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The AFWC was held down in Delacroix earlier this month and though I didn’t fish the event, I did get a chance to fish with a friend who was in town for the event while he was staying in Delacroix.  James McBeath is the Director of Marketing over at Jackson Kayak and a former Musky Fly Fishing Championship World champion.  We’ve had the pleasure of fishing together in the 10,000 islands of Florida and the Pacific coast of Panama  and I was excited to get the chance to fish with him again, but this time on some local water.

We picked a really great day to get together as the weather turned out to be absolutely gorgeous – it was about as good as you could ask for when it comes to Louisiana redfishin’.  Little to no wind, bright blue skies, tide not too low or high, and absolutely perfect temps, which all added up to great sightfishing conditions and active redfish.

We explored an area within the AFWC boundaries that I had yet to fish and was happy to find as I fought and landed more reds than I cared to count, and in some of the shallowest and clearest flats I’ve ever seen in Lousiana.  A bonus to fishing in Delacroix was the bass bycatch – It shouldn’t, but it always surprises me when I see them on the end of the line while I’m redfishing.

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It was an absolute pleasure to fish with James again.  I have not done a whole lot of fishing in Delacroix and am still learning the area so it was nice to check out some new water with James and have some success while we were at it.  We had a lot of fun, caught a bunch of fish and hopefully I was able to help him in some small way with his top 10 finish in the AFWC.

 

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:

EAST
Where: Cedar Island,NC
When: May 24th, 2014

NORTHEAST
Where: North Wildwood,NJ
When: May 31st, 2014

SOUTHEAST
Where:Jacksonville,FL
When: June 7th, 2014

WEST:
Where: Lake Ouachita,AR
When: November 8th, 2014

LOUISIANA:
Where: Cocodrie,LA
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!