Championship winner takes home Hobie Mirage Pro-Angler Kayak
Justin Carter, of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., caught two redfish and two speckled trout that measured a combined 105 inches in length to win the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing Championship at Chalmette, La. To win the championship, which operated out of the Gulf Outlet Marina, Carter topped a large field of anglers to take home a Hobie Mirage Pro-Angler Kayak valued at $2,499. Carter also took home an extra $249 in cash, $1,000 for the 2011 Angler of the Year Award, $200 for the Hobie Top Angler Award, $50 from EGO Net for landing his catch with an EGO Net, $100 for the Berkley Gulp! Redfish Award and a new PENN reel for competing with a PENN reel.
Carter, who has fished the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour for two years, put in around Hopedale, La., paddling four to eight miles fishing deep structures with hardbaits.
“The first day was nice and calm. I caught 25 reds in deep water and lots of small trout,” Carter said. “The second day the wind picked up and the fishing was spotty, but overall the tournament was great.”
The second-place finisher, Brendan Bayard from Baton Rouge, La., had a total measurement in length of 101.25 inches to secure the $1,225 second-place cash prize. Bayard took home an additional $100 for the Berkley Gulp! Trout Award.
Bayard had success around the Venice area with top-water lures and jigs with Berkley Gulp!.
“It was top-water insanity,” Bayard said. “I jigged until the water warmed up and then they began hitting the top-water baits. The tournament was awesome; great people, great event, great fishery.”
Third-place winner, Blake Gill from New Orleans, La., fished around the Hopedale area and won $707 in cash for his redfish and trout, which measured a total of 98.63 inches.
“I bounced a small jighead off the bottom with a 3-inch Berkley Gulp! shrimp,” Gill said. “The first day was great. The second was rougher but I had more fun than I’ve had fishing any other tournament.”
Micha Mixon, who finished in 27th place, won $150 for the Junior Angler Award.
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 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 a combined $78,200 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.
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, Berkley, Gulp! Alive, Gulp!, Spiderwire, Sebile, PENN, Yamaha Outboards, Columbia Sportswear, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Power-Pole, NBOA Marine Insurance, Polar Bear Coolers, Blue Point Fabrication, EGO Nets, Bob's Machine Shop, 321fish.com, Kayak Angler Magazine, Loadmaster, Powertex Group, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, St. Bernard Parish Government, Gulf Outlet Marina and Marina Motel.
IFA Kayak Championship Chalmette, La. (Top 10)
- Justin Carter --- 105 inches
- Brendan Bayard --- 101.25
- Blake Gill --- 98.63
- Chad Skeeles --- 97.25
- Jeff Suber --- 95.75
- Clint Barghi --- 95.25
- Timothy Walker --- 91.50
- Cameron Barghi --- 90.00
- Rory Gregg --- 89.75
- Lee Smith --- 87.75
2011 Angler of the Year Award ($1,000)
Berkley Gulp! Redfish Award ($100)
Berkley Gulp! Trout Award ($100)
Hobie Top Angler ($200)
PENN Reel Award
EGO Net Award ($50)
Junior Angler Award ($150)