Marty Meakin won the Kayak Fishing ClassicS Southern Redfish Classic and the Series Championship held on October 13 in Palmetto, Florida.
Going into the last of the ten tournament series, Meakin held the series lead by a very skinny four points and was followed by Joe Komyati. Komyati had been scoring and winning top podium finishes in the last few tournaments as Meakin was struggling. Komyati closed the lead and was closely followed by Otis Coblentz, William Lusk, Johnathan Ross and Joe Lineberry, all within striking distance of the top spot, the prizes and the Diablo Paddlesports Adios kayak. There was over $10,000 in sponsor gear and a year’s worth of bragging rights at stake.
The Southern Redfish Classic was a three-redfish slam and in this event, size really did matter. This added to Meakin’s anxiety as large reds were just not on the chew and would swim past his kayak in an obvious flaunt to the highly skilled angler. Other contestants received equal treatment and indifference to their attempts.
The sun came up on tournament day. The wind was cooking. Had Meakin prepared himself for this? Would there still be fish in his selected area or was his strategy all bonkers? Had the other anglers found fish? No one was talking as this was a top secret mission that everyone wanted to win. After driving his friends crazy for a week, Meakin decided to just go fishing and have some fun. He launched his kayak as he has so many times and paddled away.
Lusk, Coblentz and Meakin walked up to the sign-in table for weigh-in. At that moment you can tell a lot how an angler did and Meakin had that look of relief on his face. The only problem was, so did Lusk and several others that followed. As it turned out several anglers slammed and scored well. Keep in mind that an angler could win the tournament and not the series. The series score is a total of an angler’s score over ten tournaments held across the series year. A long, long series year that can wear you out and put you on your last nerve.
As officials entered the catch data into the computer it was still very close for the top anglers. Then Marty Meakin was called to the data table and his fish were entered. It was looking good for him but with several anglers to go it was still up in the air. Here is how the top five scored:
Otis Coblentz had a tough day as his rod blew up with a monster redfish next to the boat. One fish jumped as he took the entry photo which had to be disallowed and he lost his paddle to boot. He did enter the largest fish of the Southern at 26.6 inches and won the Bending Branches Paddles Big Fish Award, a new paddle, so not all bad for the experienced angler. Fifth place went to Joe Komyati with a total of 39.5 inches. Fourth Place was earned by Daniel Currey with a 57.3 inch slam. Third Place was taken by Joe Lineberry with a 62.5 inch slam. William Lusk landed Second Place with a slam measuring 67.2 inches and Marty Meakin slammed the Southern Redfish Classic with a total of 75.2 inches of redfish and captured First Place. That propelled Meakin to First Place in the series and earned him the 2012 Series Championship title. Meakin has since taken a breath and is now all smiles.
To visit the Series Sponsors and view the Series Standings please visit www.KayakFishingClassicS.com.