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Stillwagons Notch Big Win in Port Arthur Kayak Open

For the first time the Elite Redfish Series invited 30 Kayak Pros to hit the water in their own division on Saturday in the Elite Kayak Tour opener. A precursor to 2023 when the Hoodoo Sports Elite Kayak Tour will feature tour stops in Florida, Louisiana, Texas and more. This event was produced as more of a kick off/introduction of the tour to the kayakers and kayakers to the Elite Tour.

The 30 kayak anglers teamed up to make 15 teams and came to the stage just after the Solo Tour pros finished weighing in on day 2 of their event on Championship Saturday. Featured in their own division but part of a larger event ensured there would be good crowds and a lot of Texas-sized redfish brought to the scales, but these guys and gals put on a show of their own. One kayak angler, Jay Martin summed it up perfectly in a post tournament post…

The dynamic between boat and kayak anglers has been interesting over the years. I feel like up until recently, kayak anglers were, for lack of better terms, looked down upon. It was nice seeing the boater anglers clapping and cheering for the kayak anglers as we weighed in. ~Jay Martin

Exactly Jay, well said and to the point; being an Elite angler encompasses a whole lot more than just catching a fish and cutting a check and we are proud of the group of true pros we have competing in our events. No running people over, win at all cost, no burning up shorelines from tower boats or pushing the lines of sportsmanship with tricks and techniques that are not fair and normal to the entire field are not good for the sport.

At the end of Championship Saturday, Tony Viator took the top spot on the podium in the Solo Tour boaters division (see more on that event here) while the father and son team of Aaron and Braden Stillwagon topped the 30 kayak pros to take home prize money totaling $5,700.00. “It was great to be a part of such a well-run event and glad that we were able to catch our fish today,” Aaron told the large crowd gathered to watch Championship Saturday’s live weigh in.

Stillwagons Notch Big Win in Port Arthur Kayak Open 2

The Stillwagons brought in 2 live redfish for 16.34 pounds anchored by a 9.36 pound Port Arthur giant. “These guys can flat catch them, I may have to get a kayak to keep in the truck when we travel for solo tour stops out of town,” Viator told the crowd during the awards presentation.

What a great event and great host at the S.A.L.T. Club on Pleasure Island in Port Arthur Texas.

Matt Murphy and David Halbardier Jr took 2nd  place with 15.24 pounds, Daniel Duong and Roland Brown landed in 3rd with 14.22 and rounding out the top 5 was Jason Blackwell and Grant Justus in 4th with 14.15 while Christian Matheus and Guillermo Gonzalez took home the 5th place spot with 13.00 pounds even. Congratulations everyone and thank you for helping us get our feet wet with the all new Hoodoo Elite Kayak Tour we look forward to seeing y’all again soon.

See more on the father and son’s big win presented by the Port Arthur Convention and Visitors Bureau, a.k.a. Visit Port Arthur TX  at the eliteredfishseries.com.

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