HKB State Championship Recap
2022 YakAttack HKB State Championship - Presented by Kayak Bass Fishing, Fishing Chaos, and Dakota Lithium - took place recently in beautiful Syracuse, IN. on Lake Wawasee.
Just a few weeks ago, 11 Qualifying anglers faced off in a two-day competition, fishing for the chance to be crowned State Champion and take home over $3,000 in cash and prizes.
The stage was set Friday evening at the Night of Champions, as the qualifying anglers enjoyed a night of recognition at the historic Oakwood Resort, located lakeside on Wawasee.
The Anglers were treated to an amazing meal, and each got to take home some great products from all of our supporting sponsors, which included YakAttack, KBF, Dakota Lithium, ANGLR, King Angler Rods, Wicked Weights, TRCcovers, Bizz Baits, Xtreme Clean Power Washing, Rogue Fishing Co., and South Mountain Media.
Day one kicked off on Saturday morning in conjunction with the Indiana Kayak Anglers season opening event, also taking place on Lake Wawasee. More than 60 anglers were on the water that day and they all faced tough conditions, including high winds. Proving to be the seasoned tournament anglers they are, the championship field still found a way to catch them with 8 out of the 11 anglers landing a 5 fish limit.
Leading the pack was 4-time IKA AOY and 2021 IKA Champion, Aidan Darlington, with 73.25 inches. Just behind him though, was the 2019 KBF National Champion and reigning HKB State Champion, Mike Elsea, with 72.25 inches.
Day one's results meeting however, did not go as planned. Media Coverage and planned festivities had to be put on the back burner, as some tough decisions had to be made. Due to the high wind forecast, Tournament Director, Sam Jones, consulted with IKA directors, Jason Young and Matt Gibson, as well as the anglers in the field and made the determination that Wawasee would likely be unsafe for the anglers for the second day of the tourney.
With that being said, Sam and the anglers discussed possible alternative options, and ultimately the decision was made to relocate the event to the nearby Barbee Chain of lakes for Day Two of the event. This was an extremely tough decision, as it had major implications on the entire field who had prepped and planned to fish a two-day event on Wawasee but in the end, we all felt it was the right decision.
Faced with a new challenge, all 11 anglers launched from the Khun Lake ramp on Sunday morning, with all Barbee Chain lakes in play. The anglers battled it out and the FishingChaos day two leaderboard was lighting up all day, just the way you would want it for championship Sunday!
BREAKING DOWN THE FINAL RESULTS
3RD PLACE | GLENN LANDSTROM
Throughout the history of our sport, there are stories of anglers overcoming adversity and making seemingly impossible outcomes become a reality and this event was no different, with several stories emerging in the final hours. One of those stories was that of Glenn Landstrom, who after day one found himself in 9th out of 11 anglers and short of a limit with only 4 fish. On day two, Glenn battled illness and electrical issues with his trolling motor, but yet, still found a way to overcome it all and catch the second largest bag of the day with 80.75 inches, catapulting him to a 3rd place finish.
XTREME CLEAN LUNKER | MATT KIEFER
X time SIYAK AOY, Matt Keifer, had a tough event but even though he was out of contention for the title, he never gave up and fished hard to the end. His efforts were rewarded when he landed a 20.5” beautiful largemouth bass, earning him the Xtreme Clean Lunker $100 Cash Payout!
2ND PLACE | MATT JOHNSON
Sometimes, it's just about being consistent and Matt Johnson was Mr. Consistent throughout the event. With a 69 inch limit on day one and a 72 inch limit on day two, he was able to grab a 2nd place finish and prove that Evansville anglers can catch them up north too!
THE CHAMP | MIKE ELSEA
Speaking of consistency, another angler proved that once again he knows how to get the job done when it really matters. Taking home the title for a second straight year with a two day total of 155.50 inches, was the Champ himself, Mr. Mike Elsea!
Mike landed the largest bag of the weekend with 83.00 inches, anchored by a 19.00 inch kicker, giving him more than a 10 inch lead over second place, Matt Johnson. Very impressive, to say the least.
As the Champion, Mike is the first official qualifier to the 2023 HKB State Championship, where he will look to defend his title and hold on to the custom @ketch Product design HKB State Championship trophy.
Congratulations once again to Mike Elsea, Matt Johnson, Glenn Landstrom, and Matt Keifer on their accomplishments, and to all the anglers who qualified for this event.
Stay tuned for an in-depth breakdown of Mike's Back-to-Back Championship titles, coming soon from HKB Contributor, Chip Romanovich.
Special thanks to Daniel Woody Photography for all his hard work and dedication to helping capture the spirit of the sport we all love. All the photos in this blog and many others published on the HKB website and within our socials are the work of Daniel Woody.
For more information about Daniel and the services he offers, please visit https://www.danielwoodyphotography.com/
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