Doug Schallmoser, of Cape Coral, Fla., caught a redfish and speckled seatrout that measured a combined 52.50 inches in length to win the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour presented by Hobie Fishing event at Ruskin, on May 6. The event, which operated out of Little Harbor, was the last regular-season event for the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour’s Florida West Coast Division.
After his previous IFA Kayak Fishing Tour win at Punta Gorda, Fla. earlier this season, Schallmoser paddled his kayak to another win to sweep the Florida West Coast Division. The angler traveled two miles round-trip to Pine Island Sound, fishing top-water lures to catch his limit. His 33.50-inch kicker redfish garnered him the $100 Berkley® Gulp!® Big Redfish Award. Schallmoser added an extra $200 for having the highest place finish for an angler competing in a Hobie Kayak.
“There was no wind today and an outgoing tide,” Schallmoser said. “I threw a top-water bait into mullet schools and was very happy to win my second event of the year.”
Second-place finisher, Robert Buda, of Tampa, Fla., measured a 30.675-inch redfish and a 19.875-inch trout to win the $1,000 second-place prize. In his second year fishing the IFA Kayak Tour, Buda paddled two miles round-trip to the upper Tampa Bay area. Fishing top-water baits for trout and Berkley Gulp! for redfish, the angler wasn’t expecting the conditions.
“It was a beautiful day,” Buda said. “It was hot but very calm. It made the fishing much easier.”
Drew Mixon, of Vero Beach, Fla., finished in third place with his redfish and trout, which measured a total length of 49.875. In his second year fishing the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour, the angler used Berkley Gulp! to catch his 22.875-inch trout and won the $100 Berkley Gulp! Trout Award plus a $100 Cabela’s gift card, courtesy of Berkley. Mixon also brought home an extra $25 for boating his trout with an Ego Net.
Eighth-place finisher, Micha Mixon, won the $100 Jr. Angler Award.
Each of the Cabela’s IFA Redfish Tour 12 regular-season events will commence on Saturday with the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing contested the following day (Sundays). The IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie will feature 12 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 plus Big Redfish, Big Trout and Junior Angler Awards with a total payout of $9,800 (based on a 100 boat field). The winner will take home a guaranteed Hobie Mirage Pro Angler valued at $2549, 2nd place is a guaranteed $1,000 Hobie Cash and 3rd place is a guaranteed $500 Hobie Cash. Hobie will be paying $200 to the highest angler fishing out of a Hobie kayak at each IFA event.
The IFA Redfish Tour continues to draw redfish anglers from Texas to the Carolinas and beyond, offering two-angler teams the opportunity to compete in six different divisions, each offering a two-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 two of the IFA’s 12 regular-season events and one regional event are automatically qualified for a no-entry-fee championship event, pitting qualifiers from each of the six divisions for a combined $118,450 in payouts 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.
The fastest-growing kayak fishing tournament trail in the country, the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing offers inshore kayak anglers from a multitude of states the opportunity to participate in competitive fishing tournaments. With low entry fees and minimal travel requirements, kayak anglers competing in the catch-photograph-release tournaments can take advantage of the numerous money and product prizes awarded to competitors. First-place prize for each regular-season event of the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing, regardless of field size, is a Hobie Mirage Pro Angler kayak valued at $2,549. Second and third place finishers are awarded cash prizes of $1,000 and $500, respectively.
IFA Florida West Coast Division
Ruskin, Fla. (Top 10)
1. Doug Schallmoser – 52.50 inches
2. Robert Buda – 50.55 inches
3. Drew Mixon – 49.875 inches
4. Christopher Ravelo – 48.75 inches
5. Jerry Burdine – 47.00 inches
6. Jason Stock – 46.25 inches
7. Scott Harper – 46.00 inches
8. Micha Mixon – 45.00 inches
9. John Donohue – 41.50 inches
10. Kenneth Arrowsmith – 38.60 inches