Fred Myers, of Panama City, Florida, weighed a three-day total of 44.47 pounds of redfish to win the Lucas Oil IFA Pro-Am Redfish Challenge at Slidell, Louisiana, on Sept. 14. The high-stakes event, presented by Cabela’s, featured many of the sport’s biggest names and will air nationally on NBC Sports Network, Pursuit Channel, the Texas Channel and Fox Sports Net Southwest later this year.
The pro-am format continues to be a hit with anglers accustomed to fishing traditional team events. For his efforts on the pro side, Myers won $27,100 in cash while first-year IFA angler Bobbie Allen, of Tybee Island, Georgia, took home the $4,000 co-angler first-place prize with a 45.12-pound three-day total.
A three-time IFA Championship event winner, Myers ran 100 miles south to catch his limit each day. Tough fishing conditions hindered sight-fishing but the angler got onto a large school of reds.
“Sight-fishing is tough with cloud cover,” said Myers. “But I had so many fish I was able to see the school move and catch them.”
After bringing in 29.35 pounds during the first two days, Myers was situated in third place before the start of the final day’s action.
“The third day my main area was washed out so I ran back to an old area and caught enough,” Myers said.
The angler brought in 15.12 pounds, which was enough to overtake first place. While Myers is a seasoned tournament angler, he can’t take all the praise for his overall performance.
“I had three great partners that toughed out the long ride and they deserve as much credit as me,” said Myers. “I would like to thank the IFA for a great tournament.”
IFA Redfish Tour veteran Dwayne Eschete, of Madisonville, Louisiana, brought in a three-day total of 44.19 to take second place and $8,400 in cash. The angler was in the lead at the end of day two with 31.57 pounds but his 12.62 pounds on day three wasn’t enough to hold off Myers. Eschete sight-fished the Venice are with Berkley Gulp!.
Third-place pro-angler Eddie Adams, of Metairie, Louisiana, also fished the Venice are for his daily limits. The angler reported good and bad weather each day while fishing Berkley Gulp! and spinner baits. Adams won $4,000 for his efforts.
John Ochs (fourth), John Henninger (fifth), Blake Smith (sixth), Chad Billiot (seventh), Sal Fontana (eighth), Starr Boykin (ninth) and Jason Catchings (tenth) round out the top ten for the pro-angler category.
First-place co-angler finisher Bobbie Allen has had an impressive first year on the IFA Redfish Tour. The angler started the season with an eleventh place finish at this year’s Charleston event and also took first at the Georgetown event.
Paired with Dwayne Eschete on day one and with Chad Billiot on day two, Allen stood alone in first with a 2.60-pound lead. Going into day three, Allen was again paired with Eschete. The duo brought in 12.62 pounds and Allen retained the co-angler lead.
“We had early sun and a chance of storms all three days,” said Allen. “The first two days went as planned but the third day we had muddy water and it changed our plans.”
Allen pitched Berkley Gulp! and chatterbaits to banks on the first two days and threw popping corks on the final day to combat the muddy water.
Barrett McMullan (second), Kelly Causey (third), Barbara Scopelitis (fourth), Chad Eschete (fifth), Dewey Holloway (sixth), Stan Allen (seventh), Gabriel Lippert (eighth), Kevin Gallant (ninth) and Randy Lane (tenth) round out the top ten for the go-angler category.
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.ifatours.com.
Lucas Oil IFA Pro-Am Redfish Challenge
Slidell, La., Sept. 12-14, 2014
Pro Top-10 Finishers
1. Fred Myers – 44.47 lbs. – $27,100
2. Dwayne Eschete – 44.19 lbs. – $8,400
3. Eddie Adams – 43.37 lbs. – $4,0000
4. John Ochs – 42.60 lbs. – $3,000
5. John Henninger – 42.23 lbs. – $2,900
6. Blake Smith – 41.01 lbs. – $2,800
7. Chad Billiot – 39.35 lbs. – $2,700
8. Sal Fontana – 39.18 lbs. – $2,600
9. Starr Boykin – 38.25 lbs. – $2,500
10. Jason Catchings – 37.37 lbs. – $2,500
Co-Angler Top-10 Finishers
1. Bobbie Allen– 45.12 lbs. – $4,546
2. Barrett McMullan– 44.50 lbs. – $2,000
3. Kelly Causey – 43.57 lbs. – $1,466
4. Barbara Scopelitis – 42.31 lbs. – $1,252
5. Chad Eschete – 41.27 lbs. – $1,082
6. Dewey Holloway – 40.48 lbs. – $1,004
7. Stan Allen – 40.69 lbs. – $750
8. Gabriel Lippert – 38.66 lbs. – $700
9. Kevin Gallant – 37.84 lbs. – $600
10. Randy Lane – 34.71 lbs. – $500
Blue Heron Communications
Image courtesy Inshore Fishing Association