Team USA’s Steve Lessard is our new Hobie Fishing World Champion
Competition Final Day
Vinkeveen Plassen, Friday October 10, 2014 – The 4th Hobie Fishing
World Championship presented by Rhino-Rack came to a close today as 47
of the world¹s best kayak anglers tussled for, not only the prized
world champion title, but for the bragging rights of being a top ten
finisher in an incredibly competitive field. After the third day of
action on the water at the 4th Hobie Fishing World Championship
presented by Rhino-Rack, a new world champion Steve Lessard from Baton
Rouge in the USA was crowned.
The day started out with the national anthem of the Netherlands being
played over the waters of Vinkeveen Plassen for the last time during
the competition, as anglers stood with a sense of anticipation and
excitement, mixed with a feeling of sadness at the realization that the
annual Hobie event was coming to a close for 2014. The Power-Pole
starting line looked amazing in the early morning twilight as anglers
began to jostle for a front row position to briskly head to their
favoured location in the crucial early hours of fishing in the final
Lessard was nervous but excited as daylight began to break on the
Power-Pole starting line. He pedaled off on the final day of his first
world championship with the attitude to just do his best. He worked
the same area in the far small lake of Boshol that had given him the
numbers to sit in second position after day one. On day two Boshol
presented him with the Pike and Perch that moved him to the top of the
Lowrance Leader Board with a 252cm aggregate score and giving him a
72cm lead going into day three.
The weather conditions were a great improvement today. It was
reasonably windy early and picked up a further 10 km/h around 9am with
an associated temperature drop that saw the coolest period throughout
the event. As the front passed the wind slowly subsided and for the
first time waves danced on the water in a more rhythmic, rather than
the chaotic fashion that had made life so uncomfortable on the southern
side of the lakes for anglers on competition days one and two.
Fish refused to strike early in the morning with Lessard beginning to
become a little panicky as fish resisted his power presentations. If
tempted at all, they were timid on the take, when most anglers thought
the fish would show their most aggressive nature. The Pike appeared to
generally like the conditions a little later in the day and were hungry
to feed from around 9am when they began to respond to teasing lures and
smashed those that were presented to them with an identifiable shake
and a roll.
There were obvious changes in strategy by a lot of anglers today with
areas of the arena that had previously seen a lot of fishing deserted
and other spots like the small lake of Boshol to the south, more
crowded than at any other time over the past three days.
Lessard was ecstatic after finding out his score today of 112cm from a
Pike measuring in at 83cm and a Perch at 29cm was enough to win him the
³Wow! What a tournament, what a world championship! I am so excited to
have won. I just can¹t tell everyone at home how much I thank them for
their support all these years, I¹m just thrilled. The competition here
is just incredible. A wonderful tournament staff accommodated us in
every way, thank you so much. Thank you to all of the competitors for
being so courteous, working together and for the tough competition.
Anyone of us could have won, it¹s just that it was my day and I want to
once again thank everyone who has supported me, Wow!².
³Today I struggled for the first two hours with the pattern that I was
on yesterday. That pattern didn¹t pan out so I had to make an
adjustment and the power fishing that I had been doing was not working.
The fish had moved and I went to finesse fishing, I went to a small jig
and I caught my first Pike and was able to stay with that pattern and
upgrade that Pike to another one. I went from a 65cm up to an 83cm with
my second Pike. Then I went Perch fishing and immediately I got it in
the area that I wanted to be in I caught the biggest Perch, I caught in
the Tournament a 28. So I¹m just very, very excited².
Silver Medalist Kyle Moxen from Ontario, Canada was always up for a
real battle with Lessard and landing five Pike showed this excited, 24
year old was real class.
³I¹m lost for words right now, I held my second position. I couldn¹t
catch the American but I had a great time. I¹d like to thanks everyone
at home for all of the support it¹s been awesome and I¹m really happy
to represent my country here and I¹m sorry I didn¹t bring the title
home but I¹m happy with my second. I caught five Pike today my biggest
went 66cm and I went after Perch and my biggest went 28cm. I¹ve been at
a lot of tournaments at home but this is the biggest stage that I have been on.
What a great time, what great people this has been a real special
Having won a tournament just over two weeks ago to qualify and limited
in preparation time bronze medalist Kevin Varty from Nowra, New South
Wales, Australia was mesmerised by his podium finish after having come
from a long way back at seventeenth position overnight.
³On day one of fishing I didn¹t catch any fish at all and I
was pretty unhappy with that. On day two I got a 76cm Pike on 3lb
braid and 3lb leader and that put my heart in my mouth there for a few minutes.
I was panicking a bit for a while there. Then just as I got him in the
net the line broke, but I had him, so that was all good. Coming into
today I just didn¹t know what to expect. Could I get another Pike? I
didn¹t know, but I just went back to the same spot I¹d been to the
previous day and did the same thing. Just casting under the trees and
letting the lure sink to the bottom, slowly hopping it back to the
kayak and it paid off, I got my Pike at 95cm.
Then I went after the Perch. I got one at 30cm and I was just about to
take the photo and he flew off the measuring board and into the drink.
I was really panicking then, shouting out ŒOh! No¹. I quickly cast my
rod back into the same spot and I pulled out one at 35cm.
Seriously this is a great place, I love being here, I just had a great
time. Great sponsors, great people, everybody¹s been awesome. I
couldn¹t have imagined it could be so good and I¹m stoked to be third
in the world².
Rhino-Rack the tournament naming rights sponsor has supported the 4th
Hobie Fishing World Championship in an absolutely incredible way. Ernie
Fernandez from Rhino- Rack was present at every moment throughout the
event and was overjoyed with the way the tournament was run and won.
³The event was a great success, all of the anglers are back after three
days of competition which at times was a tough slog in some challenging
conditions. The main thing is that everyone got out there to enjoy
their fishing and each day positions in the top ten were a really close
fought battle. For newly crowned world champion Steve Lessard, it was a
well, deserved win. He is the ŒPike Whisperer¹ for the tournament and
he really knew how to catch that fish. Today for every strike, the fish
was landed, so congratulations to a very competent and professional angler².
The now famous ŒElusive Zander¹ was the target for a portion of the
field today, who found themselves at the bottom of the ladder with no
chance to catch the leaders. Hobie Kayaks Europe had graciously
provided a prize of a Hobie Revo11 kayak for the biggest Zander caught
over 52cm as an incentive for the anglers . Zander was even more so
than previously, the prize catch of the tournament. As other
competitors caught their Pike and Perch double, they joined in the
Zander hunt. It is one of the great mysteries of the tournament,
Zander remain exclusively, elusive and the question has to be asked
ŒWhere do the Zander Meander¹. The Revo 11 kayak stays with Hobie Kayaks Europe.
The top ten on the Lowrance Leader Board at the end of the Hobie
Fishing World Championship presented by Rhino-Rack, has a surprising
twist from yesterday¹s positions with some great leaps up the ladder,
to knock off some in what appeared to be comfortable positions. The top
ten at the end of the world championship are:
1. Steve Lessard USA 364cm
2. Kyle Moxen Canada 274cm
3. Kevin Varty Australia 206cm
4. Edi Brader Austria 196cm
5. Justin Ritchey USA 185cm
6. Scott Baker Australia 179cm
7. Rob Appleby Goudberg Great Britain 174cm
8. Jonathon Chen Australia 165cm
9. Patrick McQuarrie Australia 161cm
10. Lars Lundberg Sweden 157cm
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