The folks who target redfish aren’t moaning and groaning about the lack of action this summer like what’s heard from the speckled trout fishermen across the eastern half of the state’s coast.
That’s because it’s apparent there are enough redfish more than willing to chase anything and most everything fishermen are throwing at them.
Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry Larpenter won the Redfish Stringer category a couple of weeks ago with a record-setting, five redfish, 39-pound, 4-ounce catch, and said he caught more than 100 redfish to cull to those best five measuring less than 27 inches long.
Further indications that redfish are numerous and actively feeding came Saturday during the year’s final Louisiana Division stop on the IFA Redfish Tour Event. Held from Lafitte, the Alabama team of Scott Ritter and Bobby Abruscato weighed in two under 27-inch reds that weighed 18.65 pounds to take home more than $30,000 in first-place prize money.
They reported running from Lafitte to the Venice area, using Gulp!, Berkley Powerbaits and spinnerbaits for their fourth win on the tour.
Veteran Louisiana anglers Nash Roberts of Metairie teamed with Arabi’s Luke Landry to finish second at 17.13 pounds.
“The conditions were perfect for fishing during the days of scouting as well as of the day of the tournament. The fishing improved as the tide increased and the wind lightened, clearing the water,” Roberts told the IFA crew, adding they used swimbaits in an area 65 miles south of the launch.
Lockport’s Nicky Savoie and Cut Off’s Lance Reynolds reportedly added to their list of top five tour finishes by coming in third with 17.04 pounds.
The big story from Lafitte came Sunday when Casey Brunning of Madisonville took a redfish and a speckled trout measuring a combined 66.63 inches to win Sunday’s IFA Kayak Tour stop.
Brunning said he fished topwater baits and jigs in moving water around points in the Grand Isle area: “I had a calm, slack tide with clear water. It affected the trout negatively but was a positive for fishing for reds.”
Benton Parrott of Alabama was second, and Prairieville’s Clayton Shilling finished third with respective catches of 65.5- and 62.88-inch catches.
First Louisiana qualifier
With Gonzales touring bass angler Greg Hackney and Pierre Part’s “Cajun Baby” Cliff Crochet in the hunt for spots in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic — both can further solidify berths in this week’s Elite Series event on the Delaware River out of Philadelphia — young Brett Preuett beat the two south Louisiana pros to the punch.
Preuett, a member of the University of Louisiana at Monroe team, earned the Classic berth allowed for to a collegiate angler after coming through a week’s worth of competition in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic Bracket.
Regional qualifying teams fished to be among the top four teams in the field. That put eight anglers into bracket fish-offs for a three-day run for the Classic berth that ended Tuesday.
Preuett came through with a five-bass, 13-pound, 2-ounce catch on the final day to beat out Bethel U’s Zach Parker, whose catch weighed 11 pounds even. Preuett survived days when he lost quality fish and a day when he buried a large treble hook in the back of his neck that required a doctor to remove it.
He prevailed, and said Tuesday, “Today is the best day of my life by far, everything just sort of happened for me,” he said. “I had fish hooked with just one hook and landed them, and I got everything in the boat. It was meant to be.”
In addition to the 2015 Classic spot (Lake Hartwell, S.C.), Preuett won one-year use of a Toyota truckear, a Nitro Z8/250-horse Mercury Optimax ProXS and $7,500 from Carhartt to cover entry fees for his choice of Bassmaster Open series.