According to a report by Karen Edwards of Spectrum News 1, the new National Kayak Fishing League includes a team from upstate New York, Team Empire New York.
The league features 28 teams from across the country who compete in remote tournaments. When an angler catches a bass at least 14 inches long, they photograph and release the fish and upload the photo to the viewers and judges. Empire New York is the only New York team in the league. And according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, competitive kayak fishing brings in millions of dollars to the state, which helps small businesses.
The league holds weekly games throughout the summer, pitting teams from different states against each other every Saturday. There’s even a fantasy section on the league’s website for fans to get involved too while they watch live.
Empire New York team member Bryan Nunziato told Edwards: “It’s a fun experience. I really like it. I really like the team dynamic. Everyone is working together towards a common goal.”
A big aspect of the league is how inclusive it is. In the end, the only thing that matters is helping the team win.
Trisha Angelini-Luciano, another member of the Empire New York team, told Edwards: “When I started doing this, there weren’t too many women fishing in kayaks. There are challenges in everything you do. Whether you’re a woman, a guy, it’s just overcoming them and doing what you want to do. I love doing that.”
The Kayak Fishing League season runs for nine weeks, from June 4 to September 3, with two weeks off and one week off for each team. Thus, halfway through the season, Empire New York is at the top of its division with a 3-1 record.