ACK Featured Brand: NRS

NRS is at the core of paddling. Established in 1972 by founder Bill Parks, NRS has a rich history of growing from the ground up. Today the company seems to live and breathe paddling. Each week they release new instructional films and sponsored footage to the community (their Souls+Water is a great series if you haven’t heard of it). They sponsor athletes and ambassadors all over the world to represent their passion for paddling. Oh, and they also make great stuff for paddlers.

We carry a wide variety of NRS products including basic accessories, life jackets, dry suits and even some unique inflatable boats. One such boat is the Inflatable Pike Fishing Kayak. This boat comes already rigged with mounting options for fishing and best of all deflates and fits in a backpack! If you’re interested in learning more, watch this video from NRS rep Luke Adams at our 2012 Summer Demo Days.

We were also very lucky to have NRS sponsor our Texas based kayak fishing tournament, KATS, to which they donated one of their Inflatable Pikes!

2012 KATS Classic Championship Report

Steve Garcia (King of the Fish & Kayak Angler of the Year) showing off his trophies and new toys including a Wilderness Systems Tarpon, 120, Feel Free Moken 10 Angler and a fully decked out Malone Microsport Trailer.

After 6 month of competition, the 2012 Kayak Angler Tournament Series has come to an end. The six events held this year proved to be a lot of fun as well as challenging due to various weather and wind patterns. Anglers came out to compete in groups of 40-60 throughout the season, making this one of the biggest KATS seasons ever.

The first four tournaments tested the anglers and produced a list for the series rankings. The Top 10 anglers qualified for the Classic Championship on June 2nd. A Wildcard event held on Decker Lake yielded an additional five entries into the Classic. Last Saturday, June 2nd, the 2012 KATS Classic Championship and simultaneous Team Charity competition took place on Lake Bastrop in Bastrop Texas. The Top 15 anglers from the series launched early, around 6:00am and were due back by 2:00pm for scoring. Meanwhile, the charity folks launched a bit later and returned just before 2:00pm.

Bobby Lebeuf secured 1st Place in the Classic event and also won Big Bass with a big 22.25 incher.

Steve Garcia secured the Kayak Angler of the Year title earlier in the season with a trio of 1st place wins. A fully loaded Malone Microsport Kayak Trailer with a Feel Free Moken 10 Kayak was provided by our sponsors as his prize. In addition to this prestigious title, Mr., Garcia also secured the King of the Fish award, an award for the angler producing the most total inches over the entire series. 489.25 inches won Garcia a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120. Congratulations on your wins, fishing, and prizes!!!

Bobby Lebeuf went home from Bastrop a 2012 KATS Classic Champion. He won this sought after title with 100.25 inches and also took home the Big Bass award for the event with a 22.25 inch bass. In second place, Brandon Campbell had 95.75 inch stringer followed by Mark Nordstrom in 3rd with 93.25 inches.

Tye & Ryan won the team charity event which included a two-night stay at one of Costa Ventures' vacation homes.

The Team Charity event helped raise money for the Core Health Fishing Pier Initiative and Tye Blackshear, with his team partner Ryan McDermid, took first place with a 102.25 inch stringer taking home a two-night stay at any one of Costa Ventures’ vacation homes. In second, Mark Bullock and Chris Pierce brought in 66.25 inches, and third place went to Eugene Reinhart and Wayne Mack with 43 inches.

ACK and Austin Kayak Fishing want to thank all of the participants for this year and we look forward to seeing you out at future KATS events. Big thanks are also in order for our more than generous sponsors who helped make these events possible.

Full results and additional information can be accessed through the KATS homepage. You can also view photos on or Facebook page.

Tight lines!

Kristian Kolflat
KATS Tournament Director


2012 Kayak Angler Tournament Series – Wildcard “Decker” Report

NRS PIke - Wildcard Grand Prize Awarded to Ryan Herzog

The KATS Wildcard event was a battleground event as competitors took a chance at securing one of five spots for the 2012 Classic Championship. Thirty-two competitors lined the shores of Walter E. Long Lake also known as Decker Lake in Austin, Texas. Although the competition was tough and focused, when asked what about KATS keeps them coming, the most common response from competitors was “the camaraderie, the people”.

Anglers who had already secured a spot into the Classic were eligible to participate in last weekend’s event for prizes (including an NRS Inflatable Pike Fishing Kayak), but the five Classic entry’s were reserved for hopeful competitors.

Unlike the first four events of the series, the Wildcard was all one division. Ryan Herzog took 1st place with a 93.25” stringer, as well as the NRS Pike grand prize, and one of the Classic entries. Mark Nordstrom secured second place with 91.75” as well as Big Bass with a 21.25’er! Michael Bayer took third place with a 21 inch bass over Daniel Peters which tied with 91.25”.

Ryan Herzog, Mark Nordstrom, Michael Bayer, Daniel Peters, and Cornelius McDermott all earned a spot into the 2012 Classic coming up on June 2nd.

It has been announced that the Classic Championship will take place on Lake Bastrop. The Classic event is the final and most sought after event of the KATS series. The Top Ten finalists from the series will join the five Wildcard finalists in a competition to battle it out for Classic Champion. This event will also help determine the Kayak Angler of the Year and King of the Fish winners. The Charity Team Fishing Challenge will be open to all anglers (even those that have never fished any of the events) Benefiting the Core Health Foundation’s ADA Wheelchair Accessible Fishing Pier project on Lady Bird Lake in Austin.

For official details for both events, click here.

Thanks to everyone that came out to join us at this event and we cannot thank our sponsors enough for providing the amazing prizes given out at each event so please do make sure to check them out and support them when you can.

To see the complete results, click here. Want to see more pictures, check out and like our very own Kayak Angler Tournament Series Facebook page.

Kristian @ACK


KATS Sponsor Update – Wilderness Systems

A continuation of our featured KATS sponsor blogs that we will add to in the coming weeks. We appreciate all the support our sponsors have provided us over the series!

We are lucky to have Wilderness Systems as one of our Platinum Sponsors for KATS 2012! Wilderness Systems is a customer favorite when it comes to kayaks. With innovative designs tuned for performance, premium outfitting and stunning quality, Wilderness Systems has made kayaks specific to every paddler’s journey. Some of their models include the Commander, the Ride, and the Tsunami. For this tournament, they have donated a Tarpon 120 which will be awarded to the KATS Angler of the Year. Thanks for your support Wilderness Systems!

Click here to view our full line up of sponsors or here for more information about KATS.

KATS Sponsor Update – Bending Branches

A continuation of our featured KATS sponsors blogs that we will add to through the coming weeks. We appreciate all the support they have provided us over the series!

We’ve been very lucky to have Bending Branches as our other KATS patron sponsors this year. Bending Branches is a Wisconsin based company staffed by paddling enthusiasts always looking to create paddles with the perfect combination of durability, comfort, fit, weight and style. They do a great job of tailoring their paddles to fit all the different niches of the paddling world! We were very proud to award winners of the Lake Travis Amateur event with a few paddles from their recent product launch of the Angler Paddle Series (pictured below) and thankful to Bending Branches for providing us with a number of other paddles as prizes.

Bastrop event Bending Branches winner
The all new Ace, Classic and Pro Angler Paddles from BB...a hit!


KATS Sponsor Update – Malone Auto Racks

Over the course of the next few weeks we will be featuring our KATS sponsors through our blog. We appreciate all the support they have provided us over the series!

We are proud to have Malone Auto Racks as one of our patron sponsors for KATS. Malone is the fastest growing rack accessory company in North America and has revolutionized the transportation of paddle sport watercraft. Malone has donated a huge number of prizes including quite a few accessories  that have been raffled off at various events as well as the Malone Microsport Trailer that is set to be awarded to the Kayak Angler of the Year. Having Malone on board has really added a level of excitement to event — easier transportation makes for less frustration and leaves more time fishing!

One of several prizes donated by Malone, the MicroSport Kayak Trailer

Wheelchair Accessible Fishing Pier Coming to Downtown Austin

Speaking of great causes (read previous post), I had the pleasure of attending the first CORE Health Foundation’s ADA Wheelchair Accessible Fishing Pier Committee Meeting last week. The CORE Health Foundation is in the process of raising approximately $400,000 in donations to build a wheelchair accessible fishing pier on Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake) in downtown Austin.

This is a great cause and we are excited about doing what we can to help. In fact, if you are familiar with the Kayak Angler’s Tournament Series (KATS), we will be hosting a separate fishing tournament for those that didn’t qualify for the Classic. A portion of those proceeds will be donated to the cause. However, let’s not wait until then to help out, if you are interested in doing your part or simply want to spread the word, click here for additional details. – Roland @ACK

2012 Kayak Angler Tournament Series – Fayette Report

Steve Garcia Takes it Home Once Again!

The 2012 KATS Lake Fayette tournament took place this last Saturday. It was the second of 6 events in the series and was a great success! We applaud the 50 anglers that made the distant drive out to La Grange, Texas for an early start of 6:00 am.

Eagerly Awaiting the Results

The weather was almost perfect; slightly chilly, very little wind and cloud cover kept it warmer and shady. The fishing was a huge improvement over Lake Bastrop. In fact, most competitors were able to pull in several fish.

Steve Garcia once again secured the 1st place spot in the Pro Division with 102.75 inches putting him in the lead for the overall series at 200 points. Phillip Vela secured 1st place in the Amateur division with 48.5 inches. The complete results can be seen here on the KATS results page.

Nice catch!

On a side note: It is important that anyone wishing to compete for Kayak Angler of the Year or in the Classic Championship, remember that only those who have participated in two of the first four tournaments will be eligible to participate in the Wildcard event. If you have not yet fished one of the first two tournaments, you must fish the next two. However, each individual tournament is a great opportunity to compete and have loads of fun.

Another nice catch!

Winners of the Pro Division have been taking home up to $495 in prize money while the amateurs have been awarded prizes of comparable value. And while we are at it, check out our complete list of prizes including kayaks, a trailer, paddles, pfds and much more donated by our generous sponsors.

The next tournament is scheduled for March 24th, at Lake Travis. We hope you can join us! Sign up here.

Kristian @ACK Austin

Good Luck to All 2012 KATS Lake Fayette Event Competitors

Ready for Launch at Lake Bastrop (January)

Hey! How about a quick shout out to all those competing in the 2012 Kayak Angler’s Tournament Series Lake Fayette event this Saturday. This is the 2nd event of the series and we are well on track for hitting another record of attendance with well over 50 participants. The forecast calls for a nippy 45 degrees at launch but warming up nicely to 60 with a 0% chance of rain. Also want to give another quick shout out to all of our sponsors for all of their generous donations. For more information about the tournament and to see a list of all those sponsors, click here. We want to wish each and every one of you the best of luck out there!

Tight lines! – Roland @ACK