2018 IFA Boaters Championship – Hopedale, LA – Part 1

2018 IFA Boaters Championship – Hopedale, LA – Part 1


– [Narrator] This week,
we’re in southern Louisiana, undoubtedly, the premier
inshore fishery in the country. and this is the IFA
Redfish Tour Championship, presented by Cabela’s. We’ve got two days of
fishing with a total first of better than $100,000 dollars, including a brand new
Ranger Mercury package for 1st and 2nd place. It’s Championship time and
the action starts right now. (upbeat instrumental music) Welcome to the 2018 IFA
Redfish Tour Championship, presented by Cabela’s. It’s been a long season
hampered by hurricanes and high water, but here we
are in Hopedale, Louisiana. – [Interviewer] What’s
the buzz at the dock? What’s everybody talking about? – Everybody’s talking about
that long haul to Venice, but hitting the river, you know, that’s where it’s gonna get
a little nasty, right there. So we kinda opted out of that. Just stay a little close. Tomorrow, day two will be a
little bit better for that, so I think we’re just
gonna make that plan and see how this
falls out today. – [Narrator] We’ve got
119 teams qualified to be here this week. Teams will fish for two days looking for their
heaviest redfish within Louisiana’s 18
to 28 inch slot limit. There’s $100,000
dollars up for grabs, including two
Mercury-powered Ranger boats. Checking the forecast,
the big factor this week has been the wind, and it’s
expected to blow again today, gusting near 20 miles an hour, an added challenge for
those making the long run down to Venice. – That river’s no joke,
you know, it’s just, as far as the fish, I’m
not worried about it. It’s getting there is what
I’m worried about, you know. But I think we’ll be fine. This is not our first
rodeo, you know. We’re sitting in twelfth,
for a team, in a year. We got a lot of
catching up to do, so we gotta put all of
our eggs in one basket and go with it, you know. – [Narrator] Getting in right
into tournament coverage, we’ll start things off with
Mike Taylor and John Roberts, qualifying out of the
Lower Atlantic Division. – [Announcer] Boat 89, John
Roberts and Mike Taylor, due in at 3:45. – [John] It’s gonna take, what? 34 pounds? – In this one, yeah. I’d say probably 34, 35 pounds. I mean, there’s gonna be a
lot of 28 to 30 pound weights. But 34 pound is Somebody’s gonna pull it out. They’re gonna do it. It’s the best
fishermen in the world, and it just so happens
there’s a lot of us from right here in Louisiana. – [Narrator] Opting to
fish close to Hopedale, Taylor and Roberts are working
a wind-blown shoreline, bearing Berkley Gulp
under popping-corks. – We come here in pre-fishing, made a couple casts and
caught one nine pounds. About the second cast,
picked up and left. We didn’t, there’s always some
good at least eights in here. I mean, if it hadn’t been
hit hard pre-fishing. We didn’t stick around
and didn’t stay around. – Oh, yeah. – That’s a nice one. – This is a nice one here. – Just popped it one more time. I was getting ready to reel it. – She’s following. – That’s a nice fish. – Yeah, that’s the one. Looking better fish so far. Good one. – Alright, there we go. – Now he’ll go in the livewell. – That’s what we’re looking for. – He’s livewell worthy. – It’s gonna be tight. Give me that
tail-pincher real quick. 26 right there. – [John] Hey, yes, sir, buddy. – We’ll take it. – Alright. Good job. Dang good job. – Feeling pretty good. – [John] Yeah. – We’ll follow him up with
maybe one around nine, I mean, that fish
there, he’ll struggle. He’s around a low eight. Not bad. Lot of boats gonna be
running for another hour. We got a 27, perfect in the box. We’ll take it. – [Narrator] We’re
just getting started with Championship coverage. Stay with us. We’ll be right back
with more from day one of the 2018 IFA Redfish
Tour Championship presented by Cabela’s. The IFA Redfish Tour
is presented to you by Bass Pro and Cabela’s,
The Adventure Starts Here. By Ranger Boats, Still Building
Legends, One at a Time. And by Mercury
Outboards, Go Boldly. Welcome back to Day One of 2018 IFA Redfish
Tour Championship. We launched 119
teams this morning from Hopedale Marina
in southern Louisiana. There’s better than $100,000
up for grabs this weekend. We’ll get back into
Championship coverage with the team of Casey
Brunning and Ty Hibbs. – Alright, so we’re gonna end up in the north side of Delacroix? – Yep. – We’re gonna give it
about an hour and a half, then we’re gonna
roll back down south, a little more open water
and some of the bays, and see what happens from there. We’ll just grind it and move on. Well, let’s pop our
corks, do what we gotta do if we can’t find
’em on the surface. – If we get a little sunlight, it’ll change things
up around here. This place, put a little
sunlight to fall on the water, it’s a whole different place than what it’s been
all week for people. – [Narrator] After making
the near 90-minute run to Delacroix, Brunning hooked into the
first fish of the morning. – Dog, it’s small. – Always throw the first
one in the livewell, no matter what he is. – [Casey] Make sure
we keep him alive. – Yeah. – [Casey] Small fish
in the front livewell, keeper fish in
the back livewell. – Oh, he’ll be good. – Alright, we’re fishing a cove. It’s protected from the wind. We had, about three days
ago, a big school of porgy showed up in it. Luckily, the front last
night didn’t blow them out, These fish have been holding
in between these big grass mats out in the middle and the bank, so we’re just waiting on them
to wake up at the moment. I’ve seen two of them have
come up and shown themselves, but we’re not gonna
rush through this spot. We’re gonna cover every
last bit of it we can. Seems all the fish
that were in here were all big keeper fish. Every one’s got potential to
be at the top of the board, so we’re definitely not
gonna rush this one. That was one right there. God, dog it. – This is Old
Faithful right there, always keep you out of
trouble in the redfish world. Gulp under a popping cork. That right there, you ever
get trapped in the marsh, you got one of these
and a gold spoon, you’re gonna live good. (gentle instrumental music). Get that two-ounce out. He’s there! He’s there! I got it, got it,
got it, got it! – Better one? – Yeah. Better than the one we got. Get that motor up. Gotta get him back
around the bow. – Give it to me. – I got him. – You want me to grab him?
– Yeah. – Oh, he’s over. – Yeah, he’s way over. He tried to eat the fricking
cork, like they always do. – What leader you got? – 50.
– 50? – Yeah.
– Alright. – I’d be more worried
about the hook bending than anything, though. – He’s not over. – He’s way over. He’s gigantic. – He’s the right height, though. – He’s gonna be– (Casey laughs loudly) – Dude. – [Ty] Holy crap. Oh, my God. – Dude. – [Ty] This fish is– – That’s a nine-pound fish. – Oh, my God. – [Casey] Huh? (giddy laughter) – Dude, how is he
so fricking short? – [Casey] I told you. – He looks like he’s
fricking nine pounds. Sit. Stay. Stop. – [Casey] You gonna weight
him or just put him in? – I’m gonna weigh him
for the hell of it. – [Casey] We gotta push
the limit with him. – Oh, my God. – [Casey] What is he? – Over eight and a half. Oh, my God. Holy crap. That’s how it’s supposed
to work, right there. – [Casey] They have a little
slant on their board, right? – Oh, yeah. That’s the
shortest board ever made. – [Casey] So we’ll make him. – Yeah. I’ll let him settle down and then I’ll check
him again later. – [Casey] Alright, I’m
gonna start easing around. You wanna baby him for a minute? – He’s on the flat
and pinched tail. Well, he looked like
he’s about 28 inches. He fought about like 32
inches, on a popping-cork. But that’s what we
want, right there. We want them to look so big
that we know they’re over. Put them on the board and
they’re a quarter inch under. – [Casey] But we’d
much rather have a net instead of having to
flip them in the boat. – Much rather have a
net than flip them. – We had a net faux pas. The button that stops it, when
you extend it out, fell out. So we got the J-B weld out
last night, fixed the button. And then we made
jokes all night about what if we left our
net at the camp. – [Ty] And we did. – Lo and behold, about two
minutes before we got here, we’re like, “We forgot
the net at the camp.” – [Narrator] Brunning and
Hibbs are off to strong start. We’re just hours
into the morning, and the fight is definitely on. Stay with us. We’ll be right back with
more Championship coverage from Hopedale, Louisiana and Day One of the 2018 IFA
Redfish Tour Championship, presented by Cabela’s. The IFA Redfish Tour,
presented by Cabela’s, is also brought
to you, in part by Power-Pole Shallow
Water Anchor Systems. Swift, Silent, Secure. By Penn Reels, Let
the Battle Begin. And by Hobie Kayaks. It’s late morning on Day One of the 2018 IFA Redfish
Tour Championship, presented by Cabela’s. We’re just outside of
Hopedale, Louisiana with Mike Taylor
and John Roberts. They’re throwing popping-corks
on the falling tide. (straining fishing reel) – Big fish. Oh, my gosh. – That’s a nice one. (upbeat music) So, could be over slot. – I wouldn’t bet on it. – Mm. Hit these measures. – He’s gonna be a bit over. Man. – 27 and a quarter. – Man. – [Narrator] Fishing in
Louisiana can spoil you. – Yeah, that was a
nine-pounder, for sure. – [Narrator] Teams
are reporting catching 50 or 60 fish each day,
but in tournament fishing, you’re only looking
for the right two. It’s more of a challenge
than you might realize. – Good-bye, my friend. – 27 and a quarter. One of them nine-pounders. Just a quarter inch too big, but that’s redfishing
tournaments. It’d drive you crazy. No, really, it’s
just part of it. Can’t even look back on it,
just gotta keep on fishing. Everybody’s gonna
catch them today. – [Narrator] Back on Casey
Brunning and Ty Hibbs. – Oh, (bleep). – Hold on, I’ll troll the motor. – Oh, (bleep). Troll the
motor, troll the motor, troll the motor. – You need me to grab the rod? – I need you to troll the motor. – I can’t. – Is he out? Take the rod, take
the rod, take the rod. – I think he’s in it. – Don’t fold it up,
don’t fold it up. – Hang on, I’m
gonna pull him out. You ready? – [Ty] Yeah.
– Reel. Reel, reel, reel, reel, reel. – [Ty] I’m pulling. – Is he free? – [Ty] I don’t know. – Nope. – [Ty] I still feel it. He’s good, he’s good, he’s good! Come get him, come get him. – [Casey] I’m trying to get– – Here, I grabbed it
with the wrong hand. – Give me the rod. – Take him, take him. – Come on, baby. Spin back around. Come on. – [Ty] Ready? – Yeah. – What else did the net hit? Where’s the net? – Just grab him or something. – I got the net. Hold on, hold on. – Whoa! – He’s over, but – I don’t think he’s over, dude. Look at him. He’s humpback.
– He’s a broke back. There’s no way. There’s no way. – Perfect tail. – [Ty] No way. (loud laughter) That’s a pinching
sweep, right there, on the shortest board
I could possibly find. – [Casey] What if you
straightened him out? Are they gonna
straighten the fish out? – I don’t know. He’s still good. Just that one little
nick of his tail. He’s good. – That’s a good
tail, though, right? – Yeah. It’s good. The longest point’s still there. – Alright, so now
I’m a little shaky. – I’m pushing on him and you
have to really push on him. – Let’s put him in the well. – Alright. You got a call tag? – We know we put two in there. Just put him in the front. Or no, put him back. You can tell him, he’s broke. – Oh, yeah, I’ll do that. – His back’s busted.
I’ll get this one. – [Narrator] With that call, Brunning and Hibbs now have
two for better than 17 pounds. That should give them some
confidence going into tomorrow. – I mean, that’s the
thing, like we always say, a two-day tournament’s all
about surviving the first day. You can’t win it
on the first day, but you can sure
as hell lose it. That fish, you
know, he was close. He’s under on a
pinch and sweep tail. IFA, it’s on an angle,
and it’s a slant board. I like to make sure they’re
under pinch and sweep. Make them as long as possible
when we first catch them to where we’re confident
on bringing the fish back. That brokeback
fish, that’s crazy. I’ve never caught one of
those in a tournament before. Pretty wild. But, no, if we get
another like, eight, over eight or
something like that, I’m definitely
checking him again because I’d rather come in with a little less weight on
Day One and be perfectly safe than go for broke and
be DQed on Day One. – That fish is still
moving over there. – [Ty] Back to doing it again. – [Casey] Oh, my goodness. – [Narrator] Back on Mike
Taylor and John Roberts, their decision to stay close
to Hopedale is paying off. They’ve got close to 16
pounds in the livewell. But while teams that
made the long run south are packing up to head back in, Taylor and Roberts still
have a couple of hours of fishing time left. – I think we got us
another bull on here. – No, they’re not in here. – I’m pretty sure it’s a bull. Good Lord. – Just in the grass,
man, hidden tight. – Is that what it is? – Yeah. Yes, sir! – Alright. That might be a great– – He’ll measure. He’s gonna be about 26 and 3/4. Yes, sir. – Oh, he’s a fat fish. – That’s a good one. That’s a good one. – That’s what
you’re looking for. I think we’re sitting really
close to 16 right now. I mean, we’re happy
with that here. I don’t think
there’s a whole lot of big nine-pound fish here, but we two that’s
close to eight pounds. We had a great day. – [Narrator] The schedule
for the 2019 season of the Redfish Tour
is in the works. Keep an eye on our Facebook page or look us up at IFATours.com
for all the details. Coming up, we’ll
head back to Hopedale for the Day One
Weigh-in, right here, on the IFA Redfish Tour,
presented by Cabela’s. – [Narrator] The IFA Redfish
Tour is presented to you by Bass Pro and Cabela’s,
The Adventure Starts Here. Humminbird. Clearer, Wider,
Brighter, Faster. By Minn Kota Trolling
Motors, Anywhere, Anytime. And by Berkley Gulp. Welcome back to Hopedale Marina. Day One of the IFA
Redfish Tour Championship is in the books. Wind and water levels
kept things interesting, but by day’s end, the fishery and the talent
of this Championship field were both well represented. – Wind conditions
are horrendous. I mean, all you can do is, not much sight-fishing today. The sun come out, but
the water’s dirty. The wind’s blowing. You just gotta get out there and grind it with popping-corks. We made it happen. – We caught some fish early. Our fish we caught were before
11:00, and it got so low. We kept catching some,
but it was smaller. I don’t know what
happened to them. I’m thinking we may
have 14 or 15 pounds. – The water dropping
out actually helped us. It pushed fish into some areas that allowed us to get
to them in our boat. I think we caught 60,
60-plus fish today, so we had a great day, had
an awesome time on the water. We just didn’t
get the right two. – [Narrator] Heading
to the scales, we’ll check in with the
first of our featured teams, Mike Taylor and John Roberts. They left this morning hoping
for an eight-pound average, and they did exactly that,
weighing two for 16.06. They finished out Day
One in 13th Place. Casey Brunning and Ty
Hibbs faired a bit better. They put two on the scales
for 17.19, and 2nd Place. – I’ll sleep good tonight. It’s a huge relief. We’re looking
forward to tomorrow. The water’s gonna drop out. We’ll do our best
not to get stuck, and if we can duplicate this, I think we’ll achieve
our yearly goal. – [Narrator] When the
IFA stops in Louisiana, Kevin Akin and Dwayne
Eschete are always a threat. Today was no different. Weighing two, they
wrapped up Day One in 2nd Place, with 17.60. – Today went great. We missed some fish
that just wouldn’t eat, but when you can come
in with 17-plus pounds, you’ve gotta be happy with that. We left some fish out there
that we shoulda caught. They just, like I
said, didn’t eat. So we feel good. Tomorrow’s gonna be a
better day for fishing, so, just hope for
the best tomorrow. – [Narrator] And at the
top of the Leader Board, Ryan Rickard and Dustin Tillett
pushed the scales to 17.78, giving them the advantage
going in to the final day. – You know, when
conditions aren’t right, and they’re not going the
way you want it to go, you scramble and you just
keep grinding and working. So really, we had to
practice that today. We had to scramble. We had to grind. Finally found a pocket
at the end of the day, was loaded with fish. Blind casting, didn’t even
get to sight casting much. We just had to go to work. – [Narrator] With Rickard
and Tillett on top, here’s a look at the
rest of the Top 10. Before we wrap things up, we’d like to give a big
thanks to our sponsors for supporting us through
another great season. – We’ve been a part of the
IFA since the beginning. It’s one of my and Bryan’s,
where we got started. John Oliverio, the
owner of the company, it’s where he got started. We’re very, very proud
to be here with the IFA. And we really try to make
it to all the events we can, especially the Championship. Like Bryan was saying, this
is where the cream comes, we wanna be here. We’ve got great products, and we’ve been in business
now for almost 19 years. Nobody builds a shallow
water anchor any better. We love to come and promote
you guys as our sponsors and vice versa. But more so, we love
to come and support all the tournament anglers
that run our products, even the ones that
don’t, someday they will. So we wanna be here, and
be here for everybody. – I’ll tell ya, most of
them’s gonna be real excited to see what’s coming
down the pike. – Absolutely. – [Narrator] Keep up with all
the latest from our friends over at Power-Pole. You can find their link
on the Sponsor Page at IFATours.com. (upbeat instrumental music) – [Narrator] This has been
a Careco TV presentation. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you next time.

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