LIZELLA, Ga. (May 27, 2011) - Norman Walker, of Baker, La., caught a redfish and speckled sea trout that measured a combined 49.75 inches in length to win the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing event at Venice, La., on May 22. The event, which operated out of Venice Marina, was the second of three regular-season events for the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour's Louisiana Division.
Fishing in and around the Sunrise pump station, Walker became the first back-to-back IFA Kayak Fishing Tour winner by using soft baits rigged on jig heads. His 32.00-inch redfish, the largest of the tournament, earned Walker the $100 Berkley Gulp! Big Redfish.
With the win, Collins took home a Hobie Mirage Pro-Angler Kayak valued at $2,499, plus an additional $100 in Anglers Advantage cash. For winning the event while fishing from his Hobie Mirage Pro-Angler, his first-place prize for winning the Empire (La.) event on April 10, Walker also pocketed $200 in Hobie contingency cash.
"My goal was to win back to back tournaments," Walker said. "It was a tough day, but I did it."
Second-place finisher, Eric Griffin, of New Orleans, measured a 26.88-inch redfish and a 22.13-inch trout for a total length measurement of 49.00 inches to secure the $1,000 second-place prize as well as the $100 Berkley Gulp! Big Trout Award, which included a $100 Cabela's gift card, courtesy of Berkley, for catching the fish on Gulp! bait.
Third-place finisher, Benton Parrott, of Spanish Fort, Ala., won $500 prize money plus $126 in Anglers Advantage money with a combined length measurement of 48.25 inches. After battling windy conditions and fog early in the day, Parrott located protected water, using top-water baits to catch trout and soft baits for redfish.
"I'm from Alabama and I met Brendan Bayard at the first IFA kayak tournament last year in Cocodrie. We quickly became friends and he has helped me every tournament I have fished since then," Parrott said. "I feel fortunate to finish third and I owe a lot of credit to Brendan because I fished so much based off of his knowledge of Louisiana."
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.
IFA Louisiana Division
Venice, La. (Top 10)
1. Norman Walker - 49.75 inches
2. Eric Griffin - 49.00 inches
3. Benton Parrott - 48.25 inches
4. Steve Lessard - 45.25 inches
5. Wayne Lobb - 42.13 inches
6. Brendan Bayard - 42.00 inches
7. Sherman Walker - 40.75 inches
8. Perry Watts - 39.50 inches
9. Blake Gill - 39.00 inches
10. Chris Holmes - 34.00 inches
$100 Berkley Gulp! Big Redfish Award:
Norman Walker (32.00 inches)
$100 Berkley Gulp! Big Trout Award:
Eric Griffin (22.13 inches)
$200 Hobie Contingency: