Imagine being surrounded by the warm, crystal clear saline waters of a tropical island. So blue they look purple, while watching your bait get nervous as a wide array of pelagic predators cruise by in the current. The panic of the bait is followed by the flash of a shadow and a large lingering boil in that same blue water, but you are now focused on the line melting off of your reel and the adrenalin coursing through your veins.
This scene normally plays out from the teak-laden decks of multi-million dollar sportfish boats or at least the padded cockpit of a center console rocket ship, bristling with equipment meant to do battle. But no, an adventurous group of anglers from all over the country will endure the challenge of this battle at true “sea level”, from the seats of their kayaks or paddleboards.
Welcome to the Extreme Kayak/Paddleboard Fishing “Battle in the Bahamas” this coming April 24th- 27th 2014. This one of a kind adventure will begin in south Florida, where anglers and their gear will ride first class on the Bahamas Express ferry boat to Freeport/Lucaya, Bahamas, about a three hour run.
The tournament will consist of two days of fishing and the very affordable entry fee includes the entire Bahamas package. The ferry, lodging at Taino Beach for four days/three nights, food, beer, tournament entry, awards and trip home will all be included.
Anglers will compete for a first place prize of $5000 and the Extreme Super Bowl Ring worth $1,200. Joe Hector of Pompano Beach is the organizer of this and other popular kayak tournaments. He says,
“This is going to be the Superbowl of kayak tournaments, we even made a custom superbowl ring for the winners.”
Joe said, “We’ve been working on the details for two years, and the careful planning is coming together to make this a truly Extreme Kayak adventure.”
Joe comes from a background of fishing south Florida big boat tournaments for sailfish, but now has been drawn to the up-close nature of offshore kayak fishing. He also has created Extreme Kayak Fishing Magazine, which is available free in local south Florida outdoor shops.
“I modeled our kayak tournaments after my experience in big boat tourneys. The flash of the stage, the competition and the cash!
It’s really become a big beach party and has been extremely popular with kayakers from all around the country.”
Extreme Kayak Fishing puts on four tournaments now in south Florida and they often have 150 to 200 participants who catch sailfish, wahoo, kings, dolphin, grouper and snapper. This year they had their first sailfish tournament and despite the local’s best efforts, first and second place were taken by anglers from Oklahoma who made the trip with their gear to compete with the other 60 boats that fished.
The proximity of blue water in south Florida and the Bahamas puts kayakers in range of many offshore gamefish that would normally require a boat and long runs. Most of their fishing is within a mile of the beach.
Stay tuned and BD will follow the progress of anglers as they set out for adventure and good times and that winning fish.