Tyson Peterson caught more than two dozen bass on Kentucky Lake Saturday and Sunday, most off ledge cover in the 15 to 18 foot range.
He couldn’t keep any. That was against the rules. But he measured and recorded his six longest (three each day), caulking up a total length of 116 inches, or about 19.3 inches per fish. It was enough to win the 2015 Hobie Bass Open on Kentucky Lake and earn the Lexington, Ky., man a spot in the 2015 Hobie Worlds Championship later this year in China.
The Hobie Bass Open was a CPR (catch, photograph and release) tournament. Anglers could fish from a kayak or paddle board. The field included 73 adults and six youth anglers.
Peterson began kayaking about five years ago and soon started fishing from the versatile boats.
“It was a different way to get on the water,” said Peterson, recalling his early kayaking days “And it’s a lot more relaxing way to be on the water. Then it became a fishing sport so I grasp it. I’m an avid fisherman. I like the peace that it brings. It’s always a good time out on the water.”
Peterson beat second place finisher Tom Michael by 6 1/4 inches. Michael, who is from New Jersey, won the event last year.
The victory qualifies Peterson for the Hobie Worlds 2015 Championship in November in China and earned him a spot on Team USA.
“I’m going,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
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.
Each of the 33 anglers who climbed into their paddle and pedal boats Saturday at the Hobie Bass Open catch, photo and release kayak (canoes and paddle boards welcome, too) tournament on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley were fishing by the inch and hoping to punch a ticket to The Netherlands.
The Hobie Bass Open is one of four qualifying events for the 2014 Hobie Worlds Championship, which will be October 5-11 in The Netherlands.
The field includes anglers from 11 states and one Canadian province (Ontario). Among the group: 14 Kentuckians, including Louisvillian Drew Russell who finished Day 1 in second place, 5.25 inches behind leader Tom Michael from Mt. Ephrain, N.J.
Yea. The winner in a CPR (catch, photo, release) tournament is determined by total length of fish caught. Each angler can turn in three photos of bass (largemouth, smallmouth or spotted) daily. The fisherman with the largest two-day total length wins.
After Day 1 , Michael had three fish for 57.25 inches. Russell had three that totaled 52 inches.
The winner earns a spot on the Hobie team bound for the Worlds Championship. The top 10 finishers earn a check.
The California-based Hobie Company www.hobiecat.com makes some of the best fishing kayaks on the market, including nine models fitted with the company’s almost magical “MirageDrive” peddle system. They’re good boats and I highly recommend them.
They make other stuff, too. Sailboats. Paddle boards. Catamarans. But it all started in 1950 when a 17-year-old surfing hotshot named Hobart Alter started shaping balsa wood surfboards for his friends in his family’s Laguna Beach summer home. His nickname was “Hobie,” which was understandable. What California surf wiz has buddies who are going to call him Hobart?
Four years later Alter opened a surf shop and never looked back. He and some friends/employees came up with a foam surfboard and the small company soon owned the surfboard market. About 15 years later Alter came up with the “Hobie Cat” catamaran, and soon commanded that market. Other ideas and stuff followed, including the MirageDrive fishing kayaks.
Hobie Alter died a couple of days ago. He was 80, and along with a raft of achievements – including his 2011 induction into the National Sailing Hall of Fame – he had made good on an early ambition: to make a living without having to wear hard-soled shoes or work east of California’s Pacific Coast Highway.