The Fall N Tide tournament, hosted by the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club (BCKFC), is said to be one of the oldest kayak fishing tournaments still in existence. Fall N Tide is typically one of BCKFC’s largest, most attended tournaments each year consisting of a weekend long event packed full of good food, fellowship, an in-person weigh in, numerous tournament prize categories, and thousands of dollars of raffle prizes from club sponsors.  The list of raffle prizes often seems endless including items such as soft & hard coolers from California Innovations, gift cards to Puglia’s Sporting Goods, Superior Bait & Tackle, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, rods & reels from Penn and Abu Garcia, and many more. This overwhelming amount of support from our sponsors and anglers is why the BCKFC is the envy of nearly every other kayak club in the World. This year on October 24th, the event will make its 15th annual appearance albeit a slightly different format than years past due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, due to limitations from COVID, this year BCKFC will be hosting a single day “Catch, Photo, Submit” style tournament using the TourneyX software. Anglers who register for the tournament will still be fishing for the largest Cajun Slam stringer consisting of one redfish, one speckled trout, and one flounder, however they will be fishing for length instead of weight by submitting photos of their fish on a measuring board via the TourneyX cell phone application.  This adds an exciting new twist to the tournament as anglers can view real time submissions from other anglers in the tournament, as well as their current placement in the tournament.   To keep the suspense, the real time scoring is shut off a few hours before the final submission deadline so that the winners are only revealed at the awards ceremony.  Additionally, family, friends and other interested parties can access the live results through the TourneyX website and follow along throughout the day.

A Cajun Slam is generally considered one of the most difficult stringers to fill in a one-day tournament. In a typical field of 150 anglers, less than 10% of the field may catch their slam.  Often times anglers will catch a trout and a redfish, but fall short of the flounder.  However, it is more frustrating for the angler when he or she catches that elusive flounder only to be flummoxed by a redfish or trout.  To improve their chances at catching a slam, anglers will usually develop a plan to maximize the best fishing opportunities/times for a particular species.  For example, anglers may fish for trout from launch time through 7:00 am and divide the rest of the day up searching for redfish and flounder.  Often times anglers will catch a fish early on but continue fishing for that same species hoping to upgrade and eventually over-allocate their time for just one species.  Additionally, anglers will often come upon a school of trout and/or redfish that is too tempting to pass up.  Caught up in the excitement of an epic topwater trout bite, anglers may toss aside their carefully planned out day for the instant gratification of that moment.  This is just a few of the many temptations and challenges that anglers face at Fall N Tide.

The eligible boundaries for the tournament will include the LA Hwy 1 and LA Hwy 23 corridors.  Anglers are allowed to launch from as many locations as they like within these boundaries, and often plan their day launching and picking up numerous times based on which areas they believe will provide them the best opportunity for each species. Targeting each species in a Cajun Slam can often consist of an array of different lure presentations requiring multiple rods and numerous trays of tackle.  It is not unusual to see an angler with six or seven rods out of his kayak rigged with topwaters, corks, gold spoons, and soft plastics such as Gulp on a jighead.

In this format, a three fish stringer will beat out a two fish stringer, even if smaller, as the challenge to this event is catching all three species.  Due to Covid, this year’s award ceremony will be held virtually with those anglers who place in the top of the slam category getting an invitation to receive their prizes in person at The Backpacker in Baton Rouge.  Although a lot has changed about this year’s Fall N Tide, the prizes have only gotten better.  The top 10% of registered anglers will win cash and prizes.  First place in the Cajun Slam category will take home a brand new Hobie Pro Angler 360 12’ kayak valued at nearly $5,000! Second and third place win a $2,000 and $1,000 gift card to The Backpacker, respectively, which can be used to purchase a new kayak or kayaking accessories or any other merchandise at The Backpacker.  Fourth place and beyond will receive cash payouts.  Additionally, single fish divisions for redfish, speckled trout, and flounder will receive prizes from Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops for first through third place as well as categories for youth, ladies, and seniors.

Fall is well known as one of the best times of the year to fish in South Louisiana.  The temperatures are pleasant for long days of fishing, the redfish are frisky, the speckled trout are moving inshore making them easily accessible with kayaks, and the flounder are staging in large numbers along the southern estuaries to move offshore to spawn.  Join us on October 24th for the Fall N Tide tournament targeting all three of these species and a chance at winning some fantastic prizes.  For full tournament details, you can visit our website at

-Sean Rastanis & Tyler Caldwell

Photography Credit: Tyler Drude Photography & Tyler Caldwell

As Featured In October 2020 Issue of Marsh & Bayou Magazine