Draper and Maldonado Victorious at IFA Redfish Tour Event
Bruce Draper and Ricky Maldonado, both of Ridgeland, S.C., weighed in a two-redfish limit that totaled 9.42 pounds to win the IFA Redfish Tour event at Savannah, Ga., on March 24. To win the event, which operated out of Coffee Bluff Marina, the duo topped a large field of two-angler teams to take home a new, fully-rigged Ranger Banshee Extreme powered by a 60-horsepower, four-stroke Yamaha outboard and equipped with a Power-Pole shallow water anchor, Minn Kota trolling motor, Humminbird electronics, Blue Point Fabrication metal work, Bob's four-inch Ultra Light Jackplate, and a Loadmaster trailer valued at $30,000.
With an overcast sky and southwest winds the winning team ran 120 miles round-trip to Hilton Head Island, S.C., fishing Berkley Gulp! baits in grass pockets. The team's 4.85-pound kicker redfish won the $500 Berkley Gulp! Big Fish Award plus a $250 Cabela's gift card, courtesy of Berkley. The anglers also took home the $250 NBOA Insurance Award.
"With conditions as they were, we fished slow and really concentrated on one bank," Draper said.
Second-place finishers, Nations Finley and McNeal Finley, both of Beaufort, S.C., weighed in 9.15 pounds of redfish. Fishing with Gulp! Jerk Shads and spinner baits the team fished the Hilton Head Island area as well.
"The wind hurt us a bit," Nations Finley said. "We didn't get too serious about the tournament, we just went out there and had fun. Through great teamwork we were able to land some quality fish."
In their third year fishing on the IFA Redfish Tour, Ron Davis and Caleb Davis, both of Edisto Island, S.C., brought 8.38 pounds to the scales to win third place. The team made a long run to Hilton Head Island, power fishing blade baits with Berkley Gulp! trailers. The two anglers took home an additional 1,000 for the Cabela's Angler Cash Award.
The IFA Redfish Tour Presented by Cabela's continues to draw redfish anglers from Texas to the Carolinas and beyond, offering two-angler teams the opportunity to compete in six different divisions, each offering a two-event regular season. Low entry fees for the one-day, regular-season tournaments allows anglers to fish close to home and minimize expenses, while still being a part of a premier inshore, catch-and-release redfish tournament organization. Teams fishing any two of the IFA's 12 regular-season events and one regional event are automatically qualified for a no-entry-fee championship event, pitting qualifiers from each of the six divisions for a combined $118,450 in payouts and prize packages, as well as a shot at the coveted Cabela's Overall Divisional Team of the Year Award for the six regular-season division winners.
In addition to a possible $60,000 in payouts per event (based on a 100-boat field), the first-place prize package for all 12 IFA Redfish Tour regular-season events remains extremely lucrative. In 2012, every regular-season tournament winner is guaranteed - regardless of field size - a fully loaded 2012 Ranger Banshee Extreme. The boat is powered by a 60-horsepower, four-stroke Yamaha outboard and is equipped with a Power-Pole shallow water anchor, Minn Kota trolling motor, Humminbird electronics, Blue Point Fabrication metal work, Bob's four-inch Ultra Light Jackplate and a Loadmaster trailer. The entire first-place prize package is valued at $30,000.
For more information or to become a member of the IFA, the fastest-growing inshore fishing tournament series in the United States, go online to www.redfishtour.com or www.ifakayakfishingtour.com. To discover more about kayaking and Hobie Fishing go to www.hobiefishing.com.