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Yak Hunters Elite Series

REEL TALK from the LEADERS

REEL TALK from the LEADERS

by Matt Kouimtzis

3 weeks ago


GREG RIGBY

One of our NSW competitors Greg Rigby, who is currently placed 1st in the Elite Series on 190 points, took time to talk to me about his passion for fishing and what he thought about the first two rounds.

Tell us a bit about yourself; where are you from, how long have you been kayak fishing for and what is your vessel?

A: I grew up in a small country town and was introduced to fishing at 3 my by grandfather, I only started kayak fishing 6 years ago though while living on the Sunshine Coast and from there I have moved from a Malibu Mini-x to a Hobie Outback and I now have a Hobie ProAngler14 which I find to be ideal for these tournaments (but by no means a requirement

What do you like about the Yak Hunters Elite Series?

A: The series has provided lots of anglers with a chance to get out their and dip their paddle in the tournament scene in a very casual and fun way. It gives everyone chance to get on the water and learn from each other.

What has been working for you in the rounds?

A: Both of these last 2 rounds have required some variety of gear and techniques to find the quality fish. In the first round the water was very low and I found the fish hiding out on the edge of a drop off and very timid so I needed to use very small and subtle lures to entice a bite. In the second round the tide played more of a part and I found the fish on a rocky point and was able to have small divers that imitated bait fish running over the top. Next round, who knows.

Any tips for other anglers in the upcoming rounds?

A: Just get out there and give it a go, talk to everyone and ask questions. There is a huge amount of knowledge to share and most are happy to at least roughly point you in the right direction on what they think will be working. The main thing is to just get out there and have fun.

BRUCE TOZER

One of our New South Wales competitors Bruce Tozer, who is currently placed 2nd in the Pro AM Series on 200 points, took time to talk to me about his passion for fishing and what he thought about the first two rounds.

Tell us a bit about yourself; where are you from, how long have you been kayak fishing for and what is your vessel?

A: I have been a keen fisherman all my life, had a number of boats over time but now a committed kayak fisher for the last 6 years. I am also fortunate to live 100mts from the banks of Lake Macquarie in the Hunter. A mate and I used to fish often in our smaller kayaks with some success but paddling finally go to us and we splashed out and (with my wife’s blessing) we both brought a Hobie Outback with that magic reverse gear, best decision ever.

What do you like about the Yak Hunters Elite Series?

A: Fishing with the Yak Hunter group is a reel buzz… plenty of fishing interaction on a weekly basis somewhere or another. The Elite series really made me think about my fishing, space being paramount in a kayak really disciplines you. I only pack and spend some time sorting lures and only take those lures that are targeting the fish of the outing, be strong and leave the rest at home.

What has been working for you in the rounds?

A: Any success I have in the fishing is having a game plan and sticking to it, a pre-fish is helpful as you can manage it but there are heap of tips out there through articles to You-Tube grabs that will show you all you need to know.

Any tips for other anglers in the upcoming rounds?

A: I find rod choice important, I’m not happy if I can’t feel the action of my lures of choice on the day, be it vibrating lure or hard body my rod must work the lure and that I can feel it work. The Elite series allows for three rods which should match what you are throwing or trolling. Fishing as light as you dare also benefits the lure action

NEAL PALMER

One of our South Australia competitors Neal Palmer, who is currently placed 2nd in the Elite Series on 180 points, took time to talk to me about his passion for fishing and what he thought about the first two rounds.

Tell us a bit about yourself .. where you're from, how long have you been kayak fishing for what is your vessel?

A: I’m turning the big 50 this year and have been a keen angler all my life…. and always will be. While living in SA’s mid north I enjoyed my land based creek fishing and the occasional trip to the mighty Murray River. However it wasn’t until my return to Adelaide about 5 years ago that I got my first fishing kayak and have fished nearly every weekend ever since!

What do you like about the series?

A: I’m really enjoying the concept of a national series with multiple fish species and venues for all states. Here in SA we’re fishing up stream in the fresh Murray River for Golden Perch, then downstream to where the river meets the sea the at the magnificent Coorong Estuary for Mulloway. Also included are 2 Bream rounds which find us in a controlled tidal lake system at West Lakes fishing pontoons then onto the Onkaparinga River with its shallow muddy banks and more natural surrounds.
It’s a great mix, a great challenge and a well-run competition, enjoying it all the way!

What has been working for you so far in the rounds?

A: “Rick’s Fish on Plastics” from the ScrewLoose fishing team have got me among the Mulloway and Bream in the first 2 rounds. 2.5” and 3” paddle tails did the job there alongside Gulp worms and Berkley Drop Shots for the touchy bream. I’ll be looking toward some big bright vibes for the next round in the Murray River chasing Golden Perch.

Any tips for other anglers in the upcoming rounds?

A: Cast, cast, cast! Never give up, keep working the targets and techniques that have worked for you in the past and it will only a matter of time before you feel that weight!
Most of all enjoy the series for what it is, a great day out fishing with mates.
 

CHRIS “CRAFTY” MILLER

One of our South Australia competitors Chris “Crafty” Miller, who is currently placed 1st in the Pro AM Series on 210 points, took time to talk to me about his passion for fishing and what he thought about the first two rounds.

Tell us a bit about yourself .. where you're from, how long have you been kayak fishing for what is your vessel?

A: Hey lads and ladettes its pro staffer crafty from “Radelaide” here so where do I start, been kayak fishing for about two years on my 2014 Hobie PA12. In that short time have fished almost every weekend and been on plenty of adventures.

What do you like about the series?

A: The main thing I love about the series is the different venues and species. Being able to target Mulloway on the soft plastics one event to callop up the fresh on spinners and vibes. Also they are very well run and organized not to mention meeting new people is always great fun.

What has been working for you so far in the rounds?

A: For me persistence has been the key with a lot of casts and areas hit. Both events I had a game plan which I stuck to and managed two great results. And if something wasn’t working I was happy to mix it up.

Any tips for other anglers in the upcoming rounds?

A: Cast cast cast cast and just when you think about relaxing lol cast some more and never give in till the last moments in saying that ENJOY the event. We don’t head out there to pass time we head out because we love it. And as always “FISH ON

RICHARD ORCHARD

One of our Queensland competitors Richard Orchard, who is currently placed 3rd in the Pro AM Series on 185 points, took time to talk to me about his passion for fishing and what he thought about the first two rounds.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

For all my life I have had a love for the outdoors and in particular water activities, all of them, and made a carrier out of this interest, I started out commercial fishing, moved to charter fishing and then took up a role with Parks and Wildlife as a Ranger/Vessel Master working on the Great Barrier Reef. This was an awful job and I only stayed for 18 years before moving to Brisbane in 2008 to work in Moreton Bay Marine Parks. I was at a bit of a loss fishing wise as I was a mad Barra fisherman but a friend got me into kayak bream fishing and before I knew it I had a new passion.

What do you like about the series?

The main draw card is that it is set up for everybody, it doesn’t matter if you are a champion angler or a beginner you are in with a chance. I provided advice to a beginner at Round 1 and watched him take 3 place in Round 2, I like to think I helped even just a little bit as there were many others that also helped him out, which leads me to another point I like about the series, Its friendly. I have meet many like minded people and formed new friendships.
The running of the series is also a point that I feel needs to be commented on, I fish in the Queensland series and the people running the tournaments here are doing an outstanding job. It takes a lot of work to achieve a well-run tournament, my thanks to all.

What has been working for you so far in the rounds?

I was lucky to have Round 1 in one of my favorite locations and the target species was another of my favorite fish, Bass. Using my Garmin side scan to track the edge of the weed beds I worked along until I located fish sitting just off the edge and then worked them with a combination of blades and tail spinners until I had a full bag of decent fish. I then swapped to a weedless rigged Slider which I worked down the face of the weed beds in the search for upgrades.
Round 2 was not as good, I targeted the target species (trevally) all day with no luck. A couple of bream (back up species) kept me in the game.

Any tips for the other anglers in the upcoming rounds?

Tournament anglers are competitive people and will do what they can to increase their chances and if you would like to be competitive then you need to do the same. Although they are friendly and will assist others in any way they can it is unlikely they would give away their secrets. If you are fishing a new area or species do some research, there is a huge amount of information available. Study up and go and practice, this means go fishing every chance you get, pre-fish a tournament location if possible. Everybody talks about lures but there is much more that you can do to improve your chances. The right equipment is important, casting a super light bream soft plastic on a snapper rod will not work very well. Which kayak is best for that location? I have 3 and use them all but one covers most of my fishing. Electronics are very useful but as with most things you get what you pay for, use the best you can afford and learn how to use all the functions that you have available. Here my top 5 tips,
1. Fish as light as possible.
2. Fish as often as possible
3. Slow down
4. Socialize with other fisher persons
5. And most importantly, don’t follow me.

There we have it. With round 3 fast approaching the current leaders are going strong. There are still plenty of points up for grabs though with bonus points as well as the leadership points winning the next 2 rounds.

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