Vlad Moldoveanu, of Mobile, Ala., caught a redfish and speckled sea trout that measured a combined 54.125 inches in length to win the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour presented by Hobie Fishing event at Delacroix, La., on June 17. The event, which operated out of Sweetwater Marina, was the last regular-season event for the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour’s Louisiana Division.
Moldoveanu, IFA Redfish Tour winner in Panama City in 2010, traveled widely to catch his winning fish. The angler fished in Alabama to catch his trout and drove over three hours to Louisiana for his redfish.
Moldoveanu didn’t have early success with top-water baits and eventually found his fish with a Berkley Gulp! jerkbait and a spinner bait with a Berkley Gulp! soft plastic trailer.
“The water conditions at my trout spot were as expected,” Moldoveanu said. “But the redfish spot was muddy and I had to adjust and go to my second and third spots. The windy day made fishing harder, but choosing spots out of the wind was the key.”
The winning angler had a big day. Catching his 30.625-inch redfish and 23.50-inch trout with Berkley Gulp! won him the $100 Berkley Gulp! Big Redfish Award plus a $100 Cabela’s gift card, courtesy of Berkley, and the $100 Berkley Gulp! Big Trout Award with a $100 Cabela’s gift card, courtesy of Berkley.
To top off his winnings, Moldoveanu took home the $200 Hobie Top Angler Award for having the highest place finish for an angler competing in a Hobie Kayak.
Second-place finisher, Brendan Bayard, of Baton Rouge, La., measured a 29.25-inch redfish and a 17.50-inch trout to win the $1,000 second-place prize. In his third year fishing the IFA Kayak Tour, Bayard fished the Grand Isle area with a top-water bait and a spinner bait.
“It started slow,” Bayard said. “But after a storm came through, it turned on.”
Former IFA Louisiana Division Angler of the Year Steve Lessard, of Geismar, La., finished in third place with his redfish and trout, which measured a total length of 46.175 inches.
Twentieth-place finisher, Mickey Quigley, won the $100 Jr. Angler Award.
Each of the Cabela’s IFA Redfish Tour 12 regular-season events will commence on Saturday with the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing contested the following day (Sundays). The IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie will feature 12 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 plus Big Redfish, Big Trout and Junior Angler Awards with a total payout of $9,800 (based on a 100 boat field). The winner will take home a guaranteed Hobie Mirage Pro Angler valued at $2549, 2nd place is a guaranteed $1,000 Hobie Cash and 3rd place is a guaranteed $500 Hobie Cash. Hobie will be paying $200 to the highest angler fishing out of a Hobie kayak at each IFA event.
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 two-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 two of the IFA’s 12 regular-season events and one regional event are automatically qualified for a no-entry-fee championship event, pitting qualifiers from each of the six divisions for a combined $118,450 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.
The fastest-growing kayak fishing tournament trail in the country, the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing offers inshore kayak anglers from a multitude of states the opportunity to participate in competitive fishing tournaments. With low entry fees and minimal travel requirements, kayak anglers competing in the catch-photograph-release tournaments can take advantage of the numerous money and product prizes awarded to competitors. First-place prize for each regular-season event of the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing, regardless of field size, is a Hobie Mirage Pro Angler kayak valued at $2,549. Second and third place finishers are awarded cash prizes of $1,000 and $500, respectively.
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, Yamaha Outboards, Gulp!, Gulp! Alive, PENN Reels, Spiderwire, Sebile, Columbia Sportswear, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Power-Pole, , Wrap This, Blue Point Fabrication, 321fish.com, Loadmaster, NBOA Marine Insurance, Powertex Group, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Sweetwater Marina.
IFA Louisiana Division
Delacroix, La. (Top 10)
- Vlad Moldoveanu – 54.125 inches
- Brendan Bayard – 46.75 inches
- Steve Lessard – 46.175 inches
- Steve Neece – 45.50 inches
- Doug Manefee – 40.625 inches
- Benton Parrott – 40.50 inches
- Clayton Shilling – 39.125 inches
- Blake Gill – 39.00 inches
- Devon Beltz – 38.75 inches
- Perry Watts – 36.25 inches
$100 Berkley GULP! Big Redfish Award plus $100 gift card to Cabela’s:
Vlad Moldoveanu (30.625 inches)
$100 Berkley Gulp! Big Trout Award plus $100 gift card to Cabela’s:
Vlad Moldoveanu (23.50 inches)
$200 Hobie Top Angler Cash Award:
$100 Junior Angler Award:
Logo courtesy of the Inshore Fishing Association