Vidal Wins Kayak Fishing ClassicS Opener
The Kayak Fishing ClassicS held the season opener on the Indian River Lagoon in Titusville, Florida on March 21st. The anglers were greeted with a dense morning fog in cool, calm conditions. Driving in a fog can be dangerous and fishing in a fog can be downright creepy and exciting. The first fish recorded onto the KFC iAngler Leader Board was posted by James Foy shortly after 7am and it was a dandy indeed. Foy was using a topwater lure and heard a huge smack and simultaneously felt the freight train heading out of town. The 36” redfish was the largest of the tournament and unfortunately his only fish of the day.
That was not the case for Pepi Vidal who won 1st Place in the opener in a workman like fashion. Vidal posted 40.2” worth of redfish (2) and 37” worth of sea trout (2) for a total of 77.2” to capture the first place podium and all that goes with it. Pepi is no stranger to winning tournaments and is always a considerable force on the water. He is prepared, that is to say he scouts and pre-fishes the fishing zone, has everything that he needs to win and knows how to use it. It shows every time he’s on the water. We congratulate you Pepi for job well done and victory well deserved.
Patrick Nespeca landed 2nd Place with a very nice total of 75.0” in his 2 redfish and 2 trout limit. Nespeca recorded 5 fish caught and iAngler culls the fish automatically, saving anglers precious time. Patrick is another hard working angler and you may recognize his name for the 2014 KFC National Championship where he captured 2nd place. Nespeca was consistent and methodical, following his game plan and it paid off nicely at the sponsors’ awards table. Congratulation Patrick and see you at our Kayak Fly Classic next month in Tampa, Florida.
Wade Hollowell set the hook on 3rd Place with 73.7” of fish with 4 fish caught. The morning bite was explosive for all of the anglers and suddenly turned off around 10 am. Hollowell never gave up and kept hunting all day. His hard work paid off big at the awards sponsors table where he walked away with some pretty nice gear.
4th Place was earned by Jean McElroy, a Johnson Outdoors pro staff team member. Jean scored 4 fish using D.O.A. curly tails for a 70.8” total, a sweet pair of Fly Fisherman sunglasses and a Denali Performance shirt as did all top 5 winners. Congratulations Jean and don’t let the fog monsters get you.
5th Place was won by Eric Henson who is also a Johnson Outdoors pro staff team member. Henson of Casting Kayaks scored 3 fish for a total of 67.6” using Monster 3X shrimp to fool a beautiful trout and Yo-Zuri Lures on the redfish.. Congratulations Eric and we know we’ll see you at the Kayak Fly Classic.
We also like to congratulate Johnathan Ross who caught a 26” gator trout…wowza!
All of our sponsors wish to congratulate all of the winners and contestants in the Indian River Lagoon Classic. Our sponsor work hard and are pleased to provide you with some of the best gear in the world.
The Indian River Lagoon Classic marked the first occasion for us to use the new iAngler Tournament App developed by the Snook & Gamefish Foundation. Anglers simply snap a photo using the app on their phone and record the required data, click send and go back to fishing. What that simple action does however, is much more involved.
The iAngler Tournament app and the iAngler App are amazing developments that not only score a tournament or create your log book. The Snook & Gamefish Foundation gathers the scientific data and uses it to assess the health and population of a particular fish species for scientific research. Ultimately we as anglers benefit in the long run with better fisheries and healthier stocks of game fish. So if you struggled a bit with using a phone instead of the camera that you are more familiar with, remember what you are doing for the sport we all love. You are directly giving back to the sport; you are contributing to healthier stocks of fish and better estuaries.
There is a better future, even when the morning is a bit foggy…