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Wednesday, 11 April 2018 07:15

IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Event At Clearwater, Florida

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The first regular-season event for the Florida West Division of the IFA Redfish Tour presented by Cabela's took place recently, where anglers fought high winds and tough bites in the New Port Richey and Clearwater areas.

IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Event At Clearwater, Florida Won By Darren Frost

Darrenn Frost of Palm Bay, Florida won first place in the first regular-season event for the 2018 Florida West Division of the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour presented by Hobie Fishing. The event, which took place on March 25 at Clearwater, Florida, saw Frost measure a combined limit of 46.00 inches to net more than $2,200 in winnings.

Frost had to work hard for his win, though, as he fought high winds as well a tough bite in the New Port Richey and Clearwater areas. He made use of Berkley Gulp! on a jighead as well as top-water baits and boated a 19.50-inch trout. In addition, he caught a 26.50-inch redfish to net the $100 Berkley Gulp! Big Redfish award. His total winnings, in the end, was $2,275, thanks to $375 in Anglers Advantage cash.

Jordon Werner from Palm Coast, Florida, secured second place when he measured a combined length of 41.50 inches. What makes his win even more impressive is the fact that it is his first ever IFA Kayak Tour event. Werner had no opportunity to pre-fish and since he didn't have any local knowledge of Clearwater area, he turned to maps to try and pinpoint potentially good spots.

According to Werner, he decided to hit Honeymoon Island and launched from the causeway before peddling through the grass flats while looking for bait and trying to find their patterns. Due to strong winds, he used the mangroves as shelter, but by noon he still didn't have a keeper red. This is when Werner decided to "go big or go home" as he put it and switched to a gold spoon spinner rig. He was sure that there would be some good-sized reds and trout feeding, but that only a redfish would eat the gold spoon spinner. By working the grass flats with his spinner, he ended up pulling a 25.75-inch redfish.

This didn't leave him with much time remaining to land a trout to fill his limit and, to make matters worse, the sky turned overcast and the wind really started picking up. Fortunately for Werner, he found his trout when he muscled his popping cork through the grass flats. His limit was enough to take second place and net $750 in the process. While this was his first IFA Kayak Tour event, Werner has fished competitively in a variety of tournaments, although he definitely considers the IFA to be a notch above the others. In addition to being well run, Werner said that he liked the fact that he didn't have to send in his fish as he caught them and it was nice to just bring his camera to the weigh-in.

Michael Ferror of Hudson, Florida, is another IFA Kayak Tour rookie who managed to finish third. His strategy was to fish the Aripeka area with a gold spoon and Berkley Gulp!. For his efforts, he took the third-place prize of $500 along with $225 in Anglers Advantage cash.

The $100 Berkley Gulp! Big Trout award went to the seventh-place finisher, Eric Henson. His 23.75-inch trout won him the prize money as well as $100 credit to the Berkley website since he caught it on Berkley Gulp!.

The Top 10 for The IFA Kayak Tour - Florida West Division Clearwater, Florida is as follows:

1. Darren Frost - 46.00 inches

2. Jordon Werner - 41.50 inches

3. Michael Ferro - 41.38 inches

4. Joe Forsythe - 41.25 inches

5. Joseph Holler - 36.50 inches

6. Matthew Lentz - 36.00 inches

7. Eric Henson - 23.75 inches

8. Trent Steege - 23.00 inches

9. Daniel Currey - 22.25 inches

10. Jesse Wright - 22.00 inches


IFA Redfish Tour Event at Clearwater, Florida Won by Team Visnovec/Prieto

The winners of the first regular-season event for the Florida West Division of the IFA Redfish Tour presented by Cabela's is Jason Prieto of Ruskin, Florida and Brian Visnovec of Plant City, Florida. The team weighed a two-fish limit that totaled 15.76 pounds, which made them the winners of a fully rigged Ranger RB190 boat prize package with a total value of more than $26,000.

The two definitely put in a lot of effort for this well-deserved win and ran 45 miles to fish in the St. Petersburg area. Fortunately, the team experienced good weather during the competition, which contrasted with the windy conditions during pre-fishing. The strategy that the two anglers used was to target schooling fish with soft plastics, which worked in their favor as the team walked away with $1,875 in Anglers Advantage cash, which pushed the total value of their winnings to $29,875.

In second place were Billy Alstrom and Joshua Prunier, who are both from Bradenton, Florida. The team found success by heading 40 miles south of the Clearwater launch in order to jig for their limit. According to Alstrom they had great tides and the fact that they have fished together for a long time and work together well definitely helped them. In the end, they weighed 15.41 pounds to secure second place and take home a total of $3,545, which includes $1,125 in Anglers Advantage cash.

Third-place went to Jay Withers and Jeremy Lee, who won $1,320 when they brought 14.84 pounds to the scale. Their strategy was to use soft plastics and hardbaits to target reds around Anclote Key. After they staked out their boat, they casted to scattered potholes and areas holding mullet. According to Withers they had a slow start until they got some moving water. Their first spot was tough due to local traffic, but after moving 25 miles north they had much better luck. He attributes their success to execution on key points and the fact that they never missed a fish or made any mistakes.

The top ten results for the IFA Redfish Tour - Florida West Division Clearwater, Florida is as follows:

1. Brian Visnovec/Jason Prieto - 15.76 .lbs

2. Billy Alstrom/Joshua Prunier - 15.41 .lbs

3. Jay Withers/Jeremy Lee - 14.84 .lbs

4. Chuck Fesler/Cameron Fesler - 14.65 .lbs

5. Derek Engle/Eric Henson - 14.58 .lbs

6. Cody Chivas/Pete Frederickson - 13.78 .lbs

7. Geoff Page/Chuck Casagrande - 13.65 .lbs

8. Bobby Carroll/Tad Van Fleet - 13.42 .lbs

9. Brad Dunn/Justin Pfaelzer - 13.16 .lbs

10. Brandon Buckner/Mark Sepe - 12.87 .lbs

Visit www.ifatours.comfor more information or to become a member of the IFA.

Last modified on Thursday, 12 April 2018 08:46
Naomi Bolton

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