Dave Jaskiewicz of Charleston is going somewhere he never thought fishing would take him. Shang Lake, China is his destination, along with 46 other anglers from 19 different countries. They will all be competing for the title of World Champion in the 5th Annual Hobie Fishing World Championship, presented by Rhino-Rack and hosted by Hobie Cat Australasia.
Jaskiewicz qualified for the Hobie World Championship earlier this year by winning the IFA Kayak Tour Event that took place in Georgetown, which was designated a qualifier for the World Championship. Jaskiewicz became the sixth American, and 7th member of Team North America, which is joined by one Canadian.
Jaskiewicz, who has always fished from a Hobie, said he is excited and thankful for the opportunity to make this trip. “I’ve followed this tournament every year since it started and was always a little jealous of Justin Carter, another Charleston angler who has competed in it more than once. I’m excited about the tournament. I’ve fished all over the southeastern portion of the U.S., but have never fished outside the country,” he said.
It’s a daunting task, just to get to that part of the world with enough fishing gear to get him through the tournament, which runs Nov. 9-16. “It’s tough to get much information like water depths and fishing conditions, so I’m having to pack equipment without knowing whether I’ll be fishing in 6-foot depths or 40-foot depths. We’re fishing for three species which I’ve never fished for, so it’s challenging to figure out what to take,” said Jaskiewicz.
Despite fishing in a number of major tournaments over the years, Jaskiewicz has never reached out to potential sponsors, but he sees why many competitive anglers do. "It would help a lot now to have a team that could provide information and gear for the trip. It’s very expensive just to get the proper gear together, and even then, I’m not sure how to know if what I’m packing will be appropriate,” he said.
“We get one day to scout without fishing gear, one day to prefish, and then the tournament starts. I’ll be watching the Chinese anglers closely to try to pick up any tips from them,” he said.
All 47 anglers will be fishing from identically rigged Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14s, which are considered by most kayak anglers to be the best kayak fishing platform available. Lowrance Electronics, RAM Mounts, YakAttack measuring boards, and Power-Pole MICRO Anchors are all included with each kayak, ensuring these anglers will have top-notch gear at their disposal.
Chinese perch, topmouth cutler, and yellowcheek carp will be the target species, and the tournament will be operated with the traditional CPR (Catch, Photo, Release) format that most kayak fishing tournaments use.
-To read an earlier article about a previous Worlds qualifier, also from Charleston, click here.