JACKSONVILLE, FL - MAY 14, 2011 - The kids at Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville won big at the 2011 Columbia Sportswear Kayak Fishing Classic as 406 kayak anglers raised over $33,000 for the charity's programs and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. Anglers had ideal fishing conditions in the morning and overcame a windy storm front moving through the Jacksonville area in the afternoon to check in 14 slams, 45 Redfish, 54 Trout, and 43 Flounder.
"We are thrilled to be associated with such a world-class event, and want to thank the kayak anglers, sponsors, and everyone that made the Classic happen for their generous support ", said Jeff Leach Board President, and Debbie Revels, Executive Director of DSAJ. Tournament director Mike Kogan stated, “Every year we are awed by the incredible turnout – it’s clear the popularity of kayak fishing is growing and kayak anglers love the recreational, charitable, conservation, and family-oriented format of the Classic.”
The catch-photo-release charity event run by JaxKayakFishing.com, is the world’s largest kayak fishing event for the sixth consecutive year. The 2011 Classic was led again by the title sponsorship of Columbia Sportswear, whose focus on products that allow people to enjoy the outdoors longer and more comfortably is a perfect match for kayak fishing. All the entrants received a custom shirt featuring the latest outdoor comfort, protection, and stain release technology from Columbia.
Columbia was joined by other industry leaders such as Ocean Kayaks, Malibu Kayaks, Emotion Kayaks, Hobie Kayaks, Cobra Kayaks, Freedom Hawk Kayaks, Jackson Kayaks, Diablo Paddlesports, Advanced Elements, Costa Del Mar, and Accent Paddles. The Classic also pulled together all of Northeast Florida’s kayak and fishing retailers led by Strike-Zone Fishing, Black Creek Outfitters, All Wet Sports, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Gander Mountain, and Dick's Sporting Goods to name just a few of the over 80 sponsors. Kogan related “the outstanding efforts of our volunteers and the kayak fishing community combined with the generosity of our terrific sponsors continue to make the Classic an unqualified success.”
Jim Statlick of Cocoa Beach, FL claimed the top prize in the Ocean Kayaks slam division, winning a fully-rigged Ocean Kayaks Trident Ultra 4.7 fishing kayak. His 61.1” winning slam consisted of a 30.2” red, a 15” trout, and a 15.9” flounder. Statlick was closely followed by a group of Northeast Florida anglers including Walter Gomes at 60.6”, Charles Ganoe with 58.7”, and former slam winners Todd Derringer and Frank Gregg at 58.1” and 55.8” respectively.
Roland Sage of Yulee, FL won the Hobie Kayaks trout division with a 28.1” gator trout on a day when the trout bite was fired up. Top redfish honors went to John Elomaa of Jacksonville with a 34.5” red and he scored a Malibu Stealth kayak. Leading the way in the Emotion Kayaks flounder category was Mark Bellotte of Ruskin, FL with a 19.2” flattie.
Another highlight at the Classic this year was the FishingNosara.Com Family Cup, an award that recognizes the best fishing performance by a family. The Family Cup was won by the Ganoe family of Jacksonville, FL and they will enjoy a one week vacation in Costa Rica and a shopping spree at Black Creek Outfitters.
Chase Jones won the Academy Sports & Outdoors Junior Angler and Elizabeth Saylor won the MTI Lady Angler award. Frank Gregg took the MTI Senior Angler honors and brothers Troy and Chris James tied for the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation Fly Angler award. Chad Crosby won the Strike-Zone Fishing Mystery Fish award, Mitch Granat won Hoosier Paddler’s Best Dang Tackle Box, and Andrew Godwin won the Black Creek Outfitter’s Sportsmanship award.
For more results and information about next year's Classic visit Jacksonville's kayak fishing community at www.jaxkayakfishing.com. A media and press image preview package is available online.
Special thanks go out to the volunteers and over 80 sponsors who supported the Classic including: Columbia Sportswear, Strike Zone Fishing, BlackCreek Outfitters, Yak-Gear.Com, Academy Sports, Gander Mountain, Dick’s Sporting Goods, All Wet Sports, Ocean Kayaks, Accent Paddles, Hobie Kayaks, Cobra Kayaks, Costa Del Mar, Malibu Kayaks, Jackson Kayaks, FreedomHawk Kayaks, Emotion Kayaks, Advanced Elements, Diablo Paddlesports, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Slayer Lures, Cannon Paddles, FINS, Extrasport, Creative Feathers Studio, Outdoors Show, Okuma Fishing, Navionics, Mirrolure, Daiwa, DOA Lures, Calcutta, Crack of Dawn, MTI, Surf To Summit, Malone Auto Racks, KayakFishingSupplies.Com, Kayak Amelia, Florida Sportsman, Carlisle Paddles, Humminbird, Kayak Fisherman Magazine, B&M Bait&Tackle, Talic, RAM, Polar Bear Coolers, Otter Box, Scotty Rod Holders, Daiichi Hooks, Cannon Downriggers, Hook1, GearKeeper, Slayer Lures, Fishbites, ThermaCELL, Exude Mister Twister, Kayak Angler Magazine, Stohlquist, AquaEast, Wheeleez, White Shell Bait&Tackle, Arlington Bait&Tackle, Extrasport, Carlisle, Precision Pak, 321Fish.Com, Fisherman’s Seafood & Bait, YakLife.Com, TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group, Wang Anchors, Skwoosh, Florida Sportfishing, IrishWaterDogs.com, Stowmaster Nets, St. Croix Rods, StandNFish.Com, FlyFishingJax.Com, West Marine, Qualia Fishing, SeaSpecs.Com, EmmRod, TheMangler.Com, Coastal Angler Magazine, Minuteman Press, Void Magazine, IFA Kayak Fishing Tour, Bomber Saltwater Grade Lures, FishingNosara.Com, TAllenRods.Com, Sticky Fingers BBQ.