The altering of this rule keeps the IFA Kayak Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing in line with the IFA Redfish Tour and other premier tournament trails, which do not allow live bait during competition.
“Originally, we were in support of the use of live bait in the tournaments as it might bring more people to the sport of kayak fishing since it’s a mainstay in and around coastal waters – especially for people who don’t have the luxury of motoring long distances,” IFA Director of Marketing and Sponsor Relations, Bart Schad. “Already anglers have told us that as competitors in a premier tournament series they do not want to compete under rules different from any other top-flight redfish, bass or other tournaments just because they fish with non-motorized boats.”
In addition to introducing artificial-bait only guidelines, the IFA Redfish Tour will also cease its cap on the 27-inch maximum length measurement on redfish caught during competition. Previously, competitors could receive up to the maximum of 27 inches in length for any redfish that adheres to the guidelines set forth in this catch-photograph-release tournament format. Tournament winners are decided by a combined total length measurement of their largest redfish and largest speckled sea trout. This rule modification now gives anglers the credit for the entire size of their catch, helping to fuel interest in redfish competitions and spotlight those conservation efforts that help ensure trophy-class fishing opportunities.
“We fully support the IFA in this decision to fine tune the platform and increase the level of competition in the IFA Kayak Series. Along with the IFA, we place great value in the input we receive from our participants,” said Hobie Director of Strategic Development, Keaton Eoff. “In launching a new competitive platform we knew that we would face some challenges and luckily we’re were aligned with the right people to develop the sport and are very pleased with the direction were moving.”
The IFA Redfish and IFA Kayak 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 Cabela’s Overall Divisional Team of the Year Award for the six regular-season division winners.
Each of the Cabela’s IFA Redfish Tour 18 regular-season events commence on Saturday with the newly formed IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing contested the following day (Sundays). In its inaugural season, the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie will feature 18 regular-season, catch-photograph-release events across six different divisions (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 $2399, 2nd place prize will be a Hobie Mirage Outback, valued at $1,749 and 3rd place a Hobie Quest, valued at $949.
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 . To discover more about kayaking and Hobie Fishing go to www.hobiefishing.com.