Monday, February 17, 2014

Organizing my first kayak/canoe tournaments!

2013 held a lot of cherished fishing memories for me, but few more memorable than two fantastic paddling focused tournaments here in New Brunswick. The NB Paddler's Derby and the Hammond River Classic are two friendly, participation-oriented tournaments welcoming to everyone; amateur or pro, young or old alike.   They are also the only two tournaments of their kind in all of the Maritimes!

The website I've put together for both of these tournaments is at:

These catch & release, multispecies tournaments are helds at fantastic locations that offer a vast diversity of species, and thus one needs to be able to adapt to several fishing techniques to have a chance of doing well. But more important than that, these tournaments off the chance for so many new anglers to catch a fish they handn't caught before, and go home with memories that will last a lifetime.

Money raised from these tournaments go towards community associations that focus on eductation, restoration, conservation and preservation of our fish habitats and river systems. Without these organizations, we would not have such pristine water ways to hold these great tournaments in.

One new twist for this year, which I hope will bump our numbers, is adding the option for parents to use a canoe or 2 man kayak and bring their kids (up to the age of 10) and have the kids fish with the parent as a single entry. There will be no extra cost, and the kids can participate for just an hour, or the full day as they wish. If a parent has 2 young kids, they can be interchanged mid way through the day so that both can get some fishing in and win a special kids prize at the end of the day.

Organizers from previous years who have devoted a lot of time and energy into growing these events have needed to step down this year, so I've volunteered to try my best to keep the events alive. Fortunately the key sponser, Eco-Logical Adventures in Oromocto has committed to again offering up a kayak to raffle away to one luck participant at each of these two derbies. With this key sponsor in hand, the rest of the pieces are falling into place.

With increased advertising, new sponsors, and some effort, I'm hoping to grow the attendance to 100 participants between both derbies. The goal, as we have had in past years, is for everyone one (especially the kids) to go home with a prize that will grow their love of fishing and keep them hooked into the sport. For this to be realized, I'll need to really hit a home run with the sponsors!

Dates have been set, sponsors are starting to come in and the website is up! I invite you to take a look, and if you have any feedback, suggestions, or ideally sponsorships to help grow the prize pool, please let me know.

Again, read more on the website, and be sure to register at: