IFA Redfish Tour championship event pays out more than $102,000

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (October 17, 2017) – Paul Dufrene, of Cut Off, Louisiana, and Nicky Savoie, of Lockport, Louisiana, weighed four redfish that totaled 34.15 pounds to win the 2017 championship event for the IFA Redfish Tour presented by Cabela’s on October 14 at Venice, Louisiana. The team won a fully rigged Ranger 220 Bahia boat prize package powered by a 150-horsepower Mercury outboard valued at $43,795 for first place. The anglers once again won the 2017 Cabela’s Overall Team of the Year Award to make it back-to-back years of being the most consistent team on the tour.

The anglers began the two-day event with a one-hour run from Venice to Delacroix. The team sight-fished with Berkley Gulp! and soft plastics while drifting over grassy ponds. Although the anglers had no problem putting fish in the boat, finding the right sized fish proved difficult.

First-place finishers Nicky Savoie (left) and Paul Dufrene (right) display their winning check and trophies at the IFA Redfish Tour event at Venice, La., on October 14.

“We were catching a lot of 27 1/4, which was a little heartbreaking,” said Dufrene. “You would think it was the perfect fish, but then it would be ¼-[inch] too big. You just got to know that you have to keep at it and that you will get that right one.”

The anglers found themselves in third place at the end of the day with 16.97 pounds, just more than ¼-pound behind the leaders. After a number of near wins throughout their tenure fishing the IFA, the anglers agreed this was their time to bring home a win.

“Our motto after day one was to finally finish it,” said Dufrene. “Let’s finally put together another decent day. We have been so close. Last year we came up third in the championship and numerous second places in the regular season.”

The anglers returned to their productive spot in Delacroix. The duo put one big fish in the livewell early and continued to fish for one more quality fish that would put them on top of the leaderboard.

“We caught our big fish early, around 9:00,” said Dufrene. “It kind of relieved some of the pressure. The rest of the day, you are fishing for just one fish. We just stayed patient and didn’t freak out. We stayed with our game plan and around 12:45 we caught an 8.4 pounder. We knew with that we had a pretty good shot.”

Their final day’s weight of 17.18 pounds was enough to eclipse the leaders and finally bring the anglers their first IFA Redfish Tour win.

“It’s a long time coming,” said Dufrene. “We have put in the time and the effort. You can’t just show up and expect to win because there are a lot of good anglers who spend a lot of time and energy on the water. We are fortunate and excited to finally put one through.”

The anglers won a total of $47,415 for their two days on the water.

Longtime IFA Redfish Tour anglers Bobby Abruscato, of Mobile, Alabama, and Scott Ritter, of Dauphin Island, Alabama, weighed a two-day total of 33.60 to win a Ranger RB190 with a 90-horsepower Mercury outboard. The anglers won an additional $2,240 in Anglers Advantage cash along with the $750 Berkley Gulp! Big Redfish Award, which came with a $250 credit from Berkley Gulp!, and $1,000 from PENN Reels for catching the tournament’s largest redfish on Berkley Gulp! and a PENN Reel.

The anglers relied on two locations for their limits – off of Tiger Pass in the Venice area and an alternate spot further south.

“We were sight-casting to small groups and single fish in thick grass,” said Abruscato. “We needed the sun or otherwise we wouldn’t have caught anything.”

The anglers sight-fished for floating reds with Berkley Gulp! swimming minnows in chartreuse and pearl white on spinner harnesses.

“We did better than we expected to but had some luck and good weather on our side,” Abruscato said.

Chad Dufrene and Barnie White brought in a total weight of 33.14 pounds to take home $6,106 in winnings, including $750 from Humminbird and $1,500 from Minn Kota.

IFA events are made possible through the sponsorship and continued support of these well-respected brands: Hobie Fishing, Ranger Boats, Cabela’s, Lucas Oil, Mercury Marine, RAM, Berkley Gulp!, Berkley Gulp! Alive!, PENN Reels, Spiderwire, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Power-Pole, Arctic Ice, Protect the Harvest, General Tire, Valley Fashions, T-H Marine, ATLAS, G-Juice, Powertex Group, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Venice Marina.

For more information or to become a member of the IFA, visit www.ifatours.com.