Kayak angler takes home $3,669 in winnings
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (October 24, 2018) – Benton Parrott measured a combined two-day limit of 120.38 inches to win the championship event for the 2018 IFA Kayak Fishing Tour presented by Hobie Fishing on October 20 at Grand Isle, Louisiana. The angler won a Hobie Pro Angler 14 kayak, a Power-Pole Micro Anchor and $420 in Anglers Advantage cash for a total of $3,669 in winnings.
A mainstay on the IFA Kayak Tour, Parrott adds his fourth championship title with this win. The angler faced windy conditions on day one and had to grind to land a decent trout. Parrott finally hooked a 17-inch trout to pair with his 43-inch redfish to finish day one.
“Day one, I literally spent four hours trying to get a trout,” Parrott said.
Day two brought sunny skies and ideal fishing conditions, but the angler again struggled to land a larger trout.
“Today I went right back to the marsh,” said Parrott. “I was fishing next to Brendan Bayard and he was catching one trout after another right beside me and I couldn’t get a bite. I changed baits and changed baits and finally got down to a rip stop. I pulled a 19 and headed straight for the pass. My second red was the 41.38. I stayed there the rest of the day trying to upgrade, get a better one but never could do that. It was a tough weekend.”
The angler’s 19-inch trout and 41.38-inch bull red was enough to put him just in front of Aaron Clay and earn the championship title.
Second-place finisher Aaron Clay, of Kiln, Mississippi, measured a combined 120.13 inches to take home $1,794 in winnings. Clay spent his time fishing jigs for redfish and top-water baits for trout in the Grand Isle and Leeville areas.
Scott Bienvenu, of Lafayette, Louisiana, placed third in his first time competing in an IFA Kayak Tour championship. The angler fished the backside of Grand Isle and the passes with soft plastics and Berkley Gulp!. While the roster was loaded with previous champions and other notable kayak anglers, Bienvenu didn’t let the high level of competition bother him.
“I felt nervous being my first championship but being from Louisiana and being competitive in nature, I maintained my composure and grinded out a third place finish,” said Bienvenu. “This event had some of the best anglers in the lower United States.”
Bienvenu won $750 for third-place and tacked on an additional $210 in Anglers Advantage cash.
Matthew Vann took fourth place and won the 2018 IFA Kayak Tour Angler of the Year title to make him only the second IFA kayak angler to win the honor in consecutive years.
“I really wanted to win this back to back,” said Vann. “It really means a lot to me. All of these guys are serious sticks and are some of the best kayak anglers in the industry. It means a lot to top these guys.”
Along with the title, Vann won $1,000 in cash and a Power-Pole Micro Anchor along with paid entry fees for the 2019 season.
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, Mercury Marine, Berkley Gulp!, Berkley Gulp! Alive!, PENN Reels, Spiderwire, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Power-Pole, Valley Fashions, T-H Marine, ATLAS, G-Juice, Navionics, Garmin and Powertex Group.
IFA Kayak Tour – Championship
Grand Isle, La. (Top 10)
- Benton Parrott – 120.38 inches
- Aaron Clay – 120.13 inches
- Scott Bienvenu – 119.88 inches
- Matthew Vann – 119.88 inches
- Fil Spencer – 119.00 inches
- Clayton Shilling – 118.00 inches
- Ty Hibbs – 116.75 inches
- Chuck Bahan – 116.25 inches
- Steve Lessard – 116.25 inches
- Brendan Bayard – 115.75 inches