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  • Writer's pictureHoosier Kayak Bassin

2024 HKB STATE CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER


Join us as we delve into the 2024 State Championship Roster, with two major updates.

The HKB State Championship is just around the corner, and the roster is locked in for what promises to be an epic showdown on Lake Manitou at the end of April. Since the qualifiers were announced in the fall of last year, there have been some significant changes to the field. We'll cover all those changes and more as we break down the roster, one qualification at a time.


 


Soremouth Tackle | Official Presenting Sponsor


Before we dive into the roster breakdown, we want to take a moment to express our gratitude to our presenting sponsor, Soremouth Tackle!


Based in Kokomo, Indiana, Soremouth Tackle has become a cornerstone of the Hoosier fishing community, providing top-notch tackle and gear for local anglers.


Not only do they offer an exceptional selection, but they've also been instrumental in supporting the growth of kayak fishing and bass fishing as a whole in the Hoosier state and beyond.


Their continued support of the 2024 HKB State Championship, along with other series and clubs in Indiana, is truly appreciated.

 

The 2024 State Championship marks our fourth year of pitting the best of the best from the Hoosier kayak scene against each other in a two-day battle for the title of State Champion.


Mike Elsea claimed the title in 2021 and 2022, while Glenn Landstrom emerged victorious in 2023 on Blue Grass Pit in Evansville, Indiana. However, both Mike and Glenn will unfortunately miss this year's competition. We'll dive more into that as we go through the 2024 Roster Breakdown.


Scheduled for April 25-27, the 2024 State Championship will kick off with the Night of Champions on Thursday evening at our tournament headquarters - Soremouth Tackle in Kokomo, Indiana. Then, on Friday and Saturday, the anglers will battle it out on Lake Manitou, aiming to lift the Championship Trophy during the Ketch Trophy Ceremony at Soremouth Tackle following the event.


 

Now that we've set the stage, let's take a look at our 2024 HKB State Championship Roster:


2023 HKB STATE CHAMPION | GLENN LANDSTROM


We start with our reigning champ, Glenn Landstrom, who dominated the competition in 2023 with a victory on Blue Grass Pit in Evansville, Indiana, back in October. Glenn became only the second angler to hold the title since the inaugural HKB State Championship in 2021.


As Champion, Glenn was automatically qualified for the upcoming 2024 State Championship. Unfortunately, due to conflicting commitments with his training for the Sheriff's Department, he won't be able to attend the 2024 Championship. Therefore, we've decided to implement a "Champion's Exemption" for Glenn, advancing his 2024 qualification to 2025, irrespective of his qualification status via the 2024 season. While we offer a rolldown position for all qualifications, there's an exception for the State Champion Automatic Qualification, meaning there will be no rolldown awarded for Glenn's absence.

 

2023 GRBY LAKE SERIES AOY & IKA CHAMPION | RYAN REEDY



Our only double-qualifier of the 2024 roster, Ryan Reedy secured his spot twice - first as the 2024 IKA Champion and again as the 2024 GRBY Lake Series Overall AOY. Reedy had a dominant season, racking up wins and consistently placing within the top three. In the GRBY AOY Race, he battled back and forth with James Miller, who also gave him a run for his money in the 2023 IKA Championship. The AOY race came down to the final events of the season. This will be Ryan's third time competing in the HKB State Championship, and his double qualification leads us to our first roll down qualifier - James Miller.

 

2023 IKA CHAMPION (ROLL DOWN) | JAMES MILLER



James "The Sheriff" Miller earns his spot thanks to a roll down in the IKA Championship qualification. With Ryan qualifying first through the GRBY AOY qualification, his second qualification from the IKA Championship rolls down to James Miller, who had a breakout year in 2023. Despite earning his spot through a rolldown, there's no doubt that James deserves to be there. Known for his skill and consistency, James will be a true contender for the title at the end of the month.

 

2023 IKA AOY | RYAN PLATT



Possibly one of the most hotly contested qualifications in the state championship, the IKA AOY is considered by many to be the most challenging path to the championship. The 2023 IKA AOY, Ryan Platt, undoubtedly put in the work and earned his spot in the Championship. Ryan dominated the 2023 AOY race throughout the IKA Season and will be a force to reckon with on Lake Manitou, as it aligns well with his fishing strengths.

 

2023 SIYAK CHAMPION | MERLIN HAMMER III



Returning for his second consecutive year as the back-to-back SIYAK Champion, Merlin Hammer III (MH3) is eager to make waves once again. MH3 had a strong performance in the 2023 State Championship, finishing on the podium in third place. He'll be aiming to reclaim his spot on the podium in 2024, ideally in the top position this time.

 

2023 SIYAK AOY | ADAM MURRAY



Returning to the roster for the second time, Adam Murray is back for what may be his final appearance at the state championship. Adam first qualified in 2021 for the inaugural HKB State Championship, where he finished third. He dominated the competition in 2023, claiming his first SIYAK AOY title. Adam has had a successful run in kayak tournaments but has recently transitioned to boat competitions. This might be his last hurrah in kayak events, and his experience on Lake Manitou, particularly with the former Indy Knight KFL team, makes him a strong contender to watch.

 

2023 GRBY RIVER SERIES OVERALL AOY | ERIC TRACEY



A first-timer in the state championship and another breakout performer in the GRBY format, Eric Tracey earned our first-ever "River Series" qualification. Eric secured multiple AOY titles during the 2023 season, making a name for himself among river anglers in the state. However, Eric's skills aren't limited to river fishing; he's a versatile angler who will undoubtedly be a strong contender.

 

2023 GRBY CHAMPION | BRYAN SPARKS



A four-time HKB State Championship qualifier and three-time GRBY Champion, Bryan Sparks appeared to be the frontrunner going into this year's championship. With his history on Lake Manitou and previous performances in the State Championship, Bryan was considered an early favorite. Unfortunately, Bryan has scheduling conflicts and has opted not to attend this year's State Championship. As a result, his spot will roll down to the 2023 GRBY Championship Runner-Up.

 

2023 GRBY CHAMP (ROLL DOWN) | WYATT GARD



As the runner-up in the 2023 GRBY Championship, Wyatt Gard will claim the roll down spot in Bryan Sparks' absence. Wyatt is an extremely consistent angler, with numerous podium finishes in his short time competing in kayak bass fishing tournaments across the state. Although he made it onto the roster through a rolldown, Wyatt is undoubtedly a worthy angler who has earned his place. Not typically known for fishing in the "north," it will be interesting to see how Wyatt fares against the competition on Lake Manitou; he might just be the dark horse in this competition.

 

2023 KBF IN CHALLENGE SERIES CHAMPION (AOY) | BRANT SHARP



Brant Sharp claimed the tightly contested KBF Indiana Challenge Series Champion title in 2023, earning him his first state championship qualification. Know as a local hammer in the SW corner of the date, Brant is not a "traveler" like many in our 2024 roster, however, don't count him out. Brant has a knack for finding the Bigs anywhere he goes and manitou, though a northern lake, has a lot of similar features to waters Brant has had success in over the years. If he finds an area he can get comfortable in, watch out!

 

2023 KBF CHALLENGE SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP TOP IND ANGLER | MIKE ELSEA



As we mentioned in the intro segment, X2 State Champion Mike Elsea qualified for his fourth straight year, this time through the KBF Challenge Series Championship, but unfortunately will not be able to attend. Mike will be missed in this one and we know he wishes he could make it. Mike has the most history of likely any kayak angler in the state on Lake Manitou and would have had a solid shot of adding a 3rd State Championship title to his already lengthy resume.

 

2023 KBF CHALLENGE SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP TOP IND ANGLER (ROLL DOWN) | ANTOINE HAYES



Following an outstanding season with one of the hottest starts we've ever seen from an angler, Antoine Hayes, aka Tweezy, will claim the roll down spot from Mike's absence. Tweezy had a stellar beginning to the 2023 season, with numerous podium finishes across various series. Although his performance cooled off somewhat in the second half of the season, his top-10 finish in the 2023 KBF Challenge Series Championship secured his spot in the 2024 HKB State Championship. This will be Tweezy's first time qualifying for this event, but he will undoubtedly be one to watch.

 

And there you have it!


What an impressive roster we have this year. While it's unfortunate to see three of our qualifiers, including two previous champions, unable to make it, there's no doubt that we have one of the most competitive fields we've seen in the four years of this event. Despite this, we're guaranteed to crown a first-time State Champion, which adds to the excitement for both our anglers and those of us watching the event unfold.


Stay tuned for plenty more updates on the State Championship in the coming weeks and days, as well as live coverage during the event.

 

Congratulations once again to all our qualifiers!


UPNEXT FROM HKB:

  • 2025 HKB State Championship Qualifications Breakdown

  • 204 HKB State Champ Lake Breakdown



















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