LIZELLA, Ga. September 1, 2011 – Chris Holmes, of Chalmette, La., caught a redfish and speckled sea trout that measured a combined 52.875 inches in length to win the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing event at Grand Isle, La., on August 28. The event, which operated out of Bridgeside Marina, was the last of three regular-season events for the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour’s Louisiana Division.
Fishing in and around the Fourchon Beach and Caminada Pass areas, Holmes contended with unexpected northwest winds, opting to fish more protected waters. Using top-water baits, Holmes largest redfish and trout brought him his first IFA Kayak Fishing Tour win plus a Hobie Mirage Pro-Angler Kayak valued at $2,499 and an additional $200 for winning the event while competing from a Hobie kayak.
“There are no words. I’m so excited to get my first first-place finish in the IFA,” Holmes said. “It’s great to place in this fantastic group of skilled kayak anglers.”
Second-place finisher, Brendan Bayard, of Baton Rouge, La., measured a 32.875-inch redfish and a 19.50-inch trout for a total length measurement of 52.375 inches to secure the $1,000 second-place prize, plus the $100 Berkley Gulp! Big Trout Award and matching $100 Cabela’s gift card, also courtesy of Berkley, for catching his Trout on Berkley Gulp!
Fishing the Caminada Pass area, Bayard relied on top-water baits in the morning before keying on an afternoon redfish bite with spinnerbaits.
“The day started out pretty rough for me. I locked the camper door with my rods inside and I didn’t have the key,” Bayard said. “And the redfish wouldn’t bite until 1 p.m. But overall, the day was awesome – and hot.”
Third-place finisher, Steve Lessard, of Giesmar, La., won $500 for his redfish and trout, which measured a combined 52.25 inches, caught in the Elmer’s Island area. His 37.5-inch redfish also brought him the $100 Berkley Gulp! Big Redfish Award and matching $100 Cabela’s gift card, also courtesy of Berkley, for catching his Redfish on Berkley Gulp!
“I expected the northwest wind conditions, so it didn’t really affect me too much,” Lessard said. “I used a popping cork and a jig pretty much all day and fished pretty well, but I could’ve upgraded the trout.”
Each of the Cabela’s IFA Redfish Tour 18 regular-season events will commence on Saturday with the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing contested the following day (Sundays). In its second season, the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie will feature 18 regular-season, catch-photograph-release events across six different division (mirroring the IFA Redfish Tour format, location and scheduling) as well as extremely lucrative payouts and expanded fishing opportunities for non-motorized fishing crafts.
The redfish/trout tournament will pay twenty places (based on a 100-boat field) plus Big Redfish, Big Trout and Junior Angler Awards. The winner will take home a Hobie Mirage Pro-Angler valued at $2,499, 2nd place prize will be a $1,000 and 3rd place $500 Hobie cash. New for 2011, kayak anglers can take advantage of the Angler’s Advantage program. Anglers who participate in the program can pay an additional $25 entry fee, which is paid back at 100 percent to participants, based on place of finish. 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 Fishing Tour events; a PENN reel for tournament-winning angler who competes with PENN reel.
The IFA Redfish and IFA Kayak Fishing Tours continues to draw redfish anglers from Texas to the Carolinas and beyond, offering anglers 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 money and prize packages, as well as a shot at the coveted Overall Divisional Team of the Year Award for the six regular-season division winners.
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