I recently enjoyed a short tenure as paddle sports columnist for Bait & Tackle Business magazine. The crippling and far-reaching business effects of COVID-19 has put that work on hold, hopefully to return but that’s yet to be determined.
The Hobie Bass Open on Kentucky Lake – a catch, photograph and release kayak tournament – wrapped up Sunday afternoon when Tom Michael of New Jersey rang up a two-day total of six bass that measured 110.75 inches. That was five inches more than Texan Rob Milam, who finished second. Michael pocketed $1,500 and some fishing goodies along with a spot in the Hobie Worlds Championship later this year in The Netherlands.
It was a different type of bass tournament. No weigh-in (photos only; all fish were released at the boat). No group flight or shotgun launch (kayaks could launch from any legal ramp or access). And no power boats.
Hobie www.hobiefishing.com officials insist that kayak fishing is a growing segment of the fishing industry. And they may be right. (It’s one of my favorite means of fishing but I’m hardly a standard bearer.) Tournament director Keeton Eoff was impressed with Kentucky Lake, the state park (Kentucky Dam Village) and officials from Marshall County, Ky., who helped stage the event. Eoff said they would be back – maybe next year.
If that happens maybe Kentuckians will make a better showing on our state’s namesake lake. Kentucky Lake is the best bass fishery in the state and one of the best the country. The tournament, which was barely publicized , attracted 33 fishermen – including 14 from Kentucky. The highest Kentucky finisher was Louisvillian Drew Russell, who placed sixth, after being second after Day 1.