Professional angler Ron Champion seems aptly named. Champion, of Richmond Hill, recently won a share of The Ten championship, an invitational bass fishing tournament held Jan. 28-29 in Bienville Plantation, Florida and sponsored by Kayak Bass Fishing.
Champion tied with Cory Dreyer, according to Hobie Fishing. The winners split $10,000 in prize money.
The Ten was limited to the top 10 kayak anglers in the country, and Champion and Dreyer were tied for seventh in angler of the year points heading into the invitational.
The sport counts length of fish caught rather than weight, and both anglers finished with 195-inches of fish. Once caught, bass are photographed against a measuring board and then released.
Champion took up kayak fishing in 2014 and has competed in some of the most prestigious tournaments the sport offers, including the Hobie World Fishing Championship held in December in Louisiana and the Hobie Bass Open Tournament in Kentucky last summer.
Champion said he enjoys the kayak tournaments because he believes it levels the playing field and puts more emphasis on skill. Kayaks also are more affordable and easier to take from place to place.
Champion and his family moved to Richmond Hill from Tennessee in 2015 due to his wife’s job, and aside from his pro fishing career he also works for a promotional products company.
"There are a lot of great places around here to fish that I’ve found," Champion said.