Anglers in kayaks descend on Lake Arthur for fishing tournament - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Last spring Noah Heck was about to launch his kayak at North Park Lake. I was right behind him with my son, nervously putting mine in the water for the first time. A new member of Kayak Anglers of Western Pennsylvania, I had already used the group’s web forum, including lots of information from Heck, to figure out what kayak to buy and how to fish from my new boat. At North Park, he helped us launch, took pictures of our maiden voyage and gave us some great fishing advice. Later that day, we ran into him again on the lake where his fish finder located a school of trout right below us. Let’s just say it was a successful inaugural kayak fishing trip. That day might sum up everything Heck wants the Kayak Anglers to be -- friendly, helpful and sharing lots of information. The group has grown in a short time, now including five regional chapters with 197 total members. Heck grew up fishing with his father on a 20-foot bass boat, and watching his dad direct conventional bass tournaments. He had something different in mind for kayak tournaments when he co-founded the Kayak Anglers group with two others in 2013. Tournaments, he realized, were a natural way to get members. The first event had six people, which included the three founders. Heck expects upwards of 60 participants at the July 26 kayak fishing tournament at Lake Arthur, Butler County. Members pay $20 to enter, non-members pay $35 with a portion of the proceeds going to Unity A Journey of Hope. There’s a cash prize determined by the number of entrants, and the tournament counts towards KA’s “angler of the year” award, which includes a new kayak as one of the prizes. The tournament can be followed live at www. kayak-anglers. Heck said he wants anglers to know it’s a low key event. “When they hear tournament, they think competition. ” By design, he says, it’s all about going out there and having a good time. meeting friends, fishing new waters and leaving as little of a footprint as we can. John Shurina, 48, of Bethel has fished, he said, for as long as he’s been able to walk. But like many of his contemporaries, he got away from the fishing while building his career. Now a KA member, the local pharmacist participates in many of its tournaments.

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Anglers in kayaks descend on Lake Arthur for fishing tournament The tournament can be followed live at www.kayak-anglers.com. Heck said he wants anglers to know it's a low key event. “When they hear tournament, they think competition. They don't think it's going to be fun.” By design, he says, it's all about going

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