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  • Writer's pictureHoosier Kayak Bassin


The 2023 SIYAK Championship is just a few days away. Check out who made the roster, where they are doing battle, and what's at stake.

The 2023 season was one for the history books. Each event was super competitive and the AOY race was truly Epic. The anglers competing in the 2023 Championship are in for one more battle royale as they take on a challenging lake in Cunot, IN.

Each season, anglers compete in a variety of events from SIYAK in hopes of a chance to be crowned AOY and claim one of 14 tickets to the SIYAK Championship. One of the coolest parts about SIYAK is their season format. The season consists of both On-site events and multi-day state-wide events and generally visit both smaller lakes, big water, and at least one river.

This gives anglers an opportunity to challenge themselves in different ways and keeps the series extremely competitive, while also making it a lot of fun.

The 7 event winners each season are guaranteed a spot in the Championship. At the end of the regular season, 7 more championship spots are given out based on the AOY Standings.

Here are the anglers who took home a W and a Championship birth from the 2023 Season.

Merlin Hamer III (MH3) Took home two victories in the 2023 season, which means 8 spots remained and those spots were filled by the following anglers based on AOY rankings.

Matt Kiefer

Chris Wargel

Chris Norman

Terry Frederick

Antoine Hayes

Brant Sharp

Chris Dailey

Brett Haynes


Where Will They Fish?

The 2023 SIYAK Championship will be held on Cataract Lake (AKA: Cagles Mill) - from September 16th to 17th.

Cataract is located in the Liber State Park recreation area and was created in 1953 for flood control management by the Army Corps of Engineers. Cataract comes in at just over 1400 acres and has a max depth of around 40ft.

While this lake is not partially known for its Bass Fishing, it is known for holding monster crappie and catfish. That said, there are a number of Bass Boat tournaments held on this lake each year with average limits in the low to mid teens.

Anglers will have a variety of offshore and shallow cover to fish as this lake has an abundance of wood structure and rock, but it won't be easy. This lake is also known to be a very tricky lake to figure out and these anglers will have to deal with the added challenge of the Fall Transition.

Cataract is not a lake that has been visited much by kayak tournament organizations in the state. GRBY Hosted an event here back in June and out of 26 anglers, 16 of them blanked. Only a handful of anglers posted a limit and the majority of those limits had fish smaller than the SIYAK minimum size limit of 12 inches. The winning bag though was a solid 74.00 inches anchored by a 19.25-inch largemouth. The Big Bass of that event was 20.25". So clearly this lake holds some bigs. The question is, how many and can these anglers find them?

Who are the Favorites to hold the Trophy?

2023 SIYAK Championship Qualifier, Jim Bailey, finished 3rd in the GRBY event with 71.25 inches, including an 18.50 kicker and that is why he is our odds-on favorite for the event. Not only did he have the best finish of any angler in the field on this body of water, but he has also already won a SIYAK event this year and has had one of, if not his best, seasons across the board.

Of course, you can never rule out 3-time SIYAK AOY and 2020 SIYAK Champion Matt Kiefer. This lake sets up well for Matt as he loves to toss a Squarebill and Ned -Rig - two baits that will likely be a big player in this event.

You also can't deny the run Adam Murray is on and he is capable of catching them anywhere, as he proved once again in his AOY run this season. Momentum is huge in this sport and he definitely has it.

Who's the Dark Horse?

Well, there are two... Tweezy & MH3 - While I don't know if you can really call either of them a dark horse, as they each have had a phenomenal season throughout the state, but both are anglers you should be watching out for on any leaderboard and definitely in the 2023 SIYAK Championship.

With a lake as challenging as this and with so little previous experience of it from the roster, it's truly anyone's game. Every single angler in this event has earned their spot and is capable of winning it all.

So What's Up For Grabs?

Just for punching their ticket and showing up to the 2023 SIYAK Championship, each angler will be receiving a 12V 15AH Lithium battery from SIYAK's Presenting Sponsor Bioenno Power. That's a $170 value just for showing up!

In addition to the 15AH battery each competitor will receive, the Champion will also take home a Bioenno Power 50AH 24v Lithium battery valued at $952.50 !!

This year, SIYAK will be paying out the Champion, the Runner Up, and Big Bass. Based on a full field and $75 entry fee the Payout is as follows.

1st Place - $612.52 + Bioenno Power 50ah 24v Lithium battery valued at $952.50

2nd Place - $329.82

Big Bass - $70

Did you do the math yet? Well if not, here it is. The 2023 SIYAK Champion will take home a cash and prize payout of over $1700 dollars!

Not too Shabby for a two-day event with only 14 anglers.


Regardless of the results, all of these anglers should be proud. Making it to the championship, either by winning an event or ranking high in the AOY Standings, is a great accomplishment. We wish all the anglers the best of luck as they battle it out on the water in just a few days.

Huge shoutout to the SIYAK Admin team on another great season and thank you for all you do to offer anglers in the southern half of the state and beyond a way to compete and enjoy the camaraderie of our fellow anglers.

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