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2020 SUMMER SLAM STANDINGS
2nd - Mauricio Giosa 33.7lbs Nautical Ventures Hobie Outback Kayak & Global plaque
3rd - Duberti Alejandro 29.72lbs Nautical Ventures Hobie Revo Kayak & Global plaque
4th - Jon Venarchick 28.72lb Garmin Echomap 73sv with transducer worth $799 & Global plaque
5th - Shaun Roles 23.22lbs Yeti Tundra 125 Cooler worth $550 & Global plaque
6th - Ricardo Rodriguez 22.68lbs Handcrafted Kingfish Spinning Star Rod
7th - Scott Demarco 21.27lbs Proyaker Catch Bag, Kage Spear & Proyaker Leashes
Trash Can Slam Andrew Brown 15.5lbs Costa Glasses
Kingfish Calcutta $1,600 Alejandro Duberti 20.75lbs
2020 EKFT championship ring total weight winner Rob Rodriguez 58.54lbs
2019 SUMMER SLAM PART 2 STANDINGS
1st - Mark Peterson 27.38lbs - $5,000.00 TURBO USA and RAILBLAZA Trophy Global Fishmounts
2nd – Jon Cunningham 23.92lbs - Hobie Outback Kayak worth $2,750 Nautical Ventures
3rd – Alejandro Duberti 20.04lbs - Hobie Revo Kayak worth $2,550 Nautical Ventures
4th – Leandro Pera 19.86lbs - $500 Costa Sunglasses prize pack, Garmin Striker Plus 7cv + Transducer
5th – Matt Romeyn 17.39lbs - $600 YETI Prize Pack
6th – (Texas) Tracy Deadman 16.51lbs - $400 Garmin Quatix 5, Marine GPS Smart Watch
7th – Christian Childs 15.97lbs - $365 Hobie Livewell V2
8th – Brian Nelli 14.99lbs - Costa Glasses worth $250
9th – Shaun Roles 11.09lbs - Torqeedo Kayak Fishing $200 Gift Certificate
10th – (Australia) Martyn Gittens 9.63lbs - FREE Summer Slam Entry worth $150
Trash Can SLAM – Adam Roeck 16.18lbs - Costa Sun Glasses and Trash Can Global Fishmounts Trophy
$1800 Kingfish Calcutta – Tracy Deadman -16.51lbs
2019 EKFT Championship Ring Winner - Shaun Roles. Total weight 54.16lbs
2019 SUMMER SLAM PART 2 PHOTO'S
2019 SUMMER SLAM PART 1 PHOTO'S
2018 SUMMER SLAM PART 2 PHOTO'S
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2018 SUMMER SLAM PART 1 PHOTO'S
2017 SUMMER SLAM PART 2 PHOTO'S
2017 summer slam part 1 PHOTO'S
SUMMER SLAM PART 1, 2019
SUMMER SLAM HISTORY
By EMMETT HALL SUN SENTINEL CORRESPONDENT
With Mother Nature cooperating with near perfect conditions, 122 offshore anglers enjoyed a tremendous day on the ocean with a record number of catches at the Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament Summer Slam Series Part I at Pompano Beach. When the fish are hitting, every angler has an equal opportunity of landing cash and prize-winning catches that totaled in excess of $20,000.
The tournament has enjoyed a successful run for nine years at Pompano Beach, which has proved to be a gold mine for fishing enthusiasts with its nearby natural reefs and man-made wrecks. The monster-size fish might have been missing from the first part of the Summer Slam series, but the quantity of fish caught was record breaking.
EKFT tournament director and founder Joe Hector said he was thrilled with the day’s proceedings that started with a 7 a.m. launch off the Pompano Beach shoreline and a weigh in at 2 p.m.
“It was awesome and the turnout of 122 anglers was the most we had since the 2017 tournament,” he said. “We had very good fishing reports and that had a lot of people signing up. This was the most fish caught that we ever had in this tournament. The quantity was unbelievable and we had around 700 pounds caught. I love the fact that just about every angler caught fish.”
It’s difficult to keep a secret in the fishing community and word is out on the EKFT Summer Slam Series. The popularity of the event continues to grow on a national level. Participants came in from California, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont.
“Every tournament that we have is so different when it comes down to what they bring in as well as the conditions,” Hector said. “There are new winners just about every tournament. We’ve put on tournaments in Texas and the Bahamas. Your preparation is everything when you go out there. You’re on a little piece of plastic, offshore fishing for big money and monster fish almost as big as your craft. The anglers were working their tails off. It’s all on them and they get all the glory.”
Justin Ritchey, of Orlando, captured first place with an aggregate weight total of 41.8 pounds. He earned the grand prize of $5,000 from Turbo USA and received the Railblaza Trophy Global Fishmounts. Ritchey also won the Tunaskin Tuna Division prize of $250 Tunaskin apparel package. Coming in second place with a weight total of 35.8 pounds was Orlando resident Jeff Forland who won a Hobie Outback Kayak worth $2,750. Brian Nelli took third place with 33.2 pounds of fish to win a $2,550 Hobie revo kayak from Nautical Ventures.
Ritchey was celebrating his victory with Champagne and enjoying the festivities. The Star Rods representative was in town servicing a couple accounts when he got the opportunity to enter the tournament in which he always wanted to compete.
“I got my fish finder, got all my rods and reels and was finally able to get out there and make it all happen,” Ritchey said. “It was perfect conditions out there today with a great turnout from the South Florida kayak community. I got first place with two kingfish and a big blackfin tuna. I’m an avid kayak fisherman and I’ve been doing this for about 10 years.”
Ritchey was more than happy to share his keys to winning.
“This is my first offshore tournament so this makes a pretty good success story. Success is a formula of preparation and luck. One of those variables is in your control. I tend to obsess in the preparation part. My technique led me to the Hillsboro Inlet and I had two kingfish by 8 a.m. It’s all about speed and getting to the hunting grounds before anybody else. I plan on being back for the Summer Slam II Series.”
Mere ounces separated many of the anglers who were within striking distance of each other. Shaun Rolles had a fourth-place finish with 33.07 pounds for $500, Costa sunglasses and a Garmin Striker Plus and Transducer. Rolles enhanced his productive day by entering and winning the Kingfish Calcutta with a 20.68-pound catch that added $1,300 cash to his bank account. Eric Clark who came in sixth place had caught the biggest single fish in the tournament with a 32.25-pound kingfish but never registered for the Calcutta. Clark had bragging rights, minus the prize money.
Forand is another Orlando resident who secured second place and had tales to tell on his fishing adventure.
“This is where it’s at with Pompano Beach,” he said. “Where I’m at you have to go out 30 miles to get to these depths but out here it’s less than a mile. It’s worth the drive. I had two kingfish over 10 pounds and two blackfin tunas. This is so much fun and is what I live for. I could do this every single day. I work when I’m out there and every muscle is cramping. I also brought two hammerhead sharks to the kayak with one at 8 feet and the other at 6 feet. I just cut them off when I got them by the kayak.”
The anglers continue to hone their craft and are getting better and better each year. World-class wahoo are being caught off the Pompano shoreline. Hector has marveled at the evolution of the sport he has helped create. Anglers are now kite fishing off of kayaks.
SUMMER SLAM PART 2, 2018
By Emmett Hall Special correspondent
Leandro Pera had a premonition that Lady Luck would be on his side after he won one of the raffle prizes at the Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament Kickoff Party at Bru’s Room in Pompano Beach. The Hollywood resident’s luck carried forward during the recent Saturday tournament when he reeled in the first-place prize to capture the EKFT Summer Slam II championship.
The final EKFT event of the year lived up to its name as 98 anglers braved the extreme elements and dealt with lighting, thunderstorms and squalls in order to compete for $25,000 in cash and prizes off Pompano Beach’s shoreline.
The conditions made it a relatively slow day for catching fish, but Pera’s 20.3-pound kingfish catch was good enough to take the first-place prize of $5,000. The serious angler started attending the EKFT events in 2014 and previously won the Trash Can Slam and had a fifth-place finish before winning the tournament’s big prize.
“This is everything for me and this is what I love to do after working,” Pera said. “I’m so excited and with this being my hobby it means an awful lot. The first three to four hours it was slow, but at noon I got lucky in 50 feet of water when the fish hit my line and that was all I needed. I came back early because of the lightning, but today I got the big prize.”
Last year’s Summer Slam Series champion John McKroid won the event with a record 71.9-pound wahoo catch and a combined winning weight of 101.7 pounds, as he was presented with the coveted Extreme Championship Ring. This year’s 2018 Series Champion Greg Nolan, of Naples, will be presented with the customized $800 Extreme Championship Ring next season. Nolan won the prize with 40.3 pounds of blackfin tuna.
McKroid continued his hot streak by winning the $1,700 Bonafide Kayak Kingfish Calcutta for the second consecutive Summer Slam event and took fourth place overall. The Fort Lauderdale resident who got his first kayak in 2014 was more than willing to share the secret to his success.
“I never got a ring for winning a fishing tournament before, so getting this one was pretty awesome,” he said. “I’m very pleased winning two Calcuttas in a row, but it was very hard work. I was the only guy out there till the last minute because everyone bailed out due to the storms. It wasn’t luck. Today was hard work. I was stuck where I was and had to wait out the storm. It was a whiteout and I had to wait for it to pass and then continued to fish.”
David Gauzens took second place and won a Hobie Outback Kayak worth $2,750. He was followed by Richard Chavis who won a Hobie Revo Kayak worth $2,550. Daniel Delima won the Trash Can Slam.
Tournament director Joe Hector said he was pleased to pull off another successful tournament in spite of the inclement weather conditions.
“Every time it is totally different with this tournament as last year we had world-class wahoo and this year we had anglers battling waves, lightning and thunderstorms,” he said. “It was an extreme challenge and the anglers proved their mettle. We have new winners all the time and you never know who will be the next champion, which makes it great. We get people from all over the world and the United States competing.”
SUMMER SLAM PART 1, 2018
The 2018 Summer Slam part one saw over 100 kayak anglers compete for the coveted EKFT, RAILBLAZA championship ring.
Once again EKFT crowned a first time winner Greg Nolan from Naples Florida who took first place and won $5,000 from Turbo USA and RAILBLAZA as well as a beautiful trophy from Global Fishmounts. Nolan weighed in two nice Blackfin Tunas for a total weight of 40.3lbs. Nolan also snagged the Tunaskin Tuna Division taking home an additional prize of $250 worth in Tunaskin gear.
Another EKFT record broken at the Summer Slam part two, by local angler Brian Whelan who caught a gorgeous African Pompano weighing in at 36.8lbs which earned him 2nd place in the tournament winning a Hobie Outback from Nautical Ventures. John McKroid took home the $1,400 Bonafide Kayaks Kingfish Calcutta as well as a sweet $600 YETI prize for placing 6th in the tournament and bringing in the biggest Kingfish weighing in at 26.2lbs.
For all the results and stats on the tournament click HERE
SUMMER SLAM PART 2, 2017
Extreme Kayak Fishing Inc. had an incredible end to the Summer Slam Series last Saturday. Records were broken with an astonishing 71.9lb Wahoo and total weight of 101.7lbs for the first place winner John McKroid.
More massive Wahoos were caught in the 50lb range from Cuban and Texas anglers. Massive African Pompano, Nice Kings and Tunas also hit the scales.
John McKroid broke 3 EKFT records in the Summer Slam Series 2017. He had the most total weight ever in a EKFT event with 101.7lbs, The largest single fish ever weighed in at 71.9lbs and the heaviest wahoo ever caught beating our 52lb record from last year. –
First place winner John McKroid won with a total weight of 101.7lbs & took home $5,000.00 from Turbo USA & a Trophy from Global Fishmounts and won the $1,400 RAILBLAZA Kingfish Calcutta. He washed it down with winning the $500 YakAttack Wahoo Division. Total winnings - $6,900.
SUMMER SLAM PART 1, 2017
By Steve Waters, June 5th 2017
120 anglers geared up for the Extreme Kayak Fishing Summer Slam in Pompano Beach, Fl., the first part to the series to gather weight for the coveted EKFT Championship ring. Kingfish provided big paydays for saltwater tournament anglers over the weekend.Jim Jobson caught two kingfish weighing a total of 34.6 pounds Saturday to win the Extreme Kayak Fishing Summer Slam Part 1 offshore kayak fishing tournament out of Pompano Beach and a check for $5,000 from Turbo USA.
Benny Townend was second with a 20.1 king that won him a Hobie Outback kayak from Nautical Ventures and $2,000 from RAILBLAZA for the big fish in the kingfish calcutta.
Ahmad Vazquez won a Hobie Revo from Nautical Ventures for finishing third at 19.6. Benny Scoca won a $1,000 check from Pompano Ford for finishing fourth at18.1. Michael Wood was fifth at 17.9 to win a Vibe Sea Ghost kayak.
SUMMER SLAM SERIES 2016 CHAMPION ROB RODRIGUEZ
Rob wins the $800.00 EKFT championship ring from Turbo USA. He had a total weight of 97.2lbs for the 2016 series. Rodriguez had a great year fishing in every tournament of the series including the new Summer Slam Part 3 in Corpus Christi, TX. Rob caught the heaviest Black Fin Tuna ever in the tournaments history weighing in at 30lbs back in June for the Summer Slam 1.
Part 2 of the 2016 Summer Slam series was Rob's greatest victory in his tournament career. Rob caught two stud Wahoo tipping the scales at 33lb and large Kingfish for a total weight of 67.2lbs. At this point Rodriguez had a commanding lead over other anglers in the running. The only angler close to Rob was Summer Slam Part 1 winner Ricardo Palmero with a total weight 58.4 lbs. Not one angler has had a better year than seasoned angler Rob Rodriguez.
SUMMER SLAM PART 3, 2016 TEXAS
September 26th, 2016
The Summer Slam Part 3 in Corpus Christi, TX was one of the most challenging events in the history of the tournament. Weather was rough and anglers had to fight wind and strong currents, but these extreme anglers were up to the task. In the end Texas native Ernesto Vega stole the show and won the tournament with a 22lb Kingfish. Ernesto also won the 2,000.00 RAILBLAZA Calcutta with a total winning of $7,000.00. Texas anglers got a taste of what EKFT has to offer and are excited for the future of Extreme tournaments in Texas.
1st Ernesto Vega, $5,000.00 Turbo USA, 2,000.00 Railblaza Kingfish Calcutta winner, Global Fish Mounts Trophy &
Biggest Pelagic Wood carving from Keylo Art
2nd Glenn Madden, $2,000.00 Turbo USA & Adrenaline Fishing Custom Rod
3rd Duy-Le, $1,000.00 Fishbrain & Adrenaline Fishing Custom Rod
Eric Clark, $500.00 YakAttack Spanish Mack Division
SUMMER SLAM PART 2, 2016
By Steve Waters Sun Sentinel August 27th
The Extreme Kayak Fishing event out of Pompano Beach featured the biggest fish ever weighed since the tournament trail began in 2011.
Rob Rodriguez had fun winning the kayak tournament with a kingfish and a wahoo weighing a total of 67.2 pounds. He won $5,000 from Turbo USA as well as a kingfish calcutta worth an additional $1,000.
Carl Slagle of North Carolina was second with a 52.3-pound wahoo to establish an Extreme Kayak Fishing record. He won a Hobie Outback kayak from Nautical Ventures Marine plus $500 for the YakAttack Wahoo Division and a custom wood art award carved by Keylo of Reel Nerve for the heaviest fish. William Centrone won a Hobie Revo kayak from Nautical Ventures for third place with 14.3 pounds. Brandon Nodal was fourth at 13.2 to win $1,000, followed by Carl Torresson at 12.7, Frank Castillo at 10.6, David Gauzins at 10.4, Josh Coffman at 6.5 and Paul McTigue at 6.4. Benny Scoca won the sailfish catch and release division.
SUMMER SLAM PART 1, 2016
By Steve Waters Sun Sentinel June 18th
Tunas and Kingfish were the catch of the day for the 117 kayak anglers who competed in Extreme Kayak Fishing's Summer Slam Part 1 tournament out of Pompano Beach.
Ricardo Palmero caught a total weight of 58.4 pounds Saturday to win the tournament and $5,000. Benny Townend was second at 39.4 to win a Hobie Outback kayak from Nautical Ventures. Freddy York won a Hobie Revolution kayak from Nautical Ventures for his weight of 37.5 plus $2,500 for also winning the kingfish calcutta. Kristen Hansen won $1,000 for fourth with a 33.5 kingfish, which also won the biggest pelagic fish division and a custom kingfish trophy carved by Keylo of Reel Nerve. Robinson Rodriguez won an Eddy-Gear Stingray kayak for fifth place with a 30-pound tuna and $500 for winning the YakAttack tuna division. Allen Escuage won the FishBrain junior division and $1,000. Rounding out the top 10 were Bobby Buzaki (29.2), Samuel Palacious (28.6), James Butters (23.5), Daniel Gauzens (22.9) and Daniel Foster (20.2).
SUMMER SLAM PART 2, 2015
Carl Torresson took the crown for a second consecutive win taking home the coveted championship cup and $4,000 from Turbo USA with his total weight of 45.2lbs! He also took home the Kingfish Calcutta worth $2,000 for a total win of $6,000 cash!
Michael Wood placed 2nd with a total weight of 30.1lbs winning a 2015 Hobie Outback from Nautical Ventures and a plaque from Global Fish Mounts. 3rd place went to Jon Venarchick with a total weight of 25.3lbs earning him a 2015 Revo from Nautical Ventures and a plaque. David Gauzens brought 17.9 lbs of fish to the scale and was happy to take 4th place and a Viking Reload fully rigged kayak as well as a plaque. Daniel Foster received a check for $1,500 for placing 5th with 16.7lbs. 6th place belonged to Michael Welsh and he received a brand new pair of Costas. 7th place went to Jason Broach who was happy to receive a Maxel Reel donated by Bimini Bay Outfitters. The popular Trash Can SLAM belonged to Colan Bukowski with his 22.1 Barracuda. Junior angler Allen Escuage was ecstatic to win the Junior division along with a $1,000 check from Fishbrain. Woman angler Nicole Olken takes the ladies division with her 8.1lb Kingfish. Nicole received an all expense payed trip to the Battle in the Bahamas 2016 along with a Shimano TLD20 Live Bait reel and black hook rod from LMR Bait and Tackle!
SUMMER SLAM PART 1, 2015
By Steve Waters Sun Sentinel / June 30th, 2015
Carl Torresson topped a tournament-record fleet of 170 kayaks Saturday to win the Extreme Kayak Fishing Summer Slam Part 1 out of Pompano Beach.
Torresson caught two kingfish weighing a total of 40.5 pounds to win the $4,000 top prize plus another $3,300 for winning the kingfish calcutta.
Adam Roek was second with an 18.9 blackfin tuna to win a Hobie Outback kayak from Nautical Ventures Marine and the $500 YakAttack Jumbo Tuna division.
Lance Irvine won a Hobie Revolution kayak from NVM for third place with a 17.2 wahoo. John McKroid was fourth with a 14.9 kingfish to win a Profish Reload from Viking Kayaks.
Adam Fisk was fifth at 14.8 to win $1,500 and Bill Sikora was sixth to win a rod and reel from Custom Rod and Reel.
Pamela Wirth won the Matt Storelli Lady's Division and an invitation to fish the China Open Tournament, plus $1,000. Casey Debrecht was the top junior angler with a 23.3 kingfish to win $1,000.
Christopher Simmons had the first sailfish release at 8:11 a.m. to win the West Marine Sailfish Division and a free entry in the Sailfish Smack Down 2016. Leonardo Pera caught a barracuda to win the Trash Can SLAM.
SUMMER SLAM PART 2, 2014
By Paul Lebowitz, Kayak Fish Magazine |August 20, 2014
Can the kayak fishing tournament scene get any better than this? It’s flying high, setting one new mark after another.
The same weekend Louisiana’s Ride the Bull tournament smashed the all-time attendance record with an astounding 732 registered anglers, Extreme Kayak Fishing was partying it up in Pompano Beach as only they can, with giant trophies and oversized checks, championship ring bling, and one impressive pelagic after another.
The celebration started early at the Extreme Summer Slam finale. “We were blasting AC/DC in the morning,” EKF’s Joe Hector told me. As they should have; before any of the event’s more than 100 offshore anglers paddled or pedaled out, EKF had already made history. In spring, Hector’s bold crew and two Oklahomans in particular scored big at Extreme’s inaugural Sailfish Smack Down, the first billfish-only kayak fishing content. Extreme followed it up with more legendary action at the Battle of the Bahamas, the first international venue for a major kayak fishing competition, and another giant leap that came up aces. Matt Eckert’s 11-hour bluemarlin sleigh ride is a modern epic. Yet Extreme wasn’t finished. The Summer Slam finale was another home run.
“Everything with the tournament was unbelievable. I would say almost every single angler got a king. Crazy,” said Hector.
With action so hot, it took two of a kind to emerge on top. Jack Daughtry’s pair ‘o kings tallied 51.7 pounds. Joe Kraatz wasn’t far behind with 47.8 pounds for his twin kings. Given his strong Summer Slam 1 performance, they also earned him the Summer Slam series championship ring. Then came an exotic, John Simms’ 46.3-pound cobia.
“Such a wild card. We don’t get them here that much. That’s the other coast,” Hector said of Simms’ unexpected catch. It didn’t stand alone. Justin Moody roped a unicorn, a 36.7-pound wahoo. Insane.
“We had three sails caught in this tournament. In the middle of summer. It is ridiculous. I’ll put it to you this way, the quality of our big fish was better than 80 percent of boat tournaments,” Hector said.
What a way to end the season! Hector says his Extreme team is busy planning next year’s slate of offshore kayak fishing competition. Both the Sailfish Smackdown and Battle in the Bahamas are making a return.
“Who knows what the future holds? We’re excited. We’re proud of these anglers, I can see how much better they are,” said Hector.
I know what’s coming. The trends are impossible to miss. The kayak fishing tournament scene is going to keep on getting bigger and better.
SUMMER SLAM PART 1, 2014
June 25, 2014|By Steve Waters, Sun Sentinel
Michael Wood was the big winner in Saturday’s Extreme Kayak Fishing Summer Slam Part 1 tournament out of Pompano Beach, but top junior angler Hunter Irvine might have had the most exciting catch.
Wood, who fishes on the saltwater tournament team Pennyless, caught two kingfish weighing a total of 26.4 pounds to win $3,500.00
Irvine, 11, was fishing with his father, Lance, in a tandem Hobie Mirage-drive kayak when he hooked a 14.2-pound bonito on a live goggle-eye fished deep in 300-350 feet off Pompano. After about 20 minutes, Hunter, who also fishes tournaments with his dad on Young Guns, a 39 Contender, had the bonito close to the kayak when a large hammerhead shark appeared. As dad was getting ready to gaff the bonito, the shark charged after it, missed, and slammed into the kayak. Hunter stayed cool and held on to his spinning rod and his father was able to gaff the fish and lift it into their kayak before the shark ate the bonito. Dwayne Stewert was second out of the 117 anglers -- according to tournament director Joe Hector, that made the event the country’s largest offshore kayak tournament -- with a kingfish weighing 24 pounds to win $1,500 and a Hobie Outback kayak from Nautical Ventures. Matthew Eckert, who battled a 500-pound blue marlin for five hours in the previous Extreme tournament in the Bahamas, won $500 and a Hobie Revolution kayak from Nautical Ventures for third place with a 22.2 blackfin tuna. Kristjan Must was fourth with a 19.8 kingfish to win $200 and Costa sunglasses. Christopher Simmons was fifth with two kings weighing a total of 18.6 to win Costas and a rod and reel. Stewert won the biggest pelagic award for his kingfish. Jay Kamensky won the Trash Can Slam for his 19.8 bonito. Shawn Fields won the new Wreck the Weight category with a 15.6 amberjack caught using an Adrenaline Rods jigging rod that is specially made for kayak fishing.
Josh Henson won the biggest kingfish calcutta with an 18-pounder that was worth $2,000. Eckert won the tuna calcutta and $80.
The next tournament is the Summer Slam Part 2 Aug. 16 out of Pompano Beach. The angler with the heaviest combined weight from both Slam events wins the Extreme Champion Ring. Visit extremekayakfishing.com.
PRE SUMMER SLAM SERIES SEPTEMBER SLAM, 2013
One Extreme fish takes the win at offshore September Slam
By Ben Duchesney, Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Only three years in, the Extreme Kayak Fishing (EKFT) Tournament series is living up to its name. If you want to stand on the stage when the day is done, take the champion’s trophy from a bikini girl, then hold the hardware high while the champagne showers and the crowd cheers, you better go big. Brian Nelli of Pushin’ Water Kayak Fishing Charters is up to the task. At this year’s September Slam contested the weekend of the 27th in the waters offshore of Pompano Beach, Florida, he did it with just one fish, a 34.3-pound king. “It feels great to come back and win it after taking second in the May
Madness,” the consistent offshore threat says. “When I caught [the king] I was pumped, as I knew it would probably win the big pelagic category and put me in the top five, but I didn’t think I had it won.” Nelli has been fishing competitively for the past five years. “I got started because I’m competitive in everything I do,” he says. “You improve your skills in the days, weeks and months before a tourney.” 82 kayak anglers fished the September Slam, which featured live entertainment, a raffle with $10,000 in prizes and a festival with food and games.
“This tournament series is great. It has also brought kayak fishing, especially offshore kayak fishing, to people that may have never even thought that you could fish off a kayak,” Nelli says. “The big money prizes also draw in guys that fish offshore powerboat tournaments that are willing to give kayak fishing a shot.”
The EKF website sets the stage—and expectations. “This event wants nothing to do with skinny water, that’s too lame. This crew is after bigger game,” it reads. EKF tournaments are the largest on the East Coast to highlight beyond the breakers (BTB) pelagic fishing. Payouts are stratospheric for kayak fishing, exceeding those of the IFA kayak fishing series. In addition to a glittering trophy worthy of a NASCAR winner, Nelli collected $3000 in cash provided by Turbo USA and a showcase of merchandise prizes highlighted by an ENGEL SUP paddle board worth $1,600. “The series brings in a lot of new people to the sport,” says Nelli. “I think all anglers should come out and give it a try. If you have ever thought about fishing offshore, the tournament is a good way to meet some people, check out how they rig their boats and see what equipment they use.”
PRE SUMMER SLAM SERIES MAY MADNESS, 2013
The 113 anglers competing in May Madness bring in wahoo, tuna, kingfish, amberjack and grouper
By Steve Waters, Sun Sentinel 6:27 p.m. EDT, May 21, 2013
There were a bunch of noteworthy catches in Saturday's May Madness offshore kayak fishing tournament out of Pompano Beach, including wahoo, tuna, kingfish, amberjack and grouper.
In all, the 113 anglers competing in the Extreme Kayak Fishing event weighed in 424 pounds of fish.Eric Digeon, of Plantation, was the top overall angler with a kingfish and an amberjack weighing a total of 46.13 pounds to win $3,000, plus Costa sunglasses and a silver cup from Crown Trophy.
Brian Nelli was second with a 26.4-pound blackfin tuna and a 12.67 kingfish for a total weight of 39.07 to win a Hobie Outback kayak from Nautical Ventures, Costa sunglasses and a plaque. Nelli also caught a 17-pound barracuda to win the Trash Can Slam, which earned him another pair of Costas, another plaque and a $100 gift certificate from Aruba Bar and Grill.
Carl Torresson was third with a 27.6 kingfish and a 9.47 grouper for a weight of 37.07 to win a Hobie Revolution kayak, sunglasses and a plaque. His king was also the biggest pelagic fish, which earned him a SUP ATX paddle board, a Guy Harvey necklace and another plaque. Austin Collins was fourth with two kings weighing a total of 34.05 to win a Dick's Sporting Goods Eagle Talon 12 kayak, sunglasses and a plaque. Joe Kratz missed out on winning a prize by a hundredth of a pound, placing fifth with a 34.04 amberjack.
Andrew Mixon didn't place, but he had an impressive catch, bringing in what is believed to be the first wahoo landed in an East Coast kayak tournament. Proceeds from the tournament, which was held on the beach north of Pompano Pier, benefitted the Broward Children's Center. The next Extreme Kayak/Paddle Board Fishing Tournament is Sept. 28. Visit extremekayakfishing.com.
PRE SUMMER SLAM SERIES SEPTEMBER SLAM, 2012
By Steve Waters, Sun Sentinel 2:22 p.m. EDT, September 17, 2012
The answers offered by some of the 87 anglers who competed in Saturday's Extreme Kayak September Slam tournament ranged from the physical and psychological benefits to the environmental and economic advantages.
There's also the exhilaration of going one-on-one against something that might be delicious or dangerous, or both.
The first fish Bobby Buzaki caught offshore in his kayak was a shark about three feet long.
"A wave took it and landed it in my lap," Buzaki said. "I punched it as hard as I could."
Instead of threatening, he found the experience thrilling. The 15-year-old from Hollywood got another thrill Saturday when he caught kingfish weighing 8 and 4.8 pounds to win the junior angler title and place fourth overall, which earned him an Ascend kayak from Bass Pro Shops and a couple of fishing rods, among other prizes.
A sophomore at Chaminade-Madonna, Buzaki started kayak fishing a year ago after watching YouTube videos of anglers catching big kingfish and because it made financial sense.
"Why spend $30 to fish on a drift boat or several hundred on a charter boat?" said Buzaki, who bought a kayak for $600 and has definitely gotten his money's worth out of it.
Jason Kamensky also has profited from his decision to get a kayak.
Kamensky, of Davie, bought a kayak two months ago after doing some fishing and spearfishing off a kayak with Eric Digeon.
"It's worth its weight in gold," said Kamensky of his Hobie kayak. "You don't need gas, you don't need insurance. You're in and out of the water in two hours."
Kamensky caught a 39.6-pound kingfish Saturday. That earned him first place for the heaviest total weight and a $2,000 check. He also won a Bote standup fishing paddle board for the biggest fish of the Slam.
"She gave me one heck of a fight," Kamensky, 31, said of the biggest kingfish he's ever caught, which ate a live goggle-eye on a flat line in 289 feet south of Pompano Pier. It took him 15-20 minutes to land the king on 20-pound spinning tackle.
Digeon, of Plantation, also had a memorable day.
He caught a dolphin and a kingfish and released his first sailfish from a kayak to win the sailfish division and an all-expenses-paid trip and entry to the Battle of Champions kayak tournament in June in the Bahamas.
Kellan Goertemiller was second overall with two kings weighing 25 pounds and Rob Rodriguez was third with a king and a tuna totaling 16.2. Both men won Hobie kayaks from Nautical Ventures. Roray Kam caught a 10.4 bonito fishing on his paddle board to win the Trash Can Slam.
Devon Lachney, of Altamonte Springs, often fishes out of Indian Harbour Beach, just north of Melbourne. The September Slam was the first time he fished out of Pompano Beach. The nearly four-hour drive was worthwhile, as he caught the biggest fish in the value-added dolphin division and two lesser amberjacks.
"I went out 21/2 miles," Lachney said. "The difference is here it's 300 feet [deep] and up there it's 50 feet."
PRE SUMMER SLAM SERIES WINTER CLASSIC, 2012
"The second annual Extreme event lives up to its name."
The Extreme Kayak / Paddleboard Fishing Tournament started last year, a different sort of Florida competition. This one wants nothing to do with skinny water. That's too tame. This crew is after bigger game.
It's fascinating to see deep water ocean kayak fishing catching on in the southeast, particularly in the Pompano Beach area. In my experience, something huge always makes it to the scale. That was true once again. We're glad to have this recap of the Second Annual Extreme contest thanks to tournament staffer Maria Hector.
The 2nd annual Extreme Kayak/Paddle Board Winter Classic Fishing Tournament
The 2nd annual Extreme Kayak/Paddle Board Winter Classic Fishing Tournament benefiting the Palm Beach Reef Rescue took place on Saturday March 24th, 2012.
At 6a.m. the 67 registered anglers set off to sea by the Pompano Beach Pier. They were well fueled with Starbucks coffee and well prepared with bait provided by Atlantic Bait and Tackle and Aces Bait and Tackle. Complementary Chum Bawls were also provided to all anglers.
Around 8 a.m. we got news from our rescue boat provided by Atlantic Boat Rentals that Doug Perez landed a whopping 43.2lb amberjack. A man with a plan as Doug mentions “The AJs (amberjack) started showing up heavy in February so I knew this was my target species from get go.“ Knowing that the current would be a bit strong to the north with a south-southeast wind, Doug says “I knew I had to paddle way south before even attempting to go offshore so that I would drift right over the wreck perfectly with little paddling.”
Doug had two jig set-ups ready to go. As he dropped his jig down he hooked up right away and yelled out "FISH ON"! As fast as he could say "FISH ON!" the fish was GONE… it had cut him off above the leader. “Must of been on the wreck or tail whipped my braid” Doug mumbled in frustration.
As a true sport fisherman he only looks at this as a challenge and after 30 minutes he grabbed his other rod and as soon as it hit the bottom “FISH ON!” After a long battle and the current not being in his favor Doug saw the bubbles come up and realized “He's mine”! As the fish approached to the surface Doug observed that it’s the “biggest amberjack I had ever caught!
EXTREME KAYAK FISHING TOURNAMENT IS BORN, 2011
By Steve Waters, Sun Sentinel 7:06 p.m. EDT, August 20, 2011
POMPANO BEACH —— Joel Makielski had been trolling a deep-diving plug behind his kayak when he stopped to reel it in.
It was the best move he made all day. At that moment, a 28.5-pound kingfish hit the live goggle-eye that was on Makielski's other fishing rod. That king turned out to be the biggest fish caught Saturday in the inaugural Quality Coral Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament, which had 60 kayaks.
Makielski, of Pompano Beach, was fishing in about 150 feet when the kingfish hit at 7:30 a.m. Makielski stopped reeling in the plug and grabbed his 7-foot Penn spinning outfit spooled with 50-pound braided line as the kingfish ran off. Makielski landed the king, which made two more runs, after a 10-minute fight. He won $600, a $100 gift card from Atlantic Bait and Tackle and a plaque for first place. Fishing out of a tandem kayak, Jonathan Pettus and Doug Perez, of Fort Lauderdale, were second with a 10-pound mutton snapper. They got the fish as they were paddling back to shore for the weigh-in on the beach by Pompano Fishing Pier after what had been a tough day.
The anglers installed rod-holders in their kayak Friday but forgot to seal them. They were 1 1/2 miles offshore Saturday when they realized they were taking on water. So they paddled back to shore — "We were basically underwater," Pettus said — and bought silicone caulk at West Marine. After sealing the rod-holders, they went back out, but the fishing was slow.
"We gave up," Pettus said. "We were coming back in when all of a sudden the reel started screaming."
The mutton hit a bar jack that Pettus and Perez had caught for bait that was on the surface as they trolled in 40-50 feet. Pettus landed the snapper, which earned them $300, a $50 gift card and a plaque.
Randall Seneff, of Hollywood, was third with a 6-pound blackfin tuna that he caught on a jig in 400 feet. Seneff, who is a teammate of Makielski's on Nauti Dogs, which is leading the southeast division of a competition called Kayak Wars, won $200, a $25 gift card, a plaque and the blackfin tuna trophy.