Monty Peters, of Vero Beach, Fla., and Tony Vercillo, of Fort Pierce, Fla., won the Inshore Fishing Association (IFA) Redfish Tour presented by Cabela’s Overall Team of the Year Award for the 2013 season. The team won paid entry fees for one division in 2014 and $5,000 from Cabela’s for their accomplishment.
The teams with the highest total points from their 2013 divisional events and the championship event were awarded Divisional Team of the Year Awards. These teams were scored against each other at the 2013 championship event at Houma, La., on Oct 25-26. Peters and Vercillo clinched the Overall Team of the Year title with the highest-place finish out of the five divisional winners by taking second place at the event.
Going into the IFA championship event, the anglers sat in sixth place within their division. A strong finish in the championship event would give them a chance to win their division and the Overall Team of the Year Award.
“There was only one divisional team ahead of us in point that made the trip,” said Peters. “I like the fact that they take the championship points into the divisional title race because it shows some diversity. It proves it’s not just a home-field advantage.”
Fishing the IFA since 2006, Peters and his teammate regularly fish in the IFA Florida West Division.
“The west coast division, by far, is the most competitive division,” said Peters. “Our fish are so spooky and are so beat up. You are catching them in crystal clear water. It’s totally opposite of what Louisiana is. Louisiana is more like bass fishing.”
As an avid bass fisherman in the past, Peters attributes this experience as one of the keys to their success in the championship in Louisiana.
“My bass fishing experience for 20 years when I was younger really translates to Louisiana redfish,” said Peters. “It makes it kind of easy for us to go out there and compete. We were catching bass right along with the redfish in the hydrilla. They are going to stay along edges and troughs exactly like a bass would do.”
Along with the stiff competition in the IFA Florida West Division, Peters points out the increased pressure on redfish in Florida makes them work harder for their fish.
“It’s kind of weird that we’re able to go up there and be successful,” said Peters. “If you can catch redfish in south Florida you can catch them anywhere, especially a place like Louisiana where they aren’t pressured at all. It kind of makes it easy for us even though it’s a totally different style of fishing.”
With low entry-fees and high payouts, Peters thinks the IFA is a great way for people to introduce themselves to tournament fishing.
“I like the format,” said Peters. “It’s not expensive, so anybody can get two guys together and pitch in $125 bucks each and go fishing. It’s a lot of fun and is a great opportunity for anybody who likes fishing to go out and try to win a couple of them.”
For more information or to become a member of the IFA, visit www.ifatours.com.
Image courtesy Inshore Fishing Association