Categories : LowerGear Outdoors News
We run a series of kayak fishing tournaments in nearby waters to us in the Phoenix area and 2021 was quite eventful over 5 events at Roosevelt Lake. Lots of cash won, with an equal amount of bragging rights as well. We track the results for each participating angler at each event and award points based on the position of each angler – for example, if there were 70 entrants at an event, the top finisher earned 70 points; #2 earned 69 and on down the line. Consistency in performance and attendance pays off, and this year the angler with the most earned points at the end of the series was Bradley Kuhlin, our 2021 Angler of the Year!
We took a few minutes to talk with Bradley to share with our kayak fishing community:
I grew up in Glendale, AZ and moved to Surprise with my family (Mother(Trina), Father (Mike), Brother(Brett). I work for a Tech Company called Fullscript where I am a customer success specialist.
What has been your evolution in fishing - how did you get your start fishing, and when did that develop into kayak fishing?
Fishing has always been part of my life in some fashion. When I was growing up we used to go up to the lake about every weekend over the summer. My dad fished tournaments while I was growing up. I fished my first tournament at 8 years old called Bill Luke Big Bass Days where I caught a 2 1/2 pounder and won! Most of my fishing was done with my grandparents. They use to take me and my little brother to Cortez park as an inexpensive way to keep us entertained. I would periodically fish at my buddies house the following years where he had a 4 acre pound in his backyard. It wasn't until about 2015-2016 when I got into kayak fishing. I was out playing tournament softball when a guy by the name of Bryce Gibbs was playing in the tournament with us. He was talking about how he loves fishing and he invited me out to go out on the kayaks. He had a spare little 10' sit in kayak and from that moment forward I fell in love with kayak fishing. When my Grandfather passed in 2018 I told myself I was going to pursue kayak fishing at the highest level in honor of him.
What kind of kayak and rigging setups do you have and how many/ what type rods do you usually take out for the tournaments
My current boat is a 2020 Hobie Pro Angler 14 180 Drive. I have a Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 73sv for a fish finder. I have placed an order for a Motorguide XI3 trolling motor which I will be mounting soon pairing that with a Dakota Lithium 12v100ah battery. I typically bring 8-10 Duckett rods on the kayak with me during tournament day and when pre-fishing, 13 rods.
What are your go-to lures and techniques to achieve the consistent results you had at Roosevelt Lake for this year’s tournaments?
I think its safe to my number 1 go to bait is a roboworm on a drop shot paired with a Wicked Weights Tungsten Torpedo Dropshot weight! But as far as other go to baits that need to be tied on every event. A Bizz Baits Blind Side Football Jig or a Wicked Weights Combat Jig, a Wacky Rig, and a Shakey Head with some form of craw attached!
When you have time to go wherever you want, what’s your favorite water to hit?
This is the toughest question out of them all. I think if we are talking in state it would have to be the Parker Strip fishing for Smallies, or summer nights in Havasu from April to June. If we are talking out of state definitely Clear Lake, CA at the bass factory in late summer.
So congratulations to Bradley and the hundreds of other anglers that participated in our tournaments this year. Stay tuned for posts with the 2022 schedule - starting in early March!