Once upon a time I was a little girl with big dreams who promised herself she’d make them come true. It’s important that I give inspiration to others with those same dreams.
My story brings me back to my first tournament at age 15, but this story isn’t about me. This story is about a young lady who inspires me on so many levels. Selfishly she alone makes me better than I could ever make her. Not only does she love to fish, but she’s 13 and she fishes from a Hobie Outback. Basically she blows my mind weekly! Recently I was so inspired by her growth in this sport that I had to share her story.
Meet Samantha Elkins of Kentucky. We first met during the 2015 Hobie Bass Open on Kentucky Lake. Here my heart exploded with joy and I knew I needed to know more about her. Like a true champion, Samantha was there again fighting for that first place recently at the 2016 Hobie Bass Open. If you’re unfamiliar with this tournament, it’s a kayak tournament on Kentucky Lake. Not just any kayak tournament, but a Hobie World’s qualifying event. The Hobie World’s is a tournament that brings kayak anglers from around the world to one location where they compete against the best of the best. Something nontraditional that Hobie offers at this tournament is a youth division. This is exactly how I had my serendipity run-in with Samantha.
When talking with Samantha, I asked her what her overall experience was and she stated, “It was two hard days of fishing for me. I hooked a nice one the first day of the tournament and couldn’t get my net under the fish in time so it got off.” The conditions this week were tough. Between the rain and weekend boat traffic, we definitely had some challenges working against us.
Not too many folks start kayak fishing at such a young age, but with true kayak fashion Samantha says, “I like kayak fishing because it allows you to go places that big bass boats can’t. You can basically go anywhere!”
A woman after my own heart here! Yes, yes and yes. This is partially why we love this sport so very much. The enthusiasm behind hunting on unchartered waters is unreal.
Samantha will be attending the Hobie Bass Open next year, “I like the Hobie Bass Open because it’s one of the only tournaments I can fish in and I get to see all my friends I made in the previous years,” explained Samantha. I like to think all her friends basically mean me, myself and I.
I also asked Samantha where she would next love to fish, “If I could fish anywhere I would like to fish in Florida and at Lake Guntersville.” Two great places that every angler wants to hunt. Someday soon, Samantha, we will get you down to Florida and your love for this sport will only grow stronger.
I’m excited to see where Samantha takes her love for kayak fishing. With her fearless sense of adventure, it reminds me to never give up on my dreams.