J.R. Waits of Isle of Palms, South Carolina, and Hylan Furnis of Wilmington, North Carolina, caught a two-redfish limited that weighed 7.97 pounds to win the 2009 IFA Redfish Tour event at Charleston, South Carolina, on Saturday. To win the one-day event, which operated out of St. Johns Yacht Harbor, Waits and Furnis bested a field of other two-angler teams to take the early points lead in the IFA Redfish Tour's Atlantic Division.
Saturday brought better-than-expected weather conditions. By targeting slot fish near a protected shoreline with Gulp! Shrimp and Berkley jerk bait, Waits and Furnis boated 13 fish near a mouth of a creek that fed water into a shallow grass flat.
"The wind coming across the back of the harbor was bad, but we were fine," said Waits, a charter captain based out of Isle of Palms. "The weather really wasn't as bad as everyone expected it to be."
With the win the pair won a 2009 Ranger Banshee Extreme valued at more than $30,000. The boat is powered by a 60-horsepower, four-stroke Yamaha outboard and is equipped with a Bob's four-inch Ultra Light Jackplate, Power-Pole shallow water anchor, Minn Kota trolling motor, Humminbird electronics, Blue Point Fabrication metal work and Loadmaster trailer.
The second-place team of James Moore and Stan Allen weighed in 7.37 pounds, buoyed by a 4.99-pound kicker. David Gasque and Justin Leyh finished third with 7.11 pounds.
As the highest-finishing Ranger Cup participants, fifth-place finishers Henry McFadden and Chuck Fonvielle, won the $1,000 Ranger Cup award. Moore and Allen took home the Solar Bat prize, worth $100.
The IFA Redfish Tour continues to draw redfish anglers from Texas to the Carolinas and beyond, 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. Teams fishing any three of the IFA's 18 regular-season events are automatically qualified for a no-entry-fee championship event, pitting qualifiers from each of the six divisions for a combined $77,000 in payouts and prize packages, as well as a shot at the coveted Cabela's Overall Divisional Team of the Year Award for the six regular-season division winners.
This year, in addition to $47,000 in payouts per event (based on a 100-boat field), the first-place prize package for all 18 IFA Redfish Tour regular-season events has been increased. In 2009, every regular-season tournament winner is guaranteed - regardless of field size - a fully loaded 2009 Ranger Banshee Extreme. The boat is powered by a 60-horsepower, four-stroke Yamaha outboard and is equipped with a Bob's four-inch Ultra Light Jackplate, Power-Pole shallow water anchor, Minn Kota trolling motor, Humminbird electronics, Blue Point Fabrication metal work and Loadmaster trailer. The entire first-place prize package is valued at $30,000.
For more information on the IFA Redfish Tour, to become a member of the IFA or to become a part of the fastest-growing inshore fishing tournament series in the United States, go online to redfishtour.com.
IFA Redfish Tour events are made possible through the sponsorship and continued support of the fishing industry's most respected brands: Ranger Boats, Cabela's, Yamaha Outboards, Rapala, Trigger X, Sufix, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Power-Pole, Wrap This, CW Crab, Charter Lakes Marine Insurance, Solar Bat, Gemini Custom Apparel, Navionics, Bob's Machine Shop, Blue Point Fabrication, Terminator, VMC Hooks, Loadmaster Trailers, Powertex Group, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Barton & Burwell Tackle and St. Johns Yacht Harbor.
IFA Atlantic Division
Charleston Results (Top 10)
1. Waits/Furnis - 7.97 lbs.
2. Moore/Allen - 7.37 lbs.
3. Gasque/Leyh - 7.11 lbs.
4. Halker/Halker - 6.08 lbs.
5. McFadden/Fonvielle - 5.76 lbs.
6. Marshall/Elko - 5.34 lbs.
7. Burchell/Ellington - 4.87 lbs.
8. Haynes/Kendrick - 4.55 lbs.
9. Koraly/Knight - 4.28 lbs.
10. Clark Jr./Arndt - 4.16 lbs.
Ranger Cup Award ($1,000): McFadden/Fonvielle
Solar Bat ($100): Moore/Allen
Rapala Big Fish ($1,500): Marshall/Elko - 5.34 lbs.