Dufrene Wins it going away with 117.65 pounds on 5 live redfish a day over the 3 days of competition. The nearly 8 pound per fish average is one that will be hard to top any time soon.
Paul used the brief periods of sun on Friday to target his fish to land a good bag of 5 fish weighing in at 38.20 pounds but fell short to Shane Pescay’s day 1 limit of 39.09 pounds. You can’t win it on day 1 but you can sure lose it, so I didn’t push it today, I just wanted to make sure I brought in 5 solid fish and didn’t have any kicked out for being too long. Dufrene told the host and crowd that had gathered at Hopedale Marina to watch the weigh in.
On day 2 the anglers launched again at Hopedale Marina in the St. Bernard Parish where the promise of early storms never developed. The 22 pros fishing this event were off and heading to their favorite spots in and around the bayous and marshes of southern Louisiana. What had been moments of sunlight on day 1 turned into hours on day 2 and anglers took full advantage.
Pros that targeted or sight fished had a big advantage that they did not enjoy on day 1 due to cloudy conditions. By day 2’s end the promised severe storms showed up and showed up big. Anglers and staff a like were searching for ways to complete the weigh in and record the weights of each fish in the midst of some of the worst weather of this early season and year.
However, the storms eventually passed and at the conclusion of the delayed day 2 weigh in the results were finalized, revealing 2 North Carolina anglers would join the 3 Louisianians to compete on the final day of the tournament. What followed was a great day of sun filled skies and less wind than these pros had to deal with the entire week. It was clear, calm and cool and these anglers would take full advantage.
As the anglers headed back from a full day of fishing and prepared to have their fish measured and checked prior to the 40 minute route to the Louisiana Crawfish Festival grounds, the phones began ringing. One angler broke down and needed help, another Elite angler stopped to tow that angler in, when all of a sudden his engine failed. Yet another Elite angler that had already had his fish checked would head back out to help the other 2. When it was all said and done, all 5 pros made it back to check in, on time and in good shape with their rigs in tow.
The St. Bernard Sheriff’s department showed up in full force to Hopedale Marina at 4:30 PM to escort the pros to the 2017 Louisiana Crawfish Festival grounds and the enormous crowd that had gathered. A crowd of nearly 10,000 had gathered to hear the best bands, drink the coolest drinks, eat the best in cajun cuisine and also watch an awesome finale’ to the Yamaha Outboard’s Eastern Division kick off event known as the Breton Sound Showdown 2017. As 6:00 PM approached, the crowd and anglers settled in to the Elite Redfish Series portion of the day’s activities, this would be an epic!
At the conclusion of the weigh in day 2’s leader and frogg toggs pro, Paul Dufrene had held on and taken his first win in an Elite Redfish Series tour stop with a whopping 117.65 pounds of live St. Bernard Louisiana redfish. Dufrene’s limit averaged nearly 8 pounds per fish and vaulted him to a nearly 5 pound victory over fellow Louisiana pro, Shane Pescay. Shane weighed in 112.84 pounds for second.
Third place went to Nicky Savoie with 107.15 pounds while 2 North Carolina pros finished out the top 5. Barrett McMullan took home 4th with 102.36 pounds while Rennie Clark landed in 5th with 95.07 pounds. This was a great weekend to be in southern Louisiana and the fishing proved it. 22 competitors weighed in 213 redfish weighing a total of 1196.18 pounds. The fish were temporarily held in the Elite Live Redfish Experience rejuvenation tanks prior to being released back into the water.
What a fabulous job was done by so many without whom this HeadTurning event would not have been possible. Thank you to Cisco Gonzales the man for accommodating the tour and the obvious extra logistics to holding an event like this as part of an already super successful one such as the Louisiana Crawfish Festival. Thank you to Sherrif Jimmy Polhmann for coming out and supporting the event and to his fabulous men and women of the department who did so much to keep everyone safe and help make this event a successful one. A special thanks to Katie Tommaseo, Gary Huettman and all of those with the St. Bernard Tourist Commission for bringing the Elite Redfish Series to St. Bernard Parish.
To Mr. Pat Turner, the new proprietor at Hopedale Marina, thank you sir, we appreciate all that you, your family and staff did to create such a fun environment for the anglers and staff this week. Another very important person to the Series is Captain Brian Clark, thank you for coming to the captain’s meeting and addressing the group of anglers, you have and continue to be like family to the Elite Redfish Series, we appreciate you and your staff as well. Finally thank you Marshals each of you volunteered and offered your services so selfishly, you add credibility and class to our events and hopefully along the way you felt our true appreciation for what you truly bring to the Elite Series.
This proved to be an exciting week of competition that once again proved, the best of the best compete any where, any time and this week did it, head to head, man vs man in the toughest and most rewarding tournament series in the country. The Elite Redfish Series! For more information on how you can join the Elite Redfish Series drop us a line at email@example.com today.
Factoid: Did you know that 4 out the 5 top finishing Elite Series pros in this week’s event were powered by Yamaha Outboards.