CKA Anglers at 2023 KBF Events

2023 was a unique year for the Kayak Bass Fishing Trail Series as it cancelled two Trail Series tournaments but also added two new series (the online River Series and Smallmouth Challenges). Additionally, the KBF community afforded the Fish-Ops charity event, the Knuklhed Series and more, providing opportunity for anglers of all skills levels and regions.

CKA anglers represented our club and state well at every level of KBF competition. In some ways, 2023 was the best season CKA has had in several years on the KBF scene. This page recognizes their achievements and celebrates their hard work. Before proceeding, CKA staff thanks everyone who represented North Carolina in these events.

KBF events are sorted into 3 categories below: KBF Trail Series tournaments, KBF On-Line Challenges and Additional Events such as Dee Zee KBF The TEN.

KBF Trail Events & Trail Series Championship                                 

KBF Trail events are regional events where anglers must travel, compete on large lakes and earn points. Those points apply to both the Rogue Gear Company Angler of the Year race and the Rogue Gear Company Rookie of the Year race. Additionally, the KBF Trail Series determine the qualifiers for Dee Zee KBF The TEN.

CKA anglers represented North Carolina at a high level in 2023 Trail events, and for the first time since Cory Dreyer qualified for it in 2020, a CKA angler (Eric Nelson) qualified for The TEN. This section lists the most notable results of the 2023 KBF Trail season.

Eric Nelson (4th from right) at Dee Zee KBF The TEN, October 2023)

The best KBF Trail finishes by CKA anglers were as follows:

Eric Nelson                 5th place          KBF Trail Potomac

Jared Stanley               5th place          KBF Trail Lake Murray

Eric Nelson                 7th place          KBF Trail Lake Murray

Eric Nelson                 8th place          KBF Trail Lake Chickamauga

Justin Faircloth           12th place        KBF Trail Kissimmee

Hank Veggian             15th place        KBF Trail Lake Murray

Eric Nelson                 16th place         KBF Trail Series Championship

Justin Faircloth           22nd place        KBF Trail Potomac

Honorable Mentions go to Adam Petrone, who finished in third place at the KBF Kick Off (Petrone began tournament kayak fishing with CKA in 2019) and North Carolina angler Wyatt Hammond, who won the KBF Angler of the Year title.

KBF Challenges & Challenge Series Championship

Kayak Bass Fishing holds “Challenge” events every season: these include popular KBF Monthly Challenges, which are organized by state, as well as charity events (Fish OPS) and the River Series and Smallmouth Series.

Note that in 2023, the Challenge Series Championship will have a separate, new version of KBF The TEN (like the KBF Trail Series does)!

The best 2023 finishes by CKA anglers in KBF Challenges were as follows:

Justin Faircloth won five monthly challenges, and as a result he defended his title to repeat as the 2023 North Carolina State Challenge Points Champion!

Dontrell Sullivan        1st place           Fish Ops Catch-22 Challenge

Alex Sterling              1st place           Knuklhed Team Gramps Challenge

Justin Faircloth           1st place           Team Chad Challenge

Stephen Bell               2nd place          Fish Ops Catch-22 Challenge

Eric Nelson                 2nd place          Knuklhed team Gramps Challenge

Wilton Rogerson 3rd place Fish Ops Catch-22 Challenge

Justin Faircloth           30th Place       Challenge Series Championship

Additional Events

As noted above, Eric Nelson was the first CKA angler in four years to qualify for Dee Zee KBF The TEN. He joins Ricky Rowland, Jamie Denison and Cory Dreyer as one of only four CKA competitors to qualify for that prestigious tournament.

Additionally, CKA director and angler Justin Faircloth won the Bass Forecast Big Bass event during KBF Championship week in October of 2023.

Justin Faircloth, 1st place        Bass Forecast Big Bass Shootout      

Eric Nelson 5th Place             Dee Zee KBF The TEN

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[ Note: KBF Tournament and Series standings are searchable and archived at]

Text and photos © CKA 2023