Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville and the North Florida Heroes on the Water Chapter won big at the 2014 Columbia Sportswear Kayak Fishing Classic as 402 kayak anglers raised over $36,000 for the charities’ programs. Kayak anglers had great weather and tidal conditions, and checked in 14 slams, 42 Redfish, 32 Trout, and 29 Flounder.
"We are thrilled to be associated with such a world-class event, and want to thank the kayak anglers, sponsors, and everyone that made the Classic happen for their generous support ", said Debbie Revels, Executive Director of DSAJ. Heroes on the Water NE Florida chapter president Melita Ganoe shared “We thank everyone for their support and look forward to continuing our HOW kayak fishing events for our nation’s warriors and veterans.”
For the first time the catch-photo-release Classic, known for driving the use of technology into CPR formats, utilized an online check-in system from 321Fish.com that enabled anglers to check-in their fish from the water via smart phone. According to tournament director Mike Kogan “The anglers overwhelmingly liked the idea of checking in their fish from the water – the system was utilized by almost 40% of the entrants and enabled them more time to fish. In the future we hope to enable real-time scoring during the event as well”.
The 2014 Classic was led again by the title sponsorship of Columbia Sportswear, whose focus on products that allow people to enjoy the outdoors longer and more comfortably is a perfect match for kayak fishing. All the entrants received a custom shirt featuring the latest outdoor comfort, protection, and stain release technology from Columbia’s performance fishing gear product line.
Columbia was joined by other industry leaders such as Ocean Kayaks, Costa Del Mar, Jackson Kayaks, Wilderness Systems, Malibu Kayaks, Emotion Kayaks, Native Watercraft, Hobie Kayaks, NuCanoe, Native Watercraft, Lowrance, Tsunami, Power-Pole, and KayakFishingSupplies.Com. The Classic also pulled together all of Northeast Florida’s kayak and fishing retailers led by Strike-Zone Fishing, Black Creek Outfitters, All Wet Sports, and Dick's Sporting Goods to name just a few of the over 80 sponsors. Kogan related “the outstanding efforts of our volunteers and the kayak fishing community combined with the generosity of our terrific sponsors continue to make the Classic an unqualified unmatched success.”
Andrew Mixon of Vero Beach, FL claimed the top prize in the Ocean Kayaks slam with a 73.8” slam, winning a fully-rigged Old Town Predator fishing kayak. His winning consisted of a 21.3” red, a 27.2” trout, and a 25.3” flounder. Mixon was followed by a group Florida anglers including Jason Nesbitt at 67.7”, Justin Rienerth with 59.5”, Jesse Goar at 59.5”, and Charles Ganoes at 59.25”.
ED.J. Cabler of Jacksonville, FL won the Jackson Kayaks redfish division with a record 42.1” red. Top flounder honors went to Brianna Bellinghausen with a 19.5” flattie and she scored a Malibu Kayaks X-Caliber. Leading the way in the Wilderness Systems trout category was Alfie Nazario with a 24.75” trout.
Another highlight at the Classic this year was the FishingNosara.Com Family Cup, an award that recognizes the best fishing performance by a family. The Family Cup was won by the Mixon family of Vero Beach, FL and they will enjoy a one week vacation in Costa Rica.
Melea Swab won the Junior Angler division and Kathy Viehe won the Lady Angler award., both with slams. Dan Arvin took Senior Angler honors and Jason Schall of Charleston, SC won the Fly Angler award.
For more results and information about next year's Classic visit Jacksonville's kayak fishing community at www.JacksonvilleKayakFishingClassic.com.
Special thanks go out to the volunteers and over 80 sponsors who supported the Classic including: Columbia Sportswear, Strike Zone Fishing, BlackCreek Outfitters, Accent Paddles, Costa Del Mar, Malibu Kayaks, Jackson Kayaks, Wilderness Systems Kayaks, Emotion Kayaks, Advanced Elements, Ocean Kayaks, Old Town Canoes & Kayaks, Native Watercraft, Power-Pole, FishingNosara.Com, Dick’s Sporting Goods, All Wet Sports, Great Atlantic Outfitters, Yak-Gear.Com, FishingNosara.Com, Riptide, Rat-L-Trap, DOA Lures, Calcutta, Crack of Dawn, MTI, Malone Auto Racks, KayakFishingSupplies.Com, Kayak Amelia, Yak-Gear.Com, Florida Sportsman, MTI, Kayak Fisherman Magazine, B&M Bait&Tackle, RAM Mounts, Polar Bear Coolers, YakAttack.Us, Otter Box, Scotty Rod Holders, Daiichi Hooks, GearKeeper, Slayer Lures, Kayak Angler Magazine, Stohlquist, AquaEast, AT Paddles, White Shell Bait&Tackle, Extrasport, Carlisle, 321Fish.Com, YakLife.Com, TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group, Wang Anchors, Skwoosh, Florida Sportfishing Magazine, St. Croix Rods, SureSet Jigs, FlyFishingJax.Com, Qualia Fishing, IFA Kayak Fishing Tour, Watermans Applied Science, Cannon Rod Holders, Emmrod, Qualia, YakAhh.com, RailBlaza, Ego Nets, Stohlquist, Illumarine, BooneDox, Lowrance, Surf To Summit, WaveSpin, Thermacell, Sea-Lect Designs, SeaDek, Bending Branches, Boomerang, T. Allen Rods, and Bushnell.