The 2021 Tournament Kayak Fishing season just went out with a Bang! We knew this would be a fun and exciting event, but wow! This community showed out in a big way!
This was our third year running the HKB Turkey bowl! Starting back in 2018, we began this event as a way to get the word out about HKB and our mission and it quickly grew into what it is today; A way for anglers from across the state and beyond, to cap off a long season of fishing with good friends, all while supporting an amazing cause.
The Turkey Bowl is not only a team tournament, but a food drive. Above all the fun on the water, the prizes, and awards, these men and women donated their time, and hundreds of items towards the HKB Turkey Bowl Food Drive.
Anglers drove from all over the state and even some out of state anglers attended, with participants driving up to 4.5 hours to be a part of this community event.
The donations received will impact numerous lives this holiday season. So many families struggle daily to put food on the table, while many take having not one, but multiple meals a day for granted. Through the charity and generosity of the anglers in the HKB community, we will be able to make sure others get to feel the same comforts during the Holiday Season.
Now, let's talk a little more about the tournament. The anglers this year faced some pretty tough conditions. A major cold front had passed through the state shortly before the event, bringing the coldest temperatures of the fall with it. In addition to the cold, West Boggs water was abnormally clear, with over 7ft of visibility in some areas. So needless to say, conditions weren’t ideal. All in all though, there were still over 30 fish submitted and many anglers caught several fish but just struggled to find those keeper bites. At the end of the day, there were 4 teams with a limit and here's a breakdown of the Top 5.
1st Place (45.00”) - # NOPROS - Juan Garcia | Jim Bailey | Luke Manuel
2nd Place (42.50”) - Dink Crushers - Bryan Sparks | Glenn Landstrom | Jim Strunk
3rd place (42.00”) - King Angler - Kyle King | Chris Anderson | Sam Jones
4th Place (38.25”) - Bass Gobblers - Bret Miner | Marcus Grubbs | Kevin Biggs
5th Place (31.25”) - Muddy Rudders - Austin Killion | Chris Hillenbrand | Adam Cartwright
Juan Garcia, Jim Bailey, and Luke Manual conquered the Cold and the competition on Saturday to claim the title of Turkey Bowl Champs and Cash Payout of $1201 + huge prize pack from all sponsors and of course some sweet hardware!
In addition to the Turkey Bowl team standings, we also awarded individual achievements, including Top Angler. Juan Garcia of the 1st Place - # NOPROS team was our top performer in the individual rankings with 3 fish for 45.00 inches.
The individual rankings were determined by each angler's contribution to their respective teams 3 fish limit. Garcia landed all 3 of his team's keeper bites and eclipsed the nearest individual angler on the leaderboard by more than 6 inches!
Juan was fishing a tube on a standard tube jig head 8-12ft of water. Juan figured out that the large keeper bites were in this zone. Dragging the tube very slowly with the occasional twitch seemed to be the ticket to trigger bites under the tough conditions. Another key to this presentation for Juan, was allowing the bait to sink for a few seconds before moving it, giving the skittish clear water bass an opportunity to get used to the bait before imparting in action.
In addition to Juan’s 1st Place Team prize pack, Juan received an additional sponsor prize pack for his performance!
Congratulations, Juan, on a stellar performance!
Mark Howell, of Plainfield Indiana, took home $400 cash and Big Bass honors for this beautiful, West Boggs Lake Largemouth! Congrats, Mark!
Mark was graphing offshore 12'- to 20' depth, looking for schooling bass or schooling crappie. Every time they found schooling crappie, there were bass with them. Mark was just dropping the Green pumpkin Zman TRD, with 1/10th oz. Ned head, in schools of crappie, jiggling it like a spoon. At 2:45pm, with less than an hour to go, Mark set the hook. When he felt the head shake, he knew it was a better bass and sure enough, it was, measuring at 19 inches!
We want to congratulate all our top anglers and teams on their achievements. Fishing in November can often be very tough, but the anglers found a way to get it done!
This event of course was made possible by some amazing partners and sponsors. We can't thank them enough for the donations to this event. Please show these companies your appreciation for supporting our community by checking out their services and products and giving them a follow on social media. Below is a list of all the companies who patterned with us this year.
Not enough thanks can be said to express how grateful we are for all the men and women who supported this event either through sponsorship, food donations, and just simply taking time out of their busy lives to fish with us on a brisk November day.
We do want to take a moment to thank some volunteers that helped out during the event. I'm sure someone will be missed and for that, please accept my apologies. I know there were many acts of kindness and helping hands, both on and off the water, I may not have been able to witness or recognize in the moment, but know you are very much appreciated.
Special Thanks: (In no specific order)
Bryan Sparks - Leading us in our pre-tournament prayer and helping me with the Veterans Salute and National Anthem.
Adam Murray - Helping with anglers and team check-in in the morning and live tournament coverage.
Jim Strunk - Helping with food drive donation / raffle entries.
Matt Keifier - With team check-in at the awards ceremony and the DONUTS!
Thomas McNulty - Our Tournament Judge.
Billy Fugate & Austin Killion - Helping me load my van with all the food donations. There were others that volunteered as well that I was thankful for, but sent them home due to long drives. Thank you all.
Rick Sergent - For watching over the pavilion, food drive items, and crock pots while we all fished.
Finally, but definitely not least, the most unrecognized person behind HKB, my amazing wife, Kaeli Jones, she has supported the organization and all of our events since day one. She puts in tons of hours helping me with countless tasks. Honestly HKB isn't possible without her. Plus, she feeds you all, so how can you not appreciate that!
Once again, I'm so thankful for you all and your willingness to support HKB.
Interested in attending in 2022? Stay tuned to HKB for more information on when and where we will host the Next Turkey Bowl. We're already working on making it bigger and better!
Want to help support our mission to provide for families in need during the holiday season? Contact us for more information about how to get involved.