Pan Am competition dominated by Kokatat team members
ARCATA, California — Four bass anglers, each in Kokatat’s stable of sponsored paddlers, took home top honors at the Pan American Bass Kayak Championship held May 30- 31 on Tennessee’s Center Hill Lake. Fifty-five paddlers, both men and women, from seven countries competed in the catch-and-release tournament that gave awards for top individual and team performances.
Eric Jackson, who represents Kokatat on the pro team for his multitude of whitewater exploits and is a mainstay on Kokatat’s kayak fishing team, captured the individual all-around gold medal, checking in 21 fish with a total length of 191.5 inches during the two days of competition. Unlike many bass tournaments, the Pan-American Bass Kayak Championship doesn’t weigh in fish at the end of the tournament day – instead anglers measure and take a photograph of each fish to weigh in. Jackson caught the longest bass of the tourney, a 20.75-inch smallmouth..
Jackson beat fellow Kokatat kayak fishing and USA Team 1 member Drew Gregory for the gold. Despite checking in just 10 fish, Gregory took the silver by recording 163.75 inches. As a team, the efforts of Jackson and Gregory combined to lead the USA Men’s 1 team to the gold.
Emily Jackson, Eric’s daughter and a highly decorated whitewater kayaker, captured the overall bronze medal, checking in 161 inches of bass. That total also gave Emily Jackson the individual ladies gold medal, besting Bridget Howard, another Kokatat kayak fishing team member, who went home with the silver.
Howard got redemption in the women’s team competition, however, leading the USA Women’s 2 team to the gold over second-place Emily Jackson’s USA Women’s 1 team.
Kokatat was a sponsor of the event, and was well represented by a number of anglers who wore Kokatat’s award-winning Leviathan fishing PFD.
“It was awesome introducing the enthusiastic international fishing teams to Kokatat through the Leviathan,” said Eric Jackson. “I watched one of the Costa Ricans put his on and start loading the pockets with tools, cameras, a knife, a phone, sunscreen and he kept going. Then he looked up and had this ridiculously big smile on his face and a proud look from his new PFD.”
The 2020 Pan American Bass Kayak Championship will be held in Mexico.
About Kokatat Inc.
Kokatat has been manufacturing paddling gear in Arcata, California for almost 50 years. At a time when many technical apparel brands were moving manufacturing offshore, Kokatat continued to invest in infrastructure in the United States. Kokatat founder Steve O’Meara was committed to the development of the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world and recognized the need to control and continually evolve the development of our dry wear. In the early days, Kokatat worked closely with W.L. Gore & Associates, makers of GORE-TEX®, to refine the sewing and sealing techniques required for full immersion suits and tops. Today, our hands-on approach to manufacturing continues to set the standard in paddling apparel. Into the water with Kokatat! Learn more at www.kokatat.com.