The 5 Popular Saltwater Kayak Fishing Tournaments In The US

Saltwater kayak fishing tournaments are becoming super popular all across the United States, and guess what? Kayak anglers love them! These tournaments have so many awesome reasons to get excited about.

Firstly, saltwater environments provide a rich and fertile ecosystem for marine life. The combination of currents, tides, and underwater structures creates ideal conditions for fish to thrive. These factors attract fish in large numbers, increasing the chances of successful fishing outings for kayakers.

And here’s the best part: these tournaments let anglers like you show off your fishing skills and compete against other people who love fishing in the salty ocean. It’s like a big fishing showdown where everyone tries to catch the most fish and be the champion!

No matter if you’re a pro or just starting, these tournaments are for everyone who loves the adventure of saltwater fishing. They give you a chance to test your skills, learn from other anglers, and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Discussing top 5 saltwater kayak fishing tournaments in the United States.

While numerous tournaments are held each year, we will focus on five of the most popular ones. These tournaments offer exciting opportunities to compete, showcase skills, and have fun while kayak fishing in saltwater environments. 

Let’s have a look at these five tournaments:

Fall N Tide Tournament 

The Fall N Tide Tournament is one of the largest kayak fishing tournaments in the United States. Bayou Coast organizes it and takes place at Delta Marina. The tournament is open to participants who pay an entry fee of $80.00 per person.

The tournament has certain rules regarding the type of kayaks allowed. Motorized kayaks are not permitted, but both pedal and paddle kayaks and canoes and paddleboards are allowed.

They have a limit of 200 anglers who can participate. And it follows a “catch, photo, submit” format, meaning that when an angler catches a fish, they need to take a photo of it. The anglers record their catches through the TourneyX app, which is used to submit the photos.

The tournament aims to catch the largest and most impressive fish. It provides a fun and competitive atmosphere for kayak anglers, allowing them to showcase their skills and compete for prizes.

Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament (EKFT)

The Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament (EKFT) is a well-known and exciting fishing competition where anyone can participate. They have clear rules that everyone must follow to keep things fair and fun.

Just like the Fall N Tide Tournament, the EKFT doesn’t allow kayaks with motors or electric reels. They want participants to rely on their own strength and skills to paddle and catch fish.

To qualify in this tournament, the fish you catch must weigh at least 5 pounds. This ensures that only big, impressive catches are counted for scores and prizes.

The EKFT follows the fish laws of Florida. This means that participants have to obey the rules about what kind of fish they can catch, how big they need to be, and how many they can keep.

You can’t team up during the tournament, even though you can use a tandem kayak with a partner. Each person competes individually and pays their own entry fee. This way, everyone gets a fair chance to show off their fishing abilities.

Saltwater Survival Series Tournament

It is the third one on our list.

The Saltwater Survival Series Tournament is a thrilling fishing competition held in Texas. It follows all the laws and regulations set by the state to ensure a fair and responsible fishing environment.

Unlike other tournaments, they allow participants to use motorized kayaks. However, the motors are limited to a maximum of 3 horsepower. It’s important to note that only battery-powered motors are permitted.

But they do not allow gasoline-powered trolling motors. This ensures a quieter and more eco-friendly tournament.

In case of a tie, where two or more participants have the same weight of fish caught, the winner will be determined by the first person to weigh in their catch.

The Fish N Paddle Saltwater Slam

The Fish N Paddle Saltwater Slam is a fun fishing tournament in that anyone can participate. There’s no limit to how many people can join, so you can go solo or bring your friends along.

The 1st Place Cash Prize of $4000 makes it even more exciting! Imagine winning that much money to show off your fishing skills.

In this tournament, you can catch a bunch of different species, including Bass, Bluefish, Cobia, and King Mackerel. It’s cool because you get to challenge yourself by going after different kinds of fish.

To enter the tournament, there’s an entry fee of $175. This helps pay for everything needed to organize the event and give out prizes to the winners.

Fish N Paddle has a designated fishing area just for the saltwater slam. This way, everyone has an equal chance to catch fish and compete for prizes. It’s fair and makes the tournament more exciting.

They’ve been doing this awesome tournament every year since 2019. It’s a chance for anglers like you to have a blast and take part in this thrilling saltwater kayak fishing event.

California Saltwater Kayak Series

The California Saltwater Kayak Series is a really cool fishing tournament that takes place in California. It’s a special statewide series just for saltwater kayak fishing enthusiasts in the state.

This tournament is unique because it’s an online fishing competition held on a platform called IAngler Tournament. Instead of going to a specific location, you can participate from anywhere you want! Isn’t that awesome?

In this tournament, it’s all about the catch-photo method. When you catch a fish, you take a picture of it to show as proof. It’s a fun way to document and share your catches with others.

The best part is that you can join in on the tournament whenever you want. There’s no specific date or time to worry about. So, whether it’s a sunny weekend or a lazy weekday, you can hop on your kayak and start fishing.

To keep things exciting, you can easily keep track of the leaderboard. Just visit the IAngler website to see who’s catching the biggest fish and leading the tournament. It’s a great way to stay updated and feel the thrill of the competition.

Expert Tips For Saltwater Kayak Fishing Tournaments

Participating in saltwater kayak fishing tournaments can be an exhilarating experience. We’ve gathered expert tips from seasoned anglers to help you make the most of these competitions. 

Research the Tournament

Before diving in, take the time to research the specific tournament you’ll be participating in. Familiarize yourself with the tournament rules, regulations, and scoring systems. Understanding the guidelines will help you plan your fishing strategy accordingly.

Scout the Fishing Area

Scout a fishing area in a saltwater kayak fishing tournament.

Prior to the tournament, explore the fishing area if possible. Identify potential hotspots, underwater structures, and tidal patterns. This knowledge will give you a competitive edge when it comes to locating and targeting fish during the tournament.

Focus on Target Species

Explaining how to catch target species in a saltwater kayak fishing tournament.

In saltwater kayak fishing tournaments, focusing on catching specific kinds of fish is super important. Knowing about their habits, where they live, and what they like can make a big difference in your chances of winning.

Research Target Species

Before the tournament, research the target species extensively. Study their feeding patterns, preferred habitats, and seasonal movements. This will help you come up with a plan for catching them more easily.

Pick the Right Bait and Lures

Showing how to choose the right lures for saltwater kayak fishing.

Based on what you’ve learned, choose baits and lures that the fish you’re targeting really like. You can use live bait (like worms or shrimp) or fake ones that look real. Try different colors, sizes, and ways of using them to figure out what the fish like best in your fishing conditions.

Change Your Plan for the Fish

Fish can be picky about what they eat depending on things like how warm the water is, how clear it is, and what food is available. Be ready to switch to a different bait or change the way you fish if the fish don’t seem interested. Watch how the fish behave and adjust what you’re doing to make them want to bite.

Efficient Time Management

Managing your time effectively is super important in saltwater kayak fishing tournaments. By planning your fishing itinerary, focusing on prime fishing periods, and being flexible, you can make the most of your time on the water. In this article, we’ll give you expert tips on how to manage your time like a pro during these exciting tournaments.

Plan Your Fishing Adventure

Before the tournament, create a schedule or plan for your fishing day. Think about where the fish are likely to be, like reefs, channels, or underwater structures. And decide how much time you’ll spend in each spot based on how likely it is to have fish. This helps you stay organized and make sure you visit the best spots during the tournament.

Go for the Best Fishing Times

Some parts of the day are better for catching fish than others. Early mornings, late evenings, and when the tide is just right are usually the best times. Make sure to be on the water during these periods for the highest chance of catching fish.

Plan your day around these times to increase your opportunities to find active and hungry fish.

Be Ready to Change Your Plans

Even though it’s good to have a plan, it’s also important to be flexible and adapt to what’s happening in real time. Fish can act differently depending on things like weather, tide, and water temperature. If things aren’t going as expected, be open to adjusting your plans. Pay attention to any signs that the fish are active and change your strategy accordingly. Flexibility helps you take advantage of unexpected opportunities and increase your chances of catching fish.

Learn More

Are The Specific Rules And Regulations Of Each Tournament?

Yes, each tournament has its own specific rules and regulations. 
For example, some tournaments let you use kayaks with motors, while others only allow kayaks that you paddle or pedal. Some tournaments might not let you use special reels that run on electricity, and there could be restrictions on the type of bait you can use too.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to know the rules before you sign up for a tournament. That way, you can make sure you follow all the rules and have a great time competing with other anglers. 

Final Words

In conclusion, saltwater kayak fishing tournaments are super exciting for people of all ages who love fishing. You can show off your fishing skills and compete against other people who enjoy it too.

No matter your skill level, these tournaments are a great way to learn more, improve your skills, and have fun in the kayak fishing world.

So get ready to dive into the amazing saltwater world, test your fishing skills, and make a big splash in the exciting world of kayak fishing tournaments. It’s going to be a fantastic adventure!

About Nancy Rodriguez

Hey, Nancy here - the vibrant editor behind PaddleWiggle! With a passion for kayaking and a talent for crafting captivating stories, I turn ordinary words into mesmerizing masterpieces.

I live and breathe the pulse of adventure, both on and off the water. Combining my mastery of editing with my unwavering love for kayaking, I bring a vibrant and electric flair to the team.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook. And feel free to ask me anything about our articles.

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