After an easy three-hour drive, I arrived at the Kentucky Dam Village. I quickly checked into my hotel room, provided by Hobie, and headed to the captains meeting.
Thirty-three anglers registered for the weekend-long fishing event, including a group of yakanglers who made the trip all the way down from Canada. In that group was our very own Pro-Team member Richard Ofner. Pam Funk and Chris Funk, also YakAngler Pro-Team members, were in attendance to compete for their chance to head to Amsterdam.
YakAngler Pro-Team member RIchard Ofner being interviewed
After a quick welcome from Keeton Eoff from Hobie Cat, it was time to get down to business and explain the rules and regulations of the tournament.
There were four members participating in this qualifier who had fished in previous Hobie Fishing Worlds, and they were invited to briefly share their experiences.
Four kayak angler's who had previously fished in the Hobie Fishing Worlds
Day one of the qualifier tournament started at 6:00 am when anglers hit the water in search of their three qualifying fish. Fishing was good, and most anglers found fish without much problem but few found any of great size. Many anglers finished day one with plenty of photos of fish in the 13” – 15” range.
The leaders for day one were:
Tom Michael – 57.25” Drew Russell – 52”
Richard Ofner – 51.25”
Ron Champion – 51”
Day one ended with hot dogs and potato salad prepared by the Hobie Cat staff, along with tales of the day’s events. Stories included those of guys who lost cameras, jumped out of their boats to safe a sinking identifier card (needed to have your fish counted), and of course tales of losing that monster fish that would have propelled them into the top ranks.
After dinner, we were treated to musical entertainment as we caught up with friends both old and new.
Safe light for day two was a bit earlier, allowing competitors to hit the water at 5:30 am. Unfortunately, anglers were faced with much stronger winds and a fair amount of boat traffic on Sunday. Many anglers headed for coves and small creeks in search of fish, while others like Tom Michael chose to brave the whitecaps and boat traffic to fish the ledges he’d heard about on this lake.
Photo by Chris Funk
Fishing the ledges certainly paid off for Tom, as he landed 53.5”on day two. This put him in the lead with 110.75”.
The top 10 anglers for the event were:
Tom Michael - 110.75”
Rob Milam - 105.5”
Richard Ofner - 105”
Quentin Echols - 103.75”
Craig Wright, 103.25”
Drew Russel - 99.75”
Ron Champion - 99.25”
Lucian Gizel - 98.25”
Morgan Promnitz - 97.5”
Tommy Eubanks - 95.25”
John Walters - 93”
Chris Funk - 91.75”
Jay Wallen - 90.25”
Terry Elkins - 89.75”
Matthew Scotch - 89.25”
From left to right: Tom Michael, Rob Milam, Richard Ofner
Photo by Chris Funk
This was a great two-day fishing event, and we congratulate Tom on his spectacular win and the chance to head to Amsterdam to compete in the Hobie Fish Worlds.
For more information on the Hobie Fishing Worlds IV championship, be sure to check out http://www.hobiefishingworlds.com/