CKA Hall of Champions

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Carolina Kayak Anglers [CKA] is a grassroots kayak tournament fishing club based in North Carolina. Centered in the middle of the state, our annual schedule may stretch from end-to-end of North Carolina, challenging anglers to win in a variety of waters. As a result, many of us have attained national prominence in the sport of kayak bass fishing. All that accomplishment may have begun elsewhere when anglers were younger, but it was all fine-tuned in one place: CKA.

Winning a CKA tournament requires scouting, pre-fishing, and flawless execution. One mistake can cost you a win, but one victory can turn years of near misses into distant memories. It has been that way from the first event, when anglers who were seasoned against tough competition in the defunct Carolina Yakfish Trail (2010-2013) moved to CKA. CKA anglers were born directly into battle.

This page acknowledges those victors.

Top Competitors

For the historical record, in live competition through 10 complete seasons:

  • Ricky Rowland has the most 1st place wins, with 7 in live, single-event competition;

Assorted Facts

  • In 2019 (Keith McGee) and 2021 (Jared Stanley), the CKA Rookie of the Year also won the Tournament of Champions.
  • No angler has ever swept all 3 major titles (AOY, ROY and TOC). One angler (Charles Crews†) won both the AOY and ROY in a single season (2020).
  • Only four anglers (PC Hawj, 2017; Rick Rowland, 2020; Bryan Tsiolkas 2022; Justin Faircloth 2024) have ever won back to back single live events.
  • Only one angler (Bryan Tsiolkas, 2023) has ever won three events in a single season.
  • Only three anglers have won the same event in consecutive years. Bob Dainton won the Gate City Classic in 2018 and 2019, Jim Lor won at Shearon Harris in 2018 and 2019, and Keith McGee won the Tournament of Champions in 2019 and 2020.
  • 3 anglers have won both a single season event and a Tournament of Champions (TOC) in the same year.
  • Counting the early 2024 season and a total of 92 events (live and on-line), 19 anglers have won 1st place multiple times for a total of 45 events, while 46 other anglers have won 1st place only once; that means that once in roughly every two events, a new angler wins first place.
  • In 92 tournaments, an active CKA director has won 1st place only six times: Eric Nelson won the 2022 Tournament of Champions, Cory Dreyer was co-champion of a team event at Randleman (2017), Dreyer won the CKA event at Falls Lake (2022), Justin Faircloth won the Burlington Bash and High Rock (2024) and Wayne Butler won at Lake Hickory (2018). Hank Veggian won Shearon Harris (2021) and a charity event (The Blair Fish Project in 2020), but he won both when he was inactive as a CKA director.
  • No angler has ever placed in the money in all 8 regular season events. Charles Crews† nearly did so in 2020, when he placed in 7 of 8 tournaments on his way to winning the Angler of the year title.

Year-by-Year Results

2013

Team Event (Randleman Reservoir): Record not found

First ever CKA Tournament Lake Randleman, Fall 2013 (TAKA originally stood for “Triad Area Kayak Anglers). This was a team event. Co-Founding TD Wayne Butler is front-center, blue shirt (KFNC was managed by an angler named Phillip Ruckert.)

2014

Event 1 (Shearon Harris): Vang Yang, 1st Place

Event 2: (Randleman): Bryan Tsiolkas, 1st Place

Event  3 (Lake Reese): Record not found

Event 4 (Badin Lake): Shelly Efird, 1st Place

Event  5 (Yadkin River/High Rock): Dwayne Houser, 1st Place

Event 6 (Lookout Shoals, July): Record not found

Event 7 (Gate City Classic): Buster Swisher, 1st Place

 

2015

Event 1 (Jordan Lake): Jeremy Coggins, 1st Place

Event 2 (Randleman): Matt Hawj, 1st Place

Event 3 (Shearon Harris): Bob Dainton, 1st Place

Event 4 (Yadkin): Rick Rowland, 1st Place

Event 5 (Tuckertown): John Ladd, 1st Place

Event 6 (Lake James): Vinny Ferreri, 1st place

Event 7 (Gate City Classic): P.C.  Hawj, 1st Place

 

2016

Event 1 (Norman): Jamie Denison, 1st Place

Event 2 (Harris): Nomku Thao, 1st Place

Event 3 (Randleman): Rick Rowland, 1st Place

Event 4 (Falls): PC Hawj, 1st Place

Event 5 (Yadkin River): Richard Kennedy, 1st place

Team Event (Randleman): Cory Dreyer/Buster Swisher, 1st Place

Event 6 (Mackintosh): Jamie Denison, 1st place

Event 7 (Gate City): Rick Rowland, 1st place

Tournament of Champions (Yadkin River): Denny Romero, 1st Place

2017

CKA group photo after 2017 Gate City Classic

Event 1 (Norman): Melvin Yang, 1st Place

Event 2 (Falls): Brandon Jessup 1st place

Event 3 (Jordan) Mitchel Rhodes, 1st place

Event 4 (Hickory):  Wayne Butler, 1st Place

Event 5 (Badin): PC Hawj, 1st place

Event 6 (Randleman): PC Hawj, 1st Place

Event 7 (Shearon Harris): Jim Lor, 1st  Place

Event 8 (Gate City): Tommy Xiong, 1st place

Tournament of Champions (Lake Norman) Melvin Yang, 1st place

2018

Event 1 (Hyco): Bob Dainton, 1st Place

Event 2 (Hickory): Keith McGee, 1st Place

Event 3 (High Rock): PC Hawj, 1st Place

Event 4 (Kerr Scott): Jacob Shepherd, 1st Place

Event 5 (Shearon Harris): Jim Lor, 1st Place

Event 6 (Jordan): Rick Rowland, 1st Place

Event 7 (Mackintosh): PC Hawj, 1st Place

Event 8 (Gate City): Bob Dainton, 1st Place

Tournament of Champions (Falls Lake) Joey Sullivan, 1st Place

 

2019

Event 1 (Burlington Bash): Melvin Yang, 1st Place

Event 2 (Jordan): Matt Hawj, 1st Place

Event 3 (High Rock): Joey Sullivan, 1st Place

Event 4 (Tuckertown): Sammy Wilson, 1st Place

Event 5 (Randleman): Will Lambert, 1st Place

Event 6 (Kerr Lake): Tim Sabella, 1st Place

Event 7 (Kerr Scott):  Keith McGee, 1st Place

Event 8 (Gate City Classic): Bob Dainton, 1st Place

Tournament of Champions (Jordan Lake): Keith McGee 1st Place

Bigguns for the Dunns: Mike Wimmer, 1st Place

 

2020

Carolina Shootout: Joey Sullivan, 1st Place

Event 1 (Shearon Harris): Larry Moua, 1st Place,

Event 2: (Wild Card): Sammy Wilson, 1st Place,

Event 3 (Tuckertown): Charles Crews†, 1st Place,

Event 4 (High Rock/Randleman): James Wevers, 1st Place,

Event 5 (Lake Hickory): Teng Vue, 1st Place

Event 6 (Cape Fear): Rick Rowland, 1st Place

Event 7 (Reese/Lucas): Rick Rowland, 1st Place

Event 8 (Gate City Classic)Dustin Matthews, 1st Place

Tournament of Champions (Kerr Lake): Keith McGee, 1st Place

The Blair Fish Project: Hank Veggian, 1st Place

2021

Event 1 (Shearon Harris): Hank Veggian, 1st Place

Event 2 (Burlington Brawl): Christopher Decker, 1st Place

Event 3 (Kerr Scott): Nick Huddleston, 1st Place

Event 4 (Badin Lake): Preston Hampton, 1st Place

Event 5 (Falls Lake): Rick Rowland, 1st Place

Event 6 (Randleman): Marcus Smith 1st Place

Event 7 (Mayo/James): R. Murphy 1st Place (James), Jereme Olshefski (Mayo)

Event 8 (Gate City Classic): Matt Hawj 1st Place

2021 Tournament of Champions (Santee Cooper): Jared Stanley, 1st Place

2021 Gate City Classic
2021 Gate City Classic at Get Outdoors Pedal and Paddle

2022

Event 1 (Falls Lake): Cory Dreyer , 1st place

Event 2 (Lake Mackintosh): Jeremy Hicks, 1st Place

Event 3 (Jordan Lake): Bruce Deel, 1st Place

Event 4 (Badin/Tillery) Christopher Decker 1st Place

Event 5 (East/West) Jared Stanley 1st Place

Event 6 (Summer Lakes): Bryan Tsiolkas, 1st Place

Event 7 (Shearon Harris): Bryan Tsiolkas, 1st place

 Event 8 (Gate City Classic): Jared Stanley, 1st place

2022 CKA Tournament of Champions (Lake Tillery): Eric Nelson, 1st Place

2023 (10th Anniversary Season)

Event 1 (Lake Norman): Bryan Tsiolkas, 1st Place.

Event 2 (Shearon Harris): Clay Lanier, 1st Place.

Event 3 (Lake Gaston): Bryan Tsiolkas, 1st Place

Event 4 (Lake Hickory): Clay Lanier, 1st Place

Event 5 (Randleman Reservoir): Bryan Tsiolkas, 1st Place

Event 6 (Lake Mackintosh): Sean Boorsma, 1st Place

Event 7 (Tuckertown): Brooks Lanier, 1st Place.

Event 8 (Gate City Classic): Will Lambert, 1st Place

2023 20 for 23 Series: Will Lambert, 1st Place.

2023 Tournament of Champions: Will Lambert, 1st Place

CKA at Red Oak Lager Haus in Whitsett, NC after competing on Lake Mackintosh, 2023.

CKA Winter Series 2023-2024

Event 1 (December 2023): Juan Medina, 1st place

Event 2 (January 2024): Bryan Tsiolkas, 1st Place

Event 3 (February 2024): Jeremy Hicks, 1st Place

Winter Series Champion: Juan Medina

2024

Event 1 (Burlington Bash): Justin Faircloth, 1st place.

Event 2 (High Rock): Justin Faircloth, 1st place.

Additional Info

Separate pages on our site are dedicated to the annual AOY and ROY titles.

Whenever possible we have tried to tag every angler’s social media profiles at least one time. Please follow and support your local trail champs!

[Note: The research for this page was conducted using TourneyX event records, Fishing Chaos, review of old posts to the CKA Facebook page and also internal documents held by CKA tournament directors.

To consult individual angler records, search anglers by name on TourneyX or see the CKA club page on TourneyX here: https://tourneyx.com/app/club/carolina-kayak-anglers

CKA began using TourneyX in 2017 and those events through 2021 can be searched there at https://tourneyx.com/app/category/nc—carolina-kayak-anglers/archive

CKA started using Fishing Chaos as a tournament management system in 2022; other events can be found there.

Partial records, including AOY standings and event standings, may also be found on the CKA Facebook Page.]

All text and photographs © CKA 2014-2024