Hobie Fishing World Championship Welcomed by Texas Hospitality

Oceanside, California – Hobie Cat Company has just welcomed and hosted 42 competitors representing 12 countries for the second annual Hobie Fishing World Championship. The final day has ended, but the fish, fun and international camaraderie will remain for many years to come for the team members that “angled” for the honor of being crowned World Champion. The event, presented by Daiwa®, took place November 4-9 just outside Austin, Texas. All competitors fished for freshwater bass from identically rigged Hobie Mirage® Pro Angler kayaks provided by Hobie Cat Company and powered by the Hobie MirageDrive®. They were all outfitted with Lowrance® Electronics and Ram® Mounting Systems. 42 competed, but it was Florida’s Marty Mood that took top honor, walking away as World Champion.

“The goal of the annual event will always be to continue building a platform for Hobie fishing competition in an environment embracing a common passion for fishing that overrides language and cultural barriers,” commented Doug Skidmore, president of Hobie Cat Company. “The event ignited the spirit of achievement and produced iconic moments and compelling stories. No matter where the anglers placed, they all had much to cheer about.”

The 2011 inaugural event in Port Macquarie, Australia was such a success that Hobie Cat and year one sponsors, Daiwa and Lowrance, were joined by new corporate partners this year including Columbia®, Gamakatsu®, Hobie Polarized and Ram® Mounting Systems. All seven companies contributed to make the Texas event possible by generously contributing to the prizes that went along with the coveted World title.

The competition was held on two well-known fisheries in Texas: Lake Bastrop and Fayette County Reservoir. Each of them holds the caliber of fish necessary for an international competition. Consistent with the conservation practices of the fisheries, the Hobie Fishing World’s was a Catch, Photograph and Release tournament (CPR). Each angler used this method to score their best three fish each day to reach their final three-day total.


Competition was serious as anglers pulled their limits from Lake Bastrop. Greeted by an overnight cool spell and temperatures in the upper 40’s, it was not long before both action and the thermometer began to heat up.

Florida’s Marty Mood bested the 42-angler field with a three fish total of 56.50 inches, a four-pound average with a kicker weighing nearly five pounds. Mood’s day on the water was productive, but not without its share of frustration as he lost his largest fish early on.

Right behind Mood was fellow Floridian and Hobie teammate, John Donahue. Matt Petrie from Australia led the international contingent during his first trip to Texas and first swing at a Large Mouth Bass.

A little over seven inches separated the Top 10 as anglers made the move to Fayette County Reservoir where a new location and new challenges awaited them on Day Two.


A new day brought a new body of water and new names to the leaderboard.

Henna Honkanen of Finland bested all anglers for the day, moving into second place overall with a three-fish bag measuring 55.75 inches and nearly a four-pound average. Louisiana’s Brendan Bayard moved into first place overall ahead of Marty Mood with another 50-plus- inch bag. The tight-lipped Bayard was not sharing much information, but felt confident his patterns would hold up. “Most of my fish aren’t turning on until 10:30 or 11:00am, so I’ve got some time to try some things early on and then look for a kicker.”

Mood’s patterns didn’t transfer well from Bastrop to Fayette, but the Florida angler eked out a limit, catching his last bass with five minutes left in the day to stay in contention.

Overall, the international anglers rebounded very well on Day 2, coming away with eight places in the Top 10.


Three days produced a lot of great anglers. In the end, though, it was the consistency of Pensacola, Florida‘s Marty Mood that paid off and gained him the trophy, prize package and automatic entry to next year’s event.

Mood’s three fish bag for the day measured 58.85 inches with a four-pound average and was his best of the tournament, bringing his total score to 161 inches for his three day total. Though Mood’s mornings were slow, he came on strong catching most of his keepers within the last two hours of each day.

“Words can’t describe what this means to me. I mean…I’ve got goose bumps,” Mood commented as he received his trophy from Scotty Baker of Australia, winner of last year’s inaugural event. This has been a great experience and I now can’t wait until the next one,” Mood said onstage before the field and onlookers. “The competitors have become my friends.”

Italy’s Gianluca Armani’s second place finish brought roars from the crowd as the boisterous Italian could only exclaim that, “This is incredible…. so much fun.” Gianluca’s 50.5-inch bag increased his total to 151.25, finishing just ahead of Singapore’s Johnson Lee’s third place bag of 150.75.

Rob Milan from the home state of Texas took a very respectable 5th Place to join Marty Mood as the two Americans in the Top Ten. “It was an incredibly competitive field and I’m very happy with my 5th place finish. It gives me four steps upwards to work toward for next year’s competition!”

The date and host country of the third annual “World’s” will be announced early next year.

For more information, check out the event website.