In the wake of subtropical storm Andrea, great fishing weather prevailed as 282 kayak fisherman took to the inshore waters of North Florida in the 4th annual Jacksonville Kayak Fishing Classic. With over $60,000 in prizes, 100 sponsors, and 282 paddlers, the Classic is once again the largest kayak fishing event in the world to date.
The catch-photo-release tournament is run by JaxKayakFishing.com, Jacksonville's kayak fishing community, and is for the benefit of danielkids, Florida's oldest children's services organization. In an incredible showing of support from the kayak fishing community the Classic raised over $22,000 for the children of Daniel. "We are thrilled to be associated with such a world-class event, and want to thank the kayak anglers of North Florida for their generous support ", said Jim Clark, President of Daniel.
"The fish catching this year was sensational, simply the best ever", said tournament director Mike Kogan. "After Andrea came through we were concerned, but the weather cleared and the bite was on. More than 12 anglers scored impressive slams, and more than 14 overslot redfish were photographed and released".
First place honors in the redfish-trout-flounder slam with 63.4" went to Todd Derringer of St. Augustine, FL, who won a fully equipped Ocean Kayak Big Game Prowler. Derringer was closely followed by Charles Ganoe with 62.2", Justin Loudermilk with 61.9", and Blake Beltz with 59.5".
Bradford Lydick of Yulee, FL won biggest red honors with a 37.5" fish and took home a Hobie Outback Revolution. Jacksonville's "Outback" Bill Smith won top trout honors and a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 160i with a 23.5" trout. Iko Carrasco won biggest flounder with an 18.1" fish and brought home a Malibu X-Factor.
Rich Santos led the biggest red-on-fly division with a 32.2" red, and Rusty Fissette won biggest trout-on-fly with a 15" fish. The Temple Fork Outfitters Jr. Angler award went to 13-year old Chris Morrill, and the Lady Angler honors went to Anne Smith.
The Classic pulled together all of Jacksonville's kayak and fishing retailers into a world-class event led by Strike-Zone Fishing, Black Creek Outfitters, Dick's Sporting Goods, Army Navy Outdoors, and All Wet Sports to name just a few of the over 100 sponsors. According to Kogan, "the great efforts of our volunteers, the generosity of our terrific sponsors from Jacksonville's local retailers to the manufacturers whose products they carry, and the support of the kayak fishing community have made this event an unqualified success - we can't wait 'til next year."
For more results and information about next year's Classic visit Jacksonville's kayak fishing community at www.jaxkayakfishing.com.