Team Lather Finish on Top at IFA Redfish Tour Event
Shane and Chuck Lather, both of Beaufort, S.C., weighed in a two-redfish limit that totaled 9.14 pounds to win the IFA Redfish Tour event at Charleston, S.C., on June 4. To win the event, which operated out of St. Johns Yacht Harbor, the team 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, an OPTIMA battery and a Loadmaster trailer valued at $30,000.
Team Lather reported good fishing conditions following its 60-mile run back to their home waters around Beaufort. There, using a mix of Berkley Gulp! baits, top-water lures and spinnerbaits, the team managed to boat their catch to earn its first IFA Redfish Tour tournament win.
"Conditions were good; ideal for the kind of fishing we wanted to do," Shane Lather said. "Obviously, being able to make the run and fish close to home was a real advantage for us."
Second-place finishers, J.R. Waits, of Wando, S.C., and Hylan Furniss, of Wilmington, N.C., brought 8.96 pounds to the scales during the Charleston event, the result of a 60-mile run to the Isle of Palms area. The team, which also won the Charleston event in 2009, reported fishing only Berkley Gulp! baits to land its fish, including a 4.93-pound kicker that took the $500 Berkley Gulp! Big Fish Award. The award also included a $500 Cabela's gift card, courtesy of Berkley, for catching the big fish on Berkley Gulp!.
"The conditions were just as we expected; everything was just as we expected," Waits said. "It doesn't happen very often, but when a tournament day goes exactly as planned you're really fortunate. I'm glad we made the most of it."
The third-place team of Ron and Caleb Davis, both of Edisto Island, S.C., weighed in 8.89 pounds during the tournament, following a 45-mile run to the North Edisto River area. Power fishing with blade baits paired with Berkley Gulp! trailers, the team's place of finish brought them the $1,000 Cabela's Anglers Cash Award as the highest-finishing, program-qualified team."Our plan was to fish our home waters around Edisto Island and everything went as we planned and we were able to stick with that plan," Ron Davis said. "We caught a lot of slot fish today and a few that were right at 23 inches. It would've been nice to win but I really feel like we did all we could."
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, an OPTIMA battery and a Loadmaster trailer. The entire first-place prize package is valued at $30,000. Lucrative contingency programs added 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 an EGO Net, $25 prize for both the big redfish and big trout in IFA Kayak Tour events; $250 prize to a qualifying winning team which competes from a boat equipped with OPTIMA Batteries; PENN reels for tournament-winning anglers who compete with PENN reels.
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.