Frantisek is a veteran tournament angler. Since 2014 he has been travelling throughout Europe to fish tournaments, make new friends but most importantly, enjoy Hobie kayak fishing! See what he has to say about tournament fishing.

You fished the venue before. What do you think of the fishing at the Vinkeveense Plassen?
Yes, I have been there before. In 2014 I was there for my first Hobie Worlds. I really enjoyed fishing there. Vinkeveense Plassen belongs to my favourite fishing spots, which I visited. It has a lot of beautiful places, where you can catch nice fish.

You fish a lot of tournaments, what do you like about tournament fishing?
I love the tournament atmosphere. On every tournament Hobie provides good organisation and guys from Hobie Europe are always helpful. Attending tournaments means meeting new wonderful people, sharing amazing moments, meeting my old friends from around the world and of course being part of the big Hobie family.

How do you prepare for a tournament?
Honestly, I don’t have a lot of time to preparing, because the predator season just started in Slovakia. During the summer I’m planning to go fishing a lot!  We don’t have such beautiful water as the Vinkeveense Plassen here is Slovakia. None of the lakes here is as deep but I’ll try my best. I’ll visit the best dams in Slovakia, for example: Liptovska Mara, Orava dam, Zemplinska Sirava. Those belong to my favourite fishing spots! I’m dissapointed that zander isn’t a target fish in this years tournament, as zander is my favorite species to fish for. I hope that I’ll be in my top shape on the tournament, but we will see what the water brings :-).

What was your most special moment in a tournament? What made this moment special?
Every Hobie tournament brings special moments, because of that I don’t really have a number one. I like to remember my first Hobie Fishing Euro’s in the Netherlands in 2014 where the first fish I caught was a carp. I always smile when I think about this moment. I also enjoy memories about the Hobie Fishing Worlds 2016 in Louisiana, where I caught beautiful Redfish. I really enjoy every single tournament. Those three days where I’m surrounded by my friends are itself the best moment I can have from any Hobie tournament.

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Competitors of HFE4 will get to use brand new measuring boards.

  



It’s a light-weight, easy to handle aluminium measuring board. The board can be used to measure fish up to 130 centimetres in a quick, harmless way. With 3 holes throughout the length, it can be secured with a leash any way an angler wants.

“With this new measuring board, competitors can measure big fish themselves. There is no longer the need to call and wait for the marshal boat. This is much better for the well-being of the fish and the angler can go back to fishing quicker.” Gero Priebe says. “We are really happy to have them available for HFE4.”

Marshal boats will still be patrolling the water for anglers safety.

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The city of Åmål in Sweden will host the 2018 Hobie Fishing Worlds 7 in May 2018. Situated on the coast of Lake Vänern, Sweden’s and one of the three largest lakes in continental Europe. In addition to its chocolate box houses and Swedish history, the location offers incredible kayak fishing withspecies including its own native Salmon, Trout, Zander, Pike, and Perch. The Target Species for our World Champion hopefuls will be predators: Perch and Pike.

More information: www.hobiefishingworlds.com

We are also glad to announce that the runner up of the Hobie Fishing Euro’s 2017 will also qualify to fish the 2018 Hobie Fishing Worlds 7. Don’t hesitate and sign up now!

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Salah el Barbouchi already secured a spot on team Europe for the Hobie Fishing Worlds 7. He won the World Predator Classic Kayak Event in Hellevoetsluis last June. In September he will make a attempt to end up on the podium during the 4th Hobie Fishing European Championships powered by Lowrance & C-MAP. This is how he prepares.

This is your first Hobie Fishing Euro. What do you expect?
Yeah exactly, this will be my first Hobie Fishing European Championship, but not my first Hobie kayak event. So the expectations are the same for me now as in the past. I just want to spend some time with other like-minded kayak anglers. So 3 days, where I only have to talk about kayaking and fishing! Of course, I also want to catch fish and land in at least the top 10. At the end of the day the experience you take from such competitions is worth its weight in gold.

Ja genau, das wird meine erste Hobie Fishing European Championship , aber nicht mein erstes Hobie kayak Event. Deshalb sind die Erwartungen wie bei den letzten Malen auch. Ich möchte einfach gerne eine coole Zeit mit anderen Kajakverrückten verbringen. 3 Tage, wo ich gerne nur noch übers Kajak und Angeln reden kann . Natürlich will ich auch Fische fangen und mindestens in den Top 10 landen. Aber schon alleine die Erfahrung die man aus solchen Wettbewerben mitnimmt ist Gold wert.

The Vinkeveense Plassen is a new water for you, how can you prepare yourself?
I think I’ll just do what I always do when I fish on foreign waters. I try to get as much information as I can beforehand. For this I use primarily the Internet (forums, Youtube, pictures, etc.). Otherwise, I also question friends who know the water. Of course, I will also get some practice in at least 1 or 2 times on the water itself to explore and create my own impression of what lies ahead.

Ich denke mal, dass ich so vorgehen werde, wie sonst auch immer, wenn ich auf fremden Gewässern angeln gehe. Ich versuche vorher an so viele Infos zu kommen wie es nur möglich ist. Dafür nutze ich In der Regel hauptsächlich das Internet ( Foren, Youtube , Bilder etc. ). Ansonsten befrage ich auch Freunde, die das Gewässer kennen.
Natürlich werde ich auch mindestens 1- bis 2-mal das Gewässer selber beangeln, um mir einen eigenen Eindruck zu schaffen.

What is your favourite fishing technique and why?
I like to fish! That consists of lots of throwing, jigging and twitching. I prefer soft lures in a medium size between 9 and 13 cm. I stick to the opinion that such a medium sized lure is great for catching all fish sizes and species. On deeper waters with good fish stocks, I like to fish pelagic style. This is not an easy thing to do in a competition, but it could be the key to success if the fish are not at the bottom of the water or are unwilling to bite.

Ich fische gerne aktiv! Das heißt, viel Werfen, Jiggen und Twitchen. Ich bevorzuge Softlures in einer mittleren Größe zwischen 9 und 13 cm. Ich bin der Meinung, dass man mit solchen
mittleren Köder, alle Fischgrößen und Fischarten fangen kann.
Auf tieferen Gewässern mit gutem Fischbestand, befische ich gerne die Sprungschicht gerne pelagisch. Bei einem Wettbewerb ist das zwar keine einfach Sache, es könnte aber der Schlüssel zum Erfolg sein, wenn die Fische sich nicht am Gewässergrund aufhalten, oder einfach gerade nicht fressen wollen.

What was your most special tournament moment? What made this moment special?
This question I can answer immediately with a smile on my face, because my special tournament moment was just a few days ago. I was able to win the World Predator Classic 2017 and thus secure my participation in the Hobie Fishing Worlds. It was important for me to meet the trust of my sponsors. One cannot lose sight of his goal in order to reach success.

Diese Frage kann ich ab sofort mit einem Lächeln im Gesicht beantworten, denn mein besonderer Turniermoment ist grade mal paar Tage her. Ich konnte die World Predator Classic 2017 gewinnen und mir somit eine Teilnahme bei der Hobie Fishing Worlds sichern. Es war mir einerseits wichtig, dem Vertrauen meiner Sponsoren gerecht zu werden und das man trotz eines eventuellen Missgeschickes weiter sein Ziel nicht aus den Augen lässt um selber für sich erfolgreich zu sein.

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Miguel Garrido represented Spain during the 6th Hobie Fishing Worlds held in Louisiana, USA. This year he will represent Spain during the Hobie Fishing European Championship powered by Lowrance & C-MAP, in chase of a spot on Team Europe for the Hobie Fishing Worlds 7.

You fished the 6th Hobie Fishing Worlds, how was the experience?
The experience at the Hobie Fishing Worlds in Louisiana was amazing. A new fishing environment, a very large country with a great variety of species for fishing but above all: a lot of fishing fondness. Also, the fact of meeting fishermen from different countries has been another great experience. The day to day activities with all of them has been very cherishing and exceptional. Sharing our fishing chronicles and even exchanging all kinds of techniques and lures. Honestly, it has been unforgettable and I’m really looking forward to the next event.

La experiencia en el Mundial de Hobie en Louisiana fue impresionante. Un nuevo entorno de pesca, un país muy extenso y con gran variedad de especies para la pesca pero sobre todo mucha afición a la pesca. También el echo de conocer a pescadores de diferentes países a sido otra gran experiencia. La convivencia con todos ellos ha sido muy nutrida y excepcional. Compartiendo nuestras crónicas de pesca e incluso intercambiando todo tipo de técnicas y señuelos. Sinceramente inolvidable y con ganas de estar en la siguiente cita.

How do you think fishing from a kayak gives you an advantage?
It gives certain advantages, especially the possibility of getting to sites that would otherwise be complicated in any other way. It is silent way of fishing and you’re a part of the environment. Specifically from my Mirage ProAngler 14 the fishing is even more impressive. Ease of navigation, speed  and stability when fishing.

Da ciertas ventaaj, sobre todo la posibilidad de llegar a sitos que de otra forma seria complicado en cualquier otro medio. Es una pesca silenciosa en comunidad constante con el medio ambiente. Concretamente desde mi Mirage ProAngler 14 la pesca es aun mas impresionante. Facilidad de navegación, rapidez de desplazamiento y estabilidad en acción de pesca.

What fishing techniques do you use from a kayak?
The technique I use to fish from my kayak will depend on the time of year in which it is practiced. But I usually practice Power Fishing, an active fishing and especially destined to cover large bodies of water to find active fish.

La tecnica que utilizo para pescar desde mi kayak va ha depender de la época del año en la que se practique. Pero normalmente practico el Power Fishing, una pesca activa y sobre todo destinada a batir muchas masa de agua para encontrar peces activos.

What do you expect from the Hobie Fishing Euro in Vinkeveen?
I hope it will be a meeting with all the colleagues from Hobie Europe and especially the step before the Hobie World Cup 2017. Meet some mates in an unknown but striking environment. With different species, a challenge but, above all, a new experience held by Hobie Europe. Let’s hope the weather goes along and the fishes too!

Espero que sea un encuentro con todos los compañeros de Hobie Europa y sobre todo el paso previo al Mundial de Hobie 2017. Encontrar a compañeros de convivencia en un entorno desconocido pero a la vez llamativo. Con diferentes especies, todo un reto y sobre todo una nueva experiencia de la mano de Hobie Europa. Esperemos que el tiempo acompañe y los peces también.

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Anglers from around the whole world already enhance their on the water vision using Hobie Polarized sunglasses. We, from Hobie Kayak Europe are proud to welcome Hobie Polarized as sponsor for this years event. “Our goal is to get the best partners out there and this brought us together with Hobie Polarized.” Gero Priebe says. Their range of high quality glasses offer the best there is for the recreational and competitive angler.  
 
Check out their full range at: www.hobiepolarized.com
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The 4th Hobie Fishing European Championship powered by Lowrance & C-MAP will be held at the Vinkeveense Plassen in the Netherlands from the 8th till the 10th of September. In 2014, this beautiful lake was the tournament arena for the 4th Hobie Fishing Worlds.

“After visiting France in 2015 and Sweden in 2016, it felt right to go back to the Netherlands. Behind the scenes we are already preparing to make this event the best one yet.”  Gero Priebe says. The Vinkeveense Plassen, stretching over 2400 acres, is a former peat cutting area. It is one of the clearest lakes in the Netherlands, holding a large and healthy stock of predatory fish. Pike and Perch are marked as target species.

Like all previous editions, the HFE4 is a two day event. The angler with the most aggregate length over the two days will win the title of European Champion, a spot on team Europe for the Hobie Fishing Worlds 7 including a flight voucher and a prize package provided by our sponsors. Competitors must fish from a Hobie Mirage Kayak. The entry fee for this two day event is 100 EUR.

Registration is open from April 18th and can be done at:

www.hobiefishingeuros.com/sign-up 

VVP verhuur in Vinkeveen is the official accommodation for HFE4 and offers special rates for competitors. “Located directly at the lake and just a two minute walk from the launching site, this is the ideal base for every competitor of the 4th Hobie Fishing European Championship powered by Lowrance & C-MAP” according to Gero. There are different options for staying at VVP Verhuur. More info can be found at our website. Don’t miss out and arrange your accommodation quickly.

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Florian Le Hetet, the Hobie Fishing European Champion wanted us to share this with all of you:

Greetings to everyone,

I just want to write a short note to thank you a lot! I really had a blast with you all, I’m sorry that my English is really bad because it kept me from speaking with you but we understood each other with our eyes. You are all great people and scary competitors. Luck was on my side all these days, it’s nice when it happens!

I congratulate the organisation team who have been awesome without forgetting the different sponsors of this great event who spoiled me so big for this first place (like hobie, lowrance, savager’s, shimano, etc….)
I also want to greet here the French team because without them and their good mood, nothing of it all would have been possible. Herve Martin’s determination (from Savager’s) did bring us to the best of our capacities, and he did not hesitate to forget about himself to take care of the logistics and the the transportation of the material. 

Thank you very much to all of you!

This event was kind of magical for me and will remain so in my memory forever! 

Thanks Florian for these nice words and the best of luck in Louisiana, USA upcoming december.

Again congratulations!

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Lake Mjörn brought us the new Hobie Fishing European Champion. Florian Le Hetet from France managed to get the most centimetres of fish (461 cm!) from the immense lake into his kayak and beat all the 47 other anglers.

The Hobie Fishing European Championship powered by Lowrance & GoFree started Friday 9 September with an optional Pre Fish Day. Most anglers took advantage from this opportunity and went out on their kayaks to scout and fish the lake. During the day the competitors that signed up for the event had to register themselves at the tournament direction. They received the official tournament jersey during the sign in.

At 7:00 PM the registration closed and the Captains Briefing was about to begin. The rules and fishing zones were clarified by the tournament director before the goodie bags were handed out. We are very thankful to our sponsors: Lowrance, GoFree, Rapala, Storm and VMC to all contribute to this great package. The anglers got some lures, hooks and protective equipment. Lowrance & GoFree contributed in the way of mapping the complete lake with Insight Genesis, giving a complete depth chart of the tournament arena. After the briefing the Lowrance & GoFree staff made hotdogs for all the competitors before everybody returned to their accommodation to prepare for the competition day one.

Anglers arrived on site for the first competition day around 5:00 AM. While they were busy preparing their kayaks, the morning briefing was prepared. After checking various weather reports it turned out that they all agreed. The conditions were going to be very rare for Lake Mjörn, but amazing for the competition. The wind would max around 7-8 km/hr and the sun was there to give it a comfortable 21 degrees Celcius. Locals told us this only happens a few days a year.

The national anthem played across the water just before 48 anglers pedalled their way through the Lowrance & GoFree starting line. The sight of this is stunning every time again. Most anglers were still working their way to their first waypoint when the first call came to one of the marshal boats. Jeroen Dirkzwager from the Netherlands had a pike that needed measurement. “As everybody raced off to their first fishing point, I noticed a large group of baitfish on my sounder. I thought, why not give it a go. And so I did. I threw the lure and boom!” Jeroen said about his early catch. A nice 83 cm pike was the first recorded catch of the competition.
The rest of the day went by silently as only two more fish were measured by the marshal boats early in the morning. When all competitors came back to the event site it was clear catching fish was not the problem. Almost everyone caught fish, but they were struggling to get a legal sized fish on the board.

31 out of 48 anglers managed to get fish after the first day. Mikael Puhakka from Sweden took the lead with 202 cm of fish recorded to his memory card. Austria angler, Rene Winklinger (189 cm) claimed second place just before Florian Le Hetet (162 cm) from France at the 3rd best spot.

When the anglers had prepared their kayaks for the second day Sunday morning at 6:00 AM, we shared the weather conditions with all the competitors. We were going to see Lake Mjörn how it normally is. Windy, with some rain. Luckily all anglers came prepared for rainy weather so that wasn’t any problem for the guys.

When they took off from the Lowrance & GoFree starting line, the weather was not bad at all, it was actually quite pleasant. They rain waited till 9:00AM and this gave the competitors some time to find their spots before it started raining. The MirageDrive came in convenient to manage the wind. As they just pedalled into the wind they kept their location perfectly while fishing.

As this day, no marshals were contacted to measure fish it was unclear what was happening on the water.  We had to wait till everybody came back and filled out the score cards.

At 3:00PM all anglers were back and score cards had been filled out. It was now for the tournament team to file all the scores and check the photos.

The award ceremony took place at Nolhaga Slott in the city of Alingsås. The prize table containing prizes for the top 10 anglers was set up in the backyard of the beautiful mansion. We would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to: Lowrance, GoFree, Shimano, Storm, Rapala and Sufix to come up with these amazing prizes for us to give away.

As all competitors arrived at the castle first thing to do was to take a group photo. Straight after, the award ceremony began.

“ I want to start with a special thanks to those who make these events possible and they are:

Lowrance, GoFree, Rapala Shimano, Storm Lures, VMC Hooks, Sufix and to the competitors for making the 3rd Hobie Fishing Euros possible. With the local Sportfishing Club – Alingsas Sportfiskeförening – we also had a supporting partner on-site without which HFE3 wouldn´t have been possible at one of the best fisheries in the south west of Sweden. “ Gero Priebe from Hobie Kayak Europe started.

This tournament will go into the books as the most successful one yet. A staggering 40 out of 48 anglers got on the result list. To get on here they needed to catch at least one legal sized fish during the two competition days.

As the scores were announced people got excited to enter the top ten. Place 10 to 1 all got a bag of Storm lures and Rapala goodies. The higher we got the more impressive the prize package was. The top 5 was blessed to get brand new Shimano gear included as well. Rods and reels all over the place. Lowrance & GoFree topped of the prize package by giving away sounders to place 3 and up.

  1. Francois Schmitt
    9. Jaroslav Rozhoň
    8. Jesus Lacasta
    7. Mads Søe
    6. Rob Staigis
    5. Bjarne Nielsen
    4. Jeroen Dirkzwager

All were called up to stage and handed their prizes. This only left the top 3. It was clear now this hasn’t changed from day one. The only question left is, did the order change?

To accept the third place prizes, Rene Winklinger from Austria was called upon stage. A total of 349 centimeters was enough for him to take the stage. He was given a Storm Lure package, Shimano Zodias 6’6” ML rod and a Citiga baitcaster reel, Lowrance Hook 4 fishfinder.

Second place was for Mikael Puhakka. He lead the competition going into day one, but despite having a better second day it just wasn’t enough to claim the top spot. He got onto stage and received a Storm Lure package, Shimano Expride rod and Stradic CI4+ 1000FB reel and a Lowrance Elite 7Ti fishfinder.

Mikael Puhakka: “I am very happy ending up 2nd place in this year´s event, although I would have loved to win the title here in Sweden. No question! Congratulations to all of you and Thanks to all competitors for a tightly fought competition. See you all soon!“

The second place also qualifies for the Hobie Fishing Worlds held in Lousiana, USA later this year. But… Mikael already qualified for this even because he won the Swedish National Championship. So… The qualifying spot went to Rene Winklinger. This wasn’t the only extra prize for Rene as he also caught the biggest fish of the competition. He landed a 88 cm pike in the first hours of the competition giving him an extra Strom Lures Package.

Rene Winklinger reaction: „I just started kayak fishing a few month ago and since I like tournament fishing I just signed up for HFE3. It turned out to be the right decision. I ended up 3rd place overall and caught the biggest fish of the tournament. The event was thrilling and exciting right up to the event! I´ve never been to the US. Going there in December to fish the Hobie Worlds and represent Austria is something I still need to realise.“

After announcing second place, everybody knew already. The winner of the 3rd Hobie Fishing European Championship powered by Lowrance & GoFree is Florian Le Hetet from France!!

As he was in third place after day one he had to get a really good day to beat the number one and two. And he did. He managed to get 299 centimeters of fish in his kayak and ended up with a total of 461 centimeter. Enough to claim the top spot together with the prize package: Storm Lure Package, Shimano Poison Adrena 166MH rod and Stella spinning reel, a Lowrance HDS-7 Gen3 fishfinder and qualification to the Hobie Fishing Worlds together with a flight voucher to Louisiana, USA.

Florian Le Hetet on his win: „I can´t believe that I won the title here in Sweden. I am more than happy with my results. What an exceptional adventure and fun weekend. Being qualifed for the Worlds in Louisiana means a lot to me and I can´t wait to compete against kayak anglers from all over the world. Allez le bleus!!!“

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The 3rd Hobie Fishing European Championship powered by Lowrance & GoFree are over. It has been an amazing weekend with lot’s of fish caught. A total of 40 out of 48 anglers managed to get on the result list.

Going into day two, Mikael Puhakka from Sweden had a small lead on the other competitors. As the conditions were a lot tougher this day, it really was an open competition. Lot’s of wind made the competitors change their tactics, but this is where the MirageDrive kayaks got in and proved their strenght again. Pedalling against the wind keeps the kayaks right on position.

When the competitors came back to the event site it was clear a lot of them managed to find fish and the tournament team went to sort out the scoring. Anglers packed everything up and went to freshen up before the Award Dinner at Nolhage Slott later the evening.

After the group photo has been made it was time to go to the Award giving. We got amazing price packages for the top 10. We are very grateful to our sponsors: Lowrance, GoFree, Shimano, Rapala, Storm, VMC and Sufix to provide these.

This year the top three competitors shared two things. They were all new to the Hobie Fishing European Championships, and they are very good anglers.

Rene Winklinger came in Third Place. He managed to get a big pike in day one and filled up his bags with smaller pikes, perch and zanders. He got a total of 349 cm’s of fish to claim his position. Besides getting the 3rd place, the 88 cm pike he got in day one, he took the Big Fish Award. Great Job!

Second place was for the Swedish angler Mikael Puhakka. Het lead the competition after day one, but despite his better second day (224 cm of fish) he couldn’t hold the lead. He got a total of 426 cm of fish and claimed the second place in the tournament. This position gives right to compete in 6th Hobie Fishing Worlds. It happens to be that Mikael already was qualified for the Worlds by winning the Swedish National Kayakfishing Competition. This means Rene Winklinger from Austria is qualified for the 6th Hobie Fishing Worlds in Louisiana, USA later this year. Congratulations!

This leaves only the number one. Coming from a third place after day one, Florian Le Hetet managed to get a staggering 299 cm on his measuringboard the second day. Resulting in the winning the Hobie Fishing European Championship title. He handled the winds better than anybody else and landed 6 legal size fish giving him the lead and the title. He received a great prize package including a owrance fishfinder, rod and a reel from Shimano, a Storm lure package and qualification for the 6th Hobie Fishing Worlds including a Airticket voucher to Louisiana, USA in December. Congratulations Florian!

 

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