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  • Writer's pictureHoosier Kayak Bassin

2023 HKB STATE CHAMPIONSHIP | PREVIEW

The HKB State Championship is just around the corner. So, let's take a look at the anglers, the waters, and of course, the prizes!

The 2023 HKB State Championship was originally slated for this past spring on Lake Lemon in Bloomington, Indiana. Due to a variety of factors, the event was postponed and relocated. Scheduling an event once is tough enough, but rescheduling seems almost impossible. After fighting through several conflicts, finally, a "make-up" date and new location were confirmed.


That all said, the 3rd annual HKB State Championship is now slated for October 26th through the 28th and the qualified anglers will be battling it out in Evansville, IN at the Blue Grass FWA.

 

THE ROSTER


Each year the Champion and AOY from each series/club in the state are invited to compete in the State Championship the following spring. The small, but elite field, battles it out for 2 days in hopes of hoisting up the State Championship Trophy. For 2023, there were 8 individual qualifiers representing their respective clubs/series - HKB, KBF, IKA, SIYAK, and GRBY. The list of qualifiers is as follows.


2022 HKB STATE CHAMPION

The first qualification to each year's State Championship is given to the current title holder. Mike Elsea is that title holder, as he has gone back-to-back in the first two HKB State Championships. As if the 2-time State Champion and KBF National Champion wasn't already a force to be reckoned with, Mike is no stranger to Blue Grass and will be comfortable on the waters.


2022 IKA CHAMPION & AOY

2022 IKA AOY Shane Partlow and Champion, Mark Howell, both punched their State Championship ticket for the first time. Don't take these two "Northern Boys" for granted. Though they are at a disadvantage in comparison to the remainder of the field in terms of knowledge of the fishery, these two are seasoned anglers who have proven to travel well.


2022 SIYAK CHAMPION & AOY

2022 SIYAK AOY, Matt Kiefer returns for his 3rd State Championship and this time it's on his home waters. The question is, will home-field advantage be a blessing or a curse? 2022 SIYAK Champion Merlin Hammer III (MH3) is competing in his first State Championship and though Blue Grass is far from home for him, he has already put in some work on familiarizing himself with these waters.


2022 GRBY CHAMPION & AOY

2022 GRBY Champion, Bryan Sparks, returns for his 3rd State Championship and this time as a Double-Qualifier. Bryan also qualified via KBF, but more on that later.. As always, Brian will be one to watch out for. He may not be as familiar with Blue Grass as others, but he seems to always find them and his style of fishing is well suited for the Fall bite there. Yours truly (Sam Jones) grabbed a spot on the roster with the 2022 GRBY Overall AOY title. This will be my first time competing in the event, however, I have a feeling my job as an event promoter and manager will keep me a little preoccupied and/or distracted so odds are, you won't see my name at the top when the dust settles.


KBF STATE AOY & TOP RANKED ANGLER AT KBF CHAMPIONSHIP

The KBF Qualifications require a bit more explaining than the others. As mentioned before, each series or club received two qualifications for the 2022 State Championship (1) for their Champion and (1) for their AOY. For KBF, like the others, the Indiana Challenge Series AOY has rewarded an entry but because KBF does not hold a Championship for the challenge series at the state level, KBF's second entry was rewarded to the highest-ranking Indiana Angler in the (National) KBF Challenge Series Championship.

Matt Kiefer (2022 KBF AOY) & Bryan Sparks (TOP RANKED ANGLER AT KBF CHAMPIONSHIP) would both be double-qualified. In the case of a double qualification, we roll down the qualification one spot. Matt Kiefer was the 2nd highest-finishing Indiana Angler in the KBF Challenge Series Championship, so that spot was not filled however, in the case of KBF AOY, the runner-up was Glenn Landstrom, earning him the roll down and the final spot on the roster.


Glenn Landstrom may have slid in on the rolldown, but he will be a true contender for the title in a few weeks. Glenn has had a ton of success across the country on top of finishing runner-up in the 2022 GRBY overall race and KBF Challenge Series.

Not only is he familiar with Blue Grass, he is known as one of the toughest sticks on this fishery, and he lives up to the hype as he was crowned the GRBY Blue Grass Series AOY in 2022. This will be Glenn's 2nd State Championship. He finished 3rd in 2022 and is sure to make a run at it in 2023.






 

Blue Grass Pit

Known as one of Indiana's best bass fishing lakes in recent years, Blue Grass Pit in the Blue Grass Fish & Wild Life Area will make for one epic showdown among this year's championship roster. Anglers will be restricted to just Blue Grass Pit. The remaining 27 pits in the Blue Grass FWA will not be in play. There will be a shot-gun start from the main ramp each day of the competition. The body of water has produced some of the biggest bags we have seen in competition and rewarded many anglers with their personal best catch. The challenge for the 2023 roster will be to figure it out during a fall period, while competing against anglers who know these waters like the back of their hand.

 

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS


The Night Of Champions | Archie & Clydes Restaurant & Bar

October 26

The HKB State Championship will kick off as it has the past two years with the Night of Champions Dinner and Captains Meeting on Thursday, October 26. This is a private event held for the State Championship Qualifiers to celebrate their achievements and set the stage for the 2-day championship ahead.


In addition to being served dinner and refreshments, each angler will be given awards and a prize package from our amazing sponsors & supporters.


As the anglers wine and dine, the State Championship Trophy, along with the prize packages for 1st - 3rd, will be on display so that every angler knows exactly what they are competing for.


Two-Day Competition | Blue Grass Pit

October 27-28

Anglers will compete in a two-day competition with an aggregate total of their best 5 each day. The times and details for each day of the competition are as follows


*All times listed are CST (Local Time) and subject to change.

DAY ONE | TIMES

Launch Time: 7:00 AM

Lines In: 7:15 AM

Lines Out: 3:30 PM

Photo Submission & Check-In Deadline: 4:00 PM

Day One Results: 4::30PM

Day Two Captains Meeting: Following directly after day one results (Ramp Parking Lot)


*Day one competition will be followed up by a brief ramp side results readout and day two captains meeting along with some tournament media coverage.

DAY TWO | TIMES

Launch Time: 7:00 AM

Lines In: 7:15 AM

Lines Out: 2:30 PM

Photo Submission & Check-In Deadline @ HQ: 4:00 PM

Trophy Ceremony: 4:30 PM


Trophy Ceremony | Archie & Clydes Restaurant & Bar

Day Two will be followed up with our Trophy Ceremony presented by Ketch Products. The Awards will be streamed live to the HKB Facebook page and website. Should the cell signal not allow for live coverage, there will be a recording posted.

 

TROPHIES & PRIZES

The HKB State Championship is a Zero Entry Fee event. Anglers pay nothing to compete for the title but they all go home with something. In addition to every angler taking home a bundle of goodies from our sponsors at the Night of Champions Dinner, each angler has a chance at taking home some killer prize packages and custom trophies. Below is a look at what's up for grabs!

The HKB State Championship Trophy

This trophy is special in more ways than one. Not only does it symbolize the amazing accomplishment of our Champion but is the original concept for what would become a staple in the Ketch Products Trophy Lineup. This trophy is also passed on from angler to angler, with each champion's name to be engraved not only in the history books but also on the face of the trophy. That said. to date only Mike Elsea has had the pleasure of holding this piece of history. Will he defend his title for a 3rd year. or will this be the year he has the honor of passing it on? Only time will tell.


Champion Prize Package

  • $1500 Cash Payout presented by KBF

  • Custom Ketch State Championship Walking Trophy

  • Custom Ketch State Champion (Champion) Mini Bump Board

  • Dakota Lithium 12V100AH Lithium Battery and Charger (Over $900 value)

Additional Prizes and Gift Cards From:

  • Yak Attack Bundle

  • Bizz Baits Bundle

  • Wicked Weights Bundle

  • Xcite Baits Bundle

  • Rogue Fishing Gear X Bundle

  • Flambeau Tactical Bag & Tackle Tote

  • Soremouth Tackle

  • Yak Shak Bundle

  • Fish USA Gift Card

*2024 State Championship Qualification


2nd Place Prize Package

  • Custom Ketch State Championship (2nd Place) Mini Bump Board

  • Dakota Lithium PowerBox 10

Additional Prizes and Gift Cards From:

  • Yak Attack Bundle

  • Bizz Baits Bundle

  • Wicked Weights Bundle

  • Xcite Baits Bundle

  • Rogue Fishing Gear X Bundle

  • Flambeau Tactical Bag & Tackle Tote

  • Soremouth Tackle

  • Yak Shak Bundle

  • Fish USA Gift Card


3rd Place Prize Package

  • Custom Ketch State Championship (3rd Place) Mini Bump Board

  • Dakota Lithium PowerBox 10

Additional Prizes and Gift Cards From:

  • Yak Attack Bundle

  • Bizz Baits Bundle

  • Wicked Weights Bundle

  • Xcite Baits Bundle

  • Rogue Fishing Gear X Bundle

  • Flambeau Tactical Bag & Tackle Tote

  • Soremouth Tackle

  • Yak Shak Bundle

  • Fish USA Gift Card

Big Bass

Custom Ketch State Championship (Big Bass) Mini Bump Board

 

There you have it! Now you know what's at stake for these anglers, from the competition to the prizes. Get ready to root for your favorites and watch the leaderboards later this month because this is going to be an epic showdown!

 

The 2024 HKB State Championship roster is almost complete and we will be announcing the 2024 location during the 2023 Championship trophy ceremony, but here is a hint... We are heading back north this time and it won't be on a lake any tournament series in the state has visited before.












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