Dufrene and White win close battle in the bayou
FOURCHON, La. – Chad Dufrene and Barnie White came from behind to win a tight victory during the 2013 Shock H20 Professional Redfish Tour season ender, held Aug. 30-31 in Fourchon, La.
Jumping up three places on the final day, Team Dufrene and White brought in two fish for 16.43 pounds to seal the victory with a two-day total of 32.54 pounds for an 8.14-pound average. The champs landed two consecutive two-fish daily limits of redfish between 16 and 27 inches to beat their nearest competitors by a mere three one-hundredths of a pound. After Day 1, Dufrene and White sat in fourth place with 16.11 pounds. “We struggled to make fish bite early,” White recalled. “We threw a lot of baits and switched up a lot of things. We finally settled on a Yum crawfish. There were a lot of crabs in the water and a Yum crawfish kind of looks like a crab. Fish we caught spit up a lot of crabs in the livewell, so we had to key in on that.”
For the win, Dufrene and White pocketed a check for $10,000. They also qualified to fish the 2014 Academy Sports and Outdoors HT Invitational Series. “We look forward to fishing the Series next year,” Chad Dufrene explained. “In this tournament, we made about a 60-mile run. On the higher, slack tide first thing in the morning, the fish weren’t really aggressive. We had to switch to that Yum crawfish bait to match the hatch. Later in the day, the fish become more aggressive, but we couldn’t fish our best spot because we couldn’t get back in there with the tide falling.”
Running out of Moran’s Marina in Golden Meadow, Day 1 leaders Paul Dufrene and Jay Cedotal with Team H2O dropped into second place with a two-day limit of four redfish weighing 32.51 pounds. On Day 1, they set the standard with 16.92 pounds, the largest single-day bag brought to the scales during the tournament. Heading west, they found two keepers for 15.59 pounds on the final day to slip a notch.
“We thought 32 pounds would take the win and we weren’t far off,” Paul Dufrene remarked. “We just came up a little short at the end. My hat’s off to Barnie and Chad. They did a great job. We went through about 100 fish in two days. We just didn’t get that one fish that would have sealed the deal. We threw black and chartreuse Bass Assassins soft plastics all through the tournament.”
The season points leaders coming into this event, Dwayne Eschete and Clark Jordan of Team Majek Boats finished third with four redfish going 31.45 pounds. They held third throughout the event, bringing in 16.21 pounds on the first day and another 15.24 pounds on the final day.
Judd Johnson and Glenn Rector tied with Daniel Land and Leon Robinson for fourth place. They each finished with 29.85 pounds. Johnson and Rector held second on Day 1 with 16.24 pounds. They caught 13.61 pounds on Day 2, dropping two places. Land and Robinson held eighth place on Day 1 with 14.38, but jumped four places with 15.47 pounds on the final day.
Rounding out the top six teams, Josh Hall and Mitchell Chevalier dipped a spot. They brought in 15.25 pounds on the first day to sit in fifth place and added 14.17 pounds on the final day to finish in sixth place with 29.42 pounds.
“This was a great tournament,” said Pat Malone, HT Redfish Series president and CEO. “The weather was great and everybody caught a lot of fish. The teams brought in 44 keepers for an average of 7.35 pounds per fish. For Paul and Jay, losing by just three one-hundredths of a pound is tough, but that’s fishing. A redfish could spit up a crab or piece of bait in the livewell to account for that little bit of weight. I look forward to seeing more great fishing action when we come back to this area on Sept. 12-14, 2013, for the Academy Sports and Outdoors HT Professional Redfish Invitational Series season ender out of Falgout Marina in Theriot, La.”
Besides taking home generous cash prizes, the competitors earned points toward qualifying for spots in the 2014 Academy Sports and Outdoors HT Professional Redfish Invitational Series tour. The top three points leaders after this event will jump the field to compete in the 2013 Academy Sports and Outdoors HT Invitational Championship, set for Oct. 3-6, 2013 in Slidell, La. For more information on the tournament, see www.theredfishseries.com/events.php?id=60.