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New Jersey angler, Tom Michael, qualifies for Hobie Fishing Worlds IV

Milam (R), Michael and Ofner show off their trophies.
Milam (R), Michael and Ofner show off their trophies.

New Jersey’s Tom Michael took top honors this past weekend in the inaugural Hobie Bass Open, earning him a ticket to compete in this year’s Hobie Fishing World Championship, compliments of Hobie Cat Company and Marshall County Kentucky Tourism. Tom also walked away with $1200 in cash and a Power-Pole® MICRO™ anchor. Texan Rob Milam took second and $800. Richard Ofner from Ontario, Canada placed third, winning $500. The field of competitors included a total of 33 seasoned anglers from all over North America. The top three finishers each traveled over 10 hours for the chance to all compete for a second time in the World’s.

This Qualifier for the Hobie Fishing Worlds IV was held at Kentucky Lake Dam Village State Resort Park in Kentucky. The qualifying event offered competitors the chance to join Hobie Fishing Team Captain, Justin Carter, and 2013 IFA Champion, Steve Lassard, to represent Team USA at the Hobie Fishing Worlds in Amsterdam, Netherlands, October 6-10, 2014. All brands of non-motorized kayaks, canoes and SUP’s were invited to participate.

With water temperatures ranging from 78-82 degrees, most of the quality fish had gone deeper. Anglers making this adjustment were rewarded with nice fish and daily limits. Air temperatures in the mid- to upper 80's and high humidity posed a threat for afternoon storms, but the bulk of shower activity held off until anglers were off the water for the final weigh-in. Saturday night festivities included a hot dog roast with all the fixings and musical entertainment from country music singer, Daniel Lee Martin.

The Hobie Bass Open was the second in a series of four qualifying events being held in the U.S. and one in Canada that give anglers the opportunity to qualify for five coveted spots on the North American team. The three remaining events are listed below:

June 22 - IFA Kayak Tournament, Jacksonville, Florida –

June 28 - Border City Classic, Windsor, Ontario, Canada –

July 12 – Oregon Rockfish Classic, Depoe Bay, Oregon -

For more information and to register, go to

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