Kayak Angling is one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK. Many anglers have taken to kayak fishing to enable them to reach the better fishing sports away from the shore as well as experiencing the joy and adventure of getting out on the water. At the competitive level, the sport is now dominated by Hobie kayaks. With a full calendar of kayak fishing competitions in both fresh and saltwater, there are plenty of opportunities to get a taste of competitive fishing.
For the last 2 years Shore Thing have been sponsoring the Kayak Angler of the Year Tournament Series organised by Dave Morris from Anglers Afloat. These events are open to all Kayak Anglers but places are limited. These events are qualifying events for the Hobie Worlds
KAOTY 2022 – PITSFORD WATER
May 22nd kicked off the first event of the year at Pitsford Water, 2x Pike, 4x Perch and 1x Trout on the card. 35 kayaks hit the water.
The weather was kind, light winds, a little sunshine and warm.
It was not an easy day’s fishing with the usual abundance of perch absent.
Top rod of the day was David Jacobs with 207cm. 2nd place went to Romualdas Kokstis 197cm and Martin Collison in 3rd place with 185cm. 4th place Eddie Edwards was only 1cm behind Martin.
Biggest Pike went to David Jacobs, biggest Perch to Alan Robson and Biggest Trout to Frazer Magee.
It was then the summer break, leaving the predators alone during the warmer water months.
KAOTY 2022 – RUTLAND WATER
September 3rd and 37 anglers headed to Rutland Water.
Rutland is a favourite of many of the anglers. There is a huge head of zander and plenty of perch. With water temperatures still high it was decided to remove Pike from the list of species, this left the anglers with 3x Perch and 3x Zander to fill their card.
After a summer with little rain the water levels were lower than the norm. Some of the better-known fish marks were now fish less, or maybe they were playing harder to get.
Richard Archer took the win with 277cm and Martin Collison only 2cm behind in 2nd place. Last Year’s KAOTY Champion Andy Dougan was in 3rd place.
Richard also took largest Zander 71cm and Martin largest Perch with a 35cm specimen. Where had all the 40cm plus perch been hiding?
KAOTY 2022 – WEYMOUTH
KAOTY then headed to Weymouth as part of the Reel Masters Weekend. Thankfully we had been given special permission to fish the harbour area, the prevailing wind would have made life difficult in the open sea. 3x Bass, 3x Pollack, 3x Wrasse and a bonus fish which was drawn from the hat, Garfish worth a bonus 50cm regardless of size were the targets for the day.
Was interesting to watch the kids catching so many garfish from the shore which were just out of casting reach from our boundary. What a frustrating fish Garfish are to catch on the lure. So many follows, a few hook ups and many lost fish.
Finding the right tactic and size lure for the species in the harbour meant constant changes for the anglers. Some thought they were dialled in, then it all changed again. A few fish were caught but mostly undersize, others were the wrong species and did not count.
At the end of the day Ian Pickering took the win, Mark Radcliffe 2nd and Martin Collison 3rd.
The overall championship was starting to get interesting. With three events finished it really was anyone’s game going into the final event at Grafham Water on the 29th October
KAOTY 2022 – GRAFHAM WATER
With rain showers mixed with the exceptionally low water levels at Grafham Water it was decided that we should launch at Marlow, although still a tricky launch it was much nearer to the favoured end of the reservoir near the dam.
There were huge schools of Bream and Perch showing when we all got afloat. Zander, Trout and Pike could be clearly seen harassing the schools. With bellies full they were harder to trick into attacking a lure, the 37 kayak anglers tried until the final whistle.
At the end of the day it was Mark Radcliffe who came away in first place with a last minute Zander. Romas Pakarklis was 2nd and Alan Robson 3rd. Biggest Pike Romas Pakarklis, Biggest Zander Alan Robson and Biggest Perch Paul Monaghan.
KAOTY 2022 – SERIES CHAMPION
With the two leaders after KAOTY Weymouth failing to catch at Grafham a legal perch between them everyone was wondering who had done enough to steal the overall win.
Martin Collison had done enough. Martin was crowned 2022 KAOTY Tournament Series Champion. Martin won a ticket to a future Hobie Fishing Worlds and will fish for Great Britain.
The award for Series Champion will be presented to Martin at the Boatlife Show coming soon. You can also try the Hobie Pro Angler 14 360 on the activity lake at the show. We have kitted the kayak out with a Garmin Livescope so you can test the finder as well as the kayak.
Four events, four different winners, it really could not have gone any better.
Thanks, must be given to all our sponsors.
Shore Thing. The Hobie Specialist Store in Poole. Steve Beard from Shore Thing was our official scorer for all the events. Shore Thing supplied all the trophies and prizes for each event.
Railblaza UK/SMG Group. Hold Everything. Mounting Systems and the amazing C-Tug.
Reuben Heaton. Supplier of our Official Measures, Eagle Claw Hooks, and Tools. And scales.
Flambeau UK. Tackle Boxes and storage, keeping everything rust free with their amazing technology.
Navionics UK. The absolute best charts now with the Relief Shading. Navionics Apps, goodies, and Winners Jackets.
Without all the Rangers at Anglian Water, their help and understanding of our needs it would have been a struggle, thank you. Special thanks also to Neil who helped with every event.
Thanks also to the Harbour Masters at Weymouth for having faith in us and allowing us to fish the harbour area.
Plans are in hand for 2023, dates requested. A new saltwater venue which has us extremely excited, more about that when it becomes official.