Tadd VanDemark, of Cape Coral, Fla., weighed a three-day total of 45.02 pounds of redfish to win the first Lucas Oil IFA Pro-Am Redfish Challenge presented by Cabela’s at Chalmette, La. on March 10. Mac McElroy, of St. Rose, La., took home the co-angler first-place prize with a 44.06-pound three-day total.
VanDemark won $26,300 for his efforts with McElroy taking home the $4,000 co-angler first-place prize. The two anglers were paired together on the final day of the event and fought high winds and stained water.
“The weather really didn’t play a huge role in my success,” said VanDemark. “The key was adapting to different situations and weather. The wind blew extremely hard the night before the final day, making the water filthy and nasty. But I found a few protected areas out of the wind that looked more like the water I had fished the two days before.”
VanDemark fished all three days in the Delacroix area with a soft plastic on a popping cork, varying his leader length to find his fish.
Fishing in his first IFA event, co-angler McElroy attributes his success to great partners.
“I learned something every day of the tournament,” said McElroy. “I fished patterns that I wouldn’t normally fish. I fished areas that I normally fish, but I had never fished it that way. I can’t put a price on what I learned over those three days.”
Second-place pro finisher Gritter Griffin, of Troy, Ala., took home $7,000 for his 43.14 pounds of redfish. Eddie Adams, of Metairie, La., rounded out the top three with 42.59 pounds to take home the $4,000 third-place prize.
Co-anglers Clark Jordan, of Pearland, Texas, and Vann Dassing, of Destrehan, La., won second and third places, respectively.
With over 100-percent cash payout guaranteed, the pro-am tournament series’ next stop will be at Punta Gorda, Fla., on Oct. 4-6. To get more information about the Pro-Am or to register for the next event, please visit www.ifaproam.com or call (478) 836-4266.
For more information or to become a member of the IFA, the fastest-growing inshore fishing tournament series in the United States, go online to www.ifatours.com.
Pro Top 10 Finishers
1. Tadd VanDemark – 45.02 lbs.
2. Gritter Griffin – 43.14 lbs.
3. Eddie Adams – 42.59 lbs.
4. Billy Nicholas – 40.36 lbs.
5. Fred Walker – 40.16 lbs.
6. Jason Catchings – 38.51 lbs.
7. John Henninger – 37.94 lbs.
8. Mike Laramy – 37.33 lbs.
9. Dwayne Eschete – 29.80 lbs.
10. Sean O’Connell – 26.63 lbs.
Co-Angler Top 10 Finishers
1. Mac McElroy – 44.06 lbs.
2. Clark Jordan – 42.15 lbs.
3. Vann Dassing – 41.70 lbs.
4. Thomas Tucker – 39.53 lbs.
5. Barbara Scopelitis – 39.16 lbs.
6. Andrew Carter – 38.62 lbs.
7. Tony Jackson – 38.05 lbs.
8. Kurt Shader – 37.55
9. John Roberts – 28.66 lbs.
10. Gary Wilson – 27.18 lbs.