With a two-day total of 114.38 inches, Steve Lessard of Geismar beat out 41 other anglers and won the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Championship presented by Hobie Fishing.
Second-place finisher Brendan Bayard of Baton Rouge won $1,775 for the event and wrapped up the IFA Kayak Tour Overall Angler of the Year award and took home an extra check for $1,000.
Lessard fished in passes and marshes in the Grand Isle area for his limits each day in the catch-photo-release tournament headquartered in Houma.
“The pre-fishing was really excellent,” Lessard said. “I was on some nice 19- and 22-inch trout, and was on 44- and 45-inch reds. I really thought I had a shot based on that.”
In 6th place at the start of the final day on Saturday, Lessard changed tactics after a cool front passed through the area.
“I walked out and literally felt the wind shift to the south,” he said. “It had been blowing from the northeast. I knew that this was the calm before the storm. Based on radar, I felt like I had a 30-minute window from launch time to get my red.”
Fishing a point protected from the south wind, Lessard changed things up and landed a nice ond.
“Everyone was throwing jigs and fishing fast,” Lessard said. “I pulled out my Carolina rig with Berkley Gulp! and laid it out on the bottom and did a slow retrieve. I was the only one in the area to pick up a red. I think that was the difference right there.”
Lessard won a Hobie Mirage Pro Angler kayak valued at $2,549, and also pocketed $1,000 for being the highest finishing angler competing out of a Hobie kayak. In addition, he took home $565 in Angler’s Advantage cash as well.
The Inshore Fishing Association’s Kayak Fishing Tour is the fastest-growing kayak fishing tournament trail in the country, offering 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 an IFA member, click here.
To find out more about kayaking and Hobie Fishing, click here.