CKA 2017 Year in Review

Carolina Kayak Anglers: 2017 Year in Review

CKA has become one of the nation’s most widely recognized state-based kayak tournament fishing series. This is entirely due to the great anglers who participate in the tournaments. You drive to compete in our tournaments on North Carolina’s excellent bass fisheries. You grind for fish over long days, enduring the wind and the rain, the sun and the heat. You compete locally and nationally, and at a high level in both. So there is no other way to begin this review than to acknowledge a simple fact: CKA anglers made 2017 the year that turned CKA from a popular regional series into a nationally recognized one.

A simple fact confirms this: when we held the joint CKA/KBF Trail events at Falls Lake and Randleman, you turned out in large numbers, making them the two of the three most well attended events of the season. Yes, the prizes were big, but the nation’s top kayak anglers were also there. CKA anglers stepped up against the strongest competition of the season and won1st place in both events.

And so, we have to begin our year in review with an expression of gratitude: thank you all for making it a great season.

For the season itself, 2017 featured larger payouts, great attendance, big limits, big fish and a number of other milestones. The numbers below paint that picture.

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CKA Anglers in 2017 KBF Open & Trail Events

CKA Anglers in 2017 KBF Open& Trail Events

This is the last of three posts reviewing CKA anglers in national competition. The first post reviewed CKA results at the National Championship, while the second reviewed on line Challenge tournaments. Where the National Championship is currently the largest and potentially most lucrative tournament event in the country, and the on-line events are longer yet pay out less, the Open and Trail events are intermediate between them: they pay out more, tend to be large regional events and also earn more AOY points for KBF Members.

CKA anglers represented North Carolina at a high level in Trail and Open events in 2017.  Two of our regular anglers – Jamie Denison and Rick Rowland – spent the entire season in the top 5 of the KBF AOY race, with Rick Rowland holding the number 1 spot for the majority of the season. This was largely due to their participation and performance in Open and Trail events. Additionally, many other CKA regulars traveled to Trail and Open events. This post lists the most notable results of the season.

Before proceeding, CKA staff thanks everyone who represented North Carolina in these events. It was a great year for CKA anglers on the national competition circuit, and it was fun to follow events and see the results.
First, the Open events. With a guaranteed payout of $10,000, both KBF members and non-members may compete in these events. Held on large, well-known lakes, there are only a handful of Open events every season (there were only 2 in 2017, but there will be 6 in 2018), but they are very well attended, with hundreds of anglers participating for prizes and points. 

The best finishes by CKA anglers were as follows:

o        Rick Rowland 1st place o        KBF Open, Kentucky Lake
o        Cory Dreyer 3rd place o        KBF Open, Kentucky Lake
o        Austin Vang 13th place o        KBF Open, Kentucky Lake
o        Cory Dreyer 13th Place o        KBF Open, Toledo Bend
o        Shelly Efird 16th place o        KBF Open, Kentucky Lake


In the other category, the KBF Trail Events, CKA anglers fished often, traveling long distances to compete on a regular basis. We only included top 10 finishes in the list below due to the large attendance of CKA anglers in Trail events. Note that the Chickamauga and New River events listed below reflect results for two separate Trail events that were held at each of those water bodies at different times.


o        Rick Rowland 1st place o        Falls Lake
o        Rick Rowland 1st place o        Smith Mountain
o        PC Hawj 1st place o        Lake Randleman
o        Buster Swisher 2nd place o        Lake Randleman
o        PC Hawj 2nd place o        Falls Lake
o        Calvin Keller 3rd place o        Lake Randleman
o        Matt Hawj 3rd place o        Falls Lake
o        Marcus Smith 4th place o        Lake Randleman
o        Rick Rowland 4th Place o        Santee Cooper
o        Jamie Denison 4th place o        Chickamauga
o        Austin Vang 4th place o        Falls Lake
o        Austin Vang 5th place o        Lake Randleman
o        Shelly Efird 5th Place o        Falls Lake
o        Aaron Trexler  6th place o        New River
o        Matt Hawj 6th place o        Lake Randleman
o        Tony Uselman 6th place o        Falls Lake
o        Matt Dunn 7th place o        Falls Lake
o        Melvin Yang 7th place o        Lake Randleman
o        Mitch Rhodes 8th place o        Lake Randleman
o        Jamie Denison 9th Place o        Lake Randleman
o        Brandon Jessup 9th Place o        Smith Mountain
o        Brandon Jessup 9th Place o        Falls Lake
o        Rick Rowland 9th place o        New River
o        Rick Rowland 10th place o        Chickamauga
o        Shaun Applegate 10th place o        Lake Randleman
o        Bob Dainton 10th place o        Falls Lake



Tournament of Champions Recap

CKA Tournament 9

Tournament of Champions

Lake Norman

October 21-22, 2017

The Tournament of Champions marks the end of the CKA tournament season. CKA established the Tournament of Champions to reward the top 25 anglers in the AOY standings with an opportunity to fish for one last prize – a winner take all event. The 2016 edition was a single day event won by Denny Romero on the Yadkin River. Similar to last year’s attendance of 19 anglers, the 2017 edition drew 18 of the top 25 anglers (a few roll down spots were included). Unlike the first edition of the Tournament of Champions, this was a 2 day event, with a 3/2, 5 fish aggregate limit. The top prize remained unchanged – the winner took home the entire entry purse.

Day 1 of the 2017 CKA Tournament of Champions concluded with Melvin Yang leading the tournament with a three fish limit of 51.25” and Tommy Xiong just trailing the leader with 48”. Day one results are available at this link:

Day 2 of the CKA Tournament of Champions brought the remainder of the top 25 CKA anglers out for one last day to determine a champion on Lake Norman. On the final day, Melvin Yang extended his day 1 lead and anchored it with a great 19.25″ Spotted Bass. Melvin landed a 5 fish limit of 87″. For all who have fished Lake Norman, you know how impressive that is. Melvin won $900. Congratulations, Melvin Yang, for the hard fought win!

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August CKA AOY Update

Hi everyone, and thank you to all those who attended the Shearon Harris event ten days ago. We have more news to post in the coming days and weeks, but for now – the updated Angler of the Year standings are up!

You can see the new rankings in the pdf file attachment beneath this paragraph. We have fished 7 tournament events this season and your lowest score was culled. This has created additional movement on the board, as anglers who did well at Shearon Harris advanced several places, while another restored his lead. The race is not yet finished but it has tightened up near the top. Remember that qualification remains open for the CKA Tournament of Champions, so a spot in the top 25 remains within reach for many anglers.

Click on file for CKA AOY update (August 7, 2017): CKA AOY Standings 08072017

Additionally. Mr. Butler has updated the “Big Bass” lake, limit and angler stats. As you can see below, Harris surpassed Falls (and nearly caught Randleman) for the number of big bass the lake gave up, Harris fish took 3 of the top 5 big bass slots, and we have a new top limit as well.  

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CKA Tournament 7: Shearon Harris Lake

CKA Tournament #7

Shearon Harris Lake, NC

August 5, 2017


Welcome anglers to event #7 of the 2017 CKA tournament season. The tournament will be held on August 5th at Shearon Harris Lake. This will be a multi-launch event using the two  public ramps at the lake. The format is a 3 fish (black bass) limit tournament with anglers posting fish to Tourney X.

This post contains

  • lake and license information,
  • rules (and links to complete rules)
  • registration links
  • launch information
  • Captains Meetings time and location info
  • Tournament Start/End Times
  • Post-Event Check-In info

For additional updates, follow CKA on Facebook:

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