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.
Steve Lessard, IFA Kayak Tour Championship Winner
As told to Paul Lebowitz
In 2013 I was out of the running for IFA Kayak Tour Angler of the Year so I focused on the championship. It paid off with a win which also earned me a spot at the Hobie Worlds.
To represent my country is a dream come true. I mean come on, am I really going? I still ask myself how this happened. I guess a lifetime of fishing in the Louisiana delta gave me the knowledge but thats not enough. You also need unbelievable drive to win. A little luck doesn’t hurt.
Our team is set up for success, to get one of us on stage. We are used to high pressure tournaments and fish a lot of them. We all qualified and we know that comes with a responsibility to every person we competed against to do our best. We have different backgrounds and experiences from around the country. That can only help.
Quickly adapting to different conditions and fishing your strengths is the name of the game when it comes to new water. I think the challenge of three species for three days is the ultimate kayak fishing format.
I am completely out of my element when it comes to this species lineup of pike, zander and perch but thats why this years Hobie Worlds is so interesting. We will see someone figure them out. Wouldn’t it be a Cinderella story to see a guy win by sheer instinct?
I have been involved in kayaking for five years. It started innocently enough, just wanting to glide around like I did as a kid in an old wooden boat. The competitive side came out.
I like to fish fast and almost gave up kayaking until one of my buddies suggested I try a Hobie Outback. As far as fishing techniques are concerned I consider myself a very diverse angler but I love jigging deep. I know that sounds boring to some but to barely feel that bite is an art that I am always trying to perfect.
It comes down to the old saying “preparation to win is more important than the desire to win.” I ask myself every day if I’m prepared.
This is Lessard’s Hobie Fishing Worlds debut. 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.