Q & A Time with Regional Director James Snyder
Placer Valley Tourism is thrilled to welcome the Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) organization to Placer Valley with an exciting fishing event on Feb. 22. For the first time ever, they will host one of their Trail Series events at Granite Beach on Folsom Lake! We chatted with James Snyder, the Regional Director for KBF’s West Region, to learn more about the organization, the upcoming event and what’s in store for anglers at this fun fishing competition!
Q: Can you please give us a brief background on Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF)?
A: KBF was the first national run tournament series in the U.S. Chad Hoover, who is regarded as The Godfather of kayak fishing, started the organization many years ago. It started out with only a few events per year, now we have more than 25 in-person events around the country plus a monthly only series for most states in the nation. There are six different regions now throughout the U.S. with most regions hosting three to four tournaments as well as a regional championship. The West region is the largest region so we have been granted seven tournaments plus the regional final. The West region will have tournaments from Arizona to Southern California to Utah and Colorado and three events in Northern California with the regional final on Clear Lake. Kayak anglers now have the ability to possibly make a living by kayak fishing! We also have a National Championship where anglers must qualify to fish for a payday of upwards of $75,000 or more at this three-day event.
Q: This is the first time KBF has had an event in Placer Valley, can you tell us what we can expect at the upcoming tournament at Folsom Lake?
A: A typical tournament morning: anglers will arrive at park opening, they will pay their park entry and do a mussel self-inspection which is required by the California Fish and Game. The anglers will check in with the tournament staff, this is done for safety to know who’s on the water at all times. Once checked in the angler will receive their identifier for the day. KBF is a catch-photo-release (CPR) event. Anglers will catch their fish, use an approved measurement device, in the photo the fish’s mouth must be closed, touching the end of the board and the identifier clearly visible. The photo is then uploaded to TourneyX, which is our tournament management software that is an industry standard across the U.S. After the angler receives their identifier, they are asked to launch their kayak. They must launch and clear the launch ramp and group up near the ramp. We try our best to allow access to the boat ramp for boaters and other individuals trying to access the water resource. This may be difficult at times due to the number of participants. We have a short safety meeting, play the national anthem and blast off all anglers at the same time. The anglers have 30 minutes to arrive to their fishing area of choice, fish for eight hours and they submit their photos to TourneyX throughout the day which gives us an up-to-date live leaderboard that can be viewed throughout the day. They then must return to the launch ramp at the designated time. The judge verification process happens, then awards are handed out.
Q: As the West Regional Coordinator you serve as the tournament director, what does this entail?
A: As a tournament director I am in charge of angler safety first and foremost. I get to help choose the locations of events, set up the event, clean up the event. I set up all the permits as well as any specific requirements that that body of water requires. I help to promote the events, answer questions any time day or night for weeks leading up to the event and make sure the anglers have a good time.
Q: If there was one thing you could tell someone who was thinking about entering the competition, what would it be?
A: Read the rules found on www.kayakbassfishing.com at least three times, then ask as many questions as you can. The community is extremely helpful and wants to help get as many people out on the water as possible!
Q: Is there anything else you’d like the public to know about this event?
A: This is a co-hosted event with Yak-A-Bass. We will be hosting a tournament at the same time, same rules for the Yak-A-Bass angler of the year points race. Yak-A-Bass is the largest kayak fishing tournament trail on the west coast with upwards of 260 anglers fishing all over Northern California. All Northern California KBF events are dual events with Yak-A-Bass and paydays of upwards of $25,000 or more could been seen at these joint events. Yak-A-Bass can be found on Facebook for more information. Come on down to Folsom Lake on Saturday, Feb. 22 and check it out!