Clint Barghi, of Friendswood, Texas, caught a redfish and speckled sea trout that measure a combined 51.75 inches in length to the win the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing event at Corpus Christi, Texas, on September 4. The event, which operated out of Marker 37, was the last of three regular-season events for the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour’s Texas Division.
Fishing in the Rockport, Texas, area, Barghi employed Berkley Gulp! bait under a popping cork to take advantage of the day’s windy conditions. His redfish, which measured 33.00 inches, won him the $100 Berkley Gulp! Big Redfish Award, which also included a $100 Cabela’s gift card, courtesy of Berkley, for catching the fish on Gulp!. For winning the event, Barghi also took home a Hobie Mirage Pro-Angler Kayak valued at $2,499.
“The conditions were windy, which is exactly what we needed, so I fished wind-blown shorelines with Gulp! all day,” Barghi said. “This is the best-run kayak series around and I couldn't be more excited to win.”
Second-place finisher, Chase Okrasinski, of New Braunfels, Texas, measured a 29.25-inch redfish and a 20-inch trout for a total length measurement of 49.25 inches to secure the $1,000 second-place prize. Fishing in and around the Bird Island area, Okrasinski used top-water lures to target wind-blown shorelines and spoil banks where boat traffic had concentrated bait schools.
“The winds were northerly compared to the southerly winds I’m used to at this spot, but the boat traffic really seemed to give me an advantage as it pushed bait onto the specific spoil area I was fishing,” Okrasinski said. “I’m pleased with my finish. Locating tournament trout this time of year is difficult.”
Third-place finisher, Al Denham, of Bay City, Texas, won $500 for his redfish and trout, which measured a combined 49 inches in length, using Berkley Gulp! and hard baits during the event.
Fifth-place finisher, Brian Weems, won the $200 Hobie Top Angler prize for having the highest place of finish for an angler competing from a Hobie Kayak. Mason McWilliams, who finished 17th, won the $100 Berkley Gulp! Big Trout Award for this 23-inch catch, which also included an additional $100 Cabela's gift card, courtesy of Berkley, for catching the fishing on Gulp!.
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.