March 23, 2012
Tim Walker, of Fort Walton Beach, caught a redfish and seatrout that measured a combined 57.75 inches in length to win the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour presented by Hobie Fishing event at Port St. Joe, on March 18. The event, which operated out of Port St. Joe Marina, was the first regular-season event for the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour's Gulf Coast Division.
Walker experienced good conditions on the water with a light breeze. Traveling two miles in his kayak, the angler sight-fished in two spots with top-water lures and Berkley Gulp!, Walker landed a 40-inch redfish, winning him the $100 Berkley Gulp! Redfish Award plus a $100 Cabela's gift card, courtesy of Berkley. The angler also took home an extra $200 for having the highest place finish for an angler competing in a Hobie Kayak.
"It was a beautiful day for fishing. There was plenty of sunshine and just a bit of wind," Walker said. "I finished a lot better than I had expected."
Second-place finisher, Chandler Graves, of Fort Walton Beach, measured a 31-inch redfish and a 22-inch trout to win the $1,000 second-place prize. In his second year fishing the IFA Kayak Tour, Graves fished in the Destin area and was persistent with throwing topwater lures and Berkley Gulp!.
"The fishing conditions could have been better. The water was dirty and the tides were wrong," Graves said. "I managed to get one red and a few trout."
2010 Overall Angler of the Year Liam Callaghan, of Crawfordville, won the $500 third-place prize for his 29-inch redfish and 23.50-inch trout. Callaghan traveled two miles fishing in the St. Joseph Bay area with top-water lures and Berkley Gulp!. The angler's trout won him the $100 Berkley Gulp! Big Trout Award plus a $100 Cabela's gift card, courtesy of Berkley. Sixth-place finisher, Micha Mixon, won the $100 Jr. Angler Award.
IFA Gulf Coast Coast Division Port St. Joe, Fla. (Top 10)
1. Tim Walker - 57.75 inches
2. Chandler Graves - 53.00 inches
3. Liam Callaghan - 52.50 inches
4. Scott Harper - 50.00 inches
5. Nathan Chemaux - 43.00 inches
6. Micha Mixon - 42.50 inches
7. Jason Callaghan - 41.50 inches
8. Jeff Suber - 40.50 inches
9. Bradford Blydick - 38.13 inches
10. Chad Skeeles - 38.00 inches