Sostheim, Matney Take Down Destin IFA Redfish Event
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
“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