While the Kayak Angler Tournament Series (KATS) has been running for ten years in Texas, this was the first season in the Great Lakes region. With an abundance of water and an amazing fishing community, we knew there would be no shortage of competitors. For the inaugural year, we were fortunate enough to host over 140 individual contestants ranging from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Canada.

The summer season consisted of 4 main events scattered among various lakes in both the US and Canada. Apart from individual competition prizes and the (debatably more important) bragging rights, competitors were also on the hook for two full series awards, King of the Fish and Angler of the Year, both touting major prize packages that included new kayaks, gear and more. Take a quick glimpse of the first event with our friend Robert Field and Yakfish.Tv:

KATS Michigan Angler of the Year


Angler of the Year is awarded to the competitor who has the highest point value spanning the entire series. This year, the Angler of the Year award went to Stephen Kinnard. With a total of 386 points spread over four events, Stephen averaged 96.5 points per tournament and 4.3 fish per day. Impressive numbers, to say the least! For taking home the grand champion, Stephen was awarded with a brand new Feel Free Lure 11.5 Kayak, a Malone Microsport Trailer, a Humminbird Helix 5 SI GPS, a Bending Branches Angler Pro Paddle and 365 days of top notch bragging rights.

KATS Michigan King of the Fish

King of the Fish is decided by calculating the sum of the five largest fish caught during the competition. This year’s award went to Tim Percy, hometown legend and fish enthusiast. Tim brought in a total of 94.5 inches of fish over 4 tournaments the smallest at just over 18 and the largest at 19.25 inches (18.9 inches average). Tim earned himself a brand new Predator XL that we hope to see him fishing on in next year’s events.

Looking Forward

With the success we’ve seen with this year’s events, we couldn’t be more excited to announce the 2017 season as well. We’ll be moving forward with 4 events, including the return of the Border City Classic hosted on both Canadian and American waters. Events will be held in May, June, July and September scattered about the local Michigan waters. Want to join us in 2017? Check out our KATS website for more details about next year’s season.

We wanted to give a special shout out to all of the competitors and those who were particularly helpful in orchestrating and promoting this year’s events, as well as a huge thank you to all of our wonderful sponsors and those who came together to make this happen.