Kayak angler takes home $1,300 in winnings
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (August 13, 2019) – Fil Spencer, of Corpus Christi, Texas, measured a combined limit of 49.50 inches to win the final regular-season event for the 2019 Texas Division of the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour on August 11 at Corpus Christi.
Spencer is no stranger to the leaderboard when the IFA Kayak Tour visits Texas. The angler has previously won at Corpus Christi before and won the Texas Divisional Angler of the Year as well. The angler attributes his success on the water to soaking up the knowledge from family and friends when he was growing up.
“I learned to fish from my elders,” said Spencer. “I had the opportunity to grow up fishing with my father and the old salts. They were amazing fishermen and taught me what fish do in certain situations. What the fish do when the tide is low. What the fish do when the water is different temperatures. That’s why I have done as well as I have over the years.”
The Corpus Christi event was a good example of this prowess. The angler put in at the same spot as several other anglers and had an early limit but the others didn’t fare as well.
“We were fishing in the Bayside area,” said Spencer. “They didn’t catch much [many] fish in the same area.”
Spencer found a school of redfish tailing in the shallows and pitched to them and pulled out a few redfish, one measuring 28.50 inches. Heading back to the launch, he caught a nice trout 50 yards from his truck.
“There are holes along there and the bait was jumping,” said Spencer. “I threw in there and had both my fish before I ever left.”
Spencer moved to another spot but was unable to upgrade either of his fish.
“I caught about half a dozen trout and four or five redfish,” said Spencer. “By 11:30, I headed back in.”
For his efforts, the angler took home the $1,000 first-place prize along with $357 in Anglers Advantage cash.
Second-place finisher Shane Okrasinski, of Corpus Christi, Texas, measured a total of 47.88 inches to win $1,057. The angler fished the Port O’Conner area with top-water baits and crankbaits. Okrasinski’s 30-inch redfish was the longest of the tournament and won the angler the $100 Berkley Gulp! Big Redfish award.
John Bendele, of Corpus Christi, Texas, measured a 29.25-inch redfish and a 15.25-inch trout to take third place and $240 in winnings. The angler concentrated on trout first before targeting his redfish in the Corpus Christi area.
Seventh-placed finisher Chase Okrasinski boated a 29.25-inch trout that won the $100 Berkley Big Trout award. Sixth-place finisher Elijah Mayberry measured a total of 37.50 inches to win the $100 Junior Angler award.
The next stop for the IFA Kayak Tour is Steinhatchee, Florida, on August 25. Anglers who enter at least two events and compete in at least one event will be qualified for the 2019 IFA Kayak Tour Championship.
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 – Florida West Division
Corpus Christi, Texas (Top 10)
- Fil Spencer – 49.50 inches
- Shane Okrasinksi – 47.88 inches
- John Bendele – 44.50 inches
- Luis Hernandez – 43.50 inches
- Thomas Bulger Jr. – 41.25 inches
- Elijah Mayberry – 37.50 inches
- Chase Okrasinski – 29.25 inches
- Matthew Murphy – 27.38 inches
- David Halbardier – 27.25 inches
- Joe Strahan – 26.50 inches