More than 200 two-angler teams from six different divisions and from across the Gulf and Atlantic coasts will converge on Panama City Beach, Fla., for the IFA Redfish Tour 2008 Championship. The tournament, which runs November 7-8, 2008, returns to Panama City Beach for the third consecutive time, offering some of the southeast's best inshore anglers a chance at the thousands of dollars in cash and prizes as well as lucrative bonus payouts from some of the biggest names in the fishing industry.
Two-angler teams qualified for the no-entry-fee IFA Redfish Tour Championship by fishing a minimum of three IFA Redfish Tour events during 2008.
In addition to the winner-take-all championship event, an event within the event - the Cabela' s Overall Divisional Team of These division-winning teams fished all three events within their respective divisions in 2008, finishing the regular season with the highest point total s within their divisions. Defending Cabela's Overall Divisional Team of the Year Award wi nner Dwayne Eschete is back to defend his title, this time qualifying from the Gulf Coast division and fishing with a different partner, Fred Myers. Making their third appearance in the championship event this year, the Florida West Division winners, Brady Nelson and Josh Ramsey, are in search of their first-ever Cabela's Overall Divisional Team of the Year Award.
"Not so long ago, the idea of a competitive redfish tournament circuit with the size and success of the IFA Redfish Tour was just a dream," said IFA Redfish Tour President Jim Armstrong. "This year, our participation has been even greater in our regular-season events and that has resulted in a significant number of entrants in our championship event.
With a first-class venue like Panama City Beach combined with great fishing water and ultra-competitive teams, this year's championship event is poised to take to new height both the IFA Redfish Tour and competitive inshore anglers looki ng to compete for serious money while staying close to home."
2008 IFA Redfish Tour Division Winners
Florida East Division Winners: Scott Owens and Rob Aldridge
Florida West Division Winners: Brady Nelson and Josh Ramsey
Gulf Coast Division Winners: Dwayne Eschete and Fred MyeAtlantic Division Winners: Jeffrey Cronk and Mike Taylor Louisiana Division Winners: Jay Cedotal and Chad Dufrene
Texas Division Winners: Jordan Clark and Chief Tauzin
Long known as one of the premier tourist destinations on Florida's Gulf Coast with weather conditions and sandy beaches that lure families and spring breakers alike, Panama City Beach is also home to some of the state's finest inshore fishing opportunities for inshore game species like redfish. With facilities, accommodations and ease of access to the venue that matches the quality of the fishing opportunities in the area, the IFA Redfish Tour 2008 Championship Tournament should produce exciting results.
"Panama City Beach is honored, once again, to host the 2008 IFA Redfish Tour Championship," said Richard Sanders, Director of Sports Marketi ng for the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau. "This event has played a vital role in our branding efforts of making Panama City Beach not only known as a premier tourist destination but a nationally known championship venue for the fishing industry. We truly believe that our destination is the 'Riviera for Redfish Fishing.'"
The tournament's host facility will be the Edgewater Beach Resort, site of Thursday night's registration and captain's meeting, which begin at 5 and 7 p.m. , respectively. Boat check ins and launch will be from RiverCamps On the Crooked Creek, approximately five miles north of Panama City Beach. Boats will launch both days beginning at safe light with the first flight's check in scheduled for 3 p.m.
The IFA Redfish Tour continues to draw redfish anglers from across the southeast, offering two-angler teams the opportunity to compete in six different divisions, each offering a three-event regular season. With low entry fees for the one-day, regular-season tournaments allow anglers to fish close to home and minimize expenses, while still being a part of a premier inshore, catch-and-release redfish tournament organization.
Payouts (based on 100 boat field)
First Place: 2009 Ranger 173 Ghost powered by a 115-horsepower, four-stroke Yamaha
outboard and equipped with a Power Pole, Minn Kota trolling mot or and Humminbird
electronics (Retail Value: $34,000)
Second Place: $10,000
Third Place: $5,000
Fourth Place: $3,000
Fifth Place: $2,000
Sixth through 10th Places: $1,500
11th through 15th Places: $1,100
16th through 20th Places: $1,000 21st through 25th Places: $700 Big Fish (for the tournament): $700
Cabela's: Cabela's will provide a $2,500 gift card to the highest-finishing team at the IFA Tour Championship that meets the Cabela's bonus requirements of 15 purchases from Cabela's (each purchase/receipt must be for $10 or more) prior to the first day of competition at the 2008 Championship. Receipts must be submitted no later than November 6th at the Captain's Meeting.
Minn Kota: $1,500 will go to the highest-finishing team at the Championship with a receipt of purchase for a Minn Kota trolling motor purchased prior to t he Captain's Meeting of the Championship. Receipts must be submitted no later than November 6th at the Captain's Meeting.
Humminbird: A contingency prize of $750 to be made to the highest-finishi ng angler at the IFA Redfish Tour Championship with a qualified receipt of purchase for a Humminbird prior to the Captain's Meeting at the Championship in 2008. Receipts must be submitted no later than November 6th at the Captain's Meeting.
Solar Bat: The highest-finishing team that wears and mentions Solar Bat during either day of the competition will receive $100.
Sperry: The highest-finishing team that wears and mentions Sperry Topsider Shoes during either day of the competition will receive $100.
Wrap This, Ink!: A free boat wrap will be awarded to the top finishing angler at the IFA Redfish Tour Championship.
Wrap This, Ink. is a new sponsor for 2009!!
IFA Redfish Tour sponsors include Cabela's, Ranger Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Loadmaster, Sebile Lures, Wrap This Ink., Power Pole, Solar Bat, Navionics, Sperry Topsider Shoes, DriGrip Sunscreen, CW Crab, Charter Lakes Marine Insurance and Gemini Custom Jerseys & Apparel. The IFA Redfish Tour wishes to thank the Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, RiverCamps on Crooked Creek and Edgewater Beach Resort for their participation as 2008 Championship venue sponsors.
For more information about the IFA Redfish Tour tournaments, visit www.redfishtour.com