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About US

Who We Are

We are Minnesota's first official Kayak Bass Fishing League known as "MinnYak." 

Founded in 2021, we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping promote and grow the sport of competitive kayak angling. We offer opportunities for our community to actively participate in and learn about this rapidly expanding sport whilst providing avenues for individuals looking to advance themselves as professional anglers.

The League was founded by a group of individuals who are already actively involved in the competitive kayak community and who have experience with both national and local event series. Our shared experiences and expertise help us bring an elite-level experience to our members that you will not get through any other group or club. 

We are taking things to the next level for our local kayak fishing community, and we will always have our members in mind. From our board members to our committee members, our focus is to be a league run by members for members!

Purpose

1) To stimulate Public Awareness of competitive kayak bass fishing as a sport

2) To promote growth in this sport within the state of Minnesota

3) To provide opportunities for club members to travel and compete in regional and national tournament series

4) To incentivize other fishing organizations, companies, and/or sponsors to bring competitive opportunities into the state of Minnesota

5) To work with local conservation and commerce agencies to enhance and protect black bass populations by practicing and promoting catch-photo-release (CPR) style tournaments

Board Members

Joey Vanyo
(President)

I am one of the original founding members of MinnYak and this will be my 2nd season as president of the league. This all started as an idea amongst myself and some of my peers and I am enjoying every minute of watching this blossom into what we all know it will be.

This has been a long time coming for the Minnesota Kayak Fishing community and I am truly blessed
 to be a part of this league and am honored to have been selected by our members and my fellow board member peers to help lead the organization! I am a people-person and will always be the one to go out of my way to help you out vs worry about my own interests. If you see me on the water, feel free to stop by and say hey.

My background in the sport consists of experiences in low-level local club events and through the larger National Trail series (Hobie BOS, BASS Nation Kayak Series, All-American Kayak Series, and KBF). I have multiple top 10 finishes including 2-2nd place, and 1-5th place finish in National competition. I have qualified and competed in the Hobie TOC, BASS Nation Classic, and All-American Kayak Classic. I have been included in published articles with Bassmaster Magazine and Bassmaster.com, and just recently finished in the top 25 for the 2021 Hobie AOY race. 

I am looking forward to helping build this league into one of the best in the country! 

 

Scott Stuhlmann
(Vice President)

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I grew up fun fishing in Louisiana and Texas. I took an extended break to operate nuclear submarines in the US Navy. I started fishing again in 2018 in a cheap sit inside kayak. Bought my first real fishing kayak later that year and have upgraded and added to my fleet over the last few years. I primarily fish out of an Old Town Big Water with a Torqueedo or an Autopilot 136.

I own my own business which allows me ample free time to fish competitively through online and destination tournaments. My goal is to continue learning and to be consistently in the top 10 percent of tournaments. I am also a Founder, Board member, and Vice President of MinnYak Bass Fishing League.

Recent Accompishments:
2021, 2022 KBF Top 100
2021, 2022 KBF Challenge State Champion - Minnesota
2022 KBF Challenge Series AOY Top 10
3rd - BASSMASTER Kayak Open Chickamauga
2020, 2021 All American Kayak Classic Top 5 finishes

Cliff Buck
(Treasurer)

Ryan Bonikowski (Secretary)

My love for fishing started when I was young in Wisconsin but really started getting serious in the sport when I was coaching down in Arkansas. I was able to rent a recreational kayak from the university to get me off the bank and explore all that Arkansas bass fishing had to offer. Before moving back up north, I fished my second kayak tournament ever on Lake Dardanelle out of my rental kayak. That decision lead to a great day of fishing, taking 2nd in a regional event and forever hooking me into the sport of kayak bass fishing. After moving back up north to Minnesota I bought my first fishing kayak, which was an Ascend H10. After two years of making some great modifications to it, I decided to upgrade to a Native Titan 12. I love competing at the local level but eventually plan on competing at the national level once life gives me a little more time to do so. Until then, my goal is to encourage others to get into the sport and education them on something I’m truly passionate about. 

Bob Bahler
 

Standing Committees

General Committee

  • Scott Stuhlmann (Chair)

  • Bob Bahler

  • Ben Bowman

  • Tony Hutchinson

  • James Francis

  • Kyle Murray

  • Albert Lewis Padilla

1)This is a combined committee responsible for running the majority of MinnYak Operations. This committee will provide suggestions to the board on a range of topic that includes tournament schedules, social media engagement, and member management.

2) This committee shall be made up of the Vice President (as chair), one additional Board Member, and 3-5 regular members.

3) This committee is elected annually to coincide with new board elections.

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