Lessard wins second Hobie Fishing World title
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Steve Lessard became the first two-time winner when he won the latest and sixth Hobie Fishing World Championship (HFW6) in the Leeville area of Lafourche Paris, Louisiana, USA.
The American beat Richard Somerton, representing Australia, who took home a hard fought second place, while Matthew Vann, of the USA, rounded out the podium with his third place finish.
All competitors fished for trout, flounder and redfish from identically rigged Hobie Mirage® Pro Angler 14’s, provided by Hobie Cat Company and outfitted with Lowrance® Electronics, Power-Pole® MICRO™ anchors, Yak-Attack accessories, Ram Mounts and equipment including Daiwa, Lurefans, Hobie Polarized and AFTCO gear.
Bassmaster Elite pro, Michael Iaconelli – Ike to his legions of fans – surprised the 49 international competitors when he showed up at the welcome dinner to cheer them on. “Unlike the competitions that I’m involved in, kayak fishing takes more strategy because it is much different and more difficult pedaling to the fish than racing over in a motorised boat,” said Ike.
Lessard said: “The first major cold front of the year hit day one and it honestly helped me because I knew fishing conditions would change drastically. It was always going to be a physical as well as a mental challenge. It’s easy to get discouraged with muddy water and high winds, but I was able to settle in and catch a few fish on the worst day. Day two went better and put me in first place.
“Coming into day three, the weather improved, but fell back to a winter type pattern with an almost 20-degree drop in water temps. The slow winter deep water approach allowed me two fish early in the morning. So I relaxed and went around the pilings. The sun warmed up the shallower stuff so I could hunt for larger redfish as they warmed up and fed and I was able to pull in a redfish. I knew at that point that I was going to have a good score.
“Decisions that run through your mind while competing are endless and in a kayak if you make a bad decision on the area you choose, there is no turning back. You’re there – you just have to make best of it.”