat catching a fish with its tail with text: kayak fishing 101 tournament series explained!

Kayak Fishing 101:
Tournament Trail Series Explained!

By: Katie Backa

Oh hey there, friend!!

So...after talking to a lot of people at the shop over the last few months - I realized something...

A whole lot of people don't really understand how a kayak fishing trail series works...

So I thought I would break it down for everyone who may have thought about fishing a trail, but weren't quite sure where to start!

Let's dig in...

In Texas, our favorite local trail is the "North Texas Kayak Championships" run by our good friend, Mr. Duc Tran.

This is what their trail schedule looks like:

A list of the North Texas Kayak Championship lakes for 2021

Essentially, you can think of a "trail" as a map...
A treasure map of the lakes on the NTXKC trail for 2021
For NTXKC 2021, you have to fish at least 3 out of the 5 events during the "regular season" - which is considered the 5 events prior to the "classic" - and place in the top 50 anglers of the field [for the entire season] in order to qualify to fish the classic.

You can think of the "regular season" just like you would for games during the NFL regular season - and you can think of the "classic" as the superbowl.

Still with me so far??


Because now we're going to get technical...

If you remember from my previous article, the "Kayak Fishing Tournament Guide", each tournament you fish, you're fishing for the 5 longest fish that you can find...and at the end of the tournament, the total length of those 5 fish will rank you against the other anglers you're competing against.

Those rankings will look like this:

A list of the top 5 anglers from the 2021 Save JT tournament
***This is a list of the top 5 anglers from the Save JT tournament***
***You can find out more about JT and how to help him here!***

Now, for every event you fish in a trail with "angler of the year" points, you earn "AOY Points".

The top 100 anglers of the event receive points based on where they finished for that event.

The angler who finishes in first place earns 100 points - the angler in second place earns 99 points - and that continues down the ranks, and looks like this:

A list of the top 5 anglers from the 2021 Save JT tournament with their AOY points

So, for every event you have fished in the trail, you've accumulated "AOY points", which creates a new ranking for the entire trail series, which looks like this:

A list of the 2021 NTXKC anglers aoy points
***You can find the rest of the NTXKC 2021 rankings here!***

Those anglers you see highlighted in green are considered "rookies" for this trail - meaning that they are fishing in their first or second year for this trail - and their accumulated points are put into a ranking for "Rookie of the Year" - which is a separate title earned at the end of the season.

Every trail that does "angler of the year" and "rookie of the year" points, will typically have a trophy or medal for the winners, usually with a cash prize as well.

For some trails, you can fish one event in the trail, and if you finish within the predetermined "top percentile" of the field, you can qualify for the classic without fishing more than one event - but for trails like the NTXKC, you have to rank within the top 50 anglers AND fish 3 events.

Both the AOY and ROY races are designed to encourage anglers to fish the entire trail, rather than simply fishing one event - and it also provides incentive to compete for more than just a single event - because anyone can win one event - but it takes a lot more to dominate an entire trail.

Hopefully that helps explain how kayak fishing trail series work, and encourages all of you to get out there on YOUR local trails to compete!!

Check out this gigantic list of trails to find out more about them!

Tight lines, guys!!


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