Nelson Wins IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Event at Crystal River, Florida

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Rodney Nelson, of Brandon, Florida, measured a combined total of 51.93 inches to win the final of two regular-season events for the 2020 Florida West Division of the IFA Kayak Tour on May 31 at Crystal River, Florida. For first place, the angler won an Ascend 128T kayak and $1,000 in cash.

Nelson encountered a slow-moving, incoming tide with low winds. The angler traveled one mile in his kayak, fishing potholes with top-water baits for his limit. His 22.30-inch trout won the Berkley Gulp! Big Trout award and, along with adding $580 in Anglers Advantage cash, the angler took home a total of $2,380 in winnings.

Second-place finisher Charles Statham, of Apollo Beach, Florida, measured a

20.88-inch trout and a 30.25-inch redfish, which won the Berkley Gulp! Big Redfish award. His total of 51.13 inches gave the angler a new Ascend 12T kayak along with $250 in Anglers Advantage cash for a total of $1,125 in winnings.

Statham focused his efforts in the Weedon Island area, fishing top-water baits and Berkley Gulp! soft plastics.

Tony Lai, of Seminole, Florida, measured a combined total of 49.13 inches to take third place and $740 in winnings. Lai traveled two hours out of St. Petersburg, fishing top-water baits in the morning before switching to jigging later in the day.

Tenth-place finisher Aliyah Lai measured 35.00 inches total and won the Junior Angler award and $100 in cash.

The next stop for the IFA Kayak Tour is Georgetown, South Carolina, on June 7. Anglers who enter at least two events and compete in at least one event will be qualified for the 2020 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

IFA events are made possible through the sponsorship and continued support of these well-respected brands: Ascend, Ranger Boats, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Mercury Marine, Sunline, AFTCO, Garmin, Lucas Oil, 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

Crystal River, Fla. (Top 10)

1. Rodney Nelson – 51.93 inches

2. Charles Statham – 51.13 inches

3. Tony Lai – 49.13 inches

4. Ryan Dills – 39.25 inches

5. Richard Manning – 38.75 inches

6. Robert Brown – 38.38 inches

7. Derek Engle – 38.00 inches

8. Marvin Engle – 36.75 inches

9. Keith Morrison – 36.25 inches

10. Aliyah Lai – 35.00 inches