One of the questions most-often asked by kayak anglers new to the sport or new to an area is “How can I get started?” or “How can I connect with other kayak anglers and learn how and where to fish?”
Cue the spinning disco ball and thumping speakers because hitting the club scene is the best way to do both.
For such a solitary sport, kayak angling clubs have grown by leaps and bounds, fueled by anglers both wanting to learn and willing to share what they know about fishing from a kayak. Fortunately, South Carolina has four strong kayak fishing clubs that geographically split the chore of educating and engaging kayak anglers. Here’s a look at what each club has planned this month.
The Grand Strand Kayak Anglers Association will be holding a kayak meet and fish event in May, time and date to be determined. The newly formed club will be loosely based out of Murrells Inlet Outpost. Mike Eady, a kayak fishing guide who is one of the club’s organizers, said it had its first organizational meeting in May, taking the club from being just a Facebook page to an active fishing club.
“We are a good group of guys who like to kayak fish, and we are still in the start-up stage getting the word out about the club and finding where everyone wants to fit in,” said Eady, who operates Black River Kayak Fish and Hunting Expeditions.
The club plans to have both meet-and-fish events as well as saltwater and freshwater tournaments. Its members fish the Grand Strand, focusing on the Georgetown area up to Little River. Freshwater venues will include the Waccamaw, Little Pee Dee, Pee Dee and upper Sampit rivers.
The Low Country Kayak Anglers, based in the Charleston area, regularly hold monthly meet-and-fish events as well as informational seminars of interest to kayak anglers. Club member Lewis Brownlee said that the schedule of events planned for the summer has hit a bit of a snag, but in a good way.
“We are unable to give interested kayak anglers a definite list of our events like we planned,” said Brownlee. “We found out some changes will have to be made to our schedule to accommodate our new Heroes On The Water chapter’s demands. The best way to stay in touch with the club is through our website address at lowcountrykayakanglers.com. We update our event page regularly.”
Like The Grand Strand Club, LKA doesn’t confine their activities to saltwater. In April, the LKA Club Meeting & Seminar focused on largemouth bass, featuring a local bass pro.
The Midlands Kayak Fishing Club May will be kicking things into high gear this month with two big events. On May 17, the club will travel to Stump Hole Landing on Lake Marion in search of shellcrackers, crappie and bass. Jason Saledas, the acting club president, loves the May 30 “Bring No Tackle” tournament on Lake Wateree and the Wateree River.
“The gist is you only bring your kayak, paddle and PFD. Anglers will receive their rod/reel and tackle pack at the tournament site. The best part is the anglers get to keep the gear. This combined value of the tackle is over $200 but will only cost the entrant $120,” said Saledas, who said registration for the event closed on April 1.
On July 19, the Midlands Club will be at Cranes Landing on Lake Murray for a bass-fishing event. On Aug. 22, the club will return to Lake Wateree for a black bass/striper shoot out.
On June 13, all four of the state’s kayak fishing clubs will hold an intra-club tournament, duking it out on Lake Monticello to see which club can compile the biggest bag of catfish. The winning club will hold a trophy for a year. The event will be attached to a charity, but details haven’t been ironed out yet.
Finally, the Upstate Kayak Fishing Club held the first of its quarterly kayak fishing seminar series in April at the Cabela’s on Woodruff Road in Greenville. The seminar will feature FLW bass pro Brian Lattimer. More seminars are planned for July and September; specific dates and times will be posted on the club’s Facebook page and on their website at ukfc.us.
On April 25, the Upstate Club is holding a bass tournament on Lake Saluda. Launch will be at the Lake Saluda public ramp on Buck Skin Road in Easley on the Pickens County side of the lake. The tournament is open to all and offered as a big bass challenge to all clubs.
On May 9, the Upstate club will host the biggest kayak bass tournament in its history with more than $5,000 in cash payouts guaranteed, plus more than $1,000 in door prizes. The event is limited to 60 boats; anglers can register on line at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/gradys-kayak-bass-fishing-tournament-tickets-16164008986?aff=es2 or stop in Grady’s Great Outdoors in Anderson and register in person.
The best way to hit the club scene is get involved now and stay up to date in the world of the Palmetto Paddler.