Kayakers Turn Out Big For Charity Tournament at Jacksonville, Florida
| May 19, 2015
JACKSONVILLE, FL - – Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville and the North Florida Heroes on the Water Chapter won big at the 2015 Columbia Sportswear Kayak Fishing Classic as 385 kayak anglers raised $40,000 for the charities' programs. Kayak anglers overcame windy weather and challenging conditions, checking in 12 slams, 50 Redfish, 32 Trout, and 29 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 Debbie Revels, Executive Director of DSAJ. Heroes on the Water NE Florida chapter president Melita Ganoe shared "We thank everyone for their support and look forward to continuing our HOW kayak fishing events for our nation's warriors and veterans."

For the second year the catch-photo-release Classic, known for driving the use of technology into CPR formats, utilized an online check-in system from 321Fish.com that enabled anglers to check-in their fish from the water via smart phone. According to tournament director Mike Kogan "The anglers overwhelmingly liked the idea of checking in their fish from the water – the system was utilized by more than 60% of the entrants and enabled them more time to fish. In the future we hope to enable real-time scoring during the event as well".

The 2015 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. Columbia was joined by other industry leaders such as Costa Del Mar, Ocean Kayaks, Native Watercraft, Old Town, Jackson Kayaks, Wilderness Systems, Malibu Kayaks, Emotion Kayaks, Hobie Kayaks, NuCanoe, Tsunami, Power-Pole, Navionics, Polar Bear Coolers, and KayakFishingSupplies.Com. 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, 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 unmatched success."

Kevin Kappel of Rincon, GA overcame four previous Slam champions with a 74.7" Redfish-Trout-Flounder slam to win a Native Watercraft Slayer Propel. His winning slam consisted of a huge 44.3" bull red, a 15.2" trout, and a 14.5" flounder. Kappel was followed by a group Florida anglers including two-time former champ Eddie Cabler at 74", Rory Gregg at 73.95", former champ Todd Derringer at 69.4", and former champ Ryan Conner at 67.5".

Alfie Nazario of Brandenton, FL won the redfish division with a 44.3" bull red and scored an Old Town Predator 13 kayak. Top Trout honors went to seventeen year old Jason Bates of Gainesville, FL with a 28.9" gator trout, earning him the newly released Wildeness Systems Advanced Tactical Angling Kayak (ATAK). Tim Weil of Hilliard, FL led the Flounder category with a 20.25" fish to score the all new Jackson Kayaks Cuda LT.

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 Gregg family of Jacksonville, FL with a 75.1" family slam and they will enjoy a one week fishing vacation in Costa Rica.

Trout champ Jason Bates won the Junior Angler division and Holly Swab won the Lady Angler award. Former slam champ Frank Gregg took Senior Angler honors and Troy James of St. Augustine, FL won the Fly Angler award.

For more results and information about next year's Classic visit Jacksonville's kayak fishing community at www.JacksonvilleKayakFishingClassic.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, Dick's Sporting Goods, Accent Paddles, Costa Del Mar, Jackson Kayaks, Wilderness Systems Kayaks, Emotion Kayaks, Advanced Elements, Ocean Kayaks, Old Town Canoes & Kayaks, Native Watercraft, Hobie Kayas, NuCanoe, Malibu Kayaks, FishingNosara.Com, Cajun Custom Rods, All Wet Sports, Cannon Paddles, Yak-Gear.Com, FishingNosara.Com, Rat-L-Trap, DOA Lures, Calcutta, MTI, Malone Auto Racks, KayakFishingSupplies.Com, Kayak Amelia, Yak-Gear.Com, B&M Bait&Tackle, RAM Mounts, Polar Bear Coolers, YakAttack.Us, Scotty Rod Holders, Daiichi Hooks, Slayer Lures, Stohlquist, AT Paddles, White Shell Bait&Tackle, Extrasport, Carlisle, 321Fish.Com, YakLife.Com, TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group, Wang Anchors, Skwoosh, Florida Sportfishing Magazine, St. Croix Rods, SureSet Jigs, FlyFishingJax.Com, Qualia Fishing, IFA Kayak Fishing Tour, Watermans Applied Science, Emmrod, Navionics, Qualia, RailBlaza, Ego Nets, Stohlquist, Illumarine, Sea-Lect Designs, SeaDek, Bending Branches, Swivel Stick, Daiwa, U-Haul, Salfwater Flytyers, ChicopitBay.Com, ActionKayakAdventures.Com, and Power-Pole.

Event Photo Preview Pack (High-Res Available on Request)

Interview Contact:
Mike Kogan
PO Box 330465
Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
O: 904.382.5007
E: mike@jaxkayakfishing.com
W: www.JacksonvilleKayakFishingClassic.com


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