The #88 Stiffy Push Pole Wins HT Redfish
What a great time to be in Texas, the fishing is tough but that's just the way a lot of the pros like it. The Port Aransas and Mustang Island Chamber of Commerce and their staffs did a fabulous job on preparing the room. From the moment the tour and it's anglers stepped off the ferried and on to the island, it was obvious, anything they needed, (shy of supplying them with big Texas red fish) was going to be supplied.
After day 1 The #3 Third Stone Software boat of Ray Malone and Ryan Sweezy was in the lead with 14.90 pounds while the #5 Double Diamond Heavy Haul rig of Chuck Braddock and Clint Anderson is just 13/100 behind with 14.77. Team American Rodsmiths, the #9 boat of Robert Scherer and Blaine Friermood held down the third spot with 14.37 while Stiffy Push Pole team of Kevin Shaw and Jimmie Dooms finished day 1 in fourth with 14.33 pounds.
Finally, in fifth place after day 1 was another American Rodsmiths team, Kevin and Phil Broussard in the #69 brought in 14.23 pounds. It's obvious, this tournament is going to be a fight to a very close end. The anglers launched on day 2 hoping for bigger and more frequent opportunities but day 2 proved to be just as tough as day 1.
Third Stone Software team of Ryan Sweezy and Ray Malone powered their #3 boat to the lead heading into day 3 but a lot of teams are still within striking distance. This team is on a roll and has to be the favorites going in to day 3, but anything can happen. We're blessed
, Ray Malone told the host and crowd that was in attendance and blessed they are.
The Academy Sports and Outdoors made ready for the tour. After a year, the rig was finally back in front of the top sporting goods retailer in the country. The CCA supplied volunteers to help with the weigh in and Texas Parks and Wildlife would take each fish to the hatchery to make millions more of these great sporting fish, The Redfish.
As the weigh in time approached, 3:00 pm, the intensity began to pick up and the great crowd enjoyed covered viewing areas, cool water and some frogg toggs chily pad, cooling towels. Everything and everyone was in place and now it was time for the final day of the weigh in.
This day would have it all... almost. Missing on day 3 would be those big Texas redfish, teams struggled to break double digits as 3 days of tournament fishing had depleted their areas of the quality fish they were looking for. As the first teams came in with 0, then 1 then 2 small fish, we were hoping the crowd would get to see something that resembled the big fish their waters are known for.
After the #25 American Rodsmiths team zeroed and the #10 Natural Light boat followed suit it would be up to the Shock H2O team to put some fish on the board. They did but just 1, man this day was going in the wrong direction.
Then came another American Rodsmiths team, the #69 boat of Cajun Phil and Kevin Broussard, surely they'd have big fish to show the crowd. One good fish and one they wish they could cull for a total of just 13.01 pounds. Team S.T.C. followed suit and showed off less than an impressive limit while Erik Rue and Larry Puckett had the best limit of the early teams weighing in. The good news, the kids didn't seem to mind, there was plenty of giveaways and prizes being thrown out by each team as they were driven through the weigh in by CCA volunteers.
This team needed just over 12 pounds to take the win and when they lifted their 2 fish high simultaneously for the cheering crowd it was obvious, these 2 fish were well over the 12 pounds needed. All that was left to do was put them on the automated HT scales and make it official.The fish were placed, the weight was automatically read and locked by the system and it became official... with a 3 day total of 44.25 pounds this team would take home the top prize of $25,000.00 and the valuable 200 points toward the team of the year championship and a beautiful 22' Haynie Custom boat that was on hand and getting plenty of attention.
As Kevin and Jimmie celebrated the microphone found Jimmie who stated, in an exhausted breath, man after so many 2nd's and so many close calls, it feels good to finally win one of these events. Everyone in attendance could tell it had taken a toll and much like a QB who had won a lot of games but never the "big one", a weight had been lifted off this angler's shoulders.
We appreciate all our fans that watched our weigh ins in person or live or live on the internet and invite each of you to join us again August 17-18 when we return to Mustang Island for the 2nd open qualifier of the season and the chance to join the most lucrative tour in the country in 2013 where teams will fish for a guaranteed $40,000.00 per event winners check. Until then this is your host, Pat Malone saying, stay safe until we see you again, on the water or on the web.
Please read more, see the results and pictures by going to www.htredfishseries.com.