United States of America

Justin Carter

Team Captain

Age
Country
USA
Home Town
Charleston, South Carolina
Favourite species to catch:
Big Speckled Trout and Redfish
Favourite technique:
Sight Casting and Topwater
Favourite location: 
Somewhere other than dry land
Worlds Experience: 
Texas, USA, 2012, Victoria, Australia 2013.

Justin Carter is a life long angler and discovered the sport of kayak fishing in 2005. Not long after he was introduced to the benefits of “hands free” fishing thanks to the Hobie’s® Mirage Drive® and he has been hooked ever since!. Justin can be found in Charleston’s local waters chasing everything from shallow water redfish to kings and tarpon beyond the breakers.

Some of his favourite techniques include standing in his Pro Angler poling through the grassy marsh flats sight casting to tailing reds and making trips to Florida’s clear water flats to sight cast to monster speckled trout lurking in sandy pot holes. He also shares his passion for fishing and Hobie Kayaks with others through his guide service, Kayak Fish SC, and as a founder of the Low Country Kayak fishing Club.

He states, “There is nothing more rewarding than helping people experience his passion for the water and watching them catch their first hard fighting redfish.” Justin is honoured to be a part of the Hobie US Team again this year and travel to Amsterdam. This will be his first time traveling to Europe and he knows it will be another experience of a lifetime!

Justin Ritchey

Age
Country
USA
Home Town
Orlando
Favourite species to catch:
Tarpon off the beach, Cobia, Kingfish, Sailfish and Sharks
Favourite technique:
Sight-fishing
Favourite location: 
Worlds Experience: 

After graduating from the University of Florida with a Bachelors in Fisheries Management, Justin Ritchey started kayak fishing only 4 years ago on the pristine waters of the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River Lagoon. While his favourite technique is sight-fishing for Redfish and Seatrout across crystal clear grass flats, Justin enjoys the thrill of a challenge and makes a “Bucket List” every year to become more accustomed to the styles of fishing anglers have to offer throughout different Regions of Florida. “It always amazes me to see how many techniques anglers can apply to the same species; the way Northeast Florida anglers target Redfish is completely different than how anglers in Southwest Florida target their fish. Becoming well rounded in each regions technique helps make me a better angler, and I love sharing the wealth with others across the state.”

A proud owner of a 2014 Hobie Outback, Justin loves testing his limits on 100lb. Tarpon off the beach, as well as Cobia, Kingfish, Sailfish and Sharks. When not on the water, his skills are further honed through his employer Bottled Ocean Inc., where he maintains a large aquatic environment at the Gaylord Palms Hotel and Convention center full of native saltwater gamefish that frequent the same lagoon systems of Florida. “Being able to study the patterns of Redfish, Snook and Tarpon in the lagoon here at the hotels offers me the chance to learn how their behaviour changes through the seasons.”

This is Justin’s first time traveling to Europe and he looks forward to crossing Pike, Perch and Zander off his Bucket List. “I feel so humbled to accept the opportunity to represent the United States in the Hobie World Championship. Win or lose, it’s an experience of a lifetime and I hope to make everyone proud back home!”

Steve Lassard

Age
Country
USA
Home Town
Geismar
Favourite species to catch:
Favourite technique:
Favourite location: 
Worlds Experience: 

I grew up in Louisiana enjoying the outdoors. As a young boy my favourite activity was paddling a small wooden boat known locally as a “piroque”. I used the small craft for hunting and fishing but mainly just having fun. Years of chasing bigger fish and long adventures left me missing those simpler times but that all changed the first time I sat in a kayak.

I knew instantly kayaking was the next big adventure. I use Hobie kayaks for everything from surf to back country Redfish and Bass in the Bayous. My Outback brings me back and helps me dream up new adventures.

Tom Michael

Age
50
Country
USA
Home Town
Mount Ephraim, New Jersey
Favourite species to catch:
Weakfish
Favourite technique:
Jigging
Favourite location: 
Brigantine NJ
Worlds Experience: 
Victoria Australia 2013

At the age of six Tom caught his very first largemouth bass with his Uncle Al at his fishing and hunting club and has been chasing their tails ever since. By the time Tom could drive there was always some kind of boat hanging out of the truck bed. This fishing passion took him to start Fin-N-Fowl Charters providing trips for saltwater fishing in the beautiful Brigantine NJ coastal bay area. A storm damaged Tom’s boat and this is when he was introduced to a Hobie Outback. It is now hanging out of the truck bed.

Tom can now be found chasing these same fish but is now educating others on the benefits of kayak fishing through his guide service covering both freshwater and saltwater. His love of freshwater brought him to be a founding member of South Jersey Kayak Bass Fishing Club, the first of its kind in New Jersey, now in its 5th season. A member of various fishing forums and on line tournaments like Kayak Wars and since 2011 has started competing in out of state tournaments.
Tom was honoured last year at HFW3 representing the Kayak Fishing Classic at Jamaica Bay, New York qualifying in saltwater and finishing in 9th place in Australia catching bream. This year he is equally proud and honoured to qualify for HFW4 by winning in freshwater at the first Hobie Bass Open held on Kentucky Lake.

He is truly humble and grateful for the opportunity to represent Team USA once again and looks forward to the competition, the friendships and memorable experiences in such a event!

Elias Vaisberg

Age
27
Country
USA
Home Town
Brooklyn, New York
Favourite species to catch:
Blackfish
Favourite technique:
Vertical Jigging
Favourite location: 
Rockaway Reef
Worlds Experience:

I am a dedicated kayak angler from Brooklyn, New York. I have been kayak fishing for close to ten years now, and fish harder than anyone I know. I am the owner of a 2011 Hobie Outback, that may have close to 10,000 miles on it! I spend most of my time prowling the waters of Jamaica Bay, Rockaway Inlet and beaches, and the mighty NY Harbor. I am an angler that frequently pushes the limits of my kayak. Fishing many miles offshore, high current areas, or places with heavy commercial traffic. It is part of the environment I fish in, but it is highly rewarding!

My kayak angling accomplishments include striped bass over 40lbs, multiple summer flounder (fluke) over 10 pounds, and two Jamaica Bay Kayak Tournament Grand Slam wins. I am always looking to best a previous record… I am currently in search of a blackfish over 10lbs, a 50lb striper, and a 13lb flounder!

I started off as a shore fisherman, and occasionally would fish on boats, after watching several striped bass and bluefish blitzes that were totally out of reach for me on the shoreline I took the plunge into the world of kayak fishing back in 2005. Every time I am on land I find myself daydreaming of getting on the yak and catching some fish. There is no better hobby or more fun thing to do then to saddle up and jig up some big (or little) fish.

Scott Brenneman

Age
Country
USA
Home Town
Seattle
Favourite species to catch:
Chinook Salmon
Favourite technique:
Trolling
Favourite location: 
Columbia River Estuary
Worlds Experience: 

A life long resident of the Pacific Northwest, Scott has a passion for all activities outdoors, especially fishing from a kayak. Scott has fished for as long as he can remember and for the last 12 years the majority of that time is spent in the kayak.

Scott’s favourite place to fish is the Columbia River Estuary and the offshore areas that surround it. Most of his time is spent fishing the mouth of the Columbia and the areas adjacent to the North and South. Offshore bottom fish, Coho, Chinook Salmon, and steelhead can be targeted year round which makes this a great place to call your home-waters.

Whether it is at a seminar or a boat ramp, Scott Enjoys taking the time to share his knowledge of the year round fishing opportunities in the Northwest so that those new to the sport can discover the thrill of catching a fish from a kayak.

RegionDateTournament / SeriesLocationLink
U.S.A. & CanadaMay 15 - 18Kayak Fishing ClassicJamaica Bay, New YorkCaptainkayak.com
May 30 - June 1Hobie Bass OpenKentucky Lake, Marshall County, Kentuckyhobiefishing.com
June 22IFA Kayak TournamentJacksonville, Floridaifatours.com
June 28Border City ClassicWindsor, Ontario, Canadabordercityclassic.com
July 12Oregon Rockfish ClassicDepoe Bay, Oregonnorthwestkayakanglers.com