Richard Ofner started fishing in the fall of 2008 from a kayak, targeting all freshwater species. He has fished all over the Great Lakes Region from Lake Michigan, Lake Superior to the French River, and Bay of Quinte in Eastern Ontario. Taking advantage of all the opportunities Southwestern Ontario has to offer, Richard seeks out trophy Muskie, Walleye and Bass which can all be caught minutes away from where he lives. The last few years Richard has ventured into Kentucky, Louisiana, and Texas participating in several Kayak Fishing Tournaments.
He has organized the Border City Classic, in Windsor, Ontario which has grown to become one of the Great Lakes Region’s largest Kayak Fishing Events. It is also one of the Hobie World Qualifiers since 2014.
During the winter months where he can't get on the water he will do seminars, work fishing and boat shows, and write for blogs to help promote the areas vast resource of fishing opportunities and helping others to discover the sport of kayak fishing. Taking videos and pictures on the water of other people fishing in kayaks has also expanded into his kayak fishing experience.
As a Hobie Fishing Team Member you may see Richard out in one of his Mirage Driven Kayaks mainly targeting Walleye, Bass, and Muskie, and will travel a few hours to target Salmon, Trout, and Sturgeon.
As the sport of kayak fishing continues to grow in the Midwest, Michigan has been void of a sound tournament series to date. That is until 2016. Both the Michigan Kayak Fishing Series and KATS - Midwest will give kayak anglers in Southwest and Southeast Michigan, several options to participate. The MKFS kicks off on May 7th on Gull Lake, Richland, MI and KATS - Midwest on May 14th on Kent Lake, Brighton, Michigan. The Michigan Kayak Fishing Series will span 6 events concluding September 17th on Burt Lake, Indian River, Michigan. KATS - Midwest will have 3 events, a 4th, the Border City Classic will qualify for points towards the KATS - Midwest AOY. The final event for KATS - Midwest will be on September 24th, Cass Lake, Keego Harbor, Michigan.
KATS - Midwest is an extension of the popular KATS that is held throughout Texas for the past 10 years and is the result of the recent merger aquisition of Austin Canoe & Kayak by Summit Sports. The information can be found on the FishKATS.com website and will be run very similar to how KATS Texas has been run.
Considering that that Michigan has the most shoreline of any other state and is a close 2nd to Minnesota for the number of named lakes, it is no surprise to see how fast the sport of kayak fishing is growing in the Wolverine State.
Jeff Sherwood has only been fishing for a few years from a kayak, but has the luxury of being in the business. He is the General Manager of Retail for the new Summit Sports - Austin Canoe & Kayak combined company. Jeff recently began tournament fishing, competing in several events in the Mid-West. He also fished in the Hobie Bass Open, and KBF Open on Toledo Bend in 2015. Jeff will be an instrumental figure in the growth of kayak fishing tournament in Michigan for 2016, expanding the successful Texa- based Kayak Anglers Tournament Series (KATS).
If you have tried to record audio with your GoPro while on the water using the waterproof case (which you can probably call a soundproof case), you have discovered it is almost impossible to do without using aftermarket devices to aid in getting good sound.
This year's Border City Classic ended up being extreme kayak fishing at its best, without sharks, alligators, or tides to contend with. Over 30 mph winds - gusting close to 50 mph - and 3.5”of rain did not keep the field of 122 anglers from getting out on the water. They also uploaded over 200 bass to iAngler.
Each time you rig a kayak, there are new products and ideas that could be implemented to help make your human-powered watercraft catch fish - or so we think. The word that always comes to my mind when making rigging decisions is “convenience”.
The Hobie “Outback” was the company's first kayak aimed directly for the kayak fishing market. It continues to be their top-selling fishing kayak to date. Because of its continued success, Hobie has left a great design alone sticking with the mantra: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. – until the 2015 model.
The 2014 Border City Classic is now history. Eighty two kayak anglers took to the water to compete in the fourth annual BCC. Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River didn't disappoint the dedicated field of kayak anglers, some of whom came from as far as Edmonton, AB, Ottawa, ON, and Fort Wayne, IN.
No we don't have Alligators or Crocodiles in the Great Lakes Region. We do have what is known as the fish of a thousand casts. Up until a few years ago you rarely saw Kayak Anglers targeting Muskie. The mention of inviting one of these Freshwater Gators into your small plastic floating vessel, would make even an experienced angler think you should maybe hire a guide and let him help you catch a Muskie in a charter.
In the mid to late eighties, I first became aware of computers, software and new technology. Working in a manufacturing environment building stamping tools in the Automotive industry we had to learn and apply the new technology as it came available, otherwise we wouldn't have survived. This strong foundation has kept me up to date with our digital world has it has progressed over the last 30 years.