Hard Core Kayak Angler’s Tournament Series Finale

Last Saturday I fished the final event of the Hard Core Kayak Anglers Tournament with a number of Anglers from the Tampa Bay area.

I figured that catching a nice snook would be the most difficult fish to catch out of the three species required to slam.  With this in mind I hit the water at 6:30 in search of a line sider.  While on the water I was fishing next to Mike Torrregrosa.  We both landed a couple of small snook and continued fishing the deep drop-offs along the shoreline.  A couple casts later Mike’s DOA paddle tail was inhaled by what appeared to be a very nice fish.  Snook made a couple of nice runs and finally showed herself, after a couple more minutes Mike had a 35.25” beauty on his measuring board to snap a few photos for the event.  This snook was the second largest he has ever caught, and to make it even better he got it on tournament day.

With his snook in the bag Mike T moved on to look for his redfish and trout.  I continued fishing and landed a total of 7 snook with the largest being 27.6 inches.  With time running out, I made the decision to head to the flats.

Once on the flats, it didn’t take long to find a redfish and a trout, unfortunately they were tiny.  I moved along  to another area where I commonly find redfish on rising tides.  Again most of the reds I found were rats, with the largest being 19.5 inches.

At this point I only had an hour and a half to get back to the weigh in and started to worry that I would not make it back in time.  With 2 miles to go to get back to the launch, I started pedaling my way back.  One of the things I love about my Hobie Revo 13 is that I can move and fish at the same time.  When I was halfway back to the launch, I hooked a 17.1 inch trout.  I snapped a quick pic and continued making my way towards the launch.


All of my fish for the day came via the DOA Gold and Glow paddle tail rigged on a owner inshore jighead



Thankfully I made it back to the weigh in with a few minutes to spare.

Mike T took 1st place with a 74.25 inch slam

Chuck Statham took 2nd place with  a 74 inch slam

I took 3rd with a 64.2” slam.

At the end of the 6 events, Rick Taylor took the title of Hard Core Kayak Angler of the Year, I came in second place barely beating Peter Polleti who came in third.

Russ Caipen won a Aquabound Manta Ray Hybrid paddle for the largest snook

Ron Henderson won a Salty Shores BLAF shirt for the largest redfish


Andrew Buda won a 8 foot Wang Anchor for the largest trout


Many of the other guys walked away with great prizes provided by our sponsors:

Buda struck gold with a gift certificate to The Sports Authority donated by Walt at Metalfab inc.

Ron Henderson also brought some raffle skills and won an aquadream spoon pack and decals

Rick Taylor won a Procure Scent prize pack

Chuck Statham won a fish grip

HCKAC wants to thank all of its sponsors throught the series… The next series will kick off in the first quarter of the new year.   Check out the Hard Core Kayak Angler’s Club Forum for more information