The Next Decade: A Preview of the 2024 CKA Season

What will the next decade look like for Carolina Kayak Anglers [CKA]? That’s hard to predict, but based on the rejuvenation of CKA in 2023, it looks like it’s going to be pretty good.

For starters, we saw a 30% increase in attendance in 2024. Part of that was due to older anglers returning for the 10th anniversary season to celebrate the club and part of it was due to our revamped prize packages. But it was primarily due to the fact that anglers have started to pour into local clubs again after a few down years. In sum, YOU are the reason things look good for the future of CKA and our sport. 

So let’s take a look back at 2023 and a look ahead at 2024.

2023 by the Numbers

The top 3 in the 2023 “20 for 23” series. L-R: B. Falbe, G. Chavis, W. Lambert.
  • 100% Payouts: CKA paid out more than $45,000 in prize money last season. A major factor for the payout increase was the 100% payout model made possible by the generosity of CKA’s Series and Event Title sponsors.
  • Big Bass: CKA moved to an automatic big-bass enrollment in 2024, and it paid out some big numbers. At Shearon Harris, the Big Bass payout was $760, and the lowest payout of the season was $440.  Over eight regular season events, CKA’s Big Bass prize paid out less than $500 only two times, and the average payout was $550.
  • Great Points Races: Both the Angler of the Year and Rookie of the Year races were competitive until the end in 2023, and the rare Angler of the Decade prize race was also fun to watch. And speaking of Big Bass, the Str8-up Mounts Big Bass Prize competition was crazy last year. A three-way tie was broken in the final hour on the last day by Will Lambert’s 23.25”!
  • The On-Line Series: CKA was late to the party, but when we started an on-line series, it was a hit. Using a low-entry fee, unique format, the “20 for..” series also provided a path to qualification for the Tournament of Champions.
  • Community: As noted above, CKA saw its biggest turnouts in several years. Mandatory check-in, combined with enhanced coordination with the other North Carolina-based clubs, amplified CKA’s strong sense of community. As a result, 2023 was a landmark year for CKA and the statewide community with new tournaments, clubs and the NCKAR award presented by Basstrail bringing everyone together.

Looking Ahead: 2024 and Beyond

CKA made significant changes in 2023 that will carry over to 2024. We also added new items to the list. Here are a few:

  • Sponsors: New sponsors have signed on with CKA, and we will begin working with companies like Carolina Bass Co. this season.
  • Points Races: The AOY and ROY races will of course return – and Angler of the Decade will also reset!
  • Angler Recognition: “Sportsman of the Year” will also be a regular thing moving forward.
  • On-line Series: “20 for 24” is back!
  • Winter Series: We plan to bring back the CKA Winter Series for 2024-2025
  • Mandatory CheckIn:  This rule will continue with modified penalties for those who do not attend or arrive late.
  • Enhanced Inter-Club Collaboration: 2023 saw the North Carolina based kayak tournament series create new events to celebrate the works of clubs and anglers in our state. Those projects, such as the Carolina Classic, will continue in 2024, and there are plans for more in the works. Stay tuned!
  • Partnership with KBF: KBF has provided prizes, cash and logistical support to CKA anglers for many years, and in return CKA anglers helped put kayak fishing on the national map during KBF’s early years. To this date, CKA anglers compete at a high level in KBF events, and CKA will continue to provide qualifying opportunities for KBF events through our club.
  • Modified Geographic Range: This is a major change. Anglers spoke, and we listened. For ten years, CKA ran events from one end of the state to the other. From Lookout Shoals to Harris and from Jordan to Lake James, CKA’s geographic footprint was wide from 2013-2023. Moving forward, CKA will be more regional in scope with emphasis on Triad and Triangle area lakes in our historic home turf. That means less driving, more fishing.

As always, CKA is managed by its anglers, who devote time to providing a safe and fair competitive forum for kayak bass fishing. That will never change.

We look forward to seeing you all soon, and get ready to catch some fish!

The 2024 CKA season kicks off with the Burlington Bash on March 16, 2024.

For more info about the club, visit

To become a member and keep your CKA points in 2024, create an account and register at Fishing Chaos.
CKA anglers at Red Oak Lager Haus after Lake Mackintosh. July 2023.

All content and photos © Carolina Kayak Anglers LLC, 2024.

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