On March 24, 2012, the Hard Core Kayak Anglers Club, based in West Central Florida, kicked off their highly anticipated 2012 Tournament Series presented by Hobie Fishing. The Tournament Series consists of five individual inshore slam events (Snook, Redfish, & Spotted Seatrout) over the course of 2012 in the Tampa Bay area and promotes the sport of kayak fishing and conservation through a catch, photo, and release format.
The 1st place winner will receive a new Hobie Revolution 13 courtesy of Hobie Fishing and a cash award from the HCKAC. 2nd place will receive a $500 prize package courtesy of sponsor HOOK1 and 3rd place will receive a $500 prize package courtesy of sponsor YakAttack.
Below is the list of all of the very generous manufacturers and organizations that are supporting the 2012 HardCore Tournament Series. Their involvement and support has been nothing short of exemplary. Thank you very much for all of your contributions !
The first individual event of the five-event series was held on the “South Shore” of Tampa Bay, FL, and was a huge success in regards to angler participation. Of the sixty HCKAC members that signed up, fifty-one participated in the first individual event with thirty-five of those anglers choosing to enter the full five-event Tournament Series.
The check-in and distribution of the Captain’s Bags for the tournament began bright and early at 0530 in the parking lot of Mama Iguanas in Apollo Beach, FL. The Captain’s bag contained a unique scoring token by YakAttack, scents from Pro-Cure, and an “Invis-Swivel provided by AquatekO. Smiles, greetings, handshakes, stories, and encouragement mixed with coffee set the light mood for the morning. Air temperature hovered around 65 degrees and destined to get to the low 80’s by midday. Inshore water temperatures were in the mid-70’s. The wind was calm, but a weather front was anticipated late morning that would push the wind gusts from the SW towards the 20 mph mark. The weather coupled up with an early morning minor solunar and good flowing tides set the stage for very favorable conditions for the anglers. Upon getting checked-in, everyone loaded up and proceeded traveling towards their publicly accessible launch locations within the designated boundaries hoping to be back at Mama Iguanas by the 2:30 p.m. deadline with a slam large enough to be in the winner’s circle.
Angler’s started to slowly drift into Mama Iguanas around 1:00 p.m. to turn in their YakAttack score card tokens, get re-hydrated, and to grab some lunch. There was definitely a “buzz” to the conversations as many of the anglers had caught some very nice slams. As the 2:30 deadline approached, the Tournament Committee busily tallied all of the scoring data that was turned in and Adrian “DayumSon”got all of the video, microphones, and electronics set up for the UStream live feed for the awards ceremony.
After all of the results were tabulated, it was very evident that the day was a “fish catching” success. Of the fifty-one anglers, twenty-one of them presented slams, which is a significantly higher percentage than typical past tournaments. Twenty-five Snook, thirty-four Redfish, and forty-two Trout were checked in. One of the Snook, five of the Redfish, and approximately fifteen of the Trout were over-slot.
Long time HardCore member Rick Klosicki took top honors for the first tournament with a cash award of $510 and a $75 HOOK1 gift certificate. Rick finished with a personal best slam of 82.9 inches for the day. Rick’s catch consisted of a 32.5” Snook, a 27.9” Redfish, and a 22.5” Trout. He also has the current top spot on the leader board for the 2012 Series Championship.
Here’s Rick’s Snook and Redfish in his typical “fish moustache” pose.
HCKAC member Chuck Statham, well known in the HCKAC and Tampa Bay area fishing community for his strong kayak tournament finishes, took 2nd place with an 80.0 inch slam. His total was comprised of a 28.5“ Snook, a 29.75” Redfish, and a 21.75” Trout. Chuck received a $306 cash award and a $75 HOOK1 gift certificate. He currently ranks 2nd on the leader board for the 2012 Series Championship.
Marty Meakin, a consistently strong contributor to the HCKAC since its inception, recorded a 79.25 inch slam to take the 3rd place award consisting of a $204 cash award and a $75 HOOK1 gift certificate. Marty completed his slam with a 34.5” Snook, a 23.5” Redfish, and a 21.25” Trout. He currently ranks 3rd in the hunt for the 2012 Series Championship.
The “big fish” sponsor awards were given to the anglers other than the 3 slam winners above for the longest fish of each species.Tide1On (Steve) posted an upper-slot 32.4 inch Snook and received a Wang Anchor, Dodge (Olin) caught an over-slot 29.25 inch Redfish and was awarded a new paddle from Aquabound/Bending Branches, and Silver K presented an over-slot 24.75 inch Trout to take home a VisiCarbon Pro light/flag combo from YakAttack.
After the main awards were given, we proceeded directly into the sponsor’s raffle. Our sponsors have been very generous with providing high quality and high quantity prizes. Again, let’s thank them for all of their support and generosity.
AquaDream spoon 6-pack
The 2nd leg of the 5-event series is right around the corner on April 28, 2012. The boundary area is Upper Tampa Bay, Weedon Island, and the Ft. DeSoto area. A sign-in post with the official boundaries will be initiated by the Tournament Committee in the next few days on the HCKAC Forum.
Until then, Keep it HardCore !