Championship winner takes home new Hobie Mirage Pro Angler Kayak
Benton Parrott, of Spanish Fort, Ala., caught two redfish and two speckled sea trout that measured a combined 123.375 inches in length to win the 2012 IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Championship presented by Hobie Fishing at Chalmette, La., on November 3.
To win the two-day event, which operated out of Gulf Outlet Marina, Parrott topped a large field of anglers to take home a new Hobie Mirage Pro Angler Kayak. Parrot added $1,000 with the Hobie Top Angler Award for having the highest place finish for an angler competing in a Hobie Kayak.
“The first day it was foggy. This allowed me to fish top-water baits longer,” Parrott said. “After that I stood and paddled, sight-casting Saltwater Assassin soft plastics for bull reds.”
During his three years fishing the IFA Kayak Tour Parrot has had three third-place finishes.
“I always fish hard but fell slightly short on winning at a few other IFA events,” Parrot added. “I owe a lot to third-place finisher Brendan Bayard for teaching me to fish Louisiana.”
Robert Powell, of St. Augustine, Fla., measured a combined total length of 116 inches to take home the $1,500 second-place prize. The angler targeted fish in the Shell Beach area using Berkley Gulp! shrimp on jig heads.
“The conditions were perfect,” Powell said. “I had cool, foggy mornings with beautiful afternoons.”
With three years of experience fishing the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour, Brendan Bayard, of Baton Rouge, La., finished in third place with his two redfish and two trout, which measured a combined 114.75 inches in length.
Bayard fished in the Grand Isle (La.) area, targeting trout in the morning and redfish later in the day. After a slow start on the first day, the angler measured 67.625 inches on the final day of the event to win the $750 third-place prize. In addition, Bayard won the $300 Berkley Big Trout Award for his 24.625-inch trout.
“I felt left for dead at 18th place after the first day but had an epic day on Day Two to pull back into the Top 3,” Bayard said.
Sixth-place finisher Fil Spencer won $1,000 and the 2012 Overall Angler of the Year title. Spencer also added $300 to his earnings with the Berkley Gulp! Redfish Award.
Micha Mixon, 23rd place finisher, won $150 for the 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, Livingston Lures, Frederic J. Sigur Civic Center and Gulf Outlet Marina.
IFA Championship Event
Chalmette, Ala. (Top 10)
- Benton Parrot – 123.375 inches
- Robert Powell – 116.00 inches
- Brendan Bayard – 114.75 inches
- Jameson Redding – 112.175 inches
- Blake Gill – 110.425 inches
- Fil Spencer – 108.00 inches
- Jason Austin – 106.425 inches
- Sherman Walker – 105.375 inches
- Steve Lessard – 105.125 inches
- Steve Neece – 100.25 inches
$1,000 Overall Angler of the Year Award:
$300 Berkley Gulp! Big Redfish Award:
Fil Spencer (45.00 inches)
$300 Berkley Gulp! Big Trout Award:
Brendan Bayard (24.625 inches)
$1,000 Hobie Top Angler Cash Award:
$150 Junior Angler Award:
Logo courtesy Inshore Fishing Association