Florida Team Wins One For Home
Brad Safreed and Scott Jones, both of Jacksonville, Florida, weighed in a two-redfish limited that totaled 14.78 pounds to win the IFA Redfish Tour event in Jacksonville on March 5. To win the event, the first of the year for the IFA's Florida East Coast Division which operated out of Sister's Creek Marina, Safreed and Jones bested a competitive field to take home a new Ranger Banshee Extreme valued at $30,000.
Fishing within five miles of the tournament's launch site, Safreed and Jones found their winning fish early in the morning, using a combination of spinnerbaits and crankbaitsin small feeder creeks and over rocks submerged in deep water.
"Our fish were caught by 8 o'clock this morning," Jones said. "Glad we got to these fish early. After that all we could find was about 15 oversized fish."
Second-place finishers, John and Chris Henninger, both of Jacksonville, brought 14.07 pounds to the scales during the tournament, following a hot start to the competition day catching five oversized redfish on five casts using large swim baits. The pair managed to catch their 7.77-pound kicker fish early in the day, battling rough water before landing their second slot-limit fish later in the day.
"We culled 13 fish today," John said. "And we earned every one of them - the water was really rough. We were fishing in 6- and 7-foot swells our by the jetties."
The third-place team of Pierre Dubord, of Palmetto, Fla., and Ronnie Smith, of Ft. Collins, Colo., weighed in 13.55 pounds during the competition, adding $1,000 in Cabela's Angler Cash to their tournament winnings. On February 26, Dubord, along with his IFA Florida West Coast Division partner, Jens Larsen, won the IFA Redfish Tour event at Punta Gorda.
The pair boated approximately 15 redfish during the event, waiting for the flood tide to bring slot-limit fish into an area that yielded mostly oversized redfish.
Rick Walters and Randy Lane finished in 10th place in the Jacksonville tournament with a total of 11.54 pounds. Their 7.80-pound redfish won the $500 Big Fish Award.
The IFA Redfish Tour 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 three-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 three of the IFA's 18 regular-season events are automatically qualified for a no-entry-fee championship event, pitting qualifiers from each of the six divisions for a combined $78,200 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 18 IFA Redfish Tour regular-season events remains extremely lucrative. In 2011, every regular-season tournament winner is guaranteed - regardless of field size - a fully loaded 2011 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. Added contingency programs for 2011 include $50 prize to the team claiming the big fish award in an IFA Redfish Tour event if the fish is landed with a EGO Net; $25 prize for both the big redfish and big trout in IFA Kayak Tour events; and a $200 prize to any winning team covered by a Charter Lakes Marine Insurance policy.
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 .
Top 10 Teams
1. Safreed/Jones - 14.78 lbs.
2. Henninger/Henninger - 14.07 lbs.
3. Dubord/Smith - 13.55 lbs.
4. Owens/Aldridge - 12.89 lbs.
5. Phillips/Guthrie - 12.88 lbs.
6. Fraser/Sapp - 12.33 lbs.
7. Dudley II/Howie - 12.07 lbs.
8. O'Brien/Eggers - 11.96 lbs.
9. Donovan/Donavan - 11.82 lbs.
10. Walters/Lane - 11.54 lbs.
Big Fish Award ($500): Walters/Lane (7.80 lbs.)
Cabela's Angler Cash ($1,000): Dubord/Smith