KAOTY (Kayak Angler of the Year) Pitsford Water. The first in a series of Hobie Fishing Worlds 10 qualifiers in the UK, it couldn’t have gone smoother. 30 Kayak Anglers from the far reaches of the UK launched after a short safety briefing. The weather was overcast with showers expected. The wind and heavy rain that we had experienced over the previous few days had thankfully gone overnight.
Just before 10am the start was given, anglers could start scoring fish from 10am.
A few anglers chose to remain on the Pitsford Fishing Lodge side of the causeway whilst others rushed through the tunnel and off towards the dam some 20-30 minutes travelling time in a kayak.
Fish were on the Score Fishing Leaderboard in the first 10 minutes, whilst a few had already made their escape in front of the net.
All the anglers had to catch, measure on the Reuben Heaton official measures, photograph and upload the photo to the Score Fishing App, relatively easy on a boat, not quite as easy on a kayak, but most of the competitors have had some experience of doing this. Still there were tales of lost fish that had made their leap for freedom from the measure.
Thankfully the perch were feeding again, reports from previous weeks had said they were hard to find. Dropshotting small finesse baits was the choice of many, finding a shoal of perch and lowering the bait down through them. This is where the fish finders proved invaluable. A few bigger perch were caught on small crank baits.
Only one Brown Trout was caught during the event, caught on an old school but clearly still to be considered Flying-C lure.
The pike were surprisingly difficult to catch, they are usually the easiest species to catch at Pitsford Water. There were a lot of under measure jacks caught, it appeared a lot of the pike were sulking up in the weed and proving hard to trigger a response from.
The Score Fishing App went dark at 3pm meaning that the competitors were unable to view the results. A lot can happen over the final 2 hours and positions can change rapidly so everyone fished hard to the bell.
5pm it was all over and a race back to the launch before the 5:30pm cut off. 30 key tags on the board meant that all the anglers had returned safely.
Our score checker, Steve from ShoreThing had spent the last couple of hours checking scores, photographs were double checked, some falling short of the minimum fish sizes so were removed, others had not rounded up their lengths so cm’s added.
Shaun Milner took the top prize of a Garmin Panoptix Livescope system. Shaun had fished a small area on the Lodge side of the reservoir and managed to get 264cm of fish. Andy Dougan was in second place with 188cm and Alan Robson close on his heels in third with 184cm. Dane Wood was in fourth and David Morris fifth.
Biggest Brown Trout was caught by Matt Norman, Biggest Perch Ian Harris and Biggest Pike Romuldas Kokstis.
The prize table was amazing thanks to the continuing support of Garmin UK, Flambeau UK, Daiwa UK, Navionics UK, Railblaza UK, SMGroup, Palm Europe, Reuben Heaton and of course ShoreThing who also helped on the day with adjudicated the scoring.
We do it all again when KAOTY heads to Rutland Water on 25th September 2021.
KAOTY is a Hobie Fishing Worlds 10 qualifier. One kayak angler will be competing for Team GB at the Hobie Fishing Worlds 10, location to be announced.