Slam Champ Vaisberg Heads to Hobie Worlds

Elias Vaisberg earned his spot on Team America by winning the Slam at the 2014 Kayak Fishing Classic at Jamaica Bay. It was a repeat performance. He also won in 2013, but couldn't make the trip to the Hobie Worlds in Australia. Photo courtesy Hobie Fishing World Championship.
Elias Vaisberg earned his spot on Team America by winning the Slam at the 2014 Kayak Fishing Classic at Jamaica Bay. It was a repeat performance. He also won in 2013, but couldn’t make the trip to the Hobie Worlds in Australia. Photo courtesy Hobie Fishing World Championship.

Team America is headed to the Netherlands (Europe!) for the Fourth Annual Hobie Fishing World Championship. They will take on the best the globe can offer on the waters of Vinkeveen Plassen not far from cosmopolitan Amsterdam October 5-11, chasing pike, zander (walleye) and perch. Kayak Fish caught up with the members of Team America in the days leading up to the big event.

Elias Vaisberg, Jamaica Bay Slam Champ

KF: You earned your spot by winning the slam at the Kayak Fishing Classic at Jamaica Bay. Were you specifically out to qualify for the Worlds, or was it a bonus?

Vaisberg: I was out to catch anything that Sunday morning. I did very poorly Saturday morning, By 8am, I had a 36-inch bluefish and a 33-inch striped bass to the boat so hunting for a decent fluke or weakfish seemed like a no brainer. I knew I didn't have a shot at the biggest bass for the tournament based on the area I was fishing. I honestly wanted to just end up on the board with a significant accomplishment.

KF: How did you feel about that win?

Vaisberg: Incredibly lucky. I don't think I could reproduce such a feat, in such a short period of time ever again.

KF: Is it your favorite kayak fishing achievement, or do you have another?

Vaisberg: My favorite achievement is my 2013 placing in the Jamaica Bay Kayak Classic. I won the slam (couldn't go to Australia) and took first and third place in the open division.

KF: What's your kayak fishing background and specialty?

Vaisberg: I consider myself a Jamaica Bay exclusive more or less. I fish New York City waters about 85 percent of the time. I target everything that is accessible; however I think my specialty is striped bass and doormat summer flounder.

KF: How are you feeling about representing North America at the Fishing Worlds? Does it get any better?

Vaisberg: I am pretty excited to be on a team of other elite kayak fisherman. I think it is great for everyone to have previous accomplishments before fishing in an international tournament.

KF: What are you expecting kayak fishing to be like in Europe?

Vaisberg: I have never fished overseas before. I expect fishing in Europe to be similar to upstate New York. Cold clear waters, spooky fish, and a great bite early in the morning most likely. I know a little bit about catching pike in fresh water. Zander and the European perch are a different world to me.

KF: Two of your teammates, Justin Carter and Tom Michael, fished the Worlds last year. Justin won day one. The two finished 7th and 9th. Will they be able to help you prepare?

Vaisberg: I will have a million questions for them to calm my nerves, from rules to general opinions. I am confident in my ability to catch pike, but the other species I will need some pointers.

KF: In 2013 homestanding Aussies went 1-2-3. What will it take for a visiting angler to get onto the podium?

Vaisberg: A lot of luck. Anyone who knows this lake prior to the tournament has a huge advantage.

This is Vaisberg’s Hobie Fishing Worlds debut. He fishes for Hobie and Eposeidon.

Hobie's worldy anglers will compete in identically rigged Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12's outfitted with Lowrance electronics, Ram Mounting Systems and Power-Pole micro-anchors. Live weigh-ins will take place on each of the three days of competition with anglers weighing three fish per day. Follow the action on the web at Hobiefishingworlds.com.

Vaisberg considers himself a Jamaica Bay specialist. He'll have his work cut out for him on Europe's freshwater fishery, which are a different world to him. Photo courtesy Elias Vaisberg.
Vaisberg considers himself a Jamaica Bay specialist. He’ll have his work cut out for him on Europe’s freshwater fishery, which are a different world to him. Photo courtesy Elias Vaisberg.