Hobie Fishing Worlds 8 – Facebook.com/IHFWA
Matthew Vann is a native Floridian who was born and raised in Pensacola.
The loving husband and proud father of five sons, grew up fishing with his dad for bass, bluegill and catfish in the rivers and swamps of North West Florida. Currently, he fishes the waters from Navarre Beach to Perdido Key and is the owner/operator of Sails and Tails Kayak Charters.
Vann enjoys the adventure, challenge and simplicity of kayak fishing. But, he’s also a seasoned tournament angler, and is the current Inshore Fishing Association (IFA) National Angler of the Year.
Vann first represented the USA at Hobie Fishing Worlds 6 in Louisiana in 2016 where he finished in third place in his first world championship.
On day one on the bayous of Leeville he measured a 25 inch (63.5 cm) Redfish and a 14 inch (35.56 cm) Speckled Trout, the 39 inch (99.06 cm) aggregate length placing him in 9th position behind the day one leader Matthew Scotch (USA), with two days of competition still ahead.
On day two of the championship Scotch fell away from the lead, as did second placed Guy Struthers from Australia. 2014 world champion Steve Lessard (USA) moved up into the lead from 3rd, with 77 inches (195.58 cm) and 2013 world champion, Australian, Richard Somerton moved to second on 69 inches (175.26 cm) up from 5th place. After only pulling a 28 inch (71.12 cm) redfish on board during the second day of the championship, but missing out on a trout, Vann was now sitting in third, just 1 inch ahead of Jianping Du (CHN) and Rene Winklinger (AUT) both on 66 inches (168.64 cm). All were on a see-saw that could go either way on the final day of the world championship.
Before launch on day three Vann said, “I’m totally overawed. This has been an amazing experience, a dream come true. I’m going to go out there, give it my all, and hope that it comes together for me”.
Vann was very happy sitting in third position well within striking distance of the top. His plan for day three was to use the same strategy and tactics he’d employed over the past two days, but he decided to travel just a little further and hope to pick up a trout along the way.
“I’ll see what happens with a flounder, but my main game plan is to go after a ‘Big Red’ and a trout”.
Vann managed to get both his redfish 24 inches (60.96 cm) and trout 15inches (38.1 cm), but like every other competitor on each day of the tournament, he couldn’t find a flounder. Vann finished a worthy third, behind two of the all-time great kayak anglers, world champion Steve Lessard, and just 4 inches (10.16 cm) behind Richard Somerton who finished in second place.
“I love the sport and take great pleasure in sharing my passion and knowledge with other kayak anglers. I enjoy tournament fishing and landing trophy fish, but I would have to say that my greatest accomplishments are consistently helping others catch the fish of their dreams. There really is nothing like the feeling of someone telling you “this is the best day ever!”
Vann was chosen to represent his country for the second time at the 8th Hobie Fishing World Championship on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, in July this year. The flight Down Under will be the first time he has travelled outside of the United States.
The day he received the call with the invitation to Hobie Worlds 8 was one of Vann’s “best days ever!”
• 2018 Inshore Fishing Association National Angler of the Year
• 2017 Inshore Fishing Association National Angler of the Year
• 2016 Hobie Fishing Worlds 6, 3rd place
• 2016 Inshore Fishing Association Championship, 1st place
• 2014 Inshore Fishing Association Championship, 2nd place
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