Four classics are held during the year at Kyle, Darwendale, Mayfair and Claw. The top 40 anglers of the year then qualify to fish for three days in Champ-ofChamps. As each angler fishes alone, it is a good test of physical and mental endurance. The fact that there was a full field of 40 anglers is testimony to the competitive nature and prestige of qualifying for this event.
The anglers are also fishing for the Angler of the Year title, the winner of which, qualifies to represent Zimbabwe in the USA. Two national sides to compete against neighbouring countries next year are also selected on the basis of the year’s performance.
So there was plenty to fish for and an air of excitement was palpable as the boats arrived on Thursday at Kyle Boat Club. The weather was predicted to be sunny and hot all three days, which was a relief to those who have experienced the drizzle and howling South Easter of previous years.
The Captains meeting was conducted by Tournament Director KJ Elkington on Thursday evening. Our major sponsors Zimnat Lion Insurance as well as Evolution Insurance were thanked for their support throughout the year and for making Champ of Champs possible.
Early rise at 4am with the start scheduled for 5.15am saw anglers launching their boats off the granite face in front of KBC. The pole light on each boat in the darkness always make a spectacle of fairy lights. As the darkness faded, the boats were sent off in order, after a check of safety gear and kill switches.
Kyle is never an easy dam to fish, but none can argue that it is the most spectacular venue in the country. The sun gradually peeping over the Glenlivet hills is always awe inspiring.