The biggest cold front this winter pushed through the state last Thursday, and Steve Lessard used it — along with his ‘home field advantage’ — to claim his second world championship at the Hobie Worlds 6 in Lafourche Parish.
The Baton Rouge angler bested more than 40 other competitors from 17 countries to win the three-day event held out of Leeville.
““The first major cold front of the year hit on day one. Honestly, it helped me because I knew fishing conditions would change drastically.,” Lessard said in a release. “I knew it was going to be a physical as well as mental challenge. It’s easy to get discouraged with muddy water and high winds, but I was able to settle in and catch a few fish on the worst day. Day Two went better and put me in first place.
“Coming in to Day Three, the weather improved, but fell back to a winter-type pattern with an almost 20-degree drop in water temps. The slow winter deepwater approach allowed me two fish early in the morning. So I relaxed and went around the pilings. The sun warmed up the shallower stuff so I could hunt for larger redfish as they warmed up and fed, and I was able to pull in a redfish. I knew at that point that I was going to have a good score.”
All competitors fished for speckled trout, flounder and redfish from identically-rigged Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14s in the Catch-Photo-Release tournament format.
Richard Somerton of Australia took second place, while Matthew Vann, from Florida, finished third.
Lessard earned his first world championship in 2014 at the Hobie Fishing Worlds 4 in Europe, and followed it up with another big win in home-state waters.
His 28-inch red and 19-inch speck in Saturday’s final day of competition sealed the win.
“Decisions that run through your mind while competing are endless and in a kayak if you make a bad decision on area you choose, there is no turning back,” Lessard said. “You’re there – you just have to make best of it.”