Team LeBlanc/Matherne Wins IFA Redfish Tour Event at Empire, LA


Jason LeBlanc, of Marrero, La., and Kory Matherne, of Harvey, La., weighed a two-redfish limit that totaled 17.04 pounds to win the first regular-season event for the Louisiana Division of the IFA Redfish Tour presented by Cabela’s on May 17 at Empire, La.

The duo, which claimed a third-place finish last season in the IFA event at Grand Isle, La., reported beautiful fishing conditions as they targeted redfish around the Lafitte (La.) area. Taking advantage of the water conditions, the team sight fished with Berkley Gulp! baits to secure their winning fish.

“I think we did an excellent job of taking advantage of the water conditions today,” said LeBlanc, who, along with Matherne, edged out the second-place team by a slim margin of 1.28 ounces. “We caught the two biggest fish we saw today and that was the difference for us.”

With the win, the anglers took home a new, fully rigged Ranger boat powered by a Yamaha outboard valued at $25,995 plus $2,513 in Anglers Advantage cash.

Barbara Scopeletis, of Corpus Christi, Texas, and Starr Boykin, of Dauphin Island, Ala., brought 16.96 pounds to the scales to take home the $2,541 second-place prize plus $1,253 in Anglers Advantage cash. The anglers reported fishing the calm waters of ponds in the Venice (La.) area where they fished with Berkley Gulp! shrimp.

Gary Wilson, of Madisonville, La., and Gus Wilson, of Metairie, La., picked up the second third-place finish of their IFA careers, finishing the Empire event with 16.95 pounds of redfish, a mere 1/16 ounce less than the team of Scopeletis and Boykin. Fishing in the Lafitte area, the team relied on sight fishing to have both of their fish in the boat before 9 a.m.

“We caught 16 (pounds) on Friday during practice and found enough to have two great fish in the boat early today,” said Gary Wilson. “This is our fourth time to finish in the Top 10 and we had a great two days of fishing.”

IFA events are made possible through the sponsorship and continued support of these well-respected brands: Hobie Fishing, Ranger Boats, Cabela’s, Lucas Oil, Yamaha Outboards, RAM, Berkley Gulp!, Berkley Gulp! Alive!, PENN Reels, Spiderwire, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Power-Pole, Amphibia, Arctic Ice, Protect the Harvest, General Tire, Bob’s Machine Shop, Blue Point Fabrication, SuperClean, Progressive, Mustang Survival, iON Cameras, Valley Fashions, Powertex Group, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and The Delta Marina.

For more information or to become a member of the IFA, visit

IFA Redfish Tour Championship – Empire, La. (Top 10)

  1. LeBlanc/Matherne – 17.04 lbs.
  2. Scopeletis/Boykin – 16.96 lbs.
  3. Wilson/Wilson – 16.95 lbs.
  4. Dufrene/Cedotal – 16.93 lbs.
  5. Boudreaux/Moore – 16.91 lbs.
  6. Naron/Johnson – 16.68 lbs.
  7. Adams/Adams – 16.63 lbs.
  8. Landry/Kennedy – 16.53 lbs.
  9. Craft/Craft – 16.49 lbs.
  10. O’Connel/Lindheim – 16.39 lbs.
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