5th Annual "Fish For Charity" Kayak Fishing Tournament Results E-mail
Tuesday, 03 November 2009 18:32


With 215 registered anglers, the 2009 5th annual Tidewater Kayak Anglers Association Kayak Fish for Charity Tournament was,  by all measures,  a huge success. This event has grown rapidly since its inception and now ranks as one of the largest kayak fishing tournaments in the US.  While the fishing conditions, as in past years, were tough, this outstanding turnout is a testament to the explosive growth of kayak fishing and the support of the sponsored charities.  Anglers from 12 states including California, Texas, Maine, and Florida came to support this cause. 

As in past years, charities were selected who were affiliated with kayak fishing.  Both  Heroes on the Water (the new charity for 2009) and Project Healing Waters use kayak fishing as a rehabilitative tool for military personnel wounded in combat.  Fifteen members of these groups, as well as Jim Dolan, the national director for HOW, participated in this year’s event.  

Local kayak angler Cory Routh, of Ruthless Kayak Fishing, is the Mid-Atlantic coordinator for HOW and coordinated the trip for the HOW/PHW members. In speaking about his experience with the HOW/PHW members, Cory indicated that “you cannot beat the feeling of taking these deserving individuals kayak fishing. I have seen immediate positive changes with several individuals. This type of therapy works, plain and simple. I am glad to be a plank owner of HOW and look forward to the future of the program.”  He went on to say that “ My life problems seem small considering what these warriors have been through. It is very inspiring to see these guys forget their problems, over something simple as paddling a kayak and fishing. I love doing this and being part of this therapy is beneficial to all those involved.”

Tom Lyles, of Old Dominion Kayaks in Richmond, VA, provided several Malibu kayaks for the participants to use.  Several tournament participants took these members out on the water and acted as guides, assistants, etc. Wayne Bradby, TKAA tournament director, stated that, “as one of those guides, I was very proud to donate my time to helping ensure these men and women had a positive experience on the water. Most did not need any help and were quite proficient in their angling skills.   When we think of our own lives in relation to the sacrifice made by those in uniform, it really puts into perspective what is important in life and having the opportunity to fish with these fine men and women allowed me and the other participants to give back a little to those that have given so much.”

Jim Dolan, the HOW national director commented that this was one of the best charity kayak fishing events he had ever attended.  He stated “Wayne Bradby, Cory Routh, and Mark Lozier have set the standard for kayak fishing tournaments for charity. I attended this year’s tournament and was blown away. Not only do they raise money for two great causes that help our injured service members, they have some of the injured troops join in the tournament. Every time I get to fish with the Heroes on the Water I am humbled by their attitudes and have a blast. The challenges they face seem to melt away when we get them on the water.  One of our goals is turn them into lifetime kayak fisherman, and they fit right into the TKAA group. Lots of trash talking on the water!!  The whole weekend was focused on kayak fishing, having fun, raising money for Charity, and helping those who have given so much to keep us safe.” 

Thanks to our generous sponsors, a special division was set up for the HOW/PHW members that included a custom rod from JB Rods, Temple Fork Spinning Rods, Dry Case IPod holders, and Lateral Line and Hook1 Shirts.

Here are the results of the tournament, which included first through third place prizes in the following divisions:




Hobie Kayaks Slam Winner (largest red, trout, flounder)


Nathan Raycroft Swansboro, NC   Slam Total 49.25”  (Hobie Fishing Mirage Outback)


Appomattox River Company Speckled Trout Division


1st-  Brandon Poulter  Virginia Beach, VA  16.75” (Ocean Kayak Caper Angler)

2nd-Tim Waters-Norfolk, VA   15.25”

3rd-Joe Ocampo-Chesapeake, VA   12.5”


Tar River Paddlesports/Nu-Canoe Redfish Division


1st- James Quick-Virginia Beach, VA   24” (Nu-Canoe Solo Adventurer Kayak)

2nd- Marty Mood-Topsham, ME   23”

3rd-Kevin Whitley-Norfolk, VA   23”


Native Watercraft Flounder Division


1st- Vince Console-Oceanside, CA  22.5” (Native Watercraft Manta Ray 12 Angler Kayak)

Graciously donated to Heroes on the Water Program. Thanks Vince!

2nd-Anthony Robeson-Norfolk, VA   21”

3rd-Chris LeMessurier-Berkley, MI   20.5”


Wild River Outfitters/Wallace’s Bait and Tackle Striper Division

1st- Tom Powers-Portsmouth, VA   21.5”

2nd-Calvin Jordan-Fisherville, VA 19.75”

3rd-Benjamin Swenson-Williamsburg, VA   15.5”


KayakBassFishing.com/Wilderness Systems Largemouth Bass Division


1st- Charlotte White –Norfolk, VA 20.5” (Wilderness Systems Ride 135)

2nd- Forrest Short-Yorktown, VA 18”

3rd-Mark Wheeler-Virginia Beach, VA 16.25”


Old Dominion Kayaks/Malibu Kayaks Female Angler Division

(largest fish, any targeted species)


1st- Vandi Hollifield-Virginia Beach, VA 24.25” Redfish (Malibu Kayaks Mini-X)

2nd-Shante Fosket-Norfolk, VA   23” redfish

3rd- Josie White-Chesapeake, VA  22” redfish


Temple Fork Fly Rods Fly Division

(largest fish, any targeted species)


1st- Jay Kocan-Virginia Beach, VA 23.75” redfish

2nd- Donald Jackson-Portsmouth, VA 18.5” Speckled Trout

3rd-Ryan Anderson-Newport News, VA 18” Speckled Trout



Tidewater Council/Boy Scouts of America Youth Division

(largest fish, any targeted species)


1st- Kyle Sawyer-Virginia Beach, VAN  21” redfish (Native Watercraft Ultimate 9.5 Sand Angler)

2nd- Chris Smith-Virginia Beach, VA 20.25” redfish

3rd – Austin Hoover-Norfolk, VA 20” redfish


As has typically been the case over the past couple of years, Mother Nature again threw a curve ball with the weather.  While the Wednesday afternoon forecast was for almost perfect conditions (high of 70 with winds out of the W at 5 mph), the forecast deteriorated from that point on in what seemed like an hourly basis.  While rainfall was  avoided, the winds did kick up to 15-25, making some fishing spots a little dicey. Despite this, the majority of the participants reported that they enjoyed the tournament.

Nathan Raycroft came up from North Carolina to take home the grand slam prize of a Hobie Fishing Mirage Outback kayak .  He was the only angler to register a slam, although one angler from Florida missed it by an inch.

A few highlights from the tournament included a female angler, Charlotte White, winning the newly created largemouth bass division.  She bested several hardcore kayak bass anglers to take the first place prize. 

In the female angler division, which had almost 20 entries, Vandi Hollified, the wife of the 2007 slam winner Darrell, placed first with a red that would have taken top honors in the open red division.  What made the feat even more remarkable is that this was only her second time fishing out of a kayak! 

In the youth division, ten year old Rose Oast, daughter of former Williamsburg kayak angler John, fished the Hampton Roads Bridge tunnel structure with her father (should have gotten an award just for fishing with the wind beating down on them) and came away with a total of 5 different species and missed the open striper 3rd place by a mere ¾ of an inch!  Way to go Rose….she was recognized with a special prize for her efforts.

Another highlight of the tournament was TKAA member David Schwartz who stepped up and offered to photograph the tournament.  As you will see from the photos, David is a professional photographer and his work is outstanding.  The following link contains photos of the captain’s meeting and the trip to take out the HOW/PHW participants.  David truly captured the essence of the tournament through his lens.  You can view the slide show at the following link:


Finally, in a great gesture towards the Heroes on the Water group, Vince Console of Hobie Kayaks won the flounder division (with a great 22.5” fish) and donated his winning prize (a kayak) to the local chapter.  That speaks volumes to the type of folks who support these great causes.

Plans are already in the  works for next years event.  A tournament such as this would not be possible without the tremendous support  received from the sponsors, both large and small. Even in this down economy, they recognized  the importance of supporting the tournament and worthwhile the two charities.  Without their backing, this event would not have grown into one of the premier kayak fishing tournaments in the country. The Tidewater Kayak Anglers Association extends a very grateful thank you to all of the sponsors.  See you next year, Sept, 25, 2010.  


Wayne Bradby,

TKAA Charity Tournament Director


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