2019 KBF ANGLR of the Year

2019 KBF ANGLR of the Year October Update | Headed to La Crosse

Featured Image Credit: Scott Beutjer

The 2019 KBF season is winding down… we have seen the National Championship won by Mike Elsea on Caddo Lake, Cody Milton crowned at Bienville while a group of anglers piled up in Jeff Fader’s spot, and Clint Henderson win the first KBF/FLW event on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

Over 1000 anglers have driven thousands of miles; slept in campgrounds, hotels, VRBOs, Airbnbs, in the backs of trucks or in the front seat with a snoring buddy as Wal-Mart parking lot cleaners blew trash from under vehicles. Batteries have run out of juice, tires have blown or gone flat and trailer bearings have failed… vacation time has been exhausted (sick days too)… and many Waffle and Huddle Houses have been overtaken as anglers chased coveted KBF ANGLR of the Year points in five separate regions across America.

The top three KBF trail series tournaments (1800 possible points) added to their top score in a regional final (600 possible points) comprise most of the points. But the final event of the year, The Trail Series Championship to be held in La Crosse Wisconsin on October 17-19, has a potential 1200 additional points. 

With 95 points separating first and tenth place, and only 210 points between first and twenty-fifth; this is still anyone’s title to win. 

The weather forecast and rising water levels are combining to make the championship on the Mississippi River even more challenging for competitors. The current will play a factor for many anglers, affecting their ability to hold position or even reach certain spots, but the field is stacked with some solid sticks. The AOY’s from each region, past members of the “Ten”, and a couple of competitors who fished their first full KBF year are at the top.

Let’s meet the top ten as we head to La Crosse.

#10. Danny Uribe – California; 2019 Western Regional AOY

2019 KBF ANGLR of the Year(1)

Danny’s story of how he entered kayak bass fishing is one that is very familiar to those who follow the kayak fishing community. He fished out of a Ranger boat before settling into a kayak.  After years fishing with the Stren series, and getting heavy into saltwater tournaments including Bisbee’s Marlin tournaments, he was given an opportunity to work and travel with Accurate Reels and later started his own freshwater bass rod company; Uribe Fishing Products. While at a visit to a central California tackle shop for a seminar, he ran into a kayak fisherman who said that he really liked the Uribe rods for kayak fishing. 

He said ‘dude your rods are great for kayak tournaments’ and I said ‘kayak tournaments?’ and he told me about KBF so I looked it up, it seemed interesting. I really liked the idea of CPR, not putting fish in the Livewell and killing them.” 

The “man vs. man and athletic aspects” of the sport really appealed to him. 

From the get-go, you have to make really good decisions… you can’t carry 50 rods… it is way harder to win a kayak tournament than a boat tournament. You have to be very methodical… your practice has to be very good, you have to make good decisions.”  

So Danny bought a Feelfree Dorado last November and didn’t pick it up until January.  He used the weekend to learn the kayak, went to a couple of local lakes to get a better feel for it; then headed to Lake Havasu for a KBF event. 

His first time in a KBF tournament was his fourth time in a kayak.  

I hadn’t fully grasped that I couldn’t move like a bass boat.  I killed my first four hours just paddling around to end up back where I started.”  

Even though he had spent time traveling instead of fishing, Uribe landed in 7th place after settling down and focusing on fishing. The experience taught him a lot and he leveraged that experience to finish 6th on San Vincente and 4th at Otay; the only three events he was able to make this year.

So leading the AOY race in the western region, Danny loaded up his wife Rebecca and headed to Clear Lake for the regional championship. 

It was her birthday.  I went out Thursday at 6:30 and pedaled around at spots I planned to fish… on the way back I threw a swimbait and caught a fish… then I spent the rest of the day in Napa with my wife.” 

His success has landed him a spot on the Native Watercraft team (with other opportunities in the works) and he plans to fish three to four of the 6 regional events next year out of the Native Titan. He also has plans to travel to Guntersville for the KBF National Championship… but is doubtful that he will make it to La Crosse. 

It is killing me not to make it!” 

He gives credit for being able to fish first and foremost to the Lord, then his wife Rebecca who supports him even while “dragging her to Clear Lake to stay in a junky hotel with nothing around for miles”. His work designing outdoor products for companies and his rod company provides the funding.

Uribe gives high praise to the kayak community. 

I am not afraid to tell people where and what I did. Everyone is so open to sharing everything. When I fished boat tournaments, when you showed up to the awards, the only people there are the winners. When I showed up to kayak tournaments, everyone is there… everyone is chatting… I was a nobody in the kayak community… now everyone welcomes you and talks like I am one of them. There is no drama like the boat tournaments. In the kayak community, everyone is congratulating everyone… no one is bumping their chests… everyone is humble.

Note for Uribe: The offer to bring a spare Hobie for the tournament is still on the table for you Danny, if you decide to fly in!

#9. Josh Stewart – Tennessee

2019 KBF ANGLR of the Year(2)

Josh with Randy Howell at the Hobie BOS at Lake Guntersville.

Unless this is your first exposure to KBF or kayak tournament fishing in general, you know the name – if not, you will. Josh has become one of the more consistent anglers on any trail; this year alone he punched his second ticket to the Hobie Worlds, winning on Guntersville and placed second in the Hobie event of Kentucky Lake; won the KBF trail event on Kentucky Lake (read more about that tournament and Josh), placed tenth in the first KBF/FLW event on Lake Ouachita and just finished fifth in the Tennessee State Kayak Championship. He is one angler with a good opportunity to say he has been one of the KBF Ten every year. Trailing the leader by only 85 points also leaves him with a chance to be the AOY. 

In the race for the southeast region AOY, with his methodical presentation and persistence, Josh finished third behind two others in the top ten this year; Cody Milton and Rus Snyders. In addition to the Kentucky Lake win, he placed 12th at Santee Cooper and 8th at Chickamauga; allowing him the opportunity to fish for AOY and hopefully compete in the Ten next year.

He is already qualified for the Hobie TOC, the National Championship and is smashing them on all trails across Tennessee. He fishes as a member of the Jackson Kayak Team, the YakAttack team, and is on the pro staff for Hog Farmer Bait Company and All Pro Rods

Josh will be in La Crosse for the KBF trail championship. Last year at an Open on the same water, he finished 6th under similar water conditions, so he is a favorite to take home the win. 

Stewart is a humble guy who credits his grandmother with teaching him how to fish in the creeks close where he grew up and says his mom is now involved; she is trying to learn more to beat him.

#8. Erick Simien – Texas

2019 KBF ANGLR of the Year(3)

Erick, like Danny Uribe, is enjoying success in his first full year on the KBF trail.  

He had fished last year’s National Championship after qualifying through the NTXKC – a KBF partner organization. 

I finished awful (at Caddo)… but pre-fishing was amazing, I had plenty of opportunities, they just kept coming unbuttoned. I only had two fish in the kayak and they called me ‘two fish Erick’”.  

He said that he tried to slow down and use a wacky rig, but got frustrated and moved to a jig

He openly shared how he ended up in a kayak, and his story is similar to others too. 

I fished all my life, grew up fishing. I quit drinking a little over eight years ago and needed something to decompress… I wanted something to get off the bank and my wife surprised me with an older model Ascend for Christmas. In the first few months, I could only sit in it for a few hours, but it got easier. I finished 2nd in a north Texas trail event and wanted to get a better kayak, so I sold it and picked up a Diablo Amigo.” 

Erick is still shocked by his 2nd place finish in the KBF Texas Regional behind Matthew Scotch.   But with solid finishes, 2nd on Ray Roberts, 13th on Belton, and 4th on Toledo Bend, he found his way into the Texas regional championship on Lake Fork where he finished 5th on day one. He was able to move up on day two. 

I didn’t catch my first fish on day two until 11, then 12:30 caught my second.  I had gone to a place and saw a gator earlier, I went there and caught my last four fish.”  

After day two, he had moved into 3rd place in the tournament and into 8th in the KBF AOY standings. 

Erick is unfortunately not going to La Crosse. His job selling hair care products to hairstylists only allows him so much vacation time, so he is out. “I would love to quit and just go kayak fishing” but for now, he like the rest of us has to work. He has no sponsors… “my wife tells me I need to get better at posting on Instagram”… so he plans to work on that next year. 

When I asked if he planned to chase the points next year, he shared some concern that with the realignment of the KBF regions he may not be able to make as many events with only one being close in Texas. 

I liked it being in Texas. I may do it on a shoestring budget… do some camping… I will see at the last minute what’s going on.

#7. Richie McMichael – Kansas; 2019 Central Region AOY

2019 KBF ANGLR of the Year(4)

Richie is not unfamiliar with having success on the kayak trails; entering a couple of KBF events in 2017 before diving into KBF for 2018, finishing 7th in the AOY race. He fished in the Ten at Bienville and was quick to repeat what a lot of us have said at one time or another. 

I wish I had a do-over at the event. My goal was to win AOY last year, but the event on Lake Erie killed me… and I didn’t end up well at Bienville.”  

This year he has won the Central Region AOY, finished 5th on Lake Fork during the Hobie BOS event (qualified for the TOC) and is currently in the same position he held at the end of last year.

A 6th place finish at Big Hill, an 11th place finish on the Madison Chain of Lakes, a 4th place finish on the Mississippi River and 3rd at Mark Twain shows his ability to win and be competitive… and that he knows how to find them on water that will be in-bounds for La Crosse. Richie is in position to get another chance at the Ten (though not at Bienville next year) but may not make it to La Crosse. He appraises commercial real estate for the county and has some training that he may not be able to reschedule. 

I am hoping they understand, but when they are paying for it, it is hard to say that I am not going to make it.

When asked how he ended up fishing in the kayak, his story sounds a little familiar.  

I was burnt out on the boats. You can break even at best. A buddy of mine, Josey Stillman, started the Northeast Kansas Kayak Anglers and another buddy of mine kept wanting to fish it. I kinda resisted it for a while, I still had a bass boat in the garage and didn’t see the point of the whole kayak thing. I ended up breaking down and giving it a try. You have to do it and see what it is like to really understand. I didn’t do any research. I went to Bass Pro and bought an Ascend and started doing it. I didn’t stay in it long… a guy came down from Nebraska in a Hobie and was pedaling all over the lake and holding position… by the next tournament, I had a Hobie… now I have the 360 ordered and am waiting for it.”  

Richie fished with the Northeast Kansas Kayak Anglers, winning AOY several times but now fishes a lot of the Moyak tournaments. He likes that the club seems to be growing and is getting some sponsor attention. 

I have caught bigger limits out of a kayak than I ever did in boats. I cover tons of water, cover as much as you can… then slow down. Slow down and get upgrades late in the day… slow down and catch the stubborn fish. A lot of people try to finesse them to feed, I just don’t do the finesse. I am more junk fishing at times; jigs, spinnerbaits and cranking.

I asked if he had any sponsors and he replied that it was just he and his wife. 

I think the attention is lacking for the guys who are not on any big sponsorship. I am kinda a quiet guy, haven’t really done the whole ‘getting on teams’. I’ve just been fishing. A buddy owns a company, I am going to try and do something with him.”  

So, if you’re looking for a solid angler to represent you, consider giving Richie a call.

#6. Dylan Fuqua – Illinois

2019 KBF ANGLR of the Year(5)

I met this young man at the Hobie Open last year.  He and his father had just picked up his kayak and traveled down to fish. They had been fishing on Lake Barkley without success on day one, and I offered some advice. What I didn’t know that day was that he had picked up his kayak swinging a baseball bat. 

Dylan is schooled online but wrestled and played football with a school (“I got tired of being in a cast”); and played travel baseball with one of the best teams in Illinois for over five years, as pitcher and shortstop. His dad had introduced him to the kayak community… he liked “fishing and competing, so you put fishing and kayaking together, I was in!” Dylan wanted a Native Titan 12. His dad told him “hit a home run at your first at-bat, I will get you one”.  Young Mr. Fuqua now fishes out of a Native Titan.  

That determination comes through in conversations with the fifteen-year-old and is evident in his accomplishments this year. He calls the Santee Cooper event his first real KBF tournament; with a 2nd place finish in the trail event and being the first winner on the KBF Pro Tour speaks to how real it has become for Dylan. He also won the Madison Chain tournament, placed 6th on the Mississippi River and followed that up by landing in 10th at the Central region championship.  He now sits in 6th place overall for KBF AOY and will be in La Crosse… well, he has to miss five days of driver education classes (something most of us would not have missed and all he is allowed to miss) in order to attend, but “one of the spots I fished is in-bounds so hopefully there are some good ones there”. 

Though he fished a lot of tournaments without catching limits, Dylan has proven that he can hold his own with the best. Despite that fact, he was not allowed to fish the FLW events because he was not 18, he still came to both events to be around the anglers. He jokingly talked about the events. 

Those are the rules. I kept getting emails saying I was qualified, but they were just teasing… my baseball coach always told me to play against someone better to get better. If you lose, you gotta suck it up and try again later.”  

He is hopeful that there will be a chance for him to fish on the Pro events using what he calls his style; “power finesse” – throwing Texas rigged creatures and ned rigs. 

I like fishing bluff walls, throwing a ned rig, letting it fall and reeling it in… throw it out and reel it in… finesse lures fished fast.

FishUSA talked with Dylan and he is now on their pro-staff, but he credits his dad with being his biggest supporter. 

My dad helped me a lot this year. Getting me to all the tournaments, getting me there on time and helping me pay for things. I love him. It has been a fun year.

#5. Rus Snyders – Tennessee

2019 KBF ANGLR of the Year(6)

Rus Snyders with Steve Owens.

The Tennessee State Kayak Championship was held on October 12-13th on Lake Chickamauga.  93 anglers showed up to fish Friday evening and Saturday with hopes of being crowned the state champion. Rus Snyders took home that honor and now heads to La Crosse to try and establish himself as the AOY for KBF. 

He has had a good year with wins during KBFTN events, a 3rd place finish at Santee Cooper, 13th at Guntersville, 11th at Chickamauga, 3rd at Kentucky Lake (read about KY lake and Rus here), and 4th at Lake Lanier. He was 10 points ahead of Cody Milton for AOY going into the Southeast Regional Championship; Cody finished 4th and Rus landed in 8th, allowing Cody to win AOY. Both guys are now in reach of the top spot.

I have had a pretty consistent year. Ever since getting in a kayak, I have been more consistent; I was not doing that in a bass boat. The difference is, I used to fly down the lake to the next spot, in a kayak, before you say it is not working… you just buckle down and try new techniques, keep an open mind. I didn’t realize until recently that I have been able to get a limit on every single TourneyX event. A lot of this year I was fishing for points, my goal was to get AOY in the southeast. I picked Santee Cooper over the Hobie event to try for points.

Rus is one of the most solid anglers fishing KBF this year, and is known in Tennessee as one of the best-prepared kayakers; going to an event with plans A, B, and C in case something doesn’t pan out. He may not be one of the most recognized anglers in all circles, but that is only because he hasn’t dedicated the time to chasing points until this year.  

This consumes your free time if you chase it. I had fun chasing it this year. I am doing it for fun and to be part of the community… I could be out making money, but I enjoy this… but I have to get back at work soon. I am not certain about committing to next year yet. I am 100% certain that I am doing the National Championship and both Kentucky Lake tournaments; the Hobie and KBF.

Rus is a team member at Hook1 and carries iRod as a sponsor. If you need some power washing done in the Nashville area, give Rus a call or check out his site; Nashvillepowerwash.com. If you want to learn from a guy who is capable of finding fish, he also has a guide service; look for http://www.kickfishing.com. Those will most likely need to wait until after La Crosse; he is planning to win it.

#4. Derek Brundle – Massachusetts; 2019 Northeast AOY and Potential Rookie of the Year

2019 KBF ANGLR of the Year(7)

This seems to be the year for new introductions into the top ten for KBF. Derek has only been in a kayak a couple of years, but today he sits in 4th place for AOY and has a 50-point lead over Danny Uribe for rookie of the year. The facilities manager for a social services company in the Boston area had one goal in mind when he started the season; make it to the National Championship. He punched his ticket to that event during the April state challenge, then won the May challenge… then never looked back. 

This is my first year in KBF – it been great, that’s for sure. I have been fishing my whole life but recently got into kayaking and got a chance to get on team NuCanoe. I was fishing local clubs and directing one of the local clubs for NEBassin and just wanted to get into the next level. I wanted to fish the larger-scale tournaments on these larger lakes. I used to fish in a bass boat, but it sat in the yard after I bought the NuCanoe, so I sold it. We even bought a camper so my wife can travel with me to the tournaments.

On the northeast trail, Derek missed the Lake Anna event before starting with a 6th place finish on Lake George where he had an 83-inch limit of smallmouth on his first five casts (then caught 25 more fish from the same spot), this was followed by a 4th place finish at the Chesapeake, then another 4th place finish at Winnipesaukee finished out the trail. At the Northeast Regional Championship, Derek lost to Casey Reed by two inches but sealed the AOY title with the 2nd place finish.

Research (and a black and blue jig) is the key to his success.  

I watch a lot of YouTube, the old FLW and Bassmaster videos, and look to see where they are fishing. I go on google earth and zoom down to eliminate water, using it to get waypoints and to choose where to fish. I pay attention and look for things in the background… then use Google Earth to find them.

This year he concentrated on offshore fishing. His ‘go-to’ now is to find something offshore, the fish will reload and he can keep catching them. The rougher the day, the nastier the weather, the fishing seems to pick up offshore. If he can keep my pursuit out there on the water and upright, he feels like he is in it. He uses a Motor Guide on his kayak to “anchor” and hold the spot.

Derek is a guy who pours his own jigs and says that if he has a box of 100 jigs, 80 of them will be black and blue. When we spoke, he was getting some ready before the 19.5-hour drive to La Crosse.  

My wife is going with me, so we are going to drive straight through to be there by Wednesday.

There are a few sponsors he wanted to mention; Tightlines World Wide, Larry the Lizard custom baits, McCain hi-performance and Thrasher Sports Apparel. He already has plans to attend all of the northeast and mid-Atlantic events for the 2020 season. But for now, La Crosse… then, perhaps the Ten?

#3. Cody Milton – Arkansas; 2019 Southeast AOY, 2018 KBF AOY

2019 KBF ANGLR of the Year(8)

One of the most unassuming anglers you will meet in a kayak, Cody greets you with a smile, and then generously shares the knowledge he has acquired during his time on the trails.  

He also recognizes the skill in others and offers praise to his competition. I had the pleasure of fishing close to Cody a couple of times this year and was a little surprised by how much water he covers during a tournament; picking apart cover, picking apart the competition. And if you get a chance to see him launch and reload his kayak in the “Cody Milton/FishUSA” van… don’t pass it up. But do not underestimate him, this dude can flat catch ‘em.

Last year, he took on the best and before the season ended – before it was announced, everyone knew who had won the 2018 KBF AOY. This year, the field is stacked up and isn’t as clear; but Cody is always a threat to find fish and best the competition. A 4th place finish at Santee Cooper started off the season, then a 6th place finish at Guntersville and 2nd at Chickamauga (read about that win and more about Cody) left him 10 points behind Rus Snyders for AOY. At the Southeast Regional Championship held in Alabama, Rus was 13th and Cody 14th on day one. Day two saw Cody find them and he finished that day three places ahead of Rus; with his total inches enough to finish 4th overall with Rus in 8th. The win sealed his bid for the southeast AOY. Cody also finished 4th in the East-West Harbors event in the northeast region to add points for the KBF AOY. 

He grew up in a fishing family and that may have helped develop his skills, but having talked with him on several occasions, it is easy to see why he is successful. He studies, and studies and then covers a ton of water pre-fishing to test what he found during that study. Not everyone you speak with will discuss the information they gained by talking with local biologists. His success has gained him some recognition, and put him on a few teams; FishUSA, Accent Fishing, BRD jet – kayak wraps, Proangler Hub, Anglr and All Pro Rods.

Since Cody is definitely going to La Crosse, you should keep your eyes on the leaderboard; he is going there to win.

#2. Casey Reed – Virginia

2019 KBF ANGLR of the Year(9)

We are not sure when we first met, we couldn’t remember as we talked, but are certain that we will always remember the day we fished at Bienville in the location where Jeff Fader had crushed them all day during the KBF Tenvitational this year. It was one of those days that defines what our kayak community is about and who we are. (read about that day)

Casey Reed is not a newcomer to KBF. He is one of the guys you might see no matter what corner of the United States there is a tournament; he puts in the miles and the time to be competitive. He first fished KBF the year they began the National Championship and has been fishing since. Last year, he was 11th in AOY points going into the Tenvitational with a shot to make the Ten. In 2019, he mentions as his best year, Casey finished 5th in the southeast event at Santee Cooper, 1st at Lake Anna, 24th at Lake George, 6th at the Chesapeake event, 22nd at the East-West Harbors and finished third in the northeast behind Derek Brundle and Russell Johnson.

I had a few good events and a few crappy events.  I sucked at both of the FLW events, but I did well at the right events. At Lake Anna, I caught over one hundred fish and had a nice limit fishing docks. At the Chesapeake, I fished tidal water for the first time, but there were docks and I was able to scratch out a limit.” 

Sitting in 2nd place going into La Crosse, Casey is doing nothing but planning for the event. 

I want to fish some of the pro events next year, but I am just focused on this year right now… I’ve worn myself thin with work and fishing.” 

And like many of us, he has run out of vacation time. 

I have been begging to be able to hit the next two events, but my boss works with me. They watch the trackers from work and support me. My boss used to tell me if I didn’t finish in the top ten percent, I’d have to buy him lunch.  After a while, the guys started betting among themselves.”  

He will tell you that he is either rigging his kayak, fishing, sleeping, or working at the Liberty University Snowflex Center. “Before I started fishing, I used to snowboard a lot. They built this place in my backyard and I have been there ever since. I was pretty darn good at it, won a little here and there.” 

Casey started in a Pelican sit-in kayak that his girlfriend had bought him for his birthday. It wasn’t long before he was rigging it up with flush mount rod holders, an anchor trolley… then he started seeing other rigs and began upgrading kayaks. He now fishes out of an Old Town Predator PDL and is on their pro-staff, is a member of the Dakota Lithium team and just signed a deal to work with FishUSA.

This guy is hungry for a big win and has the skills to make it happen. Casey will be giving his all to take this one home… his boss may just be buying dinner.

#1. Matthew Scotch – Texas; Texas Region AOY

2019 KBF ANGLR of the Year(10)

Matthew Scotch is one of two Texas anglers in the top ten, but he stood alone this year when it comes to performance.  

It feels that this Culinary School trained chef has definitely made the right choice when he moved to kayak fishing and guiding. In what has been an unprecedented season, Matthew not only dominated the Texas region, he pulled out a 2nd place finish to end with three wins on the KBF trail! 

Where do we start? 

NTXKC events; Lake Lewisville – 2nd, Lake Gilmer – 3rd, Lake Worth – 5th, Ray Hubbard – 1st, Lake Grandbury – 1st.

KBF events; O.H. Ivie – 1st, Ray Roberts – 1st, Toledo Bend – 1st, Sam Rayburn – 2nd, Belton – 5th and then 4th in the Texas regional championship on Lake Fork.

Then we add a tie for second place, 3rd place finish on Lake St. Clair in the Hobie BOS (read more about this and Matthew) event and it all adds up to an incredible year worthy of recognition.  But then in addition to NTXKC AOY and the KBF Texas region AOY, Matthew shows up last weekend to win 1st place in the Lonestar Throwdown.

He was very open about what helped him be able to compete this year. 

This year Texas had a region, so we had the opportunity and I went after it… I got to fish events that were not over 6 hours away. I might fish KBF events, but with the miles to Arkansas for the new regions, I may not be able to do it again. The longer you pre-fish, the farther away… the more money it costs for events… so the traveling has been difficult…. buying fishing licenses, places to stay, food. It is great to have all of these options with Hobie, KBF, NTXKC, and others coming along, but it is still hard to travel. If the prizes were higher when you win, you might be able to afford it, but living farther south and east like Texas, it is just hard. It isn’t financially feasible for most guys to go.

Matthew is on the Hobie Fishing Team, sponsored by NRS, Accent Lures, and Mariner Sails. His guide service, Lonestar Kayak Guide or on Facebook is something to check out, but he feels that it is time for the sport to represent the anglers; showcase those who create the community.

We need to promote the stories from the events. The things that happen, the success of the anglers at the events – get them some opportunities to be able to afford more of the travel and offset some expenses at the same time.

I asked him about his approach to fishing and he seems to have a more philosophical approach to being successful on the water.

Time on the water is so important. I just take it one tournament at a time… like football, baseball or other sports… take it one bass at a time, one tournament at a time. I don’t circle dates on a calendar. I don’t spend time talking about tournaments in the past… I move on to the next… if you talk about the past, you compromise your future. There is no need to gloat, being humble is part of being successful to me. The fish today do not count tomorrow… the experience is important.” 

We talked on his way to La Crosse and he shared some of his thoughts on the event.  

There are things I like about La Crosse, the water being high levels the playing field a bit. I like to think I can pick where fish will be, so I am coming with an open mind – no preconceived notions about what to expect.

Talking with Matthew heading into this event… I’m pretty sure he has a solid plan; a plan to take it all this year.

2019 KBF ANGLR of the Year October Update: Final Thoughts

So there you go, the top guys and a little about them and how they landed at the top of their respective trails. Many guys are already on the water in La Crosse; some of us are at our jobs counting the seconds before we can roll out, some wishing they could make it. A part of me is wishing I had decided to sit on the sidelines and just watch this play out because it is shaping up to be a memorable event! But that isn’t how we are wired once we start doing this – these ten know that… we have to chase it… we have to sleep at ramps and in parking lots if that is what is required to be a part of the kayak tournament family. 

Regardless of your status for this event, follow along… it is shaping up to be an incredible finish to another great season of KBF events. See y’all in Wisconsin.

This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert

Become an ANGLR Expert and apply here.

Mike Cheatham


May 2016, sat in my first kayak. October 2016, skunked in my first tournament. Spring of 2017, placed 11th in the KBF Open and have chased the addiction since. Fishing is the one place my mind gets quiet, the place I have always found peace. To do it competitively with a great bunch of folks is just a bonus. To have an opportunity to combine my love for fishing with writing...I feel like I have finally found a place in this world! I do have the support of a wonderful woman who understands my need to be on the water; she supports my dreams fully....life is truly good.

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