Newport Vessels brand ambassador Justin Martin Del Campo recently traveled to Amal, Sweden to compete in the invitation only Hobie Fishing Worlds Kayak Championship . Read about his experience!
Where was your first kayak fishing tournament?
I’ve competed a lot, so it’s hard to remember, but I believe my first kayak fishing tournament was held at Tower Park on the California Delta. At the time, I had no clue how to fish for bass or even what tackle to use! I had two Catfish Ugly Stick poles with 25lb mono and a spinner bait. I’ve definitely come a long way as an angler, it feels pretty crazy to think back to that morning on the Delta after competing at Worlds. Just goes to show, if you want something and you work at it, anything is possible.
When did you first think of competing at a national or international level?
Before getting the offer to compete at Hobie Worlds, I had never actually considered competing at an international level. As a kayak angler, I guess I didn’t really realize it was an option up until very recently! The opportunity to compete in Sweden came my way and there was no way I was going to pass it up! So, I jumped on the offer and took it as far as I could! It was a great feeling to know I was getting the opportunity to travel to Europe for the first time to compete, and at such a high level!
How did you get to Hobie Fishing Worlds?
I qualified for the Worlds tournament at the Shasta Kayak Bass Classic (KBF). I took 3rd out of about 100 competitors at that tournament! The first 2 people couldn’t make the trip to Amal, Sweden for the Worlds Tournament, so I was the next in line. I guess you could say I got a bit lucky, but that’s ok. There’s always some luck in fishing! Flights are expensive, so I still had to hustle to make the trip over there, and it felt great to be recognized for my hard work.
What was the best part of competing at Worlds?
For me, the best part at competing at Hobie fishing worlds were the people. Traveling to Sweden was my first trip outside the United States, and I cannot thank enough, the people that supported me going to Sweden! Without their support I could never have made this dream a reality. The second part which made this even better were the people I met during my time in Sweden. I made many new friends and even more memories that I will remember for the rest of my life. This trip was by far the best fishing experience I have ever had!
Are you hoping to go back next year?
I would love to go to Hobie Worlds next year. I definitely plan to travel just to fish in the Hobie Fishing Worlds qualifier events. I think the only qualifier in California is the Shasta Kayak Bass Classic. I missed this years chanced for the 2019 event but there are still some qualifying events coming up in different states which I will compete in. I’m excited to get another shot at it!