Just wanted to drop a quick plug for the best little kayak shop on the Mississippi Gulf coast – Everything Kayak. I had the pleasure of working with them at the Gulfport Yacht and Boat Show earlier this month. They had a great set up at the show showing off a small part of their kayak and SUP inventory, which included an area where you could demo their boats. Unfortunately the weather was not very cooperative and didn’t really get a lot of people out on the water. Normally this would be a big problem for a kayak shop, but Everything Kayak has an indoor pool at the shop where you can demo anything they carry – how cool is that? So it really wasn’t a big deal to tell folks to just head up the road to demo the boat of their interest.
Typical of big boat shows, the main focus was on the boating and yachting markets, but there were a few entertaining sideshows. The Everything Kayak booth was right next to the sea lions (don’t call them seals) who put on a show every few hours that was fairly entertaining. There were also on-the-water shows showcasing the Flyboard, a jet propelled system that allows the users to hover/fly above the water on boots that spray streams of water from them. Of course our own demo boats provided a boatload of entertainment when Ed showed us an impromptu re-entry onto a SUP.
If you’re on the Mississippi Gulf coast and you have any interest whatsoever in kayaks or SUPs go check Everything Kayak out. They carry pretty much every major brand out there, so if you’re looking to compare different kayaks it is super easy with their indoor demo pool. The best bit of advice I can give anyone looking to get into kayak fishing is to demo as many boats as possible – this is a great place to do it.
“The Adventure Fishing World Championship is new format of kayak fishing that combines fishing, strategy, navigation and paddling resulting in a true Everglades Adventure! Teams of two anglers compete to reach and catch fish at 4 to 7 eligible checkpoints, in any order,and return to the start/finish before checking at 5PM with the largest total fish length. This is a catch-photo-release redfish, snook, and trout tournament. Checkpoint locations are secret until start-time and there is no suggested route. Routes will vary between 15-20 miles, and should take 6-9 hours to complete.”
It was announced last month that the AFWC would hold regional events this year that will serve as qualifiers to the 2015 championship. Here’s the info from their website on the new regionals, “Due to increased interest and the limited number of participants we can accommodate, we are establishing a regional series leading up to the 2015 championship. This allows more people to experience the thrill of adventure fishing and allows the top three teams a guaranteed spot in the championship.
Each AFWC regional will be of similar format to the championship with 5 checkpoints except the courses will be laid out where anglers can expect to paddle 5-10 miles rather than the grueling 10-20 expected at the championship. Other than that the experience is the same, a partner event with anglers required to reach and catch fish at a minimum of 2 out of 5 checkpoints and be back to the start finish line by 5PM.”
The exciting news for Louisiana kayak anglers was that one of those qualifiers will be held out of Cocodrie, LA on November 22, 2014. More on that from their website, “The 2014 Louisiana regional tournament will be held at Coco Marina in Cocodrie,LA. Teams of two anglers will compete to reach and catch fish from at least 2 of the 5 eligible checkpoints, in any order,and return to the start/finish before checking in at 5PM with the largest total fish length. This is a catch-photo-release redfish,black drum and trout tournament. Checkpoint locations are secret until start-time and there is no suggested route. Routes will vary between 5-10 miles.
There will be NO water or food support on course. Once you leave the start/finish you are on your own. There will be no drops, or other outside support available or permitted. Be prepared for any circumstances you may encounter including, but not limited to: medical emergencies, navigational errors, inoperable equipment, wild animals, and weather. All teams will be required to carry specific safety equipment.”
2014 Regional schedule:
Where: Cedar Island,NC
When: May 24th, 2014
Where: North Wildwood,NJ
When: May 31st, 2014
When: June 7th, 2014
Where: Lake Ouachita,AR
When: November 8th, 2014
When: November 22nd, 2014
I love how Louisiana is it’s own region in the schedule above – it sure feels that way at times. My good friend Casey was lucky enough to win the AFWC event held earlier this year, along with fellow Jackson teamer Steve Gibson. His blog on the event is definitely worth the read. Make sure to read all four parts.
This is a really interesting format to me and I am pretty excited that they have decided to bring it to Louisiana. Of course it is also very cool to see John Williams of Pack & Paddle get involved with the event. I’ve got the dates marked on the calendar, now I just need to find a teammate!