Strong payout, media coverage brings sport’s biggest names to Punta Gorda, Fla.

The Inshore Fishing Association (IFA) has announced a full field for the second event in the all-new Lucas Oil IFA Pro-Am Redfish Challenge Series, taking place October 4-6 in Punta Gorda, Fla. The tournament series, which features a 3-day format, pairs some of the best professional inshore anglers with co-anglers in a high-stakes, made-for-TV competition.

“The response from anglers since announcing the new Pro-Am Series earlier this year has been incredible,” said IFA Marketing Director Bart Schad. “The first event at Chalmette was a huge success and registrations for Punta Gorda filled quickly. We’re excited about the format and quality of anglers in the field. This should be another awesome event.”

With over-100-percent cash payout guaranteed, the Punta Gorda tournament features several well known saltwater anglers. The lucrative payout and unique format has even piqued the interest of some accomplished freshwater pros, including Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Elite Series angler David Walker – an 8-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier with over $1.5 million in career earnings. Walker, an avid saltwater angler, has competed in tour-level redfish events before and wouldn’t be surprised to see others make the jump when schedules allow.

“This was too good an opportunity to pass up. The payout is incredible and you get to compete against the best saltwater anglers in the world,” said Walker. “I’m really looking forward to it and could definitely see some other freshwater guys making the jump for an opportunity like this.”

The Pro-Am will feature a limited field size of approximately 25 pro- and co-anglers and will feature a minimum guaranteed payout of $55,000 on the pro-side, including $25,000 for first place, and $12,500 for co-anglers. The event will use a shared weight format (two fish per day/boat) and will be broadcast to over 120 million combined TV households on NBC Sports Outdoors, Pursuit Channel, MAVTV, the Texas Channel and the World Fishing Network.

The event will operate out of Laishley Park (120 Laishley Ct., Punta Gorda, FL 33950). The Lucas Oil Pro-Am Redfish Challenge will begin its activities on Thursday, Oct. 3, with tournament registration at Hooter’s (1360 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL 33948) from 5:00-6:30 p.m. with the Pairings Meeting to follow at 7 p.m. Anglers will launch from Laishley Park at safe light during the three-day event. Check-in times will be assigned at registration with anglers returning to the Laishley Park for the weigh-in each day.

The following pro anglers have confirmed entry for the upcoming Punta Gorda event:

  • Artie Price Jr.
  • Bill Scholtz
  • Billy Nicholas
  • Brady Nelson
  • Chris Wittman
  • Cody Chivas
  • David Walker
  • Gary McKenzie
  • Geoff Page
  • Greg DeVault
  • Greg Watts
  • Heath Seckel
  • Jay Withers
  • John Henninger
  • John Ochs
  • John Oliverio
  • J.R. Witt
  • Mike Laramy
  • Mike Taylor
  • Mike Tindal
  • Rob Ferris
  • Tadd VanDemark
  • TJ Stuart
  • Travis Tucker
  • Travis Yaeckle

The following co-anglers have confirmed entry for the Punta Gorda event:

  • Barret McMullen
  • Bobbie Allen
  • Charlie Roberts
  • Clint Swofford
  • Dewey Holloway
  • Donnie Johnson
  • Fred Walker
  • Jeff Watkins Jr.
  • Jim Divine
  • John Hislop
  • John Roberts
  • Kasey Nelson
  • Kelly Causey
  • Kurt Shader
  • Len Bevis
  • Michael Daines
  • Michael Delagarza
  • Mick McClelland
  • Patrick Neu
  • Paul Klingel
  • Randy Lane
  • Richard Martiniuk
  • Rusty Jewett
  • Stan Allen
  • Tony Jackson

For more information about the Pro-Am please visit or call (478) 836-4266.

Logo courtesy Inshore Fishing Association

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