From the start of the fishing season this year qualifying for the Hobie Worlds being held in the USA this year was my stated goal. I am still over the moon that it happened and still a little confused by how it happened to be on what I thought was my weakest venue, St Georges Basin but none the less, I’ll take it.
So now what? I have the chance to represent my country in something I love to do and I really want to put as much effort into doing that as possible. I’m pretty sure the target species will be Largemouth Bass as this type of angling has by far the largest appeal to a US audience and as the whole thing is going to be made into a TV show they want to target them. I had actually hoped that Redfish would be the target as I have spent a fair bit of time chasing them when I lived in Florida and as an angling species are something I would have a much better feel for. I’m not exactly starting completely behind the 8 ball though. I have caught LM Bass while I was there and I have followed Bass fishing as a sport for a long time now spending countless hours watching FLW shows online and listening to podcasts of Bass specific radio shows as well as plenty of other Bass related material being soaked up between my ears through various forms.
One thing I know for certain is that when I find out where Hobie Worlds is being held I am going to try and get specific as to how I “study” for Worlds long before I get there. LM Bass angling techniques can vary wildly from region to region, state to state and even lake to lake. What works as a gun method on one lake may pale in comparison to another technique used on a lake only 20 kilometres away. The time of year will also be important as they pretty much have Bass habits down to a science over there and know that something like a certain point in water temperature will trigger a certain behaviour. It will most probably be a fall (autumn) pattern which could mean fish feeding up for a cold winter if it is held up north or fish may still be deep because the water is still very hot on the surface if it it held somewhere south.
So how am I going to go about it all? The first stop will be the forums. Find one that has a lot of information about the lake we will be on and start reading about popular techniques for the time of year. Start asking questions and looking for little tips. Find out what past results for bag weights have been on the lake and how results are shaping up in the lead up. Hopefully I can find some kayak specific information. Maybe there are good spots only available to kayakers.
Next is probably contacting some of the local tackle stores as these can be another hub of information and can probably put my in contact with local pros as nearly every lake has those gun anglers who call it home. See if I can open a dialogue with them. I figure most of them might like the idea of helping someone from another country in an endeavour like this.
Finally there will probably be some mechanics to learn. Things like “pitching” and “flipping” are not really used over here but can be major techniques there and having a handle on them may help.
It seems like a lot of effort to go to but I figure I will be representing Australia while I’m there and doing well would be an even bigger dream come true. Stay tuned to this spot as I hope to make this a fairly thorough run up to the Hobie Worlds and I’ll keep you all on the same page I am.