How to Use a Bump Board on a Kayak

If you are a kayak bass angler and participate in bass fishing tournaments, you will need a bump board in order to measure the length of your bass.

Using a bump board in a kayak can be a bit tricky due to lack of room.  Let’s take a look at tips on how to use a bump board while in your kayak and the best bump board out there.  These tips are based on my past experiences kayak bass fishing in southeast Georgia.

What is a Bump Board?

A bump board is a measuring device used by bass anglers to measure the length of their catch. It is a concave board, normally made out of plastic or metal.  The end of the board is called the bump.  This end is where the fish’s mouth is placed when measuring.

When measuring catch and release fish in kayak tournaments, a bump board is a must-have tool for accurate measurements.  

Securing Your Bump Board in Kayak

Bump boards are popular with kayak anglers because they are easy to transport in a kayak. However, they need to be secured in your kayak properly.  I secure my bump board with a DIY bump board leash that I made myself. You can see how I made my leash over on my YouTube channel.

Make sure to store your bump board in a cool, out of the sun, place so that it doesn’t get too hot.  When not in use, my bump board is stored underneath my Nucanoe F12 360 Fusion seat.

Bump Board Care

After each fishing tournament or trip, I clean my bump board with warm water and a soft cloth.  Make sure to thoroughly dry your bump board after cleaning.  When not in use, I store mine in a Contico 23-gallon Black Plastic Storage Trunk.  I found mine at Lowe’s but they also have them on Amazon.  This tunk is great for storing my kayak bass fishing gear.

How to Measure a Bass Using a Bump Board

Measuring a bass using a bump board is a simple process, provided you have everything set up properly as mentioned above.    

Make sure to have your phone camera ready BEFORE placing the bass on the bump board and that your phone is secured.

Instructions for Measuring Your Catch

  • Wet the bump board to help maintain the fish’s protective slime and make it more comfortable for the fish.  It will also cool your board and prevent it from being too hot.  
  • Angle the bump side of the ketch board downward, then place the bass on the bump board with his mouth on the bump end.  This will help close the mouth of the fish and help the bass relax.
  • Place your hand one to two inches behind the gill plate with your hand flat with slight pressure on the fish.
  • Make sure that the entire fish is pressed down against the bump board so that the length can be correctly measured. Do not press too hard, this could cause the fish to feel attacked and jump off the bump board. 
  • Next, hold the fish still on the board and make sure its entire body is against the bump board to obtain an accurate measurement.
  • Read the length measurement where the fish’s tail reaches on the board.
  • Snap a few pictures. Be sure to have your mobile phone attached to you using a phone tether!  Trust me, in my first tournament, my mobile went into the deep dark waters!  You can find a cheap phone tether on Amazon.

While checking to ensure my image is clear and correct, I place the bass in my Frabill Dip Net and place him back in the water, while securing the dip net.

Release the fish back into the water safely and immediately.  Of course, we practice catch-and-release fishing to preserve fish populations. 

Identifier Card

During a tournament, you will have to display your identifier card.  This is placed on the bump board near the tail of the fish, but be sure not to obstruct the measurement.  

The Ketch Bump Board

I have tried other bump boards in the past, and have found that the Ketch Bump Board is the best for kayak bass fishing.

The bump board I used in my very first tournament in Evans County was made from cheap plastic.  I broke it after just one fishing tournament by stepping on it in the kayak!  That is when I discovered the Ketch Board Bump.

The Ketch Bump Boards are exclusively used on national, regional, state, and local kayak trails and they are very well made.

Ketch Bump Board Options

They offer several options, but I went with their metal bump board.  It cost around  $63.00 and was well worth the money.  It is durable and I have had it now for over two years.  

However, Ketch does offer a cheaper board made from polycarbonate if you’re a beginning kayak bass angler on a budget.  Or you can find a cheaper alternative on Amazon.

Ketch also offers a Catch ID accessory that secures your identifier card to the bump board so you never have to worry about losing it.

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more kayak bass fishing tips and excursions.  You can also join our Facebook group to collaborate with other kayak bass anglers and get updates regarding our online and in-person kayak bass fishing tournaments.