Competition is underway at Hobie Worlds 5

By Jerry McBride

Since the time at China’s Shang Lake 16 hours ahead of West Coast (PST) time, the first and only day of pre-fishing in the Hobie Fishing Worlds 5 presented by Rhino-Rack world kayak fishing championships was well underway as this report was posted.

With anglers from 20 nations involved, the competition is truly an international event and Hobie USA officials ventured far from their Oceanside, California headquarters to be part of the mix and help the host organizers set up the top tier venue, which is headquartered in Changsu, two hours inland from Shanghai.

Visiting contestants got their first look at Shang Lake on Wednesday, as they took advantage of Lowrance Navigation Day to map out bottom topography and formulate a strategy to target species most of them have never seen before. For visiting anglers, those obstacles will be tough to overcome with just Thursday to pre-fish prior to the start of competition on Friday.

"This year's event on Shang lake is a new world for me and not just because it’s about as far away geographically as it gets," said veteran Hobie Worlds competitor and 2014 champion Steve Lessard. "New fish in a different climate make this event the Mt. Everest of kayak fishing.”

Rhino-Rack is the presenting sponsor at the Hobie Words 5 kayak fishing championship in China.

Rhino-Rack is the presenting sponsor at the Hobie Words 5 kayak fishing championship in China.

“It’s difficult to put into words how much grit and mental toughness it takes to catch three species three days in a row with only artificial lures and instinct,” he added. “It’s not just skill and our little internal fish radar that is going to win. Luck or fate plays a big part as some things are just out of our hands.”

“So my advice to this year’s competitors is to minimize mistakes and fish every day relaxed as if it was a practice day,” said the defending champ. “The bar is raised every year, with the best anglers around the world constantly honing their skills. To be a part of this group is just the biggest honor. It's been an awesome year as the 2014 champion and I look forward to passing on the torch to whoever can put together the best catch."

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