Rienherth takes Angler of the Year
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (September 17, 2019) – Brendan Bayard, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, measured a combined, two-day limit of 121.75 inches to win the championship event for the 2019 IFA Kayak Fishing Tour on September 14 at Grand Isle, Louisiana. The angler won a Hobie Pro Angler 14, valued at $3,649 for his first-place finish.
Although he has come close a few times and notched five IFA Kayak Tour regular-season wins, Bayard finally checked off winning a championship event.
“I always aspired to win a championship and have been close,” said Bayard. “But, this time it finally happened. It’s an awesome feeling.”
Day one of the competition, Bayard boated a 41.25-inch redfish and an impressive 23-inch trout, which eventually was the longest of the tournament and won the angler the $200 Berkley Gulp! Big Trout award.
“The first morning was great,” said Bayard. “I caught my biggest trout then on a top-water bait.”
The angler also jigged soft plastics for trout and exclusively jigged Berkley Gulp! for his bulls. Going into the final day, Bayard led the pack with 64.25 inches. Taking to the Grand Isle area, the angler started his day in search of a trout.
“It was pretty tough for the first 30 minutes,” said Bayard. “It was dead calm with nothing going on. I drifted across some big open water casting and finally caught one trout and it was the right trout.”
With a 17.50-inch trout boated, Bayard turned his attention to finding a quality redfish.
“I didn’t find any bulls or signs of bulls,” said Bayard. “There wasn’t anything really going on. It was dead calm again. We saw a couple of people hooking up. I saw Ty (Hibbs) working a school. I could tell he was pitching around. Like we all do, you kind of congregate and it’s whoever gets lucky. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.”
Second-place finisher Justin Rienherth, of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, measured a combined total of 119 inches to take the $1,500 second-place prize. Rienherth found great conditions on the first day, which helped him bring in a 43-inch redfish and an 18-inch trout. The following day brought storms and rain, making for a difficult time for the angler.
“It was nasty conditions,” said Rienherth. “I was still able to execute my plan.”
Each day, Rienherth started in the marsh before moving out to the pass to look for reds. On the final day, he repeated this plan and boated a 39-inch redfish.
“After the bull, I went back to Bridgeside and grinded it out for a trout,” said Rienherth. “I was lucky it worked out. My goal was to get over 110 inches and was lucky enough to actually make it happen. I am extremely please with the way things worked out.”
Rienherth’s second-place finish gave him the 2019 IFA Kayak Tour Angler of the Year title and an extra $1,000. In total, he took home $2,905 in winnings.
Benton Parrott, of Navarre, Florida, measured a two-day total of 116 inches to take home the $750 third-place prize. Parrott fished with Bayard in the Grand Isle area both days.
“I fished with Brendan, jumping multiple spots to find good fish and get protection from the weather,” said Parrott. “It was a tough two days of grinding it out to stay in the top five.”
Parrot fished top-water and suspended baits for his trout and large swimbaits for redfish.
“I am always happy to take a top-five finish against so many great anglers,” said Parrott. “I am especially happy for Brendan to win.”
The fastest-growing kayak fishing tournament trail in the country, the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour 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.
For more information or to become a member of the IFA, visit www.ifatours.com.
IFA events are made possible through the sponsorship and continued support of these well-respected brands: Hobie Fishing, Ranger Boats, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Mercury Marine, Garmin, Berkley Gulp!, Berkley Gulp! Alive!, PENN Reels, Spiderwire, Navionics, Power-Pole, Valley Fashions, T-H Marine, ATLAS, G-Juice, and Powertex Group.
IFA Kayak Tour – Championship
Grand Isle, La. (Top 10)
- Brendan Bayard – 121.75 inches
- Justin Rienherth- 119.00 inches
- Benton Parrott – 116.00 inches
- Fil Spencer – 114.50 inches
- Matthew Carr – 114.38 inches
- Lance Burgos – 114.00 inches
- Terry Pham – 113.50 inches
- Scott Bienvenu – 112.25 inches
- Wayne Lobb – 110.75 inches
- Michael Kachman – 110.63 inches