Chalmette successfully hosts IFA Redfish ChampionshipsNov 28th, 2011 | By admin | Category: Community
The Inshore Fishing Association, sponsored by Cabela and Hobie, brought two of its national tours to St. Bernard in November – IFA Redfish Cup Championship and the IFA Kayak Redfish Championship – shining a national spotlight on the parish and the world-class fishing it offers.
“Not only do these types of events allow others to see what a great place St. Bernard Parish is, they provide a much-welcomed economic boost to the area,” St. Bernard Parish President Craig P. Taffaro Jr.
St. Bernard Tourism Director Elizabeth “Gidget” McDougall said, “St. Bernard Parish was happy to host the first IFA championship in Chalmette, and the anglers are looking forward to returning next year because they enjoyed a first-class fishing experience.”
Over 200 anglers and fishing enthusiasts converged on Chalmette to participate in the 2011 Championship Fishing Rodeo on November 4 and 5 at the Gulf Outlet Marina in Chalmette. This is the first time this organization has fished in the waters of St. Bernard, and the group chose this site because of its reputation as a “World Class Fishing” destination.
The Inshore Fishing Association was started in 2000 and has conducted more than 200 catch and release Redfish events since that time. They are the largest grass roots inshore fishing tournament organization with thousands of IFA members from 15 states. The Championship IFA sponsored by Cabela’s weighed-in at the Gulf Outlet Marina in Chalmette. Fred Myers of Panama City, Florida and Bruce Lindheim of Pensacola, Florida, weighed in four redfish that totaled 34.27 pounds to win the IFA Redfish Tour Championship. The team topped a large field of two-angler teams to take home a new, fully rigged Ranger 173 Ghost fully rigged and trailer valued at $35,000.
The following weekend the IFA Kayak tour sponsored by Hobie on November 11 and 12 from the Gulf Outlet Marina. Over 50 kayakers, a growing sport, participated in a catch-photo-release of redfish and trout where the anglers catch, take a picture and bring their picture in to the weigh-in. Championship winner Justin Carter, of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, caught two redfish and two speckled trout that measured a combined of 105 inches in length. Carter topped a large field of anglers to take home a Hobie Mirage pro-Angler Kayak valued at $2,499 along with cash prizes. The effort of the IFA, its members and sponsors are to help conserve and protect our salt water resources for this generation and those to come.
Based on information gathered from survey conducted by the St. Bernard Office of Tourism, the direct economic impact for both events was $253,316.37. Organizers of the event as well as the anglers expressed a commitment to return to Chalmette for future tournaments next year.
The championship in Chalmette will be seen on the Versus channel in the second quarter of 2012 and will be seen by 140,000 viewers weekly for 13 weeks. This event is made possible through funding from the Louisiana Tourism Recovery Plan, the Louisiana Tourism Coastal Coalition and St. Bernard Parish Government.