The Inshore Fishing Association (IFA) Kayak Tour is the largest national saltwater kayak fishing series, incorporating five divisions across south Atlantic and Gulf waters. These tournaments are CPR (catch-photo-release) on IFA approved measuring boards, which allows for any sized fish to be entered.
Qualifiers from each division then compete in the national championship, which was held this past Friday and Saturday out of Bridgeside Marina on Grand Isle.
Many of the biggest names in saltwater kayak fishing compete in this event each year, and one of those familiar names is Brendan Bayard of Baton Rouge, whose line of trophies probably requires it's own building! Brendan is also a longtime kayak fishing field reporter on the "Outdoors with Don Dubuc" weekly radio show (Saturday mornings 5:00am to 7:00am).
Yesterday, Brendan pulled off another win. His two-day total of two redfish and two speckled trout measured out to an aggregate of 121.75 inches! His longest redfish were 41.25 and 40.00 inches, his longest specks were 23.00 and 17.50 inches. He edged out Justin Rienerth of North Carolina, whose total length was 119.00 inches was anchored by a 43.00 inch red.
Other Louisiana finishers in the top 8 (received prize money) were: Matt Carr (5th), Lance Burgos (6th), Terry Pham (7th), and Scott Bienvenu (8th). Terry lost out on a big speck that got sharked. Other anglers reported losing some nice fish as well. Even so, 22 of the competitors had four-fish total aggregates of over 100 inches!