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Vinkeveen Plassen, Friday October 10, 2014  – The 4th Hobie Fishing World Championship presented by Rhino-Rack came to a close today as 47 of the world’s best kayak anglers tussled for, not only the prized world champion title, but for the bragging rights of being a top ten finisher in an incredibly competitive field. After the third day of action on the water at the 4th Hobie Fishing World Championship presented by Rhino-Rack, a new world champion Steve Lessard from Baton Rouge in the USA was crowned.

The day started out with the national anthem of the Netherlands being played over the waters of Vinkeveen Plassen for the last time during the competition, as anglers stood with a sense of anticipation and excitement, mixed with a feeling of sadness at the realization that the annual Hobie event was coming to a close for 2014. The Power-Pole starting line looked amazing in the early morning twilight as anglers began to jostle for a front row position to briskly head to their favoured location in the crucial early hours of fishing in the final session.

Lessard was nervous but excited as daylight began to break on the Power-Pole starting line. He pedaled off on the final day of his first world championship with the attitude to just do his best. He worked the same area in the far small lake of Boshol that had given him the numbers to sit in second position after day one. On day two Boshol presented him with the Pike and Perch that moved him to the top of the Lowrance Leader Board with a 252cm aggregate score and giving him a 72cm lead going into day three.

The weather conditions were a great improvement today. It was reasonably windy early and picked up a further 10 km/h around 9am with an associated temperature drop that saw the coolest period throughout the event. As the front passed the wind slowly subsided and for the first time waves danced on the water in a more rhythmic, rather than the chaotic fashion that had made life so uncomfortable on the southern side of the lakes for anglers on competition days one and two.

Fish refused to strike early in the morning with Lessard beginning to become a little panicky as fish resisted his power presentations. If tempted at all, they were timid on the take, when most anglers thought the fish would show their most aggressive nature. The Pike appeared to generally like the conditions a little later in the day and were hungry to feed from around 9am when they began to respond to teasing lures and smashed those that were presented to them with an identifiable shake and a roll.

There were obvious changes in strategy by a lot of anglers today with areas of the arena that had previously seen a lot of fishing deserted and other spots like the small lake of Boshol to the south, more crowded than at any other time over the past three days.

Lessard was ecstatic after finding out his score today of 112cm from a Pike measuring in at 83cm and a Perch at 29cm was enough to win him the world championship.

“Wow! What a tournament, what a world championship! I am so excited to have won. I just can’t tell everyone at home how much I thank them for their support all these years, I’m just thrilled. The competition here is just incredible. A wonderful tournament staff accommodated us in every way, thank you so much. Thank you to all of the competitors for being so courteous, working together and for the tough competition. Anyone of us could have won, it’s just that it was my day and I want to once again thank everyone who has supported me, Wow!”

“Today I struggled for the first two hours with the pattern that I was on yesterday. That pattern didn’t pan out so I had to make an adjustment and the power fishing that I had been doing was not working. The fish had moved and I went to finesse fishing, I went to a small jig and I caught my first Pike and was able to stay with that pattern and upgrade that Pike to another one. I went from a 65cm up to an 83cm with my second Pike. Then I went Perch fishing and immediately I got it in the area that I wanted to be in I caught the biggest Perch, I caught in the Tournament a 28. So I’m just very, very excited”.

Silver Medalist Kyle Moxon from Ontario, Canada was always up for a real battle with Lessard and landing five Pike showed this excited, 24 year old was real class.

 “I’m lost for words right now, I held my second position. I couldn’t catch the American but I had a great time. I’d like to thanks everyone at home for all of the support it’s been awesome and I’m really happy to represent my country here and I’m sorry I didn’t bring the title home but I’m happy with my second. I caught five Pike today my biggest went 66cm and I went after Perch and my biggest went 28cm. I’ve been at a lot of tournaments at home but this is the biggest stage that I have been on. What a great time, what great people this has been a real special experience”.


Having won a tournament just over two weeks ago to qualify and limited in preparation time bronze medalist Kevin Varty from Nowra, New South Wales, Australia was mesmerised by his podium finish after having come from a long way back at seventeenth position overnight.


“On day one of fishing I didn’t catch any fish at all and I was pretty unhappy with that. On day two I got a 76cm Pike on 3lb braid and 3lb leader and that put my heart in my mouth there for a few minutes. I was panicking a bit for a while there. Then just as I got him in the net the line broke, but I had him, so that was all good. Coming into today I just didn’t know what to expect. Could I get another Pike? I didn’t know, but I just went back to the same spot I’d been to the previous day and did the same thing. Just casting under the trees and letting the lure sink to the bottom, slowly hopping it back to the kayak and it paid off, I got my Pike at 95cm.


Then I went after the Perch. I got one at 30cm and I was just about to take the photo and he flew off the measuring board and into the drink. I was really panicking then, shouting out ‘Oh! No’. I quickly cast my rod back into the same spot and I pulled out one at 35cm.


Seriously this is a great place, I love being here, I just had a great time. Great sponsors, great people, everybody’s been awesome. I couldn’t have imagined it could be so good and I’m stoked to be third in the world”.


Rhino-Rack the tournament naming rights sponsor has supported the 4th Hobie Fishing World Championship in an absolutely incredible way. Ernie Fernandez from Rhino- Rack was present at every moment throughout the event and was overjoyed with the way the tournament was run and won.


“The event was a great success, all of the anglers are back after three days of competition which at times was a tough slog in some challenging conditions. The main thing is that everyone got out there to enjoy their fishing and each day positions in the top ten were a really close fought battle. For newly crowned world champion Steve Lessard, it was a well, deserved win. He is the ‘Pike Whisperer’ for the tournament and he really knew how to catch that fish. Today for every strike, the fish was landed, so congratulations to a very competent and professional angler”.


The now famous ‘Elusive Zander’ was the target for a portion of the field today, who found themselves at the bottom of the ladder with no chance to catch the leaders. Hobie Kayaks Europe had graciously provided a prize of a Hobie Revo11 kayak for the biggest Zander caught over 52cm as an incentive for the anglers . Zander was even more so than previously, the prize catch of the tournament. As other competitors caught their Pike and Perch double, they joined in the Zander hunt. It is one of the great mysteries of the tournament, Zander remain exclusively, elusive and the question has to be asked ‘Where do the Zander Meander’. The Revo 11 kayak stays with Hobie Kayaks Europe.


The top ten on the Lowrance Leader Board at the end of the Hobie Fishing World Championship presented by Rhino-Rack, has a surprising twist from yesterday’s positions with some great leaps up the ladder, to knock off some in what appeared to be comfortable positions. The top ten at the end of the world championship are:

  1. Steve Lessard   USA   364cm
  2. Kyle Moxon   Canada   274cm
  3. Kevin Varty   Australia   206cm
  4. Edi Brader   Austria   196cm
  5. Justin Ritchey   USA   185cm
  6. Scott Baker   Australia   179cm
  7. Rob Appleby Goudberg   Great Britain   174cm
  8. Jonathon Chen   Australia   165cm
  9. Patrick McQuarrie   Australia   161cm
  10. Lars Lundberg   Sweden   157cm   

The Lowrance Leader Board may have had a lot of twists and turns throughout the tournament, but Steve Lessard from the USA performed so consistently, that the “Pike Whisperer from Louisiana” was always destined to be the 2014 Hobie Fishing World Champion. 

You did an absolutely brilliant job Hobie Kayak Europe. Congratulations on all of the hard work in getting this wonderful tournament to be such a momentous occasion for all competing anglers, their followers, their families and lovers of the sport of kayak fishing worldwide.


What a tournament! What a champion!
Bring on Worlds 2015.

The 4th Hobie Fishing World Championship presented by Rhino-Rack could not have gone ahead without the great support of our tournament sponsors Rhino-Rack, Daiwa, Lowrance, Power-Pole and Ram Mounts.

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Image Gallery – Awards PresentationOctober 10, 2014

News / Photo Gallery - By: Hobie Fishing

The tournament has been fought and won, the trophy passed from one World Champion to the next and Steve Lessard, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana is our new Hobie Fishing World Champion. Take a look as some of the pics from the awards dinner where the competitors can now relax!

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Team USA’s Steve Lessard, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana has been crowned the 2014 Hobie Fishing World Champion! Lessard measured an additional 112cm on the final day of competition for a total score of 356cm and claimed the top prize!


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Image Gallery – Day 3 On the waterOctober 10, 2014

News / Photo Gallery - By: Hobie Fishing

The first photos from the water have just come back in to the Rhino-Rack Event Site and at this stage it looks as though Kyle Moxen from Canada is making a run for the title.  Going into the day Kyle needed 73cm to take the lead from the USA’s Steve Lessard. A number he appears to be well on his way to achieving.

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Image Gallery – Day 3 Power-Pole Start LineOctober 10, 2014

News / Photo Gallery - By: peter costello

The final day of competition is well and truly underway! Who will come back with a full card this afternoon? As yesterday proved things can change pretty substantially out there on the water and with 110cm separating the top 5 there is still good opportunity to move up the board. Here are the first images from the Power-Pole Start Line.

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Final Competition Day Weather ReportOctober 10, 2014

News - By: Hobie Fishing

Vinkeveen Plassen, Friday October 10, 2014  – Coming into the final day of competition, our anglers are now readying themselves for the task at hand. This is the day where it all comes together. Today we will crown the 4th Hobie Fishing World Champion!

Conditions are expected to remain consistent with yesterday. Winds ranging from of 20km/h to 25km/h (13 to 17mph) from the South West continue throughout the day with gusts of up to 45km/h (30mph) easing off around 8:00am. Rain overnight has cleared leaving scattered cloud and a 20% chance of rain throughout the day while temperates are expected to reach 16ºC (60ºF).

Once again, no adjustments to the schedule, means that our anglers will have a full day on the water in which to make it count. Stay tuned as we continue to post updates throughout the day.

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Lessard-leaps-aheadOctober 9, 2014

News / Press Release - By: Hobie Fishing

Vinkeveen Plassen, Thursday October 9, 2014  – The penultimate day of 4th Hobie Fishing World Championship presented by Rhino-Rack commenced today from the Power-Pole starting line with half the field needing a massive day to stay in the race for the championship title. The leading group of four anglers, headed by Richard Somerton from Australia, were the only competitors to have bagged two fish and were sitting on scores over the hundred mark. There was a spread in the top ten of 72 cm from number one down to ten with twenty five anglers giving Somerton a 142cm head start today.

The weather, conditions, improved slightly throughout today with a drop in wind velocity that had troubled anglers yesterday in the open water and southern sides of the lakes. The rain that had been present at times yesterday and over night, stayed away from the tournament arena. Patches of open, blue sky were visible for the first time and the temperature remained reasonably mild.

Today the fishing was reasonable early, as the day was developing and while the overnight cloud cover had not broken. If you could find them, Perch and Pike were on the bite if teased while lying in wait of their prey in most locations around the three lake areas. Like yesterday no Zander were caught by any angler from any nation and Zander remains the prize catch of the tournament.

Richard Somerton’s huge Perch measuring 47cm yesterday is still the largest of the species caught with Jason Reid from Australia giving chase today, landing a 45cm Perch early on. The largest Pike at 106cm yesterday maintained the top spot as the biggest Pike caught today by Daniel van der Post from the Netherlands came in at 101cm.

The priority of most anglers today was to land a Pike and then Perch and once happy with one of each species on their camera cards, they then took the opportunity to chase the elusive Zander that has so far not been caught in the tournament.

Having no time or area limitations placed on competitors today meant that the chances of seeing a competitor bring back a full bag of one Pike, Perch and a Zander for the first time were high.

Unfortunately, as it turned out the “elusive Zander” remains exactly that, and none was brought aboard a Hobie Pro Angler 12 kayak today.

Steve Lessard from Baton Rouge in the USA, who went into today in second place behind Richard Somerton, now sits in a very comfortable position at the top of the Lowrance Leader Board.

“Today went well, my game plan came together, I knew I had to get my Pike early before this weather change hit. I knew we were going to have a weather change with sun and bright blue skies and that was going to move the fish so I knew I had to get them early. I got my Pike early and then I switched over to Perch, I got a couple of Perch. I went through about a dozen before I got a keeper. I tried the rest of the day to upgrade but conditions worsened and it was more and more difficult as the day went on to catch Perch at all. So I was fortunate to get what I have early”.

Kyle Moxon from Ontario in Canada was in eigth place going into today and has moved up the ladder just holding on to second position after two days of competition.

“Today I was sitting in eigth place, so I thought I’d put on some big baits and string for the fence as some people would say. I caught a Pike early on and then I went right away to try to catch a Perch. I caught a good size Perch and then I went to upgrade my Pike and it was just one problem after another out there, so hopefully it holds up”.

Rob Appleby Goudberg from Great Britain has been performing consistently over the two days of the tournament and with a fifth place standing after day one he has now moved up to challenge the lead in third position.

“Today started off very quiet, I knew if I was to get a big Pike it would be in the first 90 minutes and it didn’t happen. So I decided on a bit of a game changer, I went to get some Perch instead and got a Pike which was good news! I spent the rest of the day chasing Perch. I had two which were undersize then I lost a good sized Perch right next to the kayak. It’s been difficult there’s no doubt about it, but let’s just say, yeah, it’s been a good day”.

Dan Andre Aarsvold from Norway was one of the big movers on the Lowrance Leader Board today, jumping from thirteenth position to now sit in fourth place and within reach of a podium finish if he has a good day tomorrow.

“Today was alright for me, I caught a Pike very early and then I also lost one very early.

The one that I measured was 76 or 77 something like that. I also caught an undersized Perch, so all in all it was a good day. I have at least three places now where lives Pike so I’ll be there first thing in the morning”.

Going into the world championship European champion Daniel van der Post from the Netherlands was the tournament favourite. After a tough day one presenting no fish, today was his day to turn things around. And turn things around he did recovering from no score to sixth place at the end of day two.

“ I had quite a good day I think. I started really well I hooked a large Pike in the first five minutes or so, so it was a good start. It was just over a metre so it really helped me with that. So from then on I was targeting Perch and Zander. I caught a few smaller Perch and midday I found a bigger Perch . I lost one that was 30cm or so next to my kayak but lucky enough about five minutes later I caught another one, his brother or sister I was happy with that. After that I was going for the Zander but the Zander was difficult as was expected. It was a good day today”.

Patrick McQuarrie from Australia was in the top ten yesterday with an 85cm Pike but has fallen into sixteenth place after a tough day on the water today.

“I started the day out confidently,sitting in sixth place. I headed to the same place that I caught my Pike yesterday, fished the same technique in the same canals and all I could catch today were some undersized Perch. It was pretty disappointing day for me, but I’m going to get out there tomorrow and give it another crack”.

Ma Xiao Hong from Chengdu in China had a better day today and now has a score on the board and sits in twenty fourth place.

“I was very lucky, it didn’t take too long, maybe in the first half hour, I caught my first fish which was a Pike at 54cm. Then I tried to fish for a bigger one and nothing showed up. Then I turned on another occasion to fish for some Perches and I caught a lot of undersized Perches. But after all it was a lovely day and I am wishing to have the same sort of luck tomorrow. Thank you to all”.

Kevin Varty from Nowra, in New South Wales, Australia had a much better day today on the Netherland’s lake, which took him up to seventh place.

“I went a little better today, I managed to get a 76cm on 3lb braid and 3lb fluro leader. Just as I got the net under him and Snap! the line broke. Luckily I caught him just as he went into the net. I lost a couple of other Pike, smaller ones and I couldn’t land a decent Perch. I’m feeling a lot better today than I was at the end of yesterday”.

Frantisek Zderka from Jarok in Slovakia is fishing in his first Hobie Fishing World Championship and is grateful for the privilege to just be here in Vinkeveen Plassen competing against the world’s best kayak anglers.

“Water conditions were very good but yesterday’s problem of rain changed with the sun. I did not catch big fish, only little Perch under 25cm. I am very happy that I got an invitation to the world championship. I am having a lot of fun because there are a lot of very good people here”.

The top ten on the Lowrance Leader Board after day two of the Hobie Fishing World Championship presented by Rhino-Rack, sees three new faces appear and a shuffling of the remaining positions. Amazingly nine different nations are now represented in the top ten which is testament to the strength, equality and diversity of international kayak fishing. The top ten as at the end of day two are:

  1. Steve Lessard USA 252cm
  2. Kyle Moxon CAN 180cm
  3. Rob Appleby Goudberg UK 174cm
  4. Dan Andre Aarsvold NOR 143cm
  5. Richard Somerton AUS 142cm
  6. Daniel van der Post NLD 130cm
  7. Staffan Jorup SWE 123cm
  8. Johnson Lee SGP 122cm
  9. Gianluca Aramini ITA 104cm
  10. Justin Ritchey USA 99cm

[Full Results Table]

Despite Steve Lessard’s comfortable lead, the final day of competition could see anything happen. It appears that everything is far from predictable in this year’s Hobie Fishing World Championship, particularly the fish.

After two days Zander have been seen and brought alongside at least one Hobie kayak but never landed. The question still remains, will anyone catch the elusive Zander and be the first to log in all three predators? And if so, could that Zander be the fish that wins the world championship for one lucky angler?


Tomorrow we find out!

The 4th Hobie Fishing World Championship presented by Rhino-Rack could not have gone ahead without the great support of our tournament sponsors Rhino-Rack, Daiwa, Lowrance, Power-Pole and Ram Mounts.

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Results Day 2October 9, 2014

News / Results - By: Hobie Fishing

Team USA’s Steve Lessard takes a comfortable lead with 2 fish for 120cm giving him a two day total of 252cm. 72cm ahead of Kyle Moxen from Canada who also netted two fish today for a total length of 96cm and an aggregate length of 180cm. Rob Appleby Goudberg, Dan Andre Aarsvold and Richard Somerton round out the top five. Full details below.

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Image Gallery – Day 2October 9, 2014

News / Photo Gallery - By: Hobie Fishing

Our competitors are back at the Rhino-Rack Event Site. Day two scores are being tallied and confirmed. The day two leader will be announced at dinner this evening. In the mean time, have a look at the day’s images from the water.

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Image Gallery – Day 2October 9, 2014

News / Photo Gallery - By: Hobie Fishing

The first images from Day 2 of the 4th Hobie Fishing Worlds have returned to the Rhino-Rack Event Site, the anglers will follow them soon enough as they return at 3:00pm for score tallying and photo verification.

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