One saying goes, ‘competition brings out the best in us.’ That may not always be true, but competition does magnify who we are. If someone is innately unethical, competition forces that trait to show itself. Likewise, if someone is hardwired within their conscience and soul to be fair, good sportsmanship usually prevails.
In a few weeks, I will be continuing my trek in competitive archery. I am not the best, but after shooting the national pro/am tour last year, I learned a lot about my skills and how to handle pressure. After setting a goal to learn how to shoot competitively last year, this year my goal has to deal with being consistent and calm when sitting near the top of the leaderboard.
Just as last year was my first year shooting a bow competitively, there is another outdoors sport that I have participated in for most of my life yet never thought of it as a competition. This year I am changing that.
You see, as we grow older, we do not necessarily lose that competitive fire. I realize that my body will not forgive me as easily if I were to play a game of tackle football. I know if I were to hit a fastball down the third base line that not only would I be a few steps slower in trying to stretch it into a double, but I would be a little slower getting up from the slide to miss the tag from the second baseman. I cannot possibly cut as quickly on the hardwood trying to get to the basket.
It is what age does to us. But the adrenaline rush of the desire to test oneself against others’ capabilities remains.
The North Carolina Kayak Fishing Association (NCKFA) holds an online fishing tournament each year from March through November. Each month, a different species is targeted allowing people from all over the state a chance to compete.
At the end of the tournament, the NCKFA selects the North Carolina Kayak Angler of the Year based off a point system. You see, not only can you win the monthly tournament, but you can gain points for several other species that are not the prime targets, fishing in select special tournaments, and catching the largest fish of each of the targeted species even if they are caught during another month.
The Angler of the Year not only gets bragging rights, but they are awarded a Hobie Mirage Pro Angler kayak.
After signing up for the tournament (after all, I have to write about something throughout the year for this column), Mark Patterson with the NCKFA contacted me. We decided to add an extra bonus to this year’s tournament.
I made a few calls, thought about the proposal, and decided to hit this thing head on.
That is where you can possibly fit in. If you ever fish from a kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard (SUP), this tournament is perfect for igniting your competitive fire. If you have ever thought of trying fishing from a kayak, here is your reason to jump in head first.
Not only is the NCKFA running the tournament this year with monthly and yearly prizes, but we will be running a tournament within a tournament.
“Can you beat Bill?”
That’s all you have to do. Just catch a fish bigger than my largest, and you will be thrown into a random drawing for some small monthly prize, as well as an Extrasport PFD, Carlisle Predator Angler Paddle, and a year subscription to North Carolina Sportsman magazine.
The fish are measured in CPR format; that is Catch, Photo, Release. You take a photo of your fish’s length and submit it to the NCKFA and if you catch one larger later, send that one in to upgrade your catch.
There is a small registration fee for each month’s tournament, or you can pay for the entire year’s worth at a discount. But the fee is cheaper than a round of golf and it gives you an excuse to do something you love all year.
The tournament begins March 1st
with crappie being the targeted species. Head over to www.NCKFA.com to read the rules and register. And if you think you have what it takes to beat me, bring it. I look forward to seeing you on the water.