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Monday, 21 January 2013 18:01

Gulf Coast Series Opens with Old Tampa Bay Classic

Written by  Kayak Fishing ClassicS
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On January 9, 2013, the Kayak Fishing ClassicS held the Old Tampa Bay Classic, the Gulf Coast Division opener. The event wasrich with sponsors and anglers, with a fantastic turnout of some of the best anglers from around the Gulf Coast States and Canada. The Old Tampa Bay Classic was hosted by long-time friend and sponsor Whiskey Joes Bar & Grill in Tampa.

The weather was perfect to begin fourth year of the Kayak Fishing ClassicS tournament series. New for 2013 is the formation of the East Coast Division. Each division will feature five tournament events, followed by the invitational national championship in November. The 2013 National Championship will be held at the world famous Mosquito Lagoon in celebration of the newly formed East Coast Division series.

Anglers enjoyed calm seas as they launched their kayaks onto Old Tampa Bay, witnessed by a beautiful rising sun that turned the bay into a watery field of gold. All the contestants were anxious to paddle to their favorite spots in search of the winning combination of three warrior-class redfish. There are no bonus points for 2013, so the anglers must rely upon the combined total length of their catch. This has made the catch & release series even more competitive, and the anglers all like it like that.

In first place was past champion Chuck Statham, who entered a three-fish total length of 69.7” using D.O.A. Lures. Chuck was happy to accept his share of the $10,000 sponsor gear package awarded at each of the ClassicS events. We were all happy to see Chuck return to the ClassicS and do so well. Congratulations, Chuck, and see you at the tournament in March.

Brian Arnold of Team Canada captured second place with a very good showing of three redfish entered for a total of 66”, all on D.O.A. Lures. This is the best finish for Arnold in the series, and he was overwhelmed by all of the sponsor prizes. “I have watched the top anglers awarded all of sponsor prizes, but it really doesn’t hit you until you are the one receiving all of the great gear,” said Arnold. “It really is fantastic!” We are glad you liked it, Brian, and congratulations from all of our sponsors.

Third place was taken by the angler that nearly won it all last year. Joe Komyati really made things interesting for us all in 2012, and brought the series championship down to the last tournament. Joe started this series year off with three redfish measuring a total of 64.6”, and caught them on Z-Man shrimp.. Well done, Joe, and congratulations. We know we will be seeing more of this angler.

33and3 inch red Klosicki holding

USF student & Reel Knights team member Travis Strammer worked his Sebile “Stick Shadd” to catch 62.8” total with three redfish for forth place. Very nice, Travis, and congratulations to you.

The fifth place finisher wasAtthapol Wongesprasert, with a three redfish total of 61”, all caught on D.O.A. Lures. This was the first Classic for Atthapol, and we and all of our sponsors congratulate him - as do we all of our contestants.

Read 3179 times Last modified on Monday, 21 January 2013 18:25

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