Shang Lake, Changshu, China – November 17, 2015 – The 5th Hobie Fishing World Championship presented by Rhino-Rack® came to a close on Sunday as 45 of the world’s best kayak anglers threw everything they had at the tormenting waters of Shang Lake in their quest to become the 2015 Hobie Fishing World Champion.
After 3 days of incredibly tough fishing, Ma Xiaohong from China scooped the title on the final day of competition with his Yellow Cheek Carp measuring 115cm. He took the lead from Li Haiyang, also from China, who netted two Top Mouth Culter measuring 99cm. Finn Sloth Hansen from Denmark picked up third with his Top Mouth Culter measuring 90cm.
In what has become known as the lake of a thousand casts, Shang lake and her fish proved formidable adversaries delivering only nine fish during the five days of the tournament. This situation was made even more difficult by the large numbers and sizes of fish the anglers had seen during the Lowrance navigation day. The fish were there, they just weren’t eating.
The three competition days started with the anglers standing in their Factory supplied, fully rigged, Hobie Pro Angler 14’s for the Chinese National Anthem before heading through the Power-Pole starting line and onto the tournament arena.
Conditions were consistent over the three days with mild, overcast skies and low winds. Many speculated that the fish seen on the Pre-Fish and Navigation days were less active during competition due to the temperature and a lack of wind. Whatever the reason, the fishing was incredibly tough, but not tougher than the spirits of the world class anglers who continued to go after the elusive three species each day.
Li Haiyang from China managed to land the only fish on day one measuring a 63 centimetre Top Mouth Culter at scoring.
On day two, Mr. Li added 34 centimetres to his total length with another Top Mouth Culter holding on to first place with 99 centimetres. Ian Harris from Great Britain also managed to land a Top Mouth Culter measuring 36 centimetres and secured second for the day.
The fishing improved again on the final day of competition. Mr. Li continued to work the area that had been productive over the previous two days while the rest of the Chinese competitors took a team approach and fanned out fishing the northern end of the lake.
It was Ma Xiaohong from China who topped the Lowrance Leaderboard on day three and took the title of Hobie Fishing World Champion with a massive 115cm Yellow Cheek Carp.
When asked about how it feels to be World Champion, Ma Xiao Hong replied. “I am honoured to fish for my country. I was determined to catch the biggest Yellow Cheek Carp of the competition and that is what got me here. The whole competition has been very impressive. I have been to three Worlds and this year in China has been impressive from beginning to end.”
Li Haiyang held on to second place with his 99 centimetre total and while dissapointed about his final day on the water was happy for China and Ma Xiaohong.
Li Haiyang said “It was hard to conentrate today, I think because I had been in the lead for two days, many anglers were fishing around me and I couldn’t focus. I am very happy for Ma Xiao Hong and am glad to be a part for the winning team”.
Finn Sloth Hansen from Denmark claimed third place landing an impressive 90cm Top Mouth Culter on day three. Finn caught the much talked about 147cm Yellow Cheek Cark during the non competitive Power-Pole Pre Fish Day was very happy to follow it up on the final day of competition.
Finn said “I’m very excited, I’m happy to be third. I didn’t see that coming with the hard fishing of first two days, I didn’t see it at all. I’m happy for the Chinese team too, I expected them to win because they know the spot but they are such great guys, so that’s good. Go China!”.
Huang Sheng from China and Ian Harris from Great Britain came in fourth and fifth with 78 an 36 centimetre Top Mouth Culters respectively.
2014 Angler’s Choice Award winner Ian “Dizzy” Harris said of the tournament. “I was really pleased to get 5th place. It was great fishing with my main man Matt Boast… We had a really great European team spirit. I will miss China, my friends and Hobie Europe team mates. Massive well done to Finn Sloth Hansen for 3rd place. Thank you to Hobie, the sponsors, the Chinese Angling Association and the Chinese people for making us so welcome. Thank you also to everyone who supported us back home – it meant a lot to us, and to the Hobie Cat Centre in Poole; I hope we did you proud”.
While the fishing has been tough there is no doubt that the 2015 Hobie Fishing Worlds has been a spectacular event. The experience has been one of camaraderie as anglers have shared a challenging time on the water as well as experienced a taste of what China has to offer. From the opening ceremony, cultural demonstrations Chinese dragons, magicians and fireworks, the host nation, Hobie Cat® and the sponsors have pulled out all the stops to make this a Worlds to remember.
Some of the anglers shared their thoughts on the tournament.
“It’s been great to be part of an out standing event hosted by an amazing country and put together by a first class Hobie team and representatives from China. I’ve enjoyed meeting so many keen world class anglers. Congrats to China for 1st, 2nd and 4th. Denmark 3rd and England 5th. And to everyone else in the field who came 6th. The venue at Shang Lake was amazing!”
~ Paul Rountree – New Zealand
“I haven’t had a single bite in 4 days but I had one of the best times in my life. The event was amazing and meeting old friends and making new ones is what it’s all about.”
~ Ronald Traas – The Netherlands
“I can not say enough about the effort and skill the organisers, sponsors, Chinese Angling association and tournament officials exhibited during this event. The Hobie Worlds 5 Kayak Championship has been the best tournament I have ever experienced and will forever be the benchmark all other events will strive for”.
~ Bob Neuweiler, USA
“To all the anglers, family and friends that have made their way to the 5th Hobie Fishing Worlds at Shang Lake China, I thank you for making this event special. Yes, the fishing was less than anticipated, however we trust that the visit to this great city to meet new people from around the world made up for some of those short comings.”
~ Steve Fields – Tournament Director, Hobie Cat® Australasia
We didn’t catch a lot of fish in Shang Lake, but when we did, they were big ones. Stay tuned for more info on Hobie Fishing Worlds 6!