Your First Kayak Fishing Tournament: William Swann | YakGear

Your First Kayak Fishing Tournament: William Swann

The weather is warming, the kayaks are getting slimed, and the checks are getting written. It’s tournament season in the kayak fishing world. And that got us thinking; what should kayak anglers expect on their first tournament weekend? We sat down with YakGear Brand Ambassador William Swann to find out.


Tell us about your first kayak fishing tournament experience?

My brother and I drove down to Corpus Christi for the Blue Water Kayak Classic. Blue Water is a great tournament. It draws the Texas offshore kayak fishing community together from all over the state – a state where up until recently, had a shortage of offshore kayak fishing tournaments.

My brother and I slept on the beach for three days.  Our tent got destroyed by high winds the first night so we ended up sleeping under a lean-to we made.  Just what you need to be fresh for tournament day! A bad night’s sleep…

Tournament day the surf and swells had picked up quite a bit.  I made it out on the second try and went to a spot we had picked the night before.  Right as we get there my reel starts singing my favorite song.  My first fish ended up taking largest King of the tournament and got me in some money.  The second King was just for fun. All in all, I ended up placing second overall.


What led you to give the tournament a shot?

I just wanted to fish. I guess I was driven to go down because it was summertime and I had been wanting to fish the BWKC for a couple years. The tipping point was when my brother hopped on board; we packed up and hit the road without looking back!


In one word, how would you describe it?

Exhausting. Without a doubt: exhausting.


Any advice for kayak anglers thinking about getting involved in their first kayak fishing tournament?

The advice I would give to someone wanting to compete for the first time is simple. Just do it!  You’ll have a blast and meet some awesome, like-minded people – regardless of what the leaderboard reads at the end of the weekend.


Any gear suggestions?

The piece of gear that I won’t go past the sand without are my Railblaza Rod Holders.  Whether your trolling offshore, like me, or propped up on a bank in the marsh, they suit the need and deliver exactly what I need.

Up next, we talk to YakGear Ambassador Tim Hotchkin about his tournament history, advice, and the misleading dock talk in the Arkansas tournament scene.