Top 4 tools to improve your kayak tournament season

Hobie Pro Angler Christina catching up the bass. Photo courtesy of Christina Weber.

I’ve always believed in the small adjustments makes our biggest improvements. These are some tricks of the trade that I’ve learned over my years of kayak tournaments. A few small tools can greatly impact your day on the water.

One of which is your net. I’m still not understanding why a net can cost me as much as a rod but nets can get up there in price. I greatly slacked off on investing in a net for a while. I even fished tournaments without it because let’s be honest who isn’t on a budget? Plus, I apparently was trying to be Joe Cool. I wish I didn’t hold back on this investment and I always encourage new tournament anglers to take the leap. There came a time where I lost a few fish I wouldn’t have lost if I was prepared with a net.

Second would be the Nite Ize Gear Ties. This is one of those tools I use often. I get a bundle of them in a few different sizes and I wrap them around a post that’s inside my front hatch. This way they’re always in my kayak and out of the way. I use them most of the time for quick fixes. Something always seems to go wrong on the morning of a tournament or the evening right before. Most of the time I’m handing them out to other guys, or stranger at the ramp. It’s always fun to be the hero.

Thirdly and oddly enough I would have to suggest getting yourself a super sweet water bottle. I like this approach because one 40-ounce vacuum insulated bottle thrown in my crate will stay colder than water bottles in my cheap cooler. I don’t usually need more than this, but if you do you can always buy a larger size or multiple smaller ones. This is much more budget friendly. Much more travel friendly and much easier to handle thrown around in a kayak with limited space. I know a lot of guys who started making this simple adjustment. I think the majority or folks who fish kayak tournaments want to simplify their process. Eliminating a bunch of water bottles is one way.

Fourthly having a lip grip tethered to your boat is huge for kayak tournaments. We have potential in kayak tournaments to put some stress on these fish since we have to lay them on a bump board for a photo shoot. What I like about this approach is that I can land the fish, lip him and put him back in the water while I gather my phone and bump board. Then I can put him back in the water while I analyze the shots to make sure I’m following all the rules. Taking this approach also allows you to work with a fish that’s less likely to jump off the board. They’re not as stressed and will stay put while you stag those entry photos.

Christina Weber is a born and raised South Florida fisherman utilizing the fishing capital to the full extent. For her, kayak fishing happened by accident when she wanted to venture into  uncharted waters that she couldn’t reach by motor boat. Over time, she realized that a kayak could take her anywhere, and fish freshwater, saltwater, inshore and offshore all from her Hobie Outback. Christina has been competing in tournaments for over 10 years. For more on Christina, visit