March 22 2019
Kayak fishing is one of the fastest-growing outdoor sports, boasting an 18% increase in participation last year and 35% growth over the past 5 years.
Professional angler Ron Champion of Richmond Hill, Georgia, has qualified for all three events in 2019. Champion remarked, “Having the chance to represent your country in anything in life is a prestigious honor. I was fortunate enough to compete in 2016 at the Hobie Fishing Worlds 6 and winning the Mike Iaconelli Celebrity Pro-Am in New Jersey last year gained me a spot on Team USA at the Hobie Fishing Worlds 8. Qualifying for the upcoming National Championship meant traveling across the country to fishing tournaments in 14 different states. Being selected to compete in the inaugural Pan-American Bass Kayak Championship is a great honor and I'm very excited for Team USA. I could not do this without the support of my family and sponsors. I look forward to competition and fellowship with many friends from across the world at these upcoming events.”
Matthew Vann commented, “My first trip to the Hobie Fishing Worlds 6 in 2016 was a life-changing experience. Since then, returning to the Worlds is my primary goal at the start of every season." Vann was named the Inshore Fishing Association's National Angler of the Year back-to-back in 2017 and 2018 which resulted in his qualification and invitation to compete in this year's Hobie Fishing Worlds 8. Vann will also compete in the 2019 Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship.
Members of Team Torqeedo are not only highly regarded anglers, they are selected to participate because they exemplify a true love for the sport, for competition and for sharing the joy of kayak fishing.
Vann runs a kayak fishing guide service, Sails and Tails Kayak Charters, helping clients target redfish, tarpon, sailfish and other inshore and offshore species in the Florida panhandle.
Vann explained, "I enjoy the adventure, challenge, and simplicity of kayak fishing. I love the sport and take great pleasure in sharing my passion and knowledge with other kayak anglers. My favorite days are when the water is clear, the bait is plentiful, the drags are screaming and the adrenaline is rushing. I enjoy tournament fishing and landing trophy fish but would have to say my greatest accomplishments are consistently helping others catch the fish of their dreams. There really is nothing like the feeling of someone telling you 'this has been the best day ever!'”
The Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) National Championship will take place March 28-30 with Torqeedo as presenting sponsor. A $50,000 grand prize will be awarded plus $5,000 in Bonus Bucks if the winner uses a Torqeedo motor during the competition. Qualifying Team Torqeedo anglers include Matt Ball (KBF National Champion, 2016), Greg Blanchard, Brad Case, Ron Champion, Jamie Denison, Craig Dye, Quinton Echols, Tom Mullins, Tim Perkins, Jody Queen, Kurt Smits (KBF National Champion, 2017), Dwayne Taff (KBF National Champion, 2018), Matthew Vann and Alan Wiedmeyer. Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, recently announced a partnership with KBF to hold two kayak bass fishing tournaments in 2019 in conjunction with FLW tour events, a move which will bring even higher visibility to the sport.
Team Torqeedo anglers invited to join Team USA at the first Pan-American Kayak Bass Championship include Priscilla Johnson, Chad Hoover, Craig Dye, Jamie Denison, Ron Champion, and Matt Ball. USA Bass is organizing the event in cooperation with presenting sponsor Jackson Kayak. The organization recently applied to the International Olympic Committee to recognize bass fishing as an Olympic sport.
The Hobie Fishing Worlds 8 is coming to Queensland, Australia for 2019. This international tournament brings competitors from over twenty countries together to duke it out over this year’s target species, the yellow fin bream, for the Hobie Fishing Worlds Championship Title.