Vinkeveen Plassen, Tuesday October 7, 2014 – The 4th Hobie Fishing World Championship presented by Rhino-Rack took a step closer to competition today as 47 extremely excited international anglers loaded their tackle and pedaled off from the Power-Pole starting line in their Hobie Pro Angler 12 kayaks. All competitors were eager to have their first taste of targeting the big predators, the Pike, Zander and Perch of Vinkeveen Plassen in the Daiwa Pre Fish Day.
The weather was windy, blowing at approximately 20kph with patches of light rain as anglers took off at first light. Their anxious wait to employ what they had learned on the Lowrance Navigation Day yesterday was over and it was time to pick up some hard earned knowledge that will be needed to chisel back the advantage held by the Dutch anglers who regularly chase the fearsome predatory species that terrorise the smaller fish in Vinkeveen Plassen.
Anglers spread out across the three areas of the arena. They travelled to the deep channels on the east, to locations around the Dutch polders to the west, and to closely guarded secret locations unknown to anyone but themselves. They went out on the north and on south sides of Vinkeveen Plassen, which is divided by a road, each side accessible via a channel under a drawbridge and some fished the small adjoining lake of Botsholl, in the far south.
Competitors moved around the arena looking at a variety of options, not staying too long in any one particular place, making the most of the non-competitive nature of today’s fishing. Anglers were confirming or throwing away plans that they had tentatively made after yesterday’s navigation session, when they sounded out what lay within the depths of the lake.
From today’s session Justin Ritchey from Orlando in the USA realised he needed to return to basics after his time on the water in the Daiwa Pre Fish Day.
“I definitely felt like I over prepared for a tournament as big as this, with all its hype and excitement. I think a lot of people including myself got a little worked up and tried to over prepare for what they actually needed on the water. When you’re comfortable doing a certain type of fishing you only need to do a handful of things. I think I took my whole tackle box on the water in the Daiwa Pre Fish Day today and I tried fifteen to twenty different lures. Now, I realized I’m going to feel a whole lot more comfortable only throwing three or four for the whole world championship tournament. I now know exactly what colours I want to throw and I know exactly what presentation I want to throw. I weeded out a lot of loose ends today, in a pretty short period of time”.
After yesterday’s Lowrance Navigation Day many anglers were pleased with the outcome of the plans they had developed overnight, confirming today that they had made the right choices. Numerous anglers caught a lot of Perch and many had their first Pike on board. We witnessed one angler practice using his 1.2m Yak Attack measuring board measuring a 94cm Pike. There was a lot of smaller fish caught today but a wide variation of legal lengths caught, as well ranging up to a huge Pike that’s length, the ecstatic angler refused divulge except to say that, “It was massive”. At this stage no reports of Zander catches have filtered through to the Ram Mounts Media Room.
Others competitors, not having achieved their hopes for today, found the scenario they had worked on didn’t pay off and they now have to come up with a completely different strategy and approach for the first day of competition. Some believe, that while their plans didn’t pay off for them today, they might just work for them tomorrow. Only time will tell.
Herve Martin from Tours in France has found his starting location for day one of competition from today’s exercise.
“This morning I tried to find a spot for Zander, but I think I also found a good spot for Perch as well. I caught a good one, which was around 26cm to 27cm, so it was a good one for me. After I tried to catch another one, I got a heavy bite and it probably was a Zander because the tail on my lure was deeply scratched and I don’t think the Perch can do this. So from that experience I think tomorrow morning it should be a good spot to start”.
At the daily briefing held at 6:30am this morning at the Rhino-Rack Event Centre anglers had been warned that a predicted change in weather conditions around 2pm would see a turn for the worse. As a safety precaution the tournament director Keeton Eoff reduced angler’s time on the water and stipulated that all Hobie Pro Angler 12 kayaks should be back at the Daiwa Launch Location by 1pm.
As the day went on weather conditions were comfortable but unstable as they continually fluctuated, the wind, dark clouds and rain, coming on suddenly and for the most part passing just as quickly.
Then at around 11:45am conditions on the southern lake started to deteriorate earlier than expected, surprising more than a few anglers. Wave sizes increased significantly, whipped up by stronger winds causing anglers to move to shelter.
By 12:00pm things became more serious with winds over 60kph, lightening, hail, teaming rain and unexpectedly large waves. Kayakers who hadn’t already done so, sought any shelter they could find.
As safety comes first, all competitors are supplied with, and must wear Hobie Yoke PFDs, they are instructed to exercise safety as a priority and with three rescue craft actively patrolling the arena, all anglers were accounted for and safely returned to the Daiwa Launch Site by 1:00pm.
Conditions are set to improve tomorrow for the first competition day of the 4th Hobie Fishing World Championship presented by Rhino-Rack. After twelve months of planning and preparation, it’s time to complete the final task. Perch, Pike, Zander Beware! Warning Notice issued.
We’ll be back with you for an early morning weather report and updates throughout the day, progress scores, a daily report and a photo gallery will be posted late in the day, Amsterdam time.