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2019 Kayak competitions – Dates for your diary!

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Bristol Channel New Years Cod – 20 Jan
Llangorse European Championship – 23 March
KFT – Stad aan ‘t Haringvliet,Holland – 30-31 March
Poole Plaice Chase – 13 April
Lake Windermere Predator Open – 5 May
East Coast Kayak Challenge – Sweden – 3-5 May
Swanage Classic – 18-19 May
Northumberland Kayak Comp – 25 May
Lake District Kayak Rover– 7-9 June
London International – tbc
OK Classic Plymouth – 15 June
Mull of Gulloway Kayak Tournament – 29-30 June
Runswick Bay – 6 July
Oxwich Bay Kayak Fishing Event – 20 July
Pitsford Grand Slam – 3-4 August
WPC England Qualifier – Grafham – 17-18 August
Penzance Kayak Fishing Meet – tbc
Christchurch Grand Slam – tbc
Hobie Fishing Euro’s – tbc
Lyme Regis Species Hunt – tbc
Ladram Bay Family Meet – 27-30 September
Lock Ken Grand Slam – 5th October
Liska Open – tbc
Poole Flounder Meet – tbc

Question and Answer Session with Dave Morris

 

Hobie UK Fishing Team

 

This week we do a Q&A with another Hobie UK fishing Team member – David Morris.

HCP = Hobie Centre Poole

HCP – The Hobie Centre, Poole have been sponsoring you as part of the UK Fishing Team for a fair few years now, what has been your most memorable moments?

Dave – Yes, been with the UK Hobie Fishing Team since its birth in 2012. Most memorable moments have to be the Hobie Fishing Worlds 2012 in Austin, Texas and 2013 Bemm and Marlo in Australia. I met some crazy people who have become good friends, caught some amazing fish and had a good laugh along the way.

HCP – Now… How about China?

Dave – YES! The last three years I’ve fished the Shengzhong Lake China Open Kayak Fishing Tournament, the Chinese certainly know how to put on an event… 1000 competitors over several disciplines, 20,000 spectators!

HCP – What is your finder set up on board?

Dave – Last year I became an Ambassador for Garmin. Garmin now look after my electronic needs, both fishfinders with Panoptix technology and cameras. This lead to me being on stage with fellow Garmin Ambassadors, Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes and TV Presenter/Pop Star Alisha Dixon, I think they were suitably impressed with meeting a kayak fisherman.

HCP – Is Alisha nice?

Dave – Alisha was lovely, really friendly normal lass who was just as excited about the evening as the rest of us.

HCP – oh aye … What is your preference salt or fresh?

Dave – I enjoy fishing both although I’ve been concentrating more and more on my freshwater kayak fishing, specifically lure fishing on my Hobie Outback LE. I still do a couple of saltwater competitions a year as well as organising the Hobie sponsored Swanage Classic which is in its ninth year for 2018. Last year I started fishing from the Hobie Revolution 16, gets me to the marks quicker which is important when there is up to 100 other competitors out on the water, think I might be doing a bit more salty stuff this year.

HCP – So why fresh?

Dave – Why freshwater? That’s where all the comps are headed and I love fishing competitively. Tournaments make you focus on what you are doing and why. If things don’t work you need to make some quick changes especially if others are hauling in fish.

HCP – And the fish to catch Pike, Perch, Zander…

Dave – … or Trout depending on venue. I love pike fishing but nothing beats a big Perch!

HCP – Rods, reels, line and lures. What is your ‘go to’ everyday set up? One rod, one reel only.

Dave – One rod and reel…? only if I was fly fishing! During the comps I take out at least four set ups.

HPC – Just one…

Dave – One?

HCP – One…

Dave – OK, if I have to choose one set up it would have to be my all round rig. (Daiwa UK) Daiwa Luvias 3000/ (SPRO Sports Professionals) Spro Insync 7-28g, Daiwa J-Braid 28lb, this set up still keeps everything fun, the Insync gets a lovely bend in it when hooked into a good fish, the Luvias has a lovely smooth drag and is well balanced to the rod. I use the multi-coloured J-Braid, if I’m trolling a lure it’s good to know how many metres of line you have out so you know your lure is in the zone.

HCP – And now the big question. THE lure?

Dave – That’s easy, the amazing Westin ShadTeez 12cm in either Headlight or Official Roach (The Lure Box), I’ve had some good pike and my PB Perch on them… superb lure. It’s a consistent fish catcher.

 

Question and Answer Session with Lee Garner

This week’s installment of ‘Meet the Team’. Lee Garner gives us his tips on lure fishing for Perch, and why he likes the Pro-angler 12.

HCP = Hobie Centre Poole!

HCP – Lee, Welcome. Let’s start with an easy one. What species have you been targeting?

Lee – I have fished a lot for Perch over the past few years and to be honest I have probably concentrated on them too much. I was rewarded with a 5lb Perch a couple of years ago as a result though!

HCP – What have you been doing to catch them?

Lee – In 2017 my biggest of the year was 4.2lbs, and had a number of Perch in the 3lb bracket. With reference to what’s the best technique; I have caught big perch whilst jigging, drop shotting and on crankbaits.

HCP – So is there one technique that works best or better?

Lee – I would say there is no one technique that will do it, you just need to find them and give them what they want..

HCP – Okay, treat me as a beginner…

Lee – That’s not hard…

HCP – Oi! Alright I’ll rephrase that, what style would you teach a complete novice?

Lee – Personally I would start with jigging. Jigging is a very good search bait, which allows you to quickly cover the water. If I am fishing my local river or canal I use soft plastic shads, such as a Zman 2.5” to 3” SlimZ (Z-Man Fishing Products) on a jig head or weedless set-up. You can hop the shad along the bottom and vary the speed until you have worked out how they want it. Only once I have found them I would generally experiment with slower presentations to try and entice the bigger Perch.

HCP – Big bait for big Perch?

Lee – No, not really. Picking the bigger fish out of a shoal could mean going smaller or bigger, you have to just experiment and find what suits that particular fish. Try experimenting with a Zman TRD and working it slowly on the bottom. This has made a difference for me and has picked out the larger perch in the past.

HCP – What is a Zman TRD?

Lee – They are floating stick baits that have no real action other than what you impart, but they work with devastating effect. Nudging the bait along the bottom slowly, gives the perch plenty of opportunity to smash it!
When lure fishing it’s important to have the right tackle it’s not just the lures.

HCP – Lets move away from lures and look at your go to the rod.

Lee – I use St.Croix Rods. They make exceptionally good rods, Lure Lounge distribute them in the UK (www.lurelounge.co.uk). I use a legend extreme 0.3 to 5 gram for 80% of my perch fishing and I have caught a lot of my perch on it.

HCP – I have been looking at one of those for myself! Apparently it’s the sensitivity?

Lee – Feeling the bites when lure fishing is essential, sometimes the bites are very delicate, I’ve experienced this from not only perch and zander but big pike too. Even pike have a soft side! So having the right rod that enables you to feel the bite and get the hook set.

HCP – What about your kayak? Tell us a little bit about that.

Lee – My Pro-Angler 12 THE kayak of all kayaks… Well that’s what I think! I love the space I have available and the stability, I’d be confident I could fit a baby cow on it comfortably.

HCP – I would really love to see that! Other than the capacity, what else?

Lee – This kayak can be but on my car roof on my own and launched on my own. I have the space for my rods, I usually take 4-5 different set-ups and I link up my fish finder unit next to my seat, with the wires hidden inside the kayak. You can get your kayak looking very tidy and organised. With the amount of storage space that it has you will not be left wanting with this killer kayak.

HCP – You are also into your street/bank fishing. What is the benefit of your kayak over being on the bank?

Lee – Being afloat gives me the advantage of fishing parts of the river that no one can get to on the bank. Plus I can fish the same swims, but pull my lure through in a different direction and present my bait in a different way. This can make a huge difference. I have a section of river where I can only access the big Perch via my kayak, as they are in a very specific place..

HCP – Want to tell us about this place?

Lee – Nope…

HCP – Damn it! Let us get back to lures, presentation and finesse. You joined us at the London Boat Show to share your knowledge and love of kayak anglering. We spoke about paddle tails and the ‘noise’ they make.

Lee – Yes, we discussed the subtleties of a couple of paddle tail shads that I use. There are two categories as far as I am concerned. Firstly you have the subtle gentle flickering of a skinny tail which is high RPM, but a tight and compact action. Then there is the ‘thumper’, a shorter, fatter section to the tail where it conveys a slower RPM but pushes a lot of water. Choosing the right action can make the difference. As a basic rule, if the fish are up for it, give them a thumper so they can locate quickly and smash it. Or if they are a little shy, give them a subtle flicker.

HCP – And lastly, what is in store for you for 2018?

Lee – Essentially more fishing… However I have an exciting venture for this season. I will be trying to get more people onto kayaks and therefore will be offering a kayak fishing experience. I’ve taken a few people out up to now, but will be ramping this up for next season and getting some more new comers onto the Hobie Kayak, plus getting a St Croix in their hands! Watch this space! You can find me on Facebook by searching for ‘The Kayak Fishing Guide’ or contact the guys at Hobie Centre who will put you in touch with me.

HCP – Sounds great Lee! I think I will join you for a session on the water.

 

These topics are brought to you by the Hobie Centre, Poole – Home of the Hobie UK fishing Team.

Question and Answer Session with Mike Taylor

A question and answer session with Mike Taylor the new recruit to the Hobie Centre’s UK Fishing Team, Mike uses a limited edition Hobie Outback

 

HCP – I know you enjoy organising and running competitions but is there a stretch of water that you would like to run a comp, but have not yet gained access?
Mike – There are a few I would love to gain access to one being the mighty Chew Valley but know they don’t allow access to kayaks so it would be a no go. Another I am thinking of trying is north of the border in Scotland and that is the Lake Of Mentieth.

HCP – Sounds like a voice of experience, you have fished it then?

Mike – I have fished Mentieth a few times in the past and there is just something about the place.
I have written the email out a few times but never sent it, it could be one for the future we will just have to see. It’s not easy fitting an extra event into the Kayak Fishing Calendar as there are so many.

HCP – You are busy with your events. Which one are you looking forward to?

Mike – I have the Lake District Rover Competition I am running this year which is brand new so I am excited to see how this goes, it has been tough figuring the format out but I think I am there now and have some great sponsors coming in, the Hobie Cat Centre Poole is supporting this new event along with all the other competitions I am running with some awesome prizes again.

HCP – Thanks Mike, we like to give back to the community! We thank everyone that has purchased a Hobie Kayak from us so we are able to help a sponsor these events and give a little back. Plus it means we get to fish too!
So what do you like most about competitive fishing? The late evenings camping before a comp seem to have as much attraction as the fishing itself!

Mike – It certainly does, the social side of the competitions is fantastic with people from all over the country it’s great to catch up with them.
The competitions I love the challenge, you have to fish hard and if you get wind of someone catching something good you have to up your game. Loch Ken I helped land a 20lb plus pike and photograph for one of the lads, I knew this would put him well clear of everyone so knew what I had to do to catch him, I played the numbers game and came a close second behind him.
But I like to help people out too, so if I know someone is struggling and I can put them on fish I will and have done in the past, once I put a guy on a shoal of perch, it was all he needed to take the win which he did do. So it’s not all really serious all the time and there are so many good people involved in the comps.

HCP – What are you most looking forward to this coming year?

Mike – This year there is so much I am looking forward to, firstly it’s a trip down to the Hobie Cat Centre in Poole, I have spoken to Kris and Steve a good bit when we’ve met at some of the competitions and have had kayaks from them but I have not visited the Centre yet.
I am looking forward to a lot of the competitions I’m working my socks off at the moment so I can get time off for them. Again it’s not just the competition it’s the social side of the competition getting to meet up with people I haven’t seen for a few months.

HCP – To be honest, that’s why I go! How about events?

Mike – The World Predator Classic in Holland is one I am really excited for, last year was my first time there and although it was really hard going I loved it, so I have the ferry and a house booked already to go, even spending the miserable days in winter preparing lures and rigs ready for the event.

HCP – You’re a family man too. How do they feel about you playing with lures?

Mike – As a Dad I am really pleased both my sons are keen to go fishing and it’s great teaching them to fish and now they are both at an age I can take them afloat (6 & 8 years old) my eldest son Nathan, fished for the first time in a kayak last year and despite the dreadful weather, he loved every minute of it and won the junior section. I can’t wait to get them out again and have a week booked away with them to get some practice in and have some fun on the kayaks.

I am looking forward most to the year ahead is being part of the Hobie Fishing Team, I cannot wait to see what the year ahead has in store.
I look forward to seeing you on the water!

The complete list of Kayak Fishing Competitions 2018

Here is the complete list now the kayak fishing competitions for 2018. You can find further details and links to the events in the calendar below:

KAYAK FISHING TOURNAMENTS 2018
Blue Anchor Cod Classic – 27 January
Hobie Predator Open – Holland – March tbc
Llangorse European Championship – 17 March
Poole Plaice Chase – 7 April
East Coast Kayak Challenge – Sweden – 4-6 May
Swanage Classic – 19 May
Northumberland Puffin Kayak Comp – 26 May
Esthwaite Grand Slam – 2-3 June
London International – 8-10 June
WPC Holland – 11-16 June
OK Classic Plymouth – 23 June
Pembrokeshire Lure Festival – 15-17 June
Runswick Bay – 30th June
Lake District Rover – 7-8 July
Oxwich Bay Kayak Fishing Event – 21 July
Pitsford Grand Slam – 4-5 August
WPC England Qualifier – Grafham – 18-19 August
Penzance Kayak Fishing Meet – 28-29 August
Christchurch Grand Slam – 8-9 September tbc
Hobie Fishing Euro’s – September tbc
Lyme Regis Species Hunt – September tbc
Ladram Bay Family Meet – 28 Sept
Lock Ken Grand Slam – October tbc
Liska Open – Sweden– 19-21 October
Poole Flounder Meet – December tbc