Fishing The Razoryak Trail

Photos and Story by Jeff Malott

Tournament fishermen hit the water just as the sun comes up.

Tournament fishermen hit the water just as the sun comes up.


Arkansas has long been known for being at the forefront of competitive bass fishing. Many BASS and FLW professionals call Arkansas home, and there are several large professional events held here each year. There are highly competitive statewide tournament circuits such as Mr. Bass of Arkansas, and regional circuits like the Everett Team Trail in the northwest part of the state.  Over the last several years a new genre in competitive bass fishing has emerged: kayak bass fishing. 

Just as it sounds, these anglers chase the same bass on the same bodies of water as the traditional bass boat anglers do—they simply do it from a kayak. They typically use the same rods, reels, lures and even the same electronics. There are, however, three main differences: Kayaking anglers move from spot to spot under their own power, there is no live well for the fish (kayak tournaments use the catch/photo/release method) and the winner is determined by total length instead of weight.


High-level kayak bass tournaments were first popular in the Austin, Texas, area. After watching the success others were having, a group of friends in northwest Arkansas decided the state needed a series of its own. That is where The Razoryak Tournament Trail (RTT) was born. What started out as a local series on lakes around the NWA area has turned into one of the largest statewide kayak bass fishing series in the country. 

The RTT consists of tournament circuits in five different parts of the state: northwest Arkansas, east Arkansas, central Arkansas, the Fort Smith/River Valley area and the Mountain Home area. Entry fees are low and paid back 100 percent at each event, along with an abundance of sponsor-provided prizes. While the competition is stiff, the environment is family-friendly and welcoming. Each circuit crowns an Angler of the Year based on points accumulated at each event, and in the fall anglers from all across the state come together for the Arkansas Kayak Bass Fishing State Championship. This year’s championship will be held at beautiful Lake Dardanelle State Park. 

For more information on The Razoryak Tournament Trail or to find an event near you, go to

Tight lines everyone!