MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (April 8, 2014) – Rene Lopez, of Port Aransas, Texas, measured a combined limit of 51.00 inches to win the first regular-season event for the Texas Division of the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour presented by Hobie Fishing at Port Aransas, Texas, on April 6.
After a windy Saturday at the IFA Redfish Tour event, the weather calmed to give the kayak anglers great fishing conditions.
“I expected better fishing weather today,” said Lopez. “I found fish the day before and knew they were there. I was excited about today and confident in my fishing.”
Fishing top-water baits and Berkley Gulp! around Piper Channel and the Island Moorings area, the angler hugged the shoreline to follow the bait.
Cody Prather, of Geronimo, Texas, measured a 28.25-inch speckled sea trout and 21.75-inch redfish to win the $1,000 second-place prize. The angler added $330 in Anglers Advantage cash and also won the $100 Hobie Top Angler award for the highest-placed finish for an angler competing out of a Hobie kayak.
Fishing in the Bird Island area, the competitor fished top-water baits and Berkley Gulp!.
“The winds calmed and opened up new water for fishing,” said Prather. “Pre-fishing was scarce with 20 to 30 mph winds. Conditions were much better for tournament day. The main factor was being able to stay in contact with baits.”
In his seven years fishing the IFA Kayak Tour, Cameron Barghi, of Houston, Texas, has placed in the top five several times. His combined measurement of 47.00 inches was enough to take third place and get to the winner’s stage.
The angler fished top-water baits in the Rockport area for his limit. Along with the $500 third-place prize, Barghi added $276 in Anglers Advantage cash.
Thirteenth-place finisher Clint Barghi won the $100 Berkley Gulp! Big Redfish award for his 32.50-inch redfish, while fifteenth–place finisher Alex Tompkins topped the trout category with a 28.75 trout and took home the $100 Berkley Gulp! Big Trout award.
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, iON, Valley Fashions, Powertex Group and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Laishley Park Marina. The IFA also partnered with Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce/Tourist Bureau.
IFA Kayak Tour
Port Aransas, Texas (Top 10)
1. Rene Lopez – 51.00 inches
2. Cody Prather – 50.00 inches
3. Cameron Barghi – 47.00 inches
4. Jason Carter – 43.88 inches
5. Edward Kennel – 43.75 inches
6. Chase Okrasinski – 43.75 inches
7. Fil Spencer– 43.50 inches
8. Josh MacNaughton – 43.00 inches
9. Collin Elrod – 42.25 inches
10. Cody Phillips – 42.00 inches