After yielding fish, fun and friendships over a few cold ones combined with shrimp and crawfish, eleven North American World Championship Team members have just returned to their respective states from the Leeville area of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. There they represented the USA and Canada for the sixth annual Hobie Fishing World Championship (HFW6) presented by Rhino-Rack™ and hosted by Hobie Cat® Company. Anglers either qualified through regional tournaments or were invited to attend the crowning event held December 8-10.
Competitors from 17 countries fished for the chance to be crowned this year’s Hobie Fishing World Champion. After three days of challenging windy conditions, Steve Lessard deservedly claimed the top prize, becoming the first two-time Hobie Fishing World Champion. Just as soon as handshakes, camaraderie and celebrations were over, however, the other competitors started planning how the crown could be theirs at the 7th Hobie Fishing World Championship. (Date and location to be announced.)
Richard Somerton representing Australia took home a hard fought second place. Matthew Vann of the USA rounded out the podium with his third place finish.
All competitors fished for trout, flounder and redfish from identically rigged Hobie Mirage® Pro Angler 14’s, provided by Hobie Cat Company and outfitted with Lowrance® Electronics, Power-Pole® MICRO™ Anchors, Yak-Attack accessories, Ram Mounts and equipment including Daiwa, Lurefans, Hobie Polarized and AFTCO gear.
Bassmaster Elite pro Michael Iaconelli – Ike to his legions of fans – surprised the 49 international competitors when he showed up at the welcome dinner to cheer them on. “Unlike the competitions that I’m involved in, kayak fishing takes more strategy because it is much different and more difficult pedaling to the fish than racing over in a motorized boat,” commented Ike. Competitors got a double surprise when he returned to congratulate Steve on his win and participate in the camaraderie that is an integral part of the Hobie Worlds.
Located in the bayous of Southern Louisiana, 90 minutes from New Orleans, Lafourche Parish is the gateway to Cajun Country and the Gulf of Mexico, offering a distinctly Louisiana “bayou” way of life and memorable experience for both U.S. and international competitors. And then there is the fishing. According to Hobie’s Keeton Eoff, this could easily be the kayak fishing capital of the world.
“We are very proud that Hobie Fishing Worlds chose to host their international tournament in Leeville this year. One of the best assets of Lafourche Parish is the world-class fishing, and Hobie anglers have been able to experience what makes our area so exceptional. The visibility of this tournament on a national and international level allows potential visitors to see the recreational value of our destination and why they should experience it firsthand,” commented Timothy P. Bush, Executive Director of the Bayou Lafourche Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
For more information and images, log onto http://hobiefishingworlds.com
For day by day action, check Hobie’s blogs by logging onto http://www.hobiecat.com/xe/en/blog/