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. -KF
Justin Carter, Team America Captain
KF: At last year’s Hobie Fishing World Championship in Australia, you won the first day, and stayed in contention right up to the end, ultimately finishing 7th. What did you learn from the experience?
Carter: I am not sure that there is too much I would have done differently. We were put in a very unique situation in the second location that played a large role in how the rest of the field finished. We were not allowed to pre-fish the second location (we are allowed a navigation day to see the water) and we basically went out there hoping to find similar habitats to what we were successful in at the Bemm River.
As a fisherman you never want to ruin a spot before the tournament but you at least want to get an idea of what's going on in an area. This was complicated by the rough weather on day three and our lack of overall experience with the species made it very challenging. However, I do not want to take anything away fro the anglers that did well. It was truly an accomplishment for them to do as well as they did having to deal with such adversity.
KF: You’re going from Australia to Europe. Other than colder weather and water, what are you expecting? Do you know much about catching pike, zander and perch?
Carter: At this point I am as prepared as I can be without hitting the water. I have been reading and researching since I found out I was going but because of my limited experience with these species all of my studying up isn’t much good until I get a chance to put it to practice. I think a big part of being successful with this tournament is going to catch just three fish first and then worry about targeting larger fish for an upgrade.
As a saltwater fisherman I know how hard it can be sometimes to get a slam and in tournaments that require the three simply having all three fish will place you in the top ten. I have never fished a three-day tournament that required three different species each day and I can imagine that any angler that does so each day with have a great chance at winning.
KF: Now that you’ve gone through a crash course on learning an unfamiliar fishery once, will it be easier this time? If so, what will you tell your teammates to help them prepare?
Carter: Having done this before is a major plus. I will share information with my teammates and provide advise on what to do to help prepare themselves. Even though this in an individual contest there is still a big feeling of patriotic pride and we all want someone from the US to win. However, I will say that my sponsors have been phenomenal in pointing me in the right directions and providing me with the tools to help me be successful.
KF: In 2013 homestanding Aussies went 1-2-3. What will it take for a visiting angler to get onto the podium?
Carter: Each year the host country has produced the winner for the event and last year they swept 1st through 6th place! This year hopefully will be different since this will be the first time that the species are widely distributed across the northern hemisphere and they or their relatives are native to quite a few of the participating countries. This means that a great deal of the anglers in this year's tournament will have had experience with the target species. More so than in years past a visiting angler stands a chance at stealing a win.
KF: When someone mentions the Netherlands or Amsterdam, what do you think of?
Carter: To be honest I am not sure what to think of this trip. Fishing was never something I would have thought about in conjunction with Amsterdam. Other than the obvious things that Amsterdam is known for in the US I would have to say historical architecture is the first thing that comes to mind and then the canals. I am excited to see and experience the country for the first time.
This is Carter’s third consecutive appearance at the Hobie Fishing Worlds. Carter owns and operates the Kayak Fish SC Guide Service and fishes for Hobie, ZMan, St. Croix, SuperStick, Power-Pole, and many more.
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.