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Ready, Set, Start Your…Paddles!?

Well after much talk, thoughts, ideas, emails, and hard work, it’s finally here. The 2012 Florida Sportsman Kayak Challenge! Start your engines? Nope, that won’t work. Get your paddles wet? Guess that’s the one!

Hopefully I can get this guy again, only in a kayak!

So where is everyone going? Inshore? Offshore? I haven’t done much offshore fishing in a kayak yet, only a few trips, and have been wanting to for awhile now. Only there’s this barrier that is in my head ever since watching “Shark Eats Shark” on YouTube, which I guess was taken right off the coast of St. Pete last year. The rewards are starting to overpower the fear of being tipped and eaten alive though.

For inshore anglers, I would put my money on that manatees are the Number 1 predator of kayakers. I know every time I see one I paddle for my life. Not literally, as manatees will not hurt you, but they can be clumsy and have a deserved reputation for tipping over kayakers. They usually swim underneath the boat oblivious, then realize someone’s there and freak out. That massive tail is perfect for lifting up a kayaker and dumping them.

This tournament is great though, for the minimal fee, great prizes, AND it’s for a benefit. It’s more than just a single-day event and features inshore and offshore prizes. Honestly, it’s kind of forcing me to get out of my comfort zone and want to hit the deep water, especially since it’s a two month long event. You can’t really “try out a new spot” if it’s a one day tournament for all the beans.

Please thank the hard work of the tournament committee for brainstorming and thinking of ways to make this an equal event for anglers all over Florida. There’s a thread already going on the forum, you can introduce yourself, post up something, or do some smack talking by clicking here.

Let’s also thank the sponsors for being so generous and giving us some great items to drool over, and give them a click on their websites.

Proceeds go to the TJ and Tommy Recovery Fund, two active Florida Sportsman Forum members who need some help.

Grand Prizes

Offshore

1st place–Hobie Mirage Revolution 13 from Estero River Outfitters
2nd place–Two Quantum Smoke 2500 Combos
3rd place–Settles Bridge Supply House kayak accessory pack including: drag bag, paddle leash, deck bungee kit, bungee paddle keeper

Inshore

1st place–Hobie Mirage Revolution 13 from Estero River Outfitters
2nd place–Two Quantum Smoke 2500 Combos
3rd place–Settles Bridge Supply House kayak accessory pack including: drag bag, paddle leash, deck bungee kit, bungee paddle keeper

“Big Fish” Weekly Winners

Inshore–Deep South Fishing Rod

Offshore–Yak Attack Accessories

Links:

http://www.hobiecat.com/kayaking/
http://www.esteroriveroutfitters.com/
http://www.quantumfishing.com/
http://www.settlesbridgesupplyhouse.com/
http://www.yakattack.us/index.html
http://www.deepsouthfishingrods.net/

 

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