HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Kayak Bass Fishing as a sport has been around for decades. However Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) the company was founded in 2009.
KBF founder Chad Hoover said it has been growing in popularity and exploded during the pandemic.
At a media event on Wednesday, Mayor Tommy Battle announced KBF’s plans to build their headquarters in Huntsville.
Battle joked that the sport has taken off in popularity, similarly to pickleball.
“I don’t want to call them the Pickleball movement of the river, but I think it might be a good comparison for those who don’t know much about bass fishing” Mayor Battle said.
Hoover followed Battle’s remarks and said, “I just came back from out west doing some fly fishing and pickleball was a big deal out there, so I’ll take it as a compliment.”
For those unfamiliar, Kayak Bass Fishing is exactly as the name would imply: you fish from a kayak.
However, Hoover said KBF differs from traditional bass fishing for several reasons. Conservation being one of them.
“We’re catching the fish, we’re photographing them, and we’re immediately releasing them back where we caught them from” Hoover said.
He called that method CPR, or Catch, Photograph, Release.
Hoover said by releasing the fish back into their habitat right away, it is better for the fish communities.
He also said the sport is great for all ages.
“It really is an 8 year old to 80 year old sport” he said. “Our oldest competitor is currently 76 years old out there, you know, mixing it up”.
Hoover said there is a camaraderie and community amongst kayak bass fishers.
KBF will build it’s headquarters at Ditto Landing in south Huntsville.
Hoover said the first phase will be building a media center where they will have a podcast and broadcast studio. He said they’ll use it to broadcast tournaments happening all over the country.
The landscape of north Alabama is why Hoover selected Huntsville for the headquarters.
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“The creeks and rivers in North Alabama are some of the best in the world” Hoover said.
“It’s Narnia for bass fishing. This is literally the best place you can live, draw a 50 mile circle around where you live and have the most world class fishing around you.”
Brandi Quick, the Executive Director for Ditto Landing said they are excited to have Kayak Bass Fishing come to Ditto Landing.
“We’re excited to open that door and allow people to come out and invite people to come out and enjoy the Tennessee River from a different angle” Quick said.
Quick said there is a lot in the works for Ditto Landing, including some new nature trails.
This winter the landing will host “Christmas on the River” which Quick hopes will bring families out to start new traditions.