The 2nd Annual Florida Sportsman Kayak Challenge is in the books.
Over the last two months, a total of 142 anglers competed in two divisions to bring home their share of over $6000 in prizes. This year’s grand prize was a Native Slayer 14 kayak for the inshore division and a Creek Company Osprey SUP for the offshore division.
The competition began early on as anglers wasted no time posting entries. Forum members Hookset81 and Nelbag were the first to post on the inshore division thread. They were followed by forum member jbro who posted over 100-inches in his first entry, then sat back and relaxed while everyone else tried to catch up. Jason Broach (jbro) won the division with a three fish cumulative measurement of 107.5-inches, followed by Brian Nelli (Nelbag) and Pepi Vidal (Pepi).
The offshore division started off strong but was hampered by wind and wave later in the event. Nelbag struck first in this division as well, being the only angler to post entries in both divisions. In the end, Nelli won the division with 135.5-inches between four fish followed by Doug Perez (Flats Broke) for 2nd. Because the rules state that an angler can only win in one division, Brian was awarded 1st Place in the offshore division while Pepi was moved up to 2nd in the inshore division.
Several anglers won weekly prizes for the largest fish caught in each division during the week. The largest for the tournament was a 48-inch kingfish caught by Doug Perez in the offshore division and a 41-inch redfish caught by Eric Henson (echkayak) inshore. Both of these fish shattered last year’s record fish.
“This event was a success due to the sponsors and the participation of Florida’s best anglers,” said Tournament Director Bob Bramblet, “Congratulations to the winners and to all of the anglers who participated.”
Sponsors for the event included YakAttack, who provided custom “BlackPak crate systems” with the tournament logo; Unfair Lures, who provided special prizes for the first 50 registered anglers as well as weekly prize packs for the biggest fish caught; and Yak Gear who donated a treasure trove of Railblaza products. Additional prizes were also supplied by Marx Sporting Goods, Flying Fisherman, Bending Branches and Illumarine.
In keeping with Florida Sportsman tradition, all proceeds from the tournament are being donated to a worthy cause. This year’s recipient is the Florida Chapters of Heroes on the Water. Heroes on the Water serves our Nation’s wounded veterans by providing healing and rehabilitating kayak fishing outings that are physically and mentally therapeutic through their nationwide community of volunteers and donors.