Kayak champs crowd Hobie leaderboard – USA’s Steve Lessard and Australia’s Richard Somerton are 1-2

USA's Steve Lessard and Australia's Richard Somerton are 1-2

Second day leader and past Hobie Fishing Worlds champion Steve Lessard shakes hands with a competitor on China's team. The USA, Australia, China and Austria all had kayak anglers in striking distance of victory going into the final day of the fishing tournament. Courtesy Hobie Fishing

Second day leader and past Hobie Fishing Worlds champion Steve Lessard shakes hands with a competitor on China’s team. The USA, Australia, China and Austria all had kayak anglers in striking distance of victory going into the final day of the fishing tournament. Courtesy Hobie Fishing

Savvy veterans rose to the top in adverse conditions and with just one day of fishing remaining, Steve Lessard of Team USA leads the Hobie Fishing World Championship 6 Presented by Rhino-Rack. On a day when Leeville, Louisiana was buffeted by high winds and muddy, low water, Lessard added a 17-inch redfish and 14-inch spreckled seatrout to his tally, for a cumulative score of 79 inches of fish to lead the international, 49-angler field.

"It's going to be tough to stay on top of this group of anglers. Day three can't come soon enough," Lessard said.

Lessard, the 2014 Hobie Fishing World Champion, is looking to repeat the feat. So is Australia's Richard Somerton (2013), who sits in second place with a total of 69 inches of fish on the strength of today's 28-inch red. The two champions are dueling for the honor of first two-time champ, but it won't come easy.

Matthew Vann isn't far behind in third, with 67 inches of fish. "I was fortunate to land a 28-inch red, which was a three-way tie for biggest fish of the day. I couldn't be happier sitting in third place going into day three," he said.

China's Jianping Du and Austria's Rene Winklinger are both in striking distance, tied with 66 inches of fish. A host of other anglers are in the hunt with fish totals in the 50s, including day one leader Matthew Scotch. On day two he caught only short fish. He sits in 7th with 56 total inches.

Tomorrow, the last day of Hobie Fishing World Championship 6, will be full of intrigue.

Hobie Fishing Worlds 6 is proudly supported by Rhino-Rack, Lowrance, Power-Pole, Yak-Attack, Daiwa, Ram Mounts, Lurefans, Hobie Polarized and AFTCO. 

Hobie Fishing Worlds 6 presented by Rhino-Rack saw very windy conditions with low, dirty water in the marsh. Courtesy Hobie Fishing

Hobie Fishing Worlds 6 presented by Rhino-Rack saw very windy conditions with low, dirty water in the marsh. Courtesy Hobie Fishing