Lessard Wins IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Event at Empire, LA
Steve Lessard, of Geismar, La., measured a combined limit of 61.13 inches to win the first regular-season event for the Louisina Division of the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour presented by Hobie Fishing on May 18 at Empire, La..
The defending IFA Kayak Tour champion, Lessard reported that he paddled five miles during competition, targeting outer bays and passes to locate his winning redfish and speckled sea trout.
“The conditions were a little tough during pre-fishing, but pretty much as I expected once the tournament day arrived,” said Lessard. “I used a Carolina rig with Berkley Gulp! for my redfish and topwater baits for my trout. I was really happy with the outcome.”
In addition to the $1,500 first-place prize, Lessard also won $589 in Anglers Advantage cash and the $350 Hobie Top Angler award for having the highest placed finish for an angler competing out of a Hobie kayak.
Richard Webb, of Madison, Miss., measured a 41.75-inch redfish and a 17.75-inch speckled sea trout for a second-place total of 59.50 inches. The first-time IFA Kayak Tour competitor took home $1,000 in second-place prize money plus the $100 Berkley Big-Fish Award for landing the longest redfish during the event.
Benton Parrott, of Spanish Fort, Ala., the 2012 IFA Kayak Tour champion, measured a combined 55 inches of fish during the Empire event, finishing third. In addition to his $500 third-place prize he also collected the $100 Berkley Big-Fish Award for his 23-inch speckled sea trout.
“I fished local, within 30 minutes, and jumped from spot to spot all day,” Parrott said. “I didn’t get to pre-fish this area so I went with what I knew from previous tournaments. I had my redfish early but spent the day grinding it out for my trout.”
The fastest-growing kayak fishing tournament trail in the country, the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing events are catch-photograph-release tournaments, offering inshore kayak anglers from a multitude of states the opportunity to participate in competitive fishing tournaments with low entry fees and minimal travel requirements.
IFA events are made possible through the sponsorship and continued support of these well-respected brands: Hobie Fishing, Ranger Boats, Cabela’s, Lucas Oil, Yamaha Outboards, RAM, Berkley Gulp!, Berkley Gulp! Alive!, PENN Reels, Spiderwire, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Power-Pole, Amphibia, Arctic Ice, Protect the Harvest, General Tire, Bob’s Machine Shop, Blue Point Fabrication, SuperClean, Progressive, Mustang Survival, iON Cameras, Valley Fashions, Powertex Group and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and The Delta Marina.
IFA Kayak Tour – Empire, La. (Top 10)
1. Steve Lessard – 61.13 inches
2. Richard Webb – 59.50 inches
3. Benton Parrott – 55.00 inches
4. Clayton Shilling – 54.50 inches
5. Jeff Suber – 52.88 inches
6. Steve Neece – 50.38 inches
7. Elizabeth Saylor – 49.00 inches
8. Marty Mood – 47.75 inches
9. Matthew Vann – 47.50 inches
10. Chris Holmes – 47.25 inches