Staff Sergeant Robert Guigar was recently invited to the YakAttack Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship tournament where he will compete at a national level.
Guigar, 28, is assigned to 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), as a battalion operations noncommissioned officer.
Being invited to the national KBF tournament is a big deal and something that takes many bass fishers a very long time to achieve, he said.
“I’ve been prepping ever since I got the invite for the nationals,” Guigar said “That was October of last year.”
The national tournament takes place April 2-4 in Marshall County, Alabama. More than 800 KBF members are expected to compete for a national champion title. Using his kayak, fishing poles and a measuring board, Guigar will catch as many as five of the longest bass he can as he vies to win KBF title.
“I have been tournament fishing for two years now,” he said. “But I have been fishing ever since I was a kid.”
Guigar used to fish for all types of different fish in his hometown of Clinton, Tennessee, but his love for tournament bass fishing has taken him to the next level. Because of Fort Campbell’s location he can keep his bass fishing local.
“I can hit a lot of water ways that will be similar to the lakes that I would be fishing in tournaments,” Guigar said. “Kentucky Lake is one of the big ones I hit when its part of the tournament series because it’s well renowned as a bass fishery.”
There are different types of kayaks, he said. Some of them have a foot paddle to use to get around easier. Guigar plans on investing in a boat for pre-fishing so he can get around faster to find the best spots before his tournaments.
“I’m able to move so much faster with a big engine,” he said laughing. “I can cover more water and push out what we call ‘dead water.’”
Dead water is water where there are no fish, Guigar said.
“There is no sense in wasting an hour, or two hours, when you won’t get anything,” he said.
To win tournaments it’s not what you have but how you do it, Guigar said.
“I have buds that I go fishing with and they may have a $60 kayak, a tackle box and a couple of rods,” he said. “I’ve seen them win tournaments. It’s not about going out and getting the best gear and the best kayak.”
Competition fishing is not easy and is a lot of work, Guigar said.
“There is a lot of prepping involved and there were multiple times where I got off work and had a tournament the very next morning,” he said.
And some of the bass fishing tournaments start as early as 5 a.m.
“This means waking up two hours earlier, so I can get everything ready and get my spot in the water before everyone else,” Guigar said. “All the prepping that goes into this takes a lot of time.”
Months before a tournament he is already looking at maps and planning out where he is going to mark fish, he said.
“There is a saying,” Guigar said, “one fish is lucky, two fish is a pattern.”