EW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (May 2, 2017) – Brandon Barton, of Pensacola, Florida, measured a combined limit of 51.25 inches to win the first 2017 regular-season event for the Louisiana Division of the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour presented by Hobie Fishing on April 30 at Hopedale, Louisiana.
High winds on the day of competition made for a difficult outing for the IFA Kayak Tour anglers with many reports of a tough day on the water.
“The fishing was good, but the wind really hurt the fishing area,” said Barton. “I am super happy to win my first IFA Kayak event.
Barton fished a jerkbait around rocks and targeted reds in a marsh with top-water baits. The angler fished approximately three miles from the launch in Hopedale. The angler won the first-place prizes of $1,500 and a Power-Pole Micro Anchor along with an additional $520 in Anglers Advantage cash.
Second-place finisher Kalon Johnson, of Thibodaux. Louisiana, measured a combined total of 46.25 inches to win $1,000. The angler also reported a tough bite due to the high winds.
“Conditions were very rough but expected,” said Johnson. “It caused me to fish a lot more slowly. I am very pleased and satisfied with my results given the conditions.”
Johnson threw spoons and top-waters over grass flats two miles from the Hopedale area.
Brendan Bayard makes another top-three appearance to go with his numerous IFA Kayak Tour wins. The angler cycled through a variety of lures on confidence spots with top-water baits and softbaits. Bayard won $485 for his day on the water.
Fifth-place finisher Matthew Vann won the $100 Berkley Big Trout award and a $300 credit from PENN Reels for his 23.50-inch speckled sea trout. Eighth-place finisher Alex Stephens’ 29.50-inch redfish won the $100 Berkley Big Redfish award
The next stop for the IFA Kayak Tour is Houma, Louisiana, on August 6. Anglers who enter at least a minimum of two events and compete in at least one event will be qualified for the 2017 IFA Kayak Tour Championship.
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, Mercury Marine, RAM, Berkley Gulp!, Berkley Gulp! Alive!, PENN Reels, Spiderwire, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Power-Pole, Arctic Ice, Protect the Harvest, General Tire, Valley Fashions, T-H Marine, ATLAS, G-Juice, Powertex Group, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Hopedale Marina and Docville Farm.
IFA Kayak Tour – Louisiana Division
Hopedale, Louisiana (Top 10)
- Brandon Barton – 51.25 inches
- Kalon Johnson – 46.25 inches
- Brendan Bayard – 44.75 inches
- Shane Coleman – 44.25 inches
- Matthew Vann – 42.25 inches
- Owen Caraway – 39.75 inches
- Ryan McNeal – 39.50 inches
- Alex Stephens – 29.50 inches
- Jeffery Oliver – 27.75 inches
- Scott Bienvenu – 27.25 inches