OK guys, I’m in Louisiana at the Hobie Fishing Worlds 6. It’s a pretty neat event, really.
By my count they have 50 competitors from 18 countries here fishing for top honors. For a bass professional the format is weird, but I have to say I like it.
The qualifiers are fishing for three species — redfish, speckled trout, flounder. They get to score the biggest one of each species each day. The others go back when they’re caught. They measure them. Weight doesn’t count. At the end of three days of fishing the guy with the most length wins. You could win the redfish part of the tournament with 9 feet, 6 inches. That sounds kind of crazy if you’re a bass angler, but that’s the way they do it.
They all have their own individual tackle but they must fish out of identical kayaks, 2017 Hobie Mirage® Pro Angler 14.
They’re pedal powered so it’ll look a little different from bass tournaments in the mornings. That creates an interesting difference in strategy, too. We can run long distances to find our fish but they’re much more limited. And, I think they only get two days of practice so that tightens it up a little more. We’d say that was fishing small.
It’s amazing to see what’s going on down here. If you live in the world of bass fishing, it’s easy to get the idea that that’s all there is in the water, all that’s worth catching anyway. Not so. There’s a whole other world out there where anglers enjoy the outdoors and what it has to offer without ever thinking about a black bass.
This event proves that fishing is universal. It’s not really about the fish. It’s about trying to outwit a prehistoric creature with a brain no bigger than the size of a pea.
Along that same line of thought it’s interesting to me to read the biographies of the qualifiers for this championship. They’ve won big tournaments in their home countries and claim credit for that just like we do here in the United States, but most of them don’t list bass as their favorite species.
One of the guys from China, Shuaili Huang, is a spoon specialist who won the 2016 China Open Shaoguan Division. Now, in truth I have no idea what that tournament is like or what kind of fish he caught to win it.
What about the guy from Brazil, Milton Hoffman? He’s a forestry engineer, works for the Brazilian Supreme Court and is a professor of cutlery at the University of Brasilia. Along with all of that he chases peacock bass in the Amazon Basin with his wife and son in a kayak. I don’t know how he qualified.
It’s interesting that despite the fact that I don’t know much about these guys or the other 48 who will be competing in a couple of days I know all I really need to know. They’re anglers and they fish tournaments. In some way that makes them just like me — and you, too.
If you want to learn more about this tournament, check it out at Hobie Fishing Worlds. And, if you want to know what’s possible from a kayak check out the picture of Rene Winklinger from Austria.