HARRISBURG, Pa. (Sept. 26) – A Luzerne County man has won a state-of-the-art fishing kayak as part of a contest sponsored by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and Pocono Raceway.
Nick Bechtel of Conyngham, Luzerne County, in northeastern Pennsylvania, was awarded the kayak today at the raceway in Long Pond, Pa. The contest was held during the GoBowling.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend at Pocono Raceway this past August.
“We particularly want to thank the sponsors for donating this equipment,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “This is a kayak that will provide many memories for Nick, and hopefully he will enjoy paddling in it and putting it to use pursuing some of the great angling opportunities for bass, walleye, panfish and other species in northeastern Pennsylvania.”
The kayak, a Ride 115X Advanced Angler, was donated by Wilderness Systems, and an Odyssey glass paddle was provided by Adventure Technology. Rigging items totaling more than $500 in value were donated by YakAttack. Items include a fish finder mount, safety flag/light, three rod holders, self-leveling drink holder and a storage system called a “BlackPak.” Also, a Bahia Tour life jacket was provided by Kokatat.
Kayak fishing is one of the fastest growing segments of fishing as reported by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation in its 2014 Special Report on Fishing, with kayak fishing now comprising 4.3% of all fishing venues, versus 3.6% of fishing venues in 2013, which is a 20% jump in one year. Factors contributing to this growth are the ease of operating, the relatively low initial investment, and small operating and maintenance costs.
“This is another opportunity for us to partner with industry and Pocono Raceway to promote fishing and boating opportunities to outdoor enthusiasts,” added Arway. “We look forward to other chances to elevate the fishing and boating message throughout the year.”
“First off, I want to congratulate to Nick on winning the kayak,” said Pocono Raceway President/CEO Brandon Igdalsky. “I am a bit jealous, however, because I really wanted to win it, too. It was great to work with our new partners at the PA Fish and Boat Commission this year. Their work and the programs they promote throughout the Commonwealth are second to none. We truly appreciate their support and we look forward to working with them for years to come.”