In capturing their first IFA win since last year’s Georgetown event, the team battled high, muddy water flowing from the Mississippi River, focusing their efforts in and around Venice’s Southwest River area. Using a mixture of Berkley Gulp! baits, jigs and crankbaits, the team reported catching 15 fish between 16 and 40 inches, including an 8.74-pound kicker, which brought them the $500 Berkley Gulp! Big Fish Award. The team also added a $500 Cabela’s gift card, courtesy of Berkley, for catching the big redfish on Berkley Gulp! bait.
Finley and Wood also won the Cabela’s Angler Cash ($1,000) and the $2,000 Ranger Cup Award for winning the event as a Ranger Cup-qualified team.
“This is our first trip to Venice. We came all the way out here because a scheduling conflict was going to keep us from fishing all three tournaments in the Atlantic Division and we didn’t want to miss out on qualifying for the championship,” said Finley, who won the 2008 IFA Championship with Wood. “I’m glad we came. What a wonderful fishery.”
Second-place finishers, Kirk Davis, of Gretna, La., and Chris Williams, of Pensacola, Fla., brought 16.04 pounds to the scales during the Venice event, the results of 100-mile roundtrip to the East Bank. Using a mix of Berkley Gulp! baits and minnow-style hardbaits, the pair battled fog early before locating and sight casting to land their catch. With the second-place finish, Davis and Williams took home earning them a total of $2,902 in second-place prize money and Anglers Advantage cash.
“We went all over: down river, up river,” Davis said. “We easily ran 100 miles today looking for clean water.”
The third-place team of Cade Thomas, of Franklinton, La., and Chad Adcox, of Bush, La., weighed in 16.02 pounds during the tournament, following a day in which they fished Taylor Point area. Faced with high, muddy water, the team switched their tactics during the day, wrapping up its third-place finish by using Berkley Gulp! baits under a popping cork
“We found our fish on Friday, but when we pulled up there today the water had changed color overnight. I knew we had to change our game plan,” Thomas said. “We did and it paid off. We fished Berkley Gulp! all day long.”
The IFA Redfish Tour continues to draw redfish anglers from Texas to the Carolinas and beyond, offering two-angler teams the opportunity to compete in six different divisions, each offering a three-event regular season. Low entry fees for the one-day, regular-season tournaments allows anglers to fish close to home and minimize expenses, while still being a part of a premier inshore, catch-and-release redfish tournament organization. Teams fishing any three of the IFA’s 18 regular-season events are automatically qualified for a no-entry-fee championship event, pitting qualifiers from each of the six divisions for a combined $78,200 in payouts and prize packages, as well as a shot at the coveted Cabela’s Overall Divisional Team of the Year Award for the six regular-season division winners.
In addition to a possible $60,000 in payouts per event (based on a 100-boat field), the first-place prize package for all 18 IFA Redfish Tour regular-season events remains extremely lucrative. In 2011, every regular-season tournament winner is guaranteed – regardless of field size – a fully loaded 2011 Ranger Banshee Extreme. The boat is powered by a 60-horsepower, four-stroke Yamaha outboard and is equipped with a Power-Pole shallow water anchor, Minn Kota trolling motor, Humminbird electronics, Blue Point Fabrication metal work, Bob’s four-inch Ultra Light Jackplate, an OPTIMA battery and a Loadmaster trailer. The entire first-place prize package is valued at $30,000. Lucrative contingency programs added for 2011 include $50 prize to the team claiming the big fish award in an IFA Redfish Tour event if the fish is landed with an EGO Net, $25 prize for both the big redfish and big trout in IFA Kayak Tour events; $250 prize to a qualifying winning team which competes from a boat equipped with OPTIMA Batteries; PENN reels for tournament-winning anglers who compete with PENN reels.
For more information or to become a member of the IFA, the fastest-growing inshore fishing tournament series in the United States, go online to www.redfishtour.com or www.ifakayakfishingtour.com. To discover more about kayaking and Hobie Fishing go to www.hobiefishing.com.
IFA events are made possible through the sponsorship and continued support of the fishing industry’s most respected brands: Ranger Boats, Hobie Fishing, Cabela’s, Gulp!, Gulp! Alive, PENN reels, Yamaha Outboards, Columbia Sportswear, Minn Kota, Humminbird, OPTIMA Batteries, Power-Pole, Wrap This, Blue Point Fabrication, EGO Nets, Spiderwire, Sebile, Bob’s Machine Shop, 321fish.com, Kayak Angler Magazine, Loadmaster, NBOA Marina Insurance, Powertex Group, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Venice Marina.
IFA Louisiana Division
Venice, La. (Top 10)
1. Wood/Finley – 16.32 lbs.
2. Davis/Williams – 16.04 lbs.
3. Thomas/Adcox – 16.02 lbs.
4. Carruth/Romig – 16.02 lbs.
5. Roy/Hidalgo – 15.86 lbs.
6. LaRose/O’Connell – 15.84 lbs.
7. Nicholas/Cockerham – 15.70 lbs.
8. Eschete/Adams – 15.07 lbs.
9. Harris/Fasola – 14.84 lbs.
10. White/White – 14.80 lbs.
Berkley Gulp! Big Fish Award ($500) + Cabela’s Gift Card ($500):
Wood/Finley (8.74 lbs.)
Cabela’s Angler Cash ($1,000):
Ranger Cup ($2,000):
Josh Ward, Blue Heron Communications (800) 654-3766 or Josh@blueheroncomm.com