Last weekend - 7th, 8th and 9th September - I had the opportunity to join the 5th European Hobie kayak fishing competition.
The championship was attended by 50 participants from several European countries and was held in Lake Lacanau, France. It consisted of 2 matches of 8 hours each and only 2 species were valid, Pike and Perch, of which only 3 specimens were scored in each match. The score was assigned according to the length of the fish, the fish were measured and photographed.
The 7th was official training day, it was important to get to know the lake and try to hit as much water as possible to find out where the fish were. We soon realized that there were enormous quantities of perch in the lake, the difficult thing was to get fish over 22 cm, which was the minimum size authorized by the competition. That day I got some catch, including a perch over 30 cm. I tagged some spots in the GPS and I made plans to bet on these spots on Saturday!
With the strategy outlined, Saturday I went for the tagged spots. They were deep and with lots of grass in the bottom where the fish stays, and I started to fish using the drop-shot technique with Mikado Fish-Fry and Mikado Saira, both 5cm. I kept a very accurate cadence of catches but all of them were below the minimum measure. I changed the lure for a 7.5cm Mikado Furyo with a 7g head to try to encourage only the bigger fish, but the best I could was to capture a Pike which also did not reach the 60cm, which was the minimum measure for this species. I was unable to score any fish that day, and I realized that on Sunday I would have to change the strategy and the spot, because others who opted for that area of the lake also could not catch any fish over the legal size.
After a sunny Saturday, on Sunday the weather got much worse and the organizers was forced to end the competition an hour earlier due to the thunderstorm. Even so, overcast weather made it possible to catch more fish. I totally changed the strategy and chose to fish in shallow, sandy and rock bottom areas with Mikado mini-crankbaits, Puffy and Cavalier. In less than half an hour, I got 4 legal size perch, from which I chose the 3 largest, two 28cm and one 26cm.
It was time to try the Pikes. As soon as I was prepared to change spots, the storm made fishing impossible, and I was forced out of the water for 30 minutes. I went back to the water rigged with the 13 cm Mikado Fishunter and I looked for the deepest part of the lake, where the great Pikes go, I had 2 attacks but unfortunately I could not set the hook.
I finished the championship with 82cm and with the feeling that I could have done a lot better if things didn’t go as bad on Saturday.. It was a unique experience and I learned a lot, especially when it comes Perch fishing, a species that we do not have in Portugal and with which I had never had any contact. A special thanks to the Mikado brand that bet on me and made sure that I lacked nothing in this competition!
Mikado Fishing Team