The format paired two-person teams all in search of the elusive golden Bream, pound for pound one of Australia’s most challenging game fish. Team USA included Keeton Eoff partenered with Jose Chavez and Morgan Promnitz with Jackie Smith. Competitors competed in identically rigged Hobie Mirage® Pro Anglers propelled by Hobie’s patented MirageDrive® system and fitted with Lowrance® electronics. Live weigh-ins of the catches took place on each of the three days of competition. Team and individual champions were crowned based on total weight.
Steve Fields, Director of Hobie Australia, devised a platform in which visiting anglers were paired with local Australian experts and team members as mentors in navigating new waters and a new species. “I think the Australian team set the stage for the entire event. They genuinely took us under their wings, taught us Bream fishing and obviously did it well,” stated USA team member and Hobie Fishing Product Manager, Morgan Promnitz. After just two days of practice, Jose then took the lead on the first day of competition and no one was more proud than his mentor, Australian Angler of the Year, Greg Lewis, who commented that ”If I don’t win it, I want Jose to win!” Those words signified the spirit of the event.
The ensuing days brought location changes, heated competition, boisterous laughter and a tight race for the Championship. “Jose and I both fished well at different stages of the event, but just couldn’t put it all together to compete for the team title,” commented USA’s Keeton Eoff, Hobie’s Fishing Marketing Manager. “We finished third behind two good Australian teams, but we gave them a run for their money.” Greg Lewis and Scott Baker took the World Championship team title and Greg Lewis the individual title.
But it did not end with the World Championships…
During the final two days of the World Championships, international participants also had the opportunity to enter an Australian national competition, the ABT (Australian Bream Tournaments), kayak series Grand Finals, which coincidentally were being held at the same location. All international anglers eagerly accepted the opportunity to fish against Australia’s best bream fishermen. Eoff ended up taking fourth place out of the 60 ABT anglers, a surprising finish for a bream fishing newcomer.
Steve Morgan, Director ABT commented that, “In the past three years, competitive bream fishing from kayaks has boomed in Australia. It was great to see Texan import, Keeton Eoff, excel in this competition. With just a very short period to learn the tackle and finesse that this species requires, he quickly displayed the consistency required to snare 4th place amongst Australia’s best.”
Keeton, Morgan, Jackie and Jose will have a year to plan how to reciprocate the huge welcome they received in Australia. The 2012 event will be held in the U.S. with dates and location to be announced later this winter.
Since 1950, Hobie has been in the business of shaping a unique lifestyle based around fun, water, and quality products. From their headquarters in Oceanside, California, Hobie Cat Company manufactures, distributes, and markets an impressive collection of watercraft worldwide. These include an ever-expanding line of recreation and racing sailboats, pedal-driven and paddle sit-on-top recreation and fishing kayaks, inflatable kayaks, fishing boats, and float cats, plus a complementary array of parts and accessories.
About the Author: Adam Hayes is an avid kayak angler and the Co. Founder of YakAngler.com He is addicted to fishing tackle and gear and is dedicated to growing the sport of kayak fishing.
Adam considers himself a pretty poor writer and "crappy" photographer but still loves to share his stories and findings with the readers of YakAngler.