Stevens Wins IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Event at Punta Gorda, Florida

Stevens Wins IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Event at Punta Gorda, Florida
MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. - Elliot Stevens, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, measured a combined limit of 51.75 inches to win the first regular-season event for the Florida West Division of the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour presented by Hobie Fishing on March 8 at Punta Gorda, Florida. The angler took home $1,500 and a Power-Pole Micro Anchor for his first-place finish. 

After driving ten hours from Baton Rouge to Punta Gorda, Stevens pre-fished for two days to hone his technique. On tournament day, the angler faced stiff winds of 15 to 20 knots in the Sarasota area, which made for a tough day of fishing. An early morning overcast sky cleared later for improved fishing conditions.

"I fished a weedless Rockport Rattler tipped with Berkley Gulp! and a Sebile top-water," said Stevens. "I retrieved them real slow with a pop every once in a while."

This event marks Stevens' first win in his three years fishing the IFA Redfish Tour. The angler plans to fish every IFA Kayak Tour event in 2015 season with the exception of the Florida East Division events. The angler's profession allows time to get out on the road to fish far-off venues and reconnect with fishing buddies.

"I try to fish every weekend, so why not try to fish most of the IFA events," said Stevens. "With the help of my sponsors, like Cabela's, I hope to win the Florida West Division and, hopefully, an event in my home state."

Second-place finisher Tony Lai, of Seminole, Florida, measured a 30.13-inch redfish and 18.68-inch speckled sea trout to take home a total of $1,237 in winnings.

The angler fished two hours north of Punta Gorda, concentrating his efforts with jigs and top-water baits.

Davey Harper, of North Port, Florida, won the $500 third-place prize for his measurement of a combined 48.75 inches. The angler added $225 in Anglers Advantage cash.

The next stop for the IFA Kayak Tour is March 29 at Titusville, Florida. Anglers who enter at least a minimum of two events and compete in at least one event will be qualified for the 2015 IFA Kayak Tour championship.

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, Lucas Oil, Yamaha Outboards, RAM, Berkley Gulp!, Berkley Gulp! Alive!, PENN Reels, Spiderwire, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Power-Pole, Amphibia, Arctic Ice, Protect the Harvest, General Tire, Bob's Machine Shop, SuperClean, Mustang Survival, iON Cameras, Valley Fashions, ENGEL Coolers, Bulldog Folding Trailers, Hildebrandt, T-H Marine, ATLAS, G-Juice Powertex Group, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Laishley Park.

IFA Kayak Tour - Florida West Division

Punta Gorda, Fla. (Top 10)

  1. Elliot Stevens - 51.75 inches
  2. Tony Lai - 48.80 inches
  3. Davey Harper - 48.75 inches
  4. Drew Mixon - 47.00 inches
  5. Ty Nelson - 45.50 inches
  6. Charles Statham - 42.75 inches
  7. Darren Frost - 42.00 inches
  8. Matthew Lentz - 41.75
  9. Russell Jacobs - 41.50
  10. Joe Henary - 38.75

For more information or to become a member of the IFA, visit To discover more about kayaking and Hobie Fishing go to
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