The top kayak anglers from around the globe launched this morning (Wednesday, Dec. 7) in the bayous of Leeville, Louisiana for one last day of pre-fishing as the 2016 Hobie Fishing Worlds 6 presented by Rhino-Rack® is underway.The 49 anglers from 17 countries all qualified for the event in local tournaments or because of success in previous Worlds.
There are three target species — red drum (redfish), speckled seatrout and flounder — and the good news was that during a wet prefish Tuesday the reds and specks were on the chew. Last year the competition was held in China and the bites were not easy to come by, so the competitors were excited by the prospects and immediately what was seen as a home-field advantage for some of the U.S. anglers in the event seemed to level out with the excellence of the fishing.
After heavy rain overnight, competitors arrived at the launch site Tuesday morning for the Lowrance Pre-fish in relatively mild conditions which improved over the course of the day. The official briefing was followed by a demonstration by Robert Shamblin of the Power-Pole units fitted to the more than 50 identically rigged Mirage 18 Pro Angler 14-foot kayaks.
Anglers then took to the water in groups of 5 with local guides to get a first look at the tournament waterway and pick up some local knowledge to help them in their quest for the Hobie Fishing World Championship Title.
Leeville is world renowned for it's fishing and after their first inspection our international anglers could see why. When asked about their day, anglers were excited to say the least.
Daniel Van der Post from the Netherlands was very pleased with his pre-fish, landing a couple of 30-inch-plus reds early on the first day. “I have an idea of what to do, I just need to follow it up when we are scoring them".
Canadian Tim Percy achieved two new personal bests, catching his first speckled trout and redfish.
"It can only get better from here, hopefully,” said Piercy. “I'll take what I learned today and work a little harder tomorrow and see how we go from there".
Local angler Brendan Bayard spent the day covering as much water as possible.
"We were mainly looking at water conditions versus trying to fish but we still ended up catching some nice slot reds and saw some places where trout were biting even though we never really stopped to fish,” Bayard said . We were just getting some exercise today."
Milton Hoffman from Brazil said he had an amazing time, saying " he day was outstanding! This is a very different environment to what we have in Brazil so there is a steep learning curve but I still managed to land a couple of good redfish, I had a great time. I'm just happy and honored to be a part of an event of this caliber in the USA!"
Defending World Champion Xiahong Ma from China shared his thoughts on the day. "I had an OK day, I only caught some speckled trout, the biggest being about 18 inches, not great but not bad. I am still figuring it out. I need to adjust my style, I have another day to work it out before the real competition starts on Thursday."
Anglers get another chance to locate fish and refine their tournament tactics during Wednesday’s Power-Pole Pre-fish Day.
Hobie Fishing Worlds 6 is sponsored by Rhino-Rack, Lowrance, Power-Pole, YakAttack, Daiwa, Ram Mounts, Lurefans, Hobie Polarized and AFTCO.