Ron Hueston and Mark Brady weighed a two-redfish limit that totaled 16.04 pounds to win the final regular-season event for the Florida West Divisions of the IFA Redfish Tour presented by Cabela’s on Sept. 27, at Sarasota, Florida.
While Hueston knows the Sarasota waters well and originally had plans to fish elsewhere, the anglers discovered fish within sight of the take off.
“We idled about 500 yards from the take off and stopped to rig baits,” said Hueston. “After pulling a spoon out from a compartment, my partner dropped the hatch on the boat and a school of fish jumped up in front of us.”
The anglers threw gold spoons and caught 31 fish, of which 22 were oversized, but finally landed two that were the right size.
“Staying close to the take off was the simplest thing I have ever done,” said Hueston. “It was a no brainer.”
With a hefty limit in the livewell, the anglers idled around the bay to help keep their fish alive.
“From my tournament experience, I knew there was no way we were going to catch anything bigger than that,” Hueston said. “I didn’t want to take a chance on losing any of the fish. I wanted to make sure I stayed in deep water and let my livewell circulate all day.”
The team won a fully rigged Ranger boat powered by a Yamaha outboard valued at $25,995 for first place. The anglers added $2,600 in Anglers Advantage cash.
“I have fished the IFA Redfish Tour since the beginning and I owe my success to the generosity and backing of my sponsors, especially Yamaha,” said Hueston. “I would like to send a special thanks to Tim Haney of Yamaha for all his support over the years.”
Second-place finishers Michael Delagarza and T.J. Stewart brought in a 15.39-pound limit to take home $4,091, which included $1,050 in Anglers Advantage cash.
Kris Howell, of Land O Lakes, Florida, and Brett Morris, of St. Petersburg, Florida, came in a close third with 15.09 pounds. The team ran 40 miles from the take off and fished Berkley Gulp!. The anglers took home a total of $2,800 in winnings.
The next stop for the IFA Redfish Tour is the championship event at Houma, Louisiana, Sept. 24-25. All teams that enter at least a minimum of two events and compete in at least one event will qualify for the 2014 IFA Redfish Championship.
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, Economy Tackle/Dolphin Paddlesports, The Bearded Clam Waterfront Restaurant & Tiki Bar and Centennial Park.
For more information or to become a member of the IFA, visit www.ifatours.com.
IFA Redfish Tour Championship – Sarasota, Fla. (Top 10)
1. Ron Hueston/Mark Brady – 16.04 lbs.
2. Michael Delagarza/T.J. Stewart – 15.39 lbs.
3. Kris Howell/Brett Morris – 15.09 lbs.
4. Brock Horner/Billy Alstorm – 14.30 lbs.
5. J.R. Witt/Jason Tari – 13.70 lbs.
6. Brady Nelson/Kasey Nelson – 13.67 lbs.
7. Jeremy Heimes/Travis Hancock – 13.58 lbs.
8. Rick Canida/Ryan Rickerd – 13.58 lbs.
9. Geoff Page/Rick Murphy – 13.54 lbs.
10. Mark Dillingham/Will Burbach – 13.10 lbs.
Blue Heron Communications
Image courtesy Inshore Fishing Association