Team Sostheim/Matney Wins IFA Redfish Tour Event at Destin, FL
LIZELLA, Ga. – Joey Sostheim and Jake Matney, both of Panama City, Fla., weighed in a two-redfish limit that totaled 13.90 pounds to win the IFA Redfish Tour event in Destin, Fla., on March 26. To win the event, which operated out of Legendary Marine, Sostheim and Matney bested a competitive field to take home a new Ranger Banshee Extreme powered by a 60-horsepower, four-stroke Yamaha outboard and equipped with a Power-Pole shallow water anchor, Minn Kota trolling motor, Humminbird electronics, Blue Point Fabrication metal work, Bob's four-inch Ultra Light Jackplate, an OPTIMA battery and a Loadmaster trailer valued at $30,000.
Keying on fish located during pre-tournament practice, Sostheim and Matney relied on patience and Berkley Gulp! baits to boat their tournament-winning catches. Despite not finding the fish early in the competition day, the redfish soon moved into the area, allowing Sostheim and Matney to stick to their tournament strategy.
"We had to wait on them, but when they got there it was game on," Matney said. "We had a stellar day using the Berkley Gulp! baits; ran about 75 miles and caught about 30 redfish all together."
Second-place finishers, Chris Wiwi, of Panama City, and Don Wiwi, of Clearwater, Fla., brought 13.58 pounds to the scales during the tournament, relying on good weather to make the run to Panama City to find their fish. Despite finding many fish in the area that were not within the slot limit, the team did land a 7.18-pound kicker redfish – the largest weighed in during the event – which brought the team the Berkley Gulp! Big Fish Award, winning them $500 cash and a $500 Cabela's gift card.
"Thankfully we had good enough weather to run to Panama City and if we'd been able to catch another fish like that big one we would've had an even better tournament," Chris said. "It was an up-and-down day; had a few over-sized fish, but overall we have no complaints."
The third-place team of Greg Devault, of New Port Richey, Fla., and Jon Turner, of Bradenton, Fla., weighed in 12.83 pounds during the competition, catching an estimated 15 redfish on the day using jigs and soft plastic baits.
With its fourth-place finish in the Destin event, the team of Blake Nelson and Wes Nelson won the $1,000 Cabela's Angler Cash Award, given to the qualifying team with the highest place of finish.
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. Low entry fees for the one-day, regular-season tournaments allows 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 $78,200 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.
In addition to a possible $60,000 in payouts per event (based on a 100-boat field), the first-place prize package for all 18 IFA Redfish Tour regular-season events remains extremely lucrative. In 2011, every regular-season tournament winner is guaranteed – regardless of field size – a fully loaded 2011 Ranger Banshee Extreme. The boat is powered by a 60-horsepower, four-stroke Yamaha outboard and is equipped with a Power-Pole shallow water anchor, Minn Kota trolling motor, Humminbird electronics, Blue Point Fabrication metal work, Bob's four-inch Ultra Light Jackplate, an OPTIMA battery and a Loadmaster trailer. The entire first-place prize package is valued at $30,000. Lucrative contingency programs added for 2011 include $50 prize to the team claiming the big fish award in an IFA Redfish Tour event if the fish is landed with an EGO Net, $25 prize for both the big redfish and big trout in IFA Kayak Tour events; $250 prize to a qualifying winning team which competes from a boat equipped with OPTIMA Batteries; PENN reels for tournament-winning anglers who compete with PENN reels.
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.redfishtour.com or www.ifakayakfishingtour.com. To discover more about kayaking and Hobie Fishing go to www.hobiefishing.com.
IFA events are made possible through the sponsorship and continued support of the fishing industry's most respected brands: Ranger Boats, Hobie Fishing, Cabela's, Gulp!, Gulp! Alive, PENN reels, Yamaha Outboards, Columbia Sportswear, Minn Kota, Humminbird, OPTIMA Batteries, Power-Pole, Wrap This, Blue Point Fabrication, EGO Nets, Spiderwire, Sebile, Bob's Machine Shop, 321fish.com, Kayak Angler Magazine, Loadmaster, Powertex Group, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, and Legendary Marine.
IFA Gulf Division
Destin, Fla. (Top 10)
- Sostheim/Matney – 13.90 lbs.
- Wiwi/Wiwi – 13.58 lbs.
- Devault/Turner – 12.83 lbs.
- Nelson/Nelson – 12.54 lbs.
- Finch/Thurlow – 11.54 lbs.
- King/Coughlin – 11.52 lbs.
- Myers/Lindheim – 11.48 lbs.
- Pattison/Cube – 11.47 lbs.
- Peacher/Russell – 11.30 lbs.
- Dufrene/Cedotal – 10.88 lbs.
Berkley Gulp! Big Fish Award ($500) + Cabela's Gift Card ($500):
Wiwi/Wiwi (7.19 lbs.)
Cabela's Angler Cash ($1,000):