Kayaker Overcomes Wind In Tournament Victory
Chuck Hood, of New Braunfels, Texas, caught a redfish and speckled sea trout that measured a combined 51.25 inches in length to win the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing event on April 3 in Port Aransas, Texas. The event, which operated out of City Marina, was the regular-season opener for the IFA Kayak Tour?s Texas Division.
Using soft plastic baits to drift fish around pot holes in the Lighthouse Lakes and South Bay areas, Hood overcame windy conditions and overcast skies to boat the second-largest redfish and sea trout caught during the event. With the win, Smith took home a Hobie Mirage Pro-Angler Kayak valued at $2,399, plus an additional $200 in Hobie Cash for winning the event while competing out of his Hobie Revolution.
?The weatherman had it wrong. It was very windy; very overcast,? Hood said. ?With the conditions what they were, my expectations weren?t high, but the fishing was better than expected. I?m satisfied with what I found out there.?
Second-place finisher, John Kay, of Port Aransas, measured a 25.75-inch redfish and a 24.50-inch trout for a total length measurement of 50.25 inches to secure the $1,000 second-place prize. Kay?s speckled sea trout, the largest measured during the tournament, won him the Berkley Gulp! Big Trout Award, for which he received $100 cash and a $100 Cabela?s gift card from Berkley in addition to his $382.50 in Anglers Advantage winnings.
Utilizing information gained through his two weeks of pre-tournament practice, Kay focused on the Estes Flats area, using topwater baits as he drifted in the windy conditions.
?It was very windy and there was drizzle out there,? Kay said. ?The wind I expected, but the drizzle I didn?t. I used the wind to my advantage and drifted around and was lucky enough to locate fish.?
Third-place finisher, Clint Barghi, of Friendswood, Texas, won $500 plus $210.37 in Anglers Advantage prize money with a combined length measurement of 48.50 inches.
Using the wind to his advantage, Barghi targeted the Port O?Connor area using topwater baits to secure his second third-place finish in two seasons fishing the IFA Kayak Tour.
Jason Brou, who finished fourth, took home the $100 Berkley Gulp! Big Redfish Award for his 32.50-inch catch.
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 $2,399, 2nd place prize will be a $1,000 Hobie cash 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.
IFA Texas Division
Port Aransas, Texas (Top 10)
- Chuck Hood ? 51.25 inches
- John Kay ? 50.25 inches
- Clint Barghi ? 48.50 inches
- Jason Brou ? 48.50 inches
- Fil Spencer ? 46.75 inches
- Mickey Collins ? 46.63 inches
- Jason Blackwell ? 46.00 inches
- Melinda Moudy ? 44.50 inches
- Cody Phillips ? 44.00 inches
- Al Denham ? 43.50 inches
$100 Berkley Gulp! Big Redfish Award + $100 Cabela?s gif">Jason Brou (32.50 inches)
$100 Berkley Gulp! Big Trout Award:
John Kay (24.50 inches)
For a schedule of other upcoming tournaments, click here.