CKA at the 2018 KBF National Championship

Every year for the past three seasons, CKA anglers compete to be invited to the KBF National Championship. Some qualify by finishing in the top 5 of CKA’s AOY standings while others battle on-line, at KBF Trail events  and at regional KBF Open tournaments.

We take many roads but we have one destination: Kentucky Lake.

And so it is that in March of every year our qualified anglers begin a new kayak fishing season by fishing for two days against a large field of nation’s top kayak anglers. The stakes are high, the days are long, but the rewards are many. Two CKA anglers (Cory Dreyer and Rick Rowland), came within inches of bringing the trophy to North Carolina in 2017, placing 5th and 3rd, respectively, and Shelly Efird and Jim Lor nearly did the same in 2016 (placing 5th and 7th). In sum, CKA has had two anglers in the top 10 every year. Will this be the breakthrough event we are all waiting for?

As anglers begin the journey to Tennessee, the CKA tournament staff, our sponsors friends and fellow anglers wish this season’s competitors the best of luck!

Looking ahead, remember also that CKA will host 2 KBF Trail events in 2018 (Harris in early June and Gate City Classic in September), and we will also help Boonedox with their Trail event at High Rock in April. A KBF Open is scheduled for Santee Cooper in early May – all are National Championship qualifier events.

The TourneyX profiles of qualified CKA anglers headed to Nationals are listed below. And don’t forget to follow live tournament results at this link on March 23-24:

Drew Blair  Bob Dainton  Jamie Denison  Cory Dreyer  Shelly Efird  Brian Falbe  Matt Hawj

Brandon Jessup  Calvin Keller  Jim Lor  Shoua Lor  Jacob Miles  Joshua Miles  Aaron Miller

Arlie Minton  Nathan Naturile  Eric Nelson  Ralph Nolan  Ed Parrish  Ricky Rowland

Marcus Smith Joey Sullivan  Austin Vang  Henry Veggian  Tommy Xiong  Melvin Yang




CKA Rookie of the Year Standings Update

Hi everyone,

As we announced a few months ago, CKA will honor the Rookie of the Year in 2018. This award will go to the highest ranked 1st year angler in the series based on the aggregate of his or her 4 best event scores. In addition to other prizes the CKA 2018 Rookie of the Year will also receive an invite to the 2-day Tournament of Champions in mid-October.

We were very excited to see so many 1st time anglers sign up for the tournament at Hyco. It was great to meet so many new people interested in the sport and the CKA series. We hope to see more new folks in the mix as the season unfolds, too.

We will periodically update and publish the ROY standings. Here are the current Rookie Of The Year standings after Hyco. If you had a tough 1st event, remember that if you fish 5 events your bottom score is automatically dropped!

We’ll see you at Lake Hickory on March 31st!


NAME Total Score
Graham Reay ( R ) 89
Mark Wilkins ( R ) 71
John Stone ( R ) 67
Anthony Brinkley ( R ) 65
Mike Wimmer ( R ) 64
Keith McGee ( R ) 55
Terry Wheeler Jr ( R ) 54
Bernie Garrett ( R ) 52
Ker Xiong ( R ) 47
Ryan Freeman ( R ) 45
Lee Payne ( R ) 44
Brandon Bertovich ( R ) 10
Travis Bevill ( R ) 10
James Blackburn ( R ) 10
Brad Clayton ( R ) 10
Eric Garcia-Ochoa ( R ) 10
Kayla Ingram ( R ) 10
Matt Kaufmann ( R ) 10
Josh Lewis ( R ) 10
Chris Morris ( R ) 10
Tony Tant ( R ) 10
David Truban ( R ) 10


CKA Tournament 2: Lake Hickory (March 31st)

CKA Tournament #2
March 31, 2018
Lake Hickory


Welcome anglers to the 2nd CKA tournament of the 2018 season and thanks again to all who participated at Lake Hyco last month!

Our 2nd tournament of the season will be held on March  31st on Lake Hickory, a 4200 acre lake on the Catawba River chain. Hickory proved to be a surprise last season when we fished it for the first time on our tournament trail. The lake gave up several large limits during the post-spawn period and many anglers expressed an interest in fishing it again. So let’s see how it fishes during the pre-spawn/early spawn phase of the season. Let’s also see if CKA Tournament Director Wayne Butler – the only CKA staff member to ever win a single angler event – can defend his Hickory crown from last season or top the 58.5” limit he posted!

  • This is a Multi Launch event (the 5 ramps listed below are the only legal launches).
  • Anglers are to remain within 30 yards of the launch area prior to the 6:45am start time. Anglers may have kayaks in the water but will not be permitted to leave early to get to fishing areas.
  • Blank identifiers will be available for print approximately one week prior to the event (we recommend printing a few extras).
  • Unique identifier CODE will be released Friday 3/30 after 9:00pm EST. We will provide instructions at that time how to populate the identifier.
  • TourneyX sign up will be cutoff on Friday 3/30 at 10:00pm EST.
  • This will be the season’s first multi-launch event, so budget time for travel from your launch to check in. Remember you must be present at the Wittenburg check in by 3:15 pm.
  • Photographs will not be uploaded after that time, manually or otherwise.

TourneyX Sign Up:

                                               Event Info

Sign up Tourneyx
Fee $50.00 Entry (includes H.O.W, TourneyX, Big Fish fees)
Event Date March 31st 2018
Format 3 fish (8” minimum). Hawg Trough measure required.     
Lines in 6:45 am
Lines Out 2:45 pm
Check in/Photo upload ends 3:15 pm
  Check in Address:             Wittenburg Landing  193-229 Wildlife Access Rd. Hickory, NC 28601


Approved Launches
1. Gunpowder
5450 Hurricane Hill Road
Granite Falls, NC 28630

2. Lovelady
5682 Rocky Mount Rd
Granite Falls, NC 28630

3. Wittenburg Landing
175 Wildlife Access Rd
Hickory, NC 28601

4. Dusty Ridge
508 Dusty Ridge Access Rd
Taylorsville, NC 28681

5. Oxford
1874 Claude Rd
Claremont, NC 28610

Lake Hyco CKA Tournament Recap

Hi everyone,

Our first event of 2018 came during a good warming spell that woke up the fish on local lakes. We had 74 anglers turn out to enjoy the weather and a good bite on Lake Hyco. This was our first event on the lake; the lake staff treated us well and local businesses were happy to see us too. Thank you to everyone who attended and for patronizing our series, the lake and local stores.

As for the event itself: we shared the launch with a boat tournament and it went smoothly. There was fog on the lake at launch and it burned off by mid-morning. Not unsurprisingly, many of the best fish were caught during the early bite, which took place between two fronts – a cold front that came through late Friday and the wind and light rain that arrived Saturday in the late morning. Several early leaders held position through the day and in the end the tournament was decided by the smallest margins. On a day like Saturday, every small upgrade made a difference. Here are a few numbers:

  • 162 fish were caught
  • Nearly half the field (34 anglers) caught a limit
  • The gap between 10th place and 1st place was only 4.5 inches
  • The gap between 20th place and 1st place was only 7.25 inches

In the end, we paid out 10 places to faces new and familiar. Bob Dainton, who was director of Carolina Yakfish (the series that preceded CKA, but ended in 2013) won 1st place. By winning first place, Bob also qualified for the end of season CKA Tournament of Champions. Ron Gerber (now a CKA TD) placed 5th after not fishing with CKA for a couple of seasons. We also had two out of state anglers in the money: Casey Reed from Virginia won 4th fishing his second event with us, and Graham Reay from South Carolina won 6th place.

  1. Bob Dainton
  2. Jacob Miles
  3. Drew Blair
  4. Casey Reed
  5. Ron Gerber
  6. Graham Reay
  7. P.C. Hawj
  8. Eric Nelson
  9. Aaron Miller (Aaron also won the Big Bass pot)
  10. Shelly Efird

Additionally, Matt Hawj won the Manley Fishing Rod gift certificate, John Ladd won the Bending Branches Ace Angler paddle and Arlie Minton won the Carver Covers kayak cover. 6 anglers also won BioSpawn Lure Company lure sets.

We will post the first Rookie of the Year standings in the coming days, a photo gallery,and also other new info.

Full results can be seen here:

 Thanks again to everyone, and we will see you at Lake Hickory on March 31st!


Rules Update: Tournament Measuring Boards

This post is an update/reminder concerning approved measuring devices, but it also contains an explanation of how those devices may affect scoring when a photo is unclear.

We have received several messages about which measuring devices are permissible in CKA events. The following rule applies to CKA events, per section 7c. of the KBF Rules standard:

“Acceptable measuring boards include the “Hawg Trough” manufactured by Hagen’s…., a FishStik Version 2 (with Bump Board Arrows and Lock Slide) and the Ketch Co Measuring Board.”

Anglers Denny Romero & Chris Ferguson (Chris is TD of the Plastic Pirates Trail) recently convened the directors of the 3 North Carolina Bass Kayak Fishing Trails to review how Denny and Chris compared the Hawg trough with a Ketch Board. After a careful discussion, CKA has renewed its commitment to allowing the Ketch board. The other Trails will follow different rules, so if you fish their events, contact them and ask about permitted boards (for example, Chris will only allow Hawg Troughs this season).

Pursuant to that discussion, the CKA directors want to remind anglers of a relevant rule regarding the scoring of fish, and what role a board plays in it. That rule is 10.f in the KBF Standard, and it is as follows:

“Blurry Photo/Length Unclear: Scored at the highest mark at which there is no doubt.”

In reviewing the Ketch board with a black design, we noticed low contrast between the fish tail and board.  As you can see in Figure 1 below (courtesy of Denny Romero), the tail appears to be touching the 11” line, but a judge may have doubt (is that a piece of dirt?) and the rule clearly states there can be no doubt. Because the tail loses contrast between lines where there is shadow on the board, a judge could not be  able to clearly determine where the tail ends. Therefore the “highest mark” applies, and the fish would be scored an 10.75″. By contrast, the fish in Figure 2 below is absolutely clear, there is no shadow and there cannot be any doubt about the length.

Read more “Rules Update: Tournament Measuring Boards”