James Kellum, of Meraux, La., caught a redfish and speckled sea trout that measured a combined 47.50 inches in length to win the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour presented by Hobie Fishing event at Empire, La., on April 22. The event, which operated out of Delta Marina, was the first regular-season event for the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour's Louisiana Division.
In his first year fishing the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour, Kellum fished in the Hopedale area. Experiencing windy conditions, the angler bounced a jighead tipped with Gulp! along the bottom to catch his winning fish and took home a new Hobie Mirage Pro Angler Kayak for first place. Kellum also took home an extra $200 for having the highest place finish for an angler competing in a Hobie Kayak.
Second-place finisher, Clayton Shilling, of Prairieville, La., measured a 25.625-inch redfish and a 15.875-inch trout to win the $1,000 second-place prize. In his second year fishing the IFA Kayak Tour, Shilling had success in Hopedale Lagoon by fishing with top-water lures early and then switching to jigs later in the day.
“It was very windy, but the water clarity wasn’t too bad though,” Shilling said. “I was happy that I stuck it out and did not give up.”
Also in his first year fishing the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour, Devon Beltz, of Ama, La., put his kayak in at Grand Isle after a 2.5-hour drive. The angler concentrated his fishing with top-water lures and jerkbaits.
“It was extremely windy and quite different from the scouting conditions,” Beltz said. “Given the conditions, I felt like I did well.”
Ninth-place finisher, Steve Neece, took home the $100 Berkley Gulp! Big Redfish Award for his 31-inch redfish.
Fourth-place finisher, Adam Huynh, reeled in a 21.50-inch speckled sea trout, which won him the $100 Berkley Gulp! Big Trout Award plus a $100 Cabela's gift card, courtesy of Berkley.
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 Delta Marina.
IFA Louisiana Division
Empire, La. (Top 10)
- James Kellum --- 47.50 inches
- Clayton Shilling --- 41.50 inches
- Devon Beltz --- 39.75 inches
- Adam Huynh --- 37.50 inches
- Jason Austin --- 35.00 inches
- Steve Lessard --- 34.50 inches
- Doug Menefee --- 34.375 inches
- Michael Ethridge --- 29.00 inches
- Steve Neece --- 31.00 inches
- Todd Hart --- 29.75 inches
$100 Berkley GULP! Big Redfish Award:
$100 Berkley Gulp! Big Trout Award plus $100 gift card to Cabela’s:
$200 Hobie Top Angler Cash Award: