One of the country’s premier bass fishing competitions – from a kayak – is making its debut in the Finger Lakes this week, drawing 144 anglers from across the country. They’ll be vying to qualify for the Tournament of Champions of the 5th Annual Hobie Bass Open Series.
Bailey Eigbrett will be among the competitors. The 26-year-old does not use a large bass boat; he fishes from a foot pedal-powered, single-seat, 14-foot Hobie Kayak.
“I love to be in a kayak more than a bass boat because I am more immersed in what’s around me in nature,” Eigbrett said. “One thing that’s really cool about being in a kayak is it’s less disturbance.”
The Hobie competition features a prize pool to find the best ten bass is $24,000. Eigbrett calls it “the best in the nation” and says it’s not often held in the Northeast.
“They’re coming up to a really special place,” said Eigbrett, who considers Cayuga Lake his home turf. It’s the lake he grew up fishing.