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Fall / Winter 2014

Photo by Casting Kayaks

2014

National Championship

Johnson Outdoors

Guide to Gifting

Roundup & Photos

World Fishing Open www.KayakFishingClassicS.com


Kayak Art www.PredatorKayak.com/XL

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Fish the Best...Fish OHERO www.OheroFishing.com

www.OheroFishing.com

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See It...Catch It www.FlyingFisherman.com 4


Editors Letter

What I Really Want for Christmas And a Few Other Things I always enjoy the gift of seeing old friends and making new ones throughout our tournament series year. I have been blessed with this now for 5 years as this series years winds down and the holidays settle in. For this I thank all of you deeply and wish you and your families the true joy of this special time of year. To all of our active military service members I wish you were all at home with your loved ones and I thank you for keeping our country safe. Let all of us say a special prayer for them all…. To all of our fantastic sponsors and hard working families, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all that you do for so many. We wish you joy and prosperity… For me, being on the water in my kayak doing some fishing is a blessing and I hope that all of you will spend time teaching our sport to the youth in your community. And lastly what I would like for Christmas is that all of you have a peaceful and prosperous new year…blessed with many catches. Our Sponsors and all of us here at the ClassicS wish all of you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah. Thank you for a great 2014 Series Year,

Captain Pat Horrigan

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Gift Guide 2014 What a year it’s been with all of the new gear we just had to try...Here’s some great gift ideas that are sure to please your favorite angler

Each year at this time we try to make Christmas shopping a little easier for our friends and their families. We know how difficult finding that special gift for your special angler can be and we want to make it easy and fun for you to bring smiles to those faces. If you are looking for a gift for under the tree or something that fits in the Christmas stocking you are sure to find it here. Look for the Christmas Palm Tree or the Stocking in each section to help you locate that perfect gift. We thank you for supporting all of our great sponsors throughout the years of Christmas Past and know you will enjoy your special shopping this Holliday Season. We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All...Ho Ho Ho

Our sport starts with the kayak of course and the good elf’s at Johnson Outdoors have been very busy this year...they love their work. In fact it is their passion to bring you the very best family of kayaks in the world. We are very proud to bring you the Old Town Predator and the Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game II. And new for 2014/2015 is the multi award winning Old Town Predator XL minn-kota...the competition has just been schooled. If you ever wondered how the elf’s make such awesome kayaks please visit Johnson Outdoors and watch their videos and secret tour...just for you.

www.JohnsonOutdoors.com

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Old Town Canoes & Kayaks have been at it for 125 years and just seem to keep getting better. They have a tradition of quality craftsmanship that is well founded in every product that they make. This year Old Town Canoes schooled the competition by introducing the all new, award winning Predator XL. The Predator XL won the ‘Best Boat’ and ‘Best in Show’ honors at the ICAST Show Competition. That’s huge and the Predator XL reflects every bit of such high praise indeed. If you are looking for a new kayak for that special angler or for yourself as well, take a look at the all new, Best Boat & Best in Show Predator XL. You can’t go wrong with Awesome...

www.PredatorKayak.com

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Ocean Kayak makes a fantastic lineup of fishing kayaks. Go offshore with the Prowler or inshore/offshore with the standup and fish or crash the waves Prowler Big Game II. What ever your fishing pleasure the Prowler family of Ocean Kayak will get you there. Pro Staff member Fil Fishman Spencer can tell you all about the fish catching, easy paddling, stable Prowler kayaks. He’s been in an Ocean Kayak for long time for good reason. The features of the Prowler Big Game II are nothing short of amazing and you really should take a look at just what the Elf’s have been up to on this boat. Put an Ocean Kayak under the tree this year and watch your Elf light up….

www.OceanKayak.com

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Humminbird® Introduces New HELIX™ Fishfinder Family Compact units pack a huge punch, offer anglers widescreen color display and pro features at an equally attractive price point Continuing with the trend of offering anglers more features at a compelling value, Humminbird® is proud to announce the launch of HELIX™, a family of compact-format fishfinders that feature a best-in-class, widescreen color display and powerful, professional-grade features. For years, many anglers have been fishing in a box, limited to fish- and structure-viewing on a screen that doesn’t fully capture the breadth of the underwater landscape – landscape being the operative word.

www.Humminbird.com

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DOA 4� SHAD The new DOA Swimbait answers our customers’ demand for a larger profile. The heavy mass of plastic in the nose of the bait allows for good holding power when using the DOA Jighead, and the broad tail provides a hard pulse in the water as well as a natural flutter on the drop. The large belly opening and recessed hook slot welcome worm or screwlock style to fit perfectly in the bait.

NEW Bait Buster Color! C.A.L. Paddle Tail Colors

www.DOAlures.com

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www.DenaliPerformance.com

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Enrico Puglisi Flies Available Worldwide

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www.EPFlies.com


The sun isn’t up yet but your angler still needs to be able to see well and we have the best solution in the world for you. Princeton Tec has several lighting solutions for your kayak angler. They specialize in very high tech, low energy lights that will brighten the night so he can see and be seen by others. The Princeton Tec company offers multi light head gear with multiple lights in one neat little and light weight system. Fully adjustable lighting technology to adapt to any need from a broad beam, low brightness to up close intensity and far reaching super bright spot light. All from one little waterproof box that only uses 3 AAA batteries. Hey don’t worry, you won’t be buying batteries all the time like you do with other lights. The amazing little lights yield over 200 hours of lighting form those little batteries. That’s impressive and that’s why we chosen Princeton Tec. Princeton Tec recently released the all new VIZZ light and it is awesome, it’s also waterproof. Click the light and watch the impressive video that tells all about it. We know you’ll be impressed and want your angler to have the best equipment possible...we do to and we are proud to say that Princeton Tec has been lighting the way for the Kayak Fishing ClassicS for 4 years now and we know how great they are.

www.PrincetonTec.com 13


Top anglers & guides like Eric Henson know that using the Plano Guide Series ‘Hydro Flo’ Tackle Bag will keep your gear high and dry. The ICAST award winning Guide Series tackle bags will hold and secure all of your fishing tackle. There’s even a hard, zippered side pocket for your favorite pair of Flying Fisherman Sunglasses. Put a Plano Hydro Flo tackle bag on your list of goodies for your favorite angler today. Plano Tackle Systems has a great solution for keeping your valuables dry and secure while fishing. The Guide Series Waterproof Box will protect camera’s, cell phones, car keys, meds and more. If it fits, it stays dry! We know you have a big investment in your daily electronics and we want you to protect them from the harsh conditions of saltwater tournament fishing. Plano makes a great selection of the Guide Series Boxes and there is one that’s just right for you. Take a look at all of the Plano Gear and if you bump into Hank Parker, tell him we say

www.PlanoMolding.com

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Here’s some fantastic stocking stuffers from Boomerang Tool Company that are sure to please any angler. The Boomerang famous Snip tool is a must have and is one of those ‘lost without it’ tools but not to worry, Boomerang Snip tool has a built in retractor with split ring to keep your angler hooked up. Boomerang Tool Company makes a great selection of fishing tools that are extremely well made and are of high quality materials and design. Anglers in the Kayak Fishing ClassicS tournament series love Boomerang tools and your angler will too! Save some money this year and use our discount code to save yourself 20% off of any tools by Boomerang Tool Company. Here’s the discount code to use on their website below.

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20% Discount Code:

Kayak Fishing ClassicS

www.BoomerangTool.com

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Teeny Fly Lines… the fly lines that changed fly fishing forever

When it comes to fly fishing the smart choice is a Jim Teeny fly line. When it comes to kayak fly fishing the easy choice is the Kayak Line now is 7,8 & 9 weights. Capt. Pat has been working with Jim Teeny for years now and he designed this line with your kayak fly angler in mind. Long, soft landing casts while seated in a kayak are now a snap with the Kayak Line. ’Jim did a great line making this line exactly how we needed it to be. Kayak anglers can make one back cast and shoot 40 feet with no problem and little effort and if they are using the TFO fly rods it’s even better.’ Make your shopping easy, visit Jim Teen today and get your kayak angler a new Kayak Line and let Jim match it up with a new Temple Fork Outfitter fly rod and reel. Tell Jim that Capt. Pat sent you...we put the special into gifting...HO Ho Ho

www.JimTeeny.com

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When ultra light weight, precision paddling is important turn to Aqua-Bound Paddles. We did and we’re more then glad that we did. The technology that goes into each Surge Carbon paddle delivers stiff horsepower and low swing weight, virtually eliminating arm fatigue. That’s critical to our tournament anglers who cast around 1,000 times each time they are on the water. At only 25.5 oz the two piece adjustable Surge Carbon paddle helps keep arm energy in reserve for a busy day on the water. When it comes to critical centric equipment chose Aqua-Bound Paddles. The First Choice in carbon technology.

Aqua-Bound… Choice of Champions

www.AquaBound.com

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If you need it, want it, dream it...Scotty has it. It’s that simple, just take a look at their website and see for yourself. We have long been a huge fan of Scotty Paddle Sports because their products never fail or let us down. That’s saying a lot when you look at the environment we fish in. Saltwater kayak tournament fishing is tough on gear and Scotty knows it. That’s why they design and build everything to last and last. Take a look at the image below and you will see some of the top quality gear that Scotty makes for your kayak angler. You can shop on line or at a dealer near you and if you have a question just ask the good anglers at Scotty 1-800-214-0141

www.ScottyPaddleSports.com

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The EGO S2 Slider landing net is flat out awesome and our anglers love it! The push button extension handle and foam comfort grip make it easy to land the big ones. Getting that big ole fish from the net to the measuring board is easy now with the EGO Grip Tool. The secure spring loaded jaws of the grip won’t harm your fish like or let him wiggle off. While you are visiting EGO check out their all new Ti22 Titanium Pliers...yep there awesome too! Get your angler a new EGO for that next trip with EGO products...High quality, durable fishing gear that every angler needs.

www.EgoS2Slider.com

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It’s no secret that MirrOlure Lures catch fish and they’ve been making them for a long time right here in Florida, home of some of the best fishing in the world. That puts MirrOlure at the top of the food chain or at least first on the menu for many fish species. Fish aren’t biting? Use a MirrOlure and hang on, it happens all the time! The new SoftDine is perfect for finicky trout or hungry monster snook alike. Visit your local dealer or MirrOlure today and Turn on the Bite!

www.MirrOlure.com

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EDGE X You wanted it and the our good friends at INTOVA are happy to give you the world’s best action camera with Wifi & 160 degree true wide angle POV...and a whole lot more. Introducing the new EDGE X: a new standard in high quality Point of View (POV) models with unique features and top performance. Compact and full featured, EDGE X offers 1080p High Definition video up to 60 frames per second with a 160 degree wide angle lens. This design allows the maximum view angle without the significant distortion found in wider lens angles. Built in Wifi allows the user to operate and see what is on the viewfinder remotely on a laptop, tablet, or smart phone and also to enable wireless file transfer. EDGE X supports Micro SD card up to 64 GB

Nova HD

Hooking that big catch happens fast and now you can capture all of it with a quick touch of your remote wrist strap. We are proud to introduce the kayak angling world to the all new

Nova HD 1080p video waterproof camera follows Intova’s long tradition of unique value and performance in Sports Cameras. A waterproof remote control offers new versatility for this rugged camera. The camera also floats (very important for watersports) and has the longest battery life in the industry.

www.INTOVA.net

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Bending Branches Paddles are world famous and used by many, many tournament kayak anglers. The Angler Pro is one of the best selling paddles in the world for reasons like quality, durability, light weight, high visibility and of course price. This is one super tough, rugged piece of gear that no angler should be without. Bending Branches is the most widely known name in paddles and fulfills any paddling need for any condition. They work hard for you and have your best paddling experience in mind. When you’re in heavy seas or have a long way to go you will be glad that you have a Bending Branches paddle. It’s time to put a new Bending Branches paddle under your tree this year and it’s never been easier. Check out our goods friends there and take a look at all of their amazing paddles.

www.BendingBranches.com

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www.LIVETARGETLURES.com

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Mangrove Sungloves are the best made sun protection hand ware on the market today. They are available wherever TFO rods and reels are sold. We have been using Mangrove Sungloves for years and we just can’t seem to wear them out. We’ve never had a failure or even a sunburn….imagine that! Look for Mangrove Sungloves where Temple Fork Outfitters gear is sold.

www.TFOrods.com 24


What’s the old saying? A photo is worth a thousand words….

Some of the best fishing lures in the world come from our friends at Yo-Zuri Lures. Tournament tested tough and highly productive, innovative designs put fish in the boat and that’s what every angler wants. The new 3DB Minnow, 3D Shrimp Glow and the 3DB Top Pencil Lures are all amazing top producers. Priced to put a nice collection of Yo-Zuri Lures in your anglers stocking or under the tree this year.

www.Yo-Zuri.com

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Our good friends at Skwoosh know how important having a good day on the water is and that your comfort is a must. Adjustable full lumbar support and padded seat cushion is just a part of what Skwoosh builds into the very best clip-in kayak seats in the world. Full back support stays and securing side pads is also a part of being the best. Just to sweeten deal Skwoosh has a supper convenient tackle tray on the back and a couple of rod holders. Make going fishing easy and comfortable, put your favorite angler into a new Skwoosh Big Catch.

www.Skwoosh.com

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Are you rigging a new kayak to put under the tree or tricking out your sweet old favorite? YAKGEAR has what you need from screws to Power-Pole Micro mounts and rails. Visit our good friends online or call. Their elves are always there and ready to help and shipping is only 99 Cents per item. And while you are there, don’t forget to add KC Magic to your list...every kayak angler needs this great product.

www.Yak-Gear.com

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Ever angler likes marine art so we are pleased to bring you one of the very best such artists around. Steve Whitlock Game Fish Art is nothing short of amazing and is one of our anglers favorites at every Awards Ceremony. Steve has spent a lifetime perfecting his unique technique and balance of game fish art upon nautical charts. Not only is Steve Whitlock highly skilled with a brush, he also brings fish to life with pencil in photo-like quality. Highly skilled to say the least. We wanted to round out our sponsor gear with a selection of fine art that everyone is sure to enjoy. Visit Steve today and select an original or one of his affordable, limited prints.

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Carvings by John are some of the most unique carvings that we have ever encountered anywhere. Artist John Keller was commissioned by the Kayak Fishing ClassicS to create a one of a kind trophy for our Invitational National Championship in 2014 and this is what he came up with...Wow! The winners loved it and there will never be anymore like it carved again. John creates many unique carvings and he will make one just for your angler…we can’t think of a more unique stocking stuffer. Visit Carvings by John of Facebook to see all of his amazing hand carved works and become a new friend. Order your gifts now to assure timely delivery for your special angler and while you are at it, get something just for yourself….we know you’ve been good.

www.Facebook.com/pages/Carvings-By-John/584044455046191

We hope that our shoppers guide will help you and give you some great gift giving choices and ideas for your holidays this year. We thank you in advance for supporting our many generous sponsors who make this wonderful sport and the Kayak Fishing ClassicS possible. We know that you and your friends enjoy the beautiful outdoors along the Coastal Gulf States and ask the you continue to teach out respect and conservation for the beauty that surrounds us all. To all of you from all of us,

We Wish You a Very Merry Christmas .

& Happy Hanukkah 29


www.SteveWhitlock.com 30


Throwing Feathers By Capt. Pat Horrigan

Throwing Feathers…A fly fishing boom? With the sport of kayak fishing growing and growing we have seen some interesting patterns emerge in 2014 but let’s backtrack a bit before we go forward. With the downturn in the world economy and high fuel costs, we saw the boating industry take an unprecedented plunge into the deep. This affected the tackle trades industry as well, in fact it was hurting. Another factor that hurt the fishing gear business was the fact that many youth prefer electronic gaming over real life adventures such as fishing. At the ICAST 2014 show we witnessed a kayak manufacturer, Old Town Predator XL, not only take best boat award but also take best of show in this multi manufacturer equipment representation of the world’s best new fishing gear that included everything from hooks to some very advanced electronics by Humminbird and others. The point here is that in such a world class show for a kayak to take best of show is beyond impressive and makes the statement that kayak fishing has arrived. With that said it points to the impact that the kayak anglers are making on the tackle trades

industry worldwide and that my friends is very good for everyone. We have seen an increase in sales of new kayaks that is simply off of the charts and the trades’ related gear is following. Kayak anglers used to make much of their needed gear for their boats because there was little offered from the retail sector. Now you can purchase just about anything you need at great prices with no end in sight. Along with this big uptick by the kayak anglers is the renaissance brewing in fly fishing from a kayak. I have long said that fly fishing offers an additional stealth factor to kayak fishing that you just don’t get with conventional gear. I am seeing more and more young anglers in our series picking up the fly rod and learning how to throw some feathers. These young guns are realizing what we old studs have known for a long time…fly fishing is cool… very cool. With stand up fishing kayaks, special fly lines like the Kayak Line offered by Jim Teeny, fantastic reels that don’t break the bank and fly rods that are crazy insane good for just a few hundred bucks, why not? Take a look at the amazing selection of highly productive inshore flies

such as those by Enrico Puglisi at EP Flies. The amount of well designed, well built, affordable fly fishing gear that is offered today is not by accident. The manufactures get it now and are making gear for kayak fly anglers alike and the payoff is going to be huge. Not just in dollars, that’s a given. The real payoff is in growing a part of our sport that has been overlooked by many. No longer is fly fishing an elitist, snooty sport. Hook up with a 42” redfish on an 8 weight rod and reel and hang on, you’re going for a ride with an ensuing battle that is sure to spill your cup of tea. With all of the new fly gear and special kayaks being offered designed around the kayak anglers needs, there must be something to it…it’s cool… very, very cool. The Kayak Fishing ClassicS will be holding a non-series kayak fly fishing only tournament in 2015 that is open to everyone with a kayak and fly rod. The dates and location will soon be announced with the release of the tournament series schedule. You can follow the ClassicS on Facebook & twitter as well as on our website at www.KayakFishingClassicS.co m See you on the water & Good Fishing.

www.KayakFishingClassicS.com

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Start your collection of Steve Whitlock Game Fish Art today. Steve’s work is also available on shirt art at Denali Performance Wear and in fine sports retailers worldwide. We are proud to support the arts and hope you do as well.

SteveWhitlock 32


Two quick admissions: First, I’m proud to be a Texan. Second, I have a competitive streak.

This Ain’t Austin Anymore... Can a Texan Catch Florida Fish?

By Gary McLearen

I was born in Texas, and have lived most of my adult life in the Lone Star State. I love the state, and love kayak fishing in the Austin Area. The competitive streak is not one of those “I MUST win everything, ALL the time!” It is more of the “I enjoy winning, and the feeling that comes when you enter a contest, and your effort is rewarded”, kind of thing. You lose (graciously), you learn, and you compete better the next time. Now I find myself living in Orlando, with my lovely wife, Jeannie. Thankfully, Jeannie is a wonderful supporter of my fishing, and a great partner to have. We are blessed with early retirements, and Jeannie has basically said, “fish all you want.” Orlando is home to more than The Magic Kingdom, and tourists. It is also home to over 1500 named lakes, and is situated where a short drive gets you to saltwater fishing on either the East Coast, or the Gulf Coast. There are almost TOO MANY fishing choices! I felt like a (old) kid in a candy shop. And the fishing is WAY different than what I knew. In Texas lakes, you fish things like creek channels, tree stumps, depth changes, and other structure. Most lakes are impounded rivers, and many are power plant lakes. I quickly found out, many lakes in the Orlando area are mostly shallow bowl shapes, with little of the structure I was used to. That is not to say the fish aren’t great – Texans love that Florida Bass populate our lakes! It’s just taking more adjustments to catch bass in Florida than I anticipated. It takes more than just throwing a worm into some weeds.

Texas has a large Gulf Coast, and I did have the good fortune of catching a few redfish, trout, and flounder. My kayak fishing on the coast was limited because of the distance from Austin to the coast. As a result, I felt more confident on fresh water. The other BIG difference – Texas Gulf waters lack the same clarity as the waters I have fished in Florida. The Texas Gulf Coast (for the most part) does not enjoy blue or green water and the sand and bay bottoms’ color is much less appealing. Competitive kayak fishing, in Texas, is mostly a freshwater event. There are several groups that give you the chance to pay your money, and see how good you are. The Kayak Angler Series (KATS) is a tournament series that began in the Austin/ Central Texas area. I decided to fish the series in 2013. It enjoys a good reputation, and is backed by a well known local kayak shop. In fact, I had fished a few of these events years earlier with partners on a tandem. This time around I was going to get serious, and compete!

I THOUGHT I could fish a little, and it turns out I could fish…..a little. Make no mistake; there is a learning curve to tournament fishing – a learning curve that many of your competitors are further along. My learning curve meant that I had to watch the winners, and listen to what worked for them. It also meant that I needed to use baits that I was not familiar with. An example of this, I didn’t use crank baits. In my mind they were expensive when you lost one, and plastics were weedless, and cheaper. I’d throw top water plugs, but use a plug that ran deep – you must be kidding. My attitude changed, when the KATS winners were using crank baits. Funny thing, after deciding to work on this new skill, I caught my largest bass ever on a craw colored deep diving plug – too bad it was in practice. You can see this fish on YouTube The competitive part of me did not like the fact that I was so far from being a top finisher. If you finish “in the money” of a KATS event, you are an accomplished bass fisherman, and a little lucky. The last KATS event I fished, there were almost 90 kayaks competing. Even with my lukewarm performances, I felt like I was learning, getting better, and MOST importantly having fun. I finished

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just a few places short of qualifying for the KATS Classic. Orlando has no freshwater kayak fishing series – which I could find. In fact, the kayak fishermen here seem to spend the majority of their fishing time on the shallow flats of Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River system. It took me a while to understand why. All these GREAT bass lakes and you want to drive to the coast? It took me just long enough to catch a nice trout, and hook a slot red to recall how much stronger – and fun – catching saltwater fish are! (Insert IRTrout.jpeg) With no fresh water choices, I began to look at saltwater kayak fishing options. My Internet research (Google is SO handy) helped me identify, and narrow the field. The mostly likely events were the Inshore Fishing Association (IFA), Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament (EKFT), and the Kayak Fishing ClassicS (KFC) by Tropic Bay. The EKFT is an event I haven’t done, but plan to be a part of in June and August. This series is held in Pompano Beach, and is a Beyond the Breakers (BTB) event. That means you are launching from the beach, and fishing for Kings, Dolphin, and even Sailfish. How cool is that? It will be an adventure! The IFA is a series that is run, in tandem with a team – powerboat – redfish series. Saturday is for the powerboats and Sunday is for the kayaks. Kayak fishermen are expected to catch, take a picture, and release their fish (CPR), “keeping” their largest redfish and trout for a combined measurement. The Punta Gorda event was well run and fun. For me, I caught a slot redfish fifteen minutes after launch, and spent the rest of my day hunting for a trout that I never caught. The Kayak Fishing Classics is the series that I have been the most involved with. One reason was the varied locations that the events fished.

We fish Tampa/St. Pete, to Mosquito Lagoon, to Sarasota, to the Nature Coast, and all the way up to Pensacola. There were ten ClassicS events, a National Championship, and a season ending three-day Johnson Outdoors World Fishing Open in November. Read more about the JOWFO later. Another reason, for me to fish the KFC, was the chance to fish a greater number of events. I know from the KATS experience, I would need to fish more to gain the experience needed to be in the Top Ten (there are more than a few good anglers in KFC!). That was my initial goal – to be in the Top Ten, especially after I saw the prize table, Wow! I also found out the series will be awarding 12 kayaks this year from Old Town Canoes & Kayaks, Ocean Kayak and KC Kayaks at the Invitational Championship and the 3 day JOWFO in October & November. An additional bonus to my KFC participation (cue the BIG DEAL music), the Kayak Fishing ClassicS will be donating the proceeds from the JOWFO – through the KFC- Live2Fish Foundation - to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital! What a worthy cause.

After fishing a few KFC events I found out a few things; First and foremost – It’s fun to fish new areas of Florida. Fishing new areas come with some challenges. Like, can I trust the fishing maps (to some extent), can I plug into some local knowledge from the fishing reports, local bait shops, and local guides (if you are lucky), do I REALLY want to – and is there time – pre -fish an area? The pre-fishing question is one that I haven’t decided yet. If you have the chance to fish an area a couple of times, I’d say yes. If you don’t have that kind of time, the very least I do is scout the area and know where my launch will be, and where the weigh in is. There are plenty of tournament strategies we could talk about, but here are a few of the basics I have learned. Keep in mind I continue to learn and improve through observation, reading, and practice.

Become familiar and comfortable with your measuring device and taking your pictures. Sounds simple, but most would admit to having lost fish (or tokens) during this process.

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This Ain’t Austin… continued.

 Don’t be discouraged in your first few times. There are ALWAYS at least a handful of excellent anglers in every tournament, to make you feel like a beginner. If your first few times are like mine, you can expect to be freezing cold, break a rod, paddle into a restricted wildlife zone, or be run off by power plant security…..and maybe catch a fish or two. 

Have a plan. Then have another plan. And have maybe another plan. Tournament fishing is about adjusting to what works, and trying something different if you need to. This plan should include your fishing patterns, and areas you intend to fish.

Make a checklist, including the simple stuff like fishing license, water, something to snack on, bug spray, and your tackle needs. Keep it as simple as you can. Most Top Ten guys will do more with less. You need to be able to fish three water levels – top, subsurface, and near the bottom – and the lures to do that.

Check your equipment. This check might find something that needs to be fixed, or adjusted. For me it provides some confidence that things SHOULD work as intended.

The results of my KFC efforts have improved. In the Weedon Island Classic (my first ever saltwater event) a 13th place finish. The Mosquito Lagoon (pre-fished these “home” waters) I earned a 10th place finish (funny note: I incorrectly added my score card, and shorted my total by 10” so I missed the prize table) and Panama City where I earned 4th place. It felt good to get into the top 5. My new goal is to be there consistently! As I waited – 2 days from Ozello Classic – I was refining my plan and process. That’s the competitive streak. I was also looking forward to flying that Texas flag on tournament day. I did that throughout the series year and it helped me several times. Editors Note: Gary finished a very respectable 6th place overall in the Kayak Fishing ClassicS 2014 tournament series. Congratulations and you are correct Gary, This isn’t Austin…Welcome to the ClassicS.

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SUP

By Linda Cavitt

Stand up paddle board fishing or “Sup” Fishing for short has been attracting the attention of anglers, boaters, yakers & surfers. Although it has been around almost since the beginning of time, it is gaining popularity as kayak fishing and paddleboards alike have both become extremely popular water sports over the last 5-7 years. Board anglers are still a pretty small community but its gaining popularity quickly. Which only makes sense because of all the advantages of fishing off a board. Its simplicity - a board & a paddle, its lightweight & easy to load & unload, you can launch basically anywhere you can find water, its quiet when stalking fish & you are getting a workout while outdoors having fun & fishing! One advantage over a kayak is the ability to stay under 40lbs and be able stand & fish. Suffering from a back injury a paddle board was just what I needed to be able to still get out on the water and not have to drag a heavy kayak. The stability of my boards is very similar to the kayaks I have used in the past but weigh less. Stand up paddle boarding isn’t for everyone but for me it was an obvious choice There are many designs out on the market and I suggest actually testing them out on the water before purchasing when available. Stability is your most important feature when looking for the right board to fish off of. This will differ for each angler based on their body mass and balancing ability. The amount of gear and the targeted species are also important when making a decision. There are different styles of boards used for different situations. Long narrow boards with V entry style are mostly used for racing & long distance flat water paddling. Shorter boards with rounder noses are designed to catch waves. There is also a hybrid displacement board which combines the surfing & flat-water style entry which also happens to be first choice when choosing a fishing board. Simplicity is one reason board fishing is so appealing. There are a few things though that you don’t want to forget, that being your safety equipment, including a

life jacket, whistle & 360 degree white light. The law can get a little confusing when fishing from a board but if you follow the same rules as when fishing from a kayak it’s better to be safe than sorry. Another important piece of gear is a stakeout pole. You can reuse an old surf rod by stripping the guides & cutting a bit off the top to stiffen it up. If you can get one long enough, it can double as a push pole. Sometimes it’s more efficient & less work to pole your board as you would pole a flats boats when sight fishing. Remember when choosing what you will use, as your height needs to be taken in consideration when standing on a cooler which really gives you that extra advantage when trying to spot fish before they see you.

everyday paddle is one made by Axe Paddles & weighs only 16oz. Full carbon fiber and a narrow shaft doesn’t leave you feeling fatigued at the end of the day. Bote Boards has designed a lightweight removable aluminum rod holder that fits snugly into their boards. It also assists in adding stability when standing high up on your cooler. Yeti coolers have also designed a rod holder that fits right on their cooler. Paddle board fishing is acceptable in most kayak tournaments and I encourage you to give it a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the stability, maneuverability, & finesse of fishing off a paddle board.

Durability & weight are the top two factors when choosing a paddle. You can purchase an adjustable paddle or you can cut your paddle to be the correct height for you. The general rule of thumb is 12-13” above your head. My

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2014 National Championship Captains Meeting & Dinner

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2014 National Championship Awards & Results

Anglers and Weather were Slamming the ClassicS The anglers and the weather were slamming the ClassicS in the Kayak Fishing ClassicS Invitational National Championship held on October 4th in Tampa Bay. The Captains Meeting & Dinner kicked off the conclusion of the 10 tournament saltwater series on October 3rd at Whiskey Joe’s Bar & Grill located at 7720 Courtney Campbell Causeway. WJ’s served up a fantastic buffet for the hungry contestants after a day of pre-fishing. Capt. Pat awarded Marty Duffany, general manager of the water front eatery, a beautiful framed work of art by Steve Whitlock Game Fish Art to kick of the meeting. Anglers were cautioned about the potential weather conditions at launch time….some did not listen. Launch time was at 6:30 am in pleasant conditions for the 5th annual invitational but quickly turned ugly as a rain laden front passed over. All but a few anglers stayed against the leeward mangrove lines and for those who did not heed the captains words were quickly introduced to a brief taste of Mother Nature’s fury. The front passed and revealed a beautiful day of fishing however altered by the weather. Contestants were fishing for a Gulf Coast Slam; 1 redfish, 1 snook and 1 trout…harder than it sounds and is quite an accomplishment particularly under tournament pressure.

Pressure? Yes and lots of it. The Kayak Fishing ClassicS is well known for their generous sponsors and the lavish invitational has been coined as the ‘Kayak Christmas’. Johnson Outdoors Old Town & Ocean Kayak along with KC Kayaks combined to award the top 6 winners with world class kayaks. Old Town Predator 13’s and Predator MX, Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game II and the Prowler II as well as the K12 hunting model kayak by KC Kayaks. 7th through 10th place received sponsor gear prize packages that certainly would not fit under any Christmas tree that we’ve ever seen. 1st place was captured and controlled early by Adam Calderon who slammed the Classic with a 67.8” total. His catch measured 20.6” redfish, 25.2” snook and 22” trout caught on a mix of gold spoons and paddle tail soft plastics. Adam won the award winning Old Town Predator 13, a Bending Branches Angler Pro paddle, shirt & hat, an EGO NETS retracting landing net and a pair of Flying Fisherman Sunglasses & hat. Just to top things off, a special event specific hand carved bone redfish tail by Carvings by John. Not a bad day on the water that put a big smile on Adams’ face. Great job and Congratulations on your victory Adam from Old Town and all of our sponsors.

2nd place was earned by Patrick Nespeca who used top water lures and soft plastic paddletails, these guys are secretive about their lures…I wonder why? Patrick’s slam measured a total of 64.2” with a 20.7” redfish, 21.1” trout and 22.4” snook for his podium finish where he did his happy dance. Patrick won an Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game II. This is an awesome fishing kayak for inshore and offshore alike that is feature rich and solid for sure. He too was all smiles! Congratulations from Johnson Outdoors & Ocean Kayak Patrick…well done. 3rd place was locked down by Andrew Mixon with another Gulf Coast Slam for a total of 60.8” of fish. Andrew won the Old Town Predator MX with a 22.2” redfish, 20.7” snook and a 17.8” trout using Unfair Lures. Mixon is no stranger to victory as he has won some major tournaments this year. Mixon showed up at the photo weigh in early, in fact he showed up first. That is either a poor sign or a very good one. As it turned out is was very good for him. Congratulations Andrew from Old Town and Johnson Outdoors as well as from all of our sponsors and from everyone here at the Kayak Fishing ClassicS. 4th place was taken by Joshua Harris with yet another slam! Joshua scored a total of 54.2” for his podium finish

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2014 National Championship Awards & Results

and a Prowler II by Ocean Kayak. Nice job Joshua and congratulations from Johnson Outdoors and Ocean Kayak. 5th place with yet another slam was hooked by Jose ‘Pepi’ Vidal with a total of 53.8”. Pepi captured the podium and a KC Kayaks K-12 kayak with a 15.6” redfish, a 23.7” snook and a 14.5” trout using Slayer soft plastic lures. Pepi is also an avid duck hunter and will put the K-12 to good use. Congratulations Pepi from all of us and KC Kayaks. 6th place was landed by Wade ‘The Shizzle’ Hollowell with a total of 43.1”. He scored with a 26.1” snook and a 17” trout using a Bank Flats Creeper. Hollowell had a huge red get away from him however he did manage to land the biggest fish in the tournament with his 26.1” snook and the Big Fish Award. Wade also won a KC Kayaks K-12 so I am sure we will see him in the duck marshes as he tries to Shizzle our feathered friends. Great job Wade and congratulations from KC Kayaks.

ages valued from over $700.00 to over $2,000.00 each. We wish to thank all of you for a great series year and congratulations to all from all of our sponsors at the Kayak Fishing ClassicS. We also like to once again thank all of our fantastic sponsors who make this all possible. Please visit all of our sponsors at www.KayakFishingClassicS.com and we’ll see you on the water…Good Fishing!

National Champion Adam Calderon

Series Champion Robert Brown

Top 6 National Championship Classic Champions Adam Calderon & Wade Hollowell standing , Patrick Nespeca left front, Andrew Mixon, Pepi Vidal, Joshua Harris

7th Place Tom Baker 43” 8th Place Joe Henary 43” 9th Place William Lusk 39.7” 10th Place Olin Satterfield The 7th place thru 10th place winners each received sponsor gear prize pack-

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2014 Johnson Outdoors World Fishing Open What would you put up with to catch a Gulf Coast Slam? It’s harder than it looks! Some of the very best inshore kayak anglers converged upon Tampa Bay for the Kayak Fishing ClassicS Johnson Outdoors World Fishing Open which was held on November 14th, 15th & 16th. The 3 Day Slam Fest was all that it should have been and then some…well maybe. The anglers were released to begin fishing for at 7 am on Friday November 17 th to begin their 3 day journey to put together their best snook, redfish & trout slam in not so perfect conditions but that’s fishing. As if competing against some of the best talent on the water was not tough enough, Mother Nature decided to throw in her 2 cents worth by starting the day with bone chilling temperatures and 10 knot winds and oh yes, let’s not forget some rain here and there. Some anglers came up from the south where it was nice a sunny and toasty warm to be greeted by some of Mother Natures’ finest only to realize that they were not properly dressed. Thank goodness for warm rain suites. In spite of the cold front that began the 3 day event, anglers began reporting catches of all 3 species however small in size. Was this to be a sign of things to come? Well in a word…yes. Almost every angler reported encounters with huge redfish and monster size snook in the Tampa Bay waters and only one angler reported spotting a gator trout as the wind blew him right past the beast sunning in a sandy pot hole. The big fish were everywhere but had lock jaw to further compound the frustrations of many. Like I said, it’s harder than it looks. Day 2 began with chilly conditions and the promise of a warmer, calmer day.

The anglers were not disappointed. With improved conditions the fishing became better as the time ticked away. Anglers could also night fish and several did so in pursuit of the elusive rod bending, monster snook. Day 3 began with a beautiful sunrise and much warmer conditions. The wind settled down and the makings for a shoot out on the water were perfect. At this point most anglers had their 3 fish slam in the books and were looking to upgrade their score. Weigh in was scheduled for to close at 1:30 pm Sunday so suddenly time was no one’s friend…tick, tick, tick. Adding to the pressure was what was at stake for the winning top 3 anglers. To begin with every angler wants to win and is sure that he or she can or they wouldn’t be there. Knowing that the other guy is trying his best to undo your best efforts by one upping you gives you a feeling that a 30” redfish is too small or a 26” trout is a dink. They are all trying to win one of the beautiful, highly prized kayaks provided by Ocean Kayak and Old Town kayaks. Johnson Outdoors provided 4 kayaks for this event, 3 for the winners and 1 for the ClassicS charity raffle to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through the ClassicS Live2Fish foundation. Then there was the raffle for all the fantastic sponsor gear that further added to the excitement. Weigh in at Whiskey Joe’s Bar & Grill on Tampa Bay was going to be a lot of fun for everyone and more so for top 3 winners. Let’s take a look at how all of this turned out.

Champion Adam Calderon was just a scale or two short with a 62.5” slam for 4th place and Olin Satterfield captured 5th place with a total of 61.7” slam. Congratulations to all of the anglers in this our inaugural John Outdoors World Fishing Open. After the weigh in the top 3 winners selected their kayak of choice…a tough decision when you are staring at the very best selling fishing kayaks in the world. Next up was the raffle for the remaining kayak. The friendly waitress at Whiskey Joe’s selected the winning number and the lucky winner was Eric Henson of Casting Kayaks guide service out of Sarasota, Fl. It wasn’t over yet! Raffle tickets were pulled from the hat as the anglers began working their way through all of the fantastic sponsor gear and everyone there won a nice load of top quality gear for a very worthy cause. Congratulations to all from all of our sponsors and from all of us at the Kayak Fishing ClassicS. Please visit us online to thank our sponsors for all that they do for all of us, please click through and begin your holiday shopping early to save. Be sure to tell them that we sent you for some nice discounts. Thanks again and see you next year

Russell Jacobs scored a 64.1” slam to capture 1st place. Logan Wongesprasert won 2nd place with a total of 63.2” slam and Robert Brown won 3rd place with a 62.8” slam. National

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2014 Johnson Outdoors World Fishing Open

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Russell Jacobs, Logan Wongesprasert and Robert Brown took the top honors in the inaugural Johnson Outdoors World Fishing Open and won an Old Town Predator 13, Predator MX and an Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game II to go along with the bragging rights for a year. Congratulations Russell, Logan and Robert from Johnson Outdoors Watercraft

Eric Henson won the kayak raffle. The winning ticket was drawn by Whiskey Joe’s. This was the first raffle that Henson has ever won and he can use the new Ocean Kayak. The proceeds from the kayak raffle and the sponsor gear raffle went to a St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Congratulations Eric and all of the winners of the sponsor gear raffle. We greatly appreciate your support. We wish to offer a special thank you to Johnson Outdoors Watercraft and all of our sponsors for their fantastic generosity and support in this our first world open. See you next year and good fishing.

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Host Sponsors Kahuna’s Bar & Grill 10515 Gandy Blvd. St. Petersburg, Florida 33702 (727) 576-7800 Weedon Island Classic

Manatees Sports Bar & Grill 7423 Manatee Ave. West Bradenton, Florida 34209 (941) 794-1400 Palma Sola Classic

Goodrich Seafood Restaurant 253 River Road Oak Hill, Florida 32759 (386) 345-3397 Mosquito Lagoon Classic

The Buccaneer Beach Motel, Bar & Grill 711 W. Beach Dr. Panama City, Florida 32401 (850) 763-4622 Panama City Classic

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Host Sponsors Pecks Old Port Cove 139 North Ozello Trail Crystal River, Florida 34229 (352) 795-2806 Ozello Classic Beanie’s Sports Bar & Grill 2002 US 41 Ruskin, Florida 33570 (813) 649-1700 Cockroach Bay Classic

Bob’s BoatHouse 5515 South Tamiami Trail Sarasota, Florida (941) 312-9111 City Island Classic

Sandy Hook Fish & Rib House 4875 Pine Island Rd. NW Matlacha, Florida 33990 (239) 286-0113 Matlacha Classic

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Host Sponsors Shrimp Landing 48 US 19 Inglis, Florida 34449 (352) 447-5201 Yankeetown Classic Goodrich Seafood Restaurant 253 River Road Oak Hill, Florida 32759 (386) 345-3397 Mosquito Lagoon Redfish Classic

Whiskey Joe’s Bar & Grill 7720 Courtney Campbell Causeway Tampa, Florida 33608 (813) 281-0770 Hosted: 2014 National Championship October Johnson Outdoors World Fishing Open Nov.

We wish to thank all of the friendly establishments who hosted the Kayak Fishing ClassicS Tournament Series in 2014. All of us here, our sponsors and all of the contestants deeply appreciate all that you do in hosting our awards ceremonies. We high recommend not only eating at these fine places, come on in and have some fun too...well you can’t help that. Every eatery that hosted our events in 2014 not only have good food and outstanding service, they are fun places to be where like minded people enjoy going to. Thanks Again from all of us to all of you who worked so hard..see you soon.

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Our Fantastic Sponsors

Kfc tournament trail magazine fall winter 2014  

Kayak Fishing ClassicS series year round up and Gift Guide featuring products from all of our sponsors. Johnson Outdoors World Fishing Open...

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