As we enter our seventh season, we have some new opportunities on the horizon, as well as some changes to existing things, which you’ll want to read about below…
Due to the speed at which this sport continues to grow, especially up here in the Northeast, opportunities that just a few years ago were out of reach for many are now well within grasp. As such, we decided to include a handful of Sunday events to de-conflict with some of the other trails that anglers may want to fish this season.
We have three Sunday events lined up, all in the Eastern Division. Those dates are June 5 at Agawam Mill Pond, June 19 at Whitehall Reservoir, and July 24 on the Nashua River. So mark your calendars and don’t show up on Saturday.
Like always, registration for these events will go live at 7 PM the Sunday before. And the pre-fishing deadline will be extended by one day for Sunday events.
We’ve added a Double Down option to every Eastern Division event this season. This is an optional winner-takes-all sidepot (less credit card processing fees), which doubles the cost of the entry fee ($50). When registering for an event, you’ll be able to purchase the Double Down ticket. At the end of the event, the angler with the biggest limit who also doubled down wins it all.
The options for tie-breakers in kayak fishing are limited. Practical ones, anyway. You can go by the next biggest fish or by the first fish caught. Most people think the former is the fairest, while some think it’s the latter.
Fishing Chaos, our tournament management software, does not account for the next biggest bass when determining lunker. It will do this to determine the overall winner for an event, but not lunker. Instead, it defaults to the first fish caught.
At the end of our championship event last year, Fishing Chaos listed one angler as the winner of the lunker pool, which was a significant amount of money. Unfortunately, he wasn’t aware that the app was limited, and therefore thought he’d won. Two other anglers, however, had caught a bass the same size. Out of those three anglers, the one who caught his big fish last actually won, due to his having the next biggest fish.
We know the angler who thought he’d won was disappointed, as were we because of it.
So over the winter we discussed this and came up with a compromise. Going forward, if there is a tie for lunker, we will determine the winner by the actual length of the fish. If one fish’s tail just touches the 18-inch mark, for instance, while the other comes closer to the 18.25-inch mark, we will award the lunker prize to the angler with the longest bass based on where it lands on the measuring board, not by the last quarter-inch line it touches/crosses.
If we are unable to definitively determine the biggest bass this way, we will go to the next biggest and repeat the process, if necessary, until we determine a winner.
NEW ANGLER OF THE YEAR FORMAT
The first year we did Angler of the Year, it was a points-based format and it didn’t work. Three-quarters of the way through the season, it was clear that the wrong angler was going to win. So we spent some time talking with other directors around the country and we came up with a hybrid format, one that gave points based on the quality of fish caught (top 25 of the season) and where an angler finished in the standings (bonus points for the top 5 anglers).
That format worked well, but we are changing it again this season.
One mistake we think we made that first year was not having any drop-events. So in 2022, the Eastern Division will have three drop-events and the Western Division will have two. For those unfamiliar, drop-events are your worst events of the season. If you fish all ten Eastern Division events, for example, your best seven will determine your Angler of the Year ranking. Your worst three showings will be excluded.
In addition, we will be adopting a simple points-based format, the same format that KBF and EKF uses. For a more detailed breakdown, check out the Angler of the Year page here.
One of Fishing Chaos’s many great features includes a live Angler of the Year leaderboard, which changes as the standings change during a tournament. With this new format, we will be able to utilize this built-in feature, which means everything will update in real time. No more waiting for the manual update, which was very time-consuming.
MONTHLY ONLINE CHALLENGE SERIES
The Monthly Online Challenge Series will begin in April. Anglers will once again be required to choose the week they want to fish when registering. We understand this is a gamble to some extent, not knowing what the conditions will be when signing up if, for instance, you choose Week 4, but…that’s part of the challenge.
By only being able to fish a week, this levels the playing field to some extent, giving all anglers a better chance at winning.
THE CATCH ‘EM ALL BRAWLS
We will continue to do the Catch ‘Em All Brawls. These are our no-limit online events, where anglers can fish a lake of their choosing and catch as many bass over 12 inches as they can! Like last year, you can expect Spring, Summer, and Fall Brawls this season.
THURSDAY NIGHT THROWDOWNS
The Thursday Night Throwdowns will continue this season. Once again limited to the Eastern Division. We don’t have a date on when these will start, but since they do extend into the evening a bit—5 to 9 PM—we will determine the start of the season based on the weather, when the days are longer and the evenings start to warm.
And that’s all we have for now. Expect more updates in the days to come, including new sponsor announcements, rules updates, and an update on the Knockout Series, which is getting an overhaul.
If you have any questions, let us know!