Chris Magnano of Fort Myers and Kyle Potts of Bokeelia weighed in a two-redfish limit that totaled 14.68 pounds to win the first event of the season for the IFA Redfish Tour presented by Cabela's at Placida, Fla. The anglers topped a field of 85 boats to take home a fully-rigged Ranger Banshee Extreme, valued at $30,000. The event paid out over $53,000 in total winnings, an impressive 200-percent payback.
The winning anglers experienced great fishing conditions. Sight-casting in the Pine Island area, the team used Berkley Gulp! shrimp on a weedless jighead to catch their limit.
"We fished around a school of over 100 fish in two to three foot of grass and muddled bottom," Magnano said. "Once the sun got high, long casts and sight-fishing were the key."
First-place finishers Chris Magnano, left, and Kyle Potts show off their plaques for winning the first event for the IFA Redfish Tour at Placida, Fla., on March 16.
After a pair of second-place finishes in past IFA events, the team was happy with their overall performance and long-awaited victory.
"We couldn't be happier," Magnano said. "It was great to finally knock down a win. The competition in the IFA is like no other."
The winning anglers added $3,063 in Angler's Advantage cash for a total of $33,063 in winnings.
Tony Cruz and Mark Cruz, both of Lakeland, Fla., brought 14.54 pounds of redfish to the scales to take home the second-place prize of $3,214. The anglers experienced tough conditions in the shallow flats around Placida.
The team also added $1,662 in Angler's Advantage cash and won the $500 Berkley Gulp! Big Fish award, plus a $250 Cabela's gift card, courtesy of Berkley.
Third-place finishers Robert Burns, of Ruskin, Fla., and Mark Dixon, of Depew, N.Y., weighed 14.45 pounds during the event. The anglers concentrated their fishing in the Lemon Bay area. Combined with their Angler's Advantage cash, the team took home $3,408 for their efforts.
Continuing to draw inshore anglers from Texas to the Carolinas, both IFA Redfish Tours include five different divisions, each with a two-event regular season. With budget-friendly entry fees, the two tours offer opportunities to compete close to home while keeping anglers' expenses to a minimum.
For more information or to become a member of the IFA, visit www.ifatours.com.
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, Livingston Lures, Amphibia, Arctic Ice, Bob's Machine Shop, Blue Point Fabrication, Powertex Group and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Gasparilla Marine.