Spencer now 2-0 on Elite Kayak stops

Published 6:30 pm Sunday, July 2, 2017


Filip Spencer is still the man to beat on the Elite Kayak Series.

The series is just two tournaments old, and Spencer has now won both of them. He pocketed a $5,000 prize after turning in a 14.60 two-fish bag during Sunday’s final round in Port Arthur.

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Now, if he can just win on his home water, the series’ inaugural year would just go too perfectly for Corpus Christi’s Spencer.

“The next one’s in my backyard in Port Aransas,” Spencer said. “I go out and catch my fish and try to be consistent. That’s the one tournament I really wanted to do well, and now I’m kind of worried that I won’t, now that I’ve done well here.”

Port Arthur was the site of an Elite Kayak Open held in November that tournament host and organizer Pat Malone said was a test to see whether a series should be held. Spencer won the first regular kayak tournament in Kemah.

Spencer didn’t hold back his excitement for winning in Port Arthur when his winning weight was recorded. Not even dropping one of the “double-wide fish,” as Spencer called them, to the ground after weighing in could spoil the thrill of his latest victory.

Just like Jimmy Lloyd of Lumberton did in Saturday’s final round of the Elite Redfish Series’ Border Wars, Spencer took the top prize on the final weigh-in of the two-day kayak tournament — beating the angler just before him. His 26.34-pound total moved past Jason Blackwell of Cypress for the win.

“I was taught by a lot of old men years ago, my father, and I do what I know the fishermen do,” Spencer said. “I went right to these fish. I knew where they were. I caught three and I left. I was done in an hour.”

Blackwell finished at 21.12 after an 8.98-pound second round. His first-round bag earned him second place in the big bag race behind Joe Strahan.

For a moment, the first-place trophy and victory billboard were in Blackwell’s hands as he sat on the “hot seat” on stage. He wasn’t surprised Spencer took it away.

“Filip’s been doing it for years,” Blackwell said. “He turned in some good fish, but there’s not much I can do about it. I went out and tried my best, but I really enjoyed fishing around here. It’s a great fishery.”

All Elite boaters didn’t have to worry about boundaries, so they were free to fish on any body of water without penalty.

The Elite Kayak Series tourney concluded four days of the Elite Redfish Series activities in Port Arthur, with all weigh-ins at the Bob Bowers Civic Center. Malone said the allure of kayak fishing is not having to spend lots of money on preparing a motorized boat and other accessories needed for it.

Kayak anglers, however, aren’t able to go to as many hotspots for the redfish as motor boaters.

“Once you’re in an area, you pretty much have to stay there. If this spot isn’t happening, you can’t really get up and move to another spot. Once you’re there, you’re committed. We got to spend a lot of time on the water and study the water patterns and how the fish respond to them.”

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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