2014 was my first year as a tournament organizer and it was a tremendous experience. Sure, it was a challange, but I got an opportunity to get out into the angling community and meet a lot of people that I otherwise would not have. Between asking for sponsor support, advertising, running the website, managing registrations, coordinating logistics...etc, there is a lot that goes into running tournaments.
My two tournaments were the largest two canoe/kayak tournaments in all of Atlantic Canada. In both cases the previous organizers dropped out because they couldn't handle the commitments. So, so I did have a basis to build off of, rather than start from scratch.
The June derby - the NB Paddler's Derby, had 40 anglers registered, which made it the largest derby of it's type in our region! The weater was great, everyone had a great time and lots of fantastic prizes was given away. $500 was raised for the Oromocto River Watershed Association.
The second derby, the Hammond River Classic drew 35 anglers, up from just 18 the previous year! Again, everyone had a great time, lots of great prizes were given away, and everyone is looking forward to the event again in 2015. $725 was raised here for the Hammond River Angling Association!
In both cases, thanks a fantastic kayak dealer in Oromocto, NB we gave away a Trident 15 Angling kayak to one random participant. Every angler was given a ticket, and a number was drawn at random. In both cases the winner did not already own their own kayak, so the kayaks are definately going to be put to great use!
These tournaments are multi-species, catch/photo/release format, with the winner being determined by the most species caught on the day. The same angler won both derbies, catching 9 species in June, and then 7 in the August derby!
Personally, given my responsibilities, I was able to participate in both, but had to start late and end early. Still, I managed to finish 4th out of 35 in the second derby!
Paddler derbies like these are fantastic for growing our sport, raising awareness of the vast diversity of the fish in our water systems, and raise much needed funds for local environmental non-profit associations. Here's to another great year in 2015!