Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Anglers Look for Winning Spots in Redfish Roundup

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Anglers Look for Winning Spots in Redfish Roundup

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Julavits, Times-Union outdoors editor

Those competing in tomorrow's Times-Union Redfish Roundup will be fishing uncharted waters.

While the format of the tournament is simple -- the legal red with the most spots wins -- the strategy is not. And because this is the first redfish spot tournament to be held in Jacksonville, there are questions aplenty.

How many spots will it take to win? To finish in the money? What to do if you catch a fish with, say, eight spots early in the day -- bring it to the dock to be tallied, or keep fishing?

There's no precedent to go by, no easy answers, and that's what should make things interesting when the capacity field of 225 boats checks out of Sisters Creek Park tomorrow morning. The mandatory captain's meeting is tonight at 7 at the Times-Union building on Riverside Avenue.

"The way it's set up, anybody can win," said Scott Brown, who will be fishing in his first tournament of any kind.

Brown, a fisheries biologist who oversees the Jacksonville Urban Pond Project for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, will team with former Jacksonville Jaguar and radio outdoors show host Jeff Lageman.

"If you catch one with five spots, you're going to have to decide if you want to bring it in right then, or wait and take it in later," Brown said. "It should be fun."

Whoever catches the red with the most spots -- clearly defined, not overlapping -- will win $5,000 cash. If the winning fish wears more than 15 spots, the angler will pocket a $500 bonus. The all-release tournament, which benefits the Safe Harbor Boys Home and Big Brothers, Big Sisters charities, will pay 25 cash prizes in all.

Each boat is allowed to enter one redfish, and ties will be broken based on the time a fish is checked in. Beginning an hour after the start of the tournament, captains may return to the Sisters Creek check-in with a fish, but they are done fishing for the day. All boats are due in the check-in line by 2 p.m.

The only other large-scale redfish spot tournament in the state is The Hunt for Reds in October, an event that was first held in Titusville two years ago. …

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