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Wiggins and Tanner lead Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series event in Port Lavaca

Wiggins and Tanner lead Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series event in Port Lavaca
The veteran team of Blair Wiggins (right) and Travis Tanner (left) grabbed the overall lead on day of the Redfish Series event at Port Lavaca, Texas, with a total catch of 16 pounds, 6 ounces.

PORT LAVACA, Texas - Blair Wiggins of Cocoa, Fla., and Travis Tanner of Titusville, Fla., caught a two-redfish limit weighing 16 pounds, 6 ounces to lead day one of the Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series Western Division event in Port Lavaca, Texas, where teams are competing for as much as $50,000.

"We were wondering what was going to happen with the weather, and our worst fears happened," said Wiggins, who is fishing in his third year of competition in the FLW Redfish Series. "It was blowing like crazy and we had some 3- to 4-foot waves to put up with. We had about an 80-mile one-way run and basically used some Louisiana strategy. We're pitching plastic shrimp under popping corks."

Wiggins said he had been sight fishing before the tournament began, but wind and rain muddied the water and he turned to the popping cork and shrimp setup Wednesday. The theory behind Wiggins' setup is the sound of the popping cork attracts the redfish, and the shrimp entices the fish to bite. Wiggins said he and Tanner caught 20 fish during the first day of competition even though they didn't hit their prime spot until 11:30 a.m. Wiggins said he spent 45 minutes at that spot, caught their two weigh-in fish and began the 80-mile journey north back to Port Lavaca.

"We've got the same plan for tomorrow," Wiggins said. "We didn't want to beat the fish up today because there's not many fish there. But the fish that are there are pretty good pigs."

Rounding out the top five teams are Dwayne Eschete of Mandeville, La., and Blake Pizzolato of Montgomery, Texas (two redfish, 15 pounds, 10 ounces); Steve Reupke and Frank Duxstad, both of Port Aransas, Texas (two redfish, 15 pounds, 5 ounces); Billy Nicholas of San Marcos, Texas, and Andy Mnichowski of Marrero, La. (two redfish, 15 pounds, 1 ounce); and Jerry Hensley of El Campo, Texas, and Sonny Heabert of Victoria, Texas (two redfish, 15 pounds, 00 ounces).

Teams caught 81 redfish Thursday weighing 861 pounds, 5 ounces.

Qualifying tournaments in the $1.9 million Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series - the most lucrative redfish tournament trail in the world - are three-day events. The full field will continue competition Friday, and the top five teams based on the heaviest combined weights from Thursday and Friday will advance to Saturday's final round. The winning team will be determined Saturday based on the heaviest three-day accumulated weight.

Boats will launch from Lighthouse Beach each morning at 7 a.m. Friday's weigh-in will be held at Lighthouse Beach beginning at 3 p.m. The final weigh-in will be held Saturday at the Wal-Mart store located at 400 Tiney Browning Blvd. in Port Lavaca beginning at 4 p.m.

The FLW Redfish Series consists of two divisions - Eastern and Western - and the $318,500 Redfish Open. Each division is comprised of four $170,000 qualifying tournaments. The top 50 teams from each division based on Land O'Lakes Team of the Year standings will advance to the no-entry-fee $300,000 Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series Championship to be held Oct. 30-Nov. 1 in Biloxi, Miss. The championship winner will take home as much as $100,000.

Tournament pros aren't the only ones winning big this season. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishing™, FLW Outdoors® offers anyone the opportunity to enter for their chance to land the catch of a lifetime with the opportunity to win $7.3 million in cash and prizes. Players can become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player's Advantage, providing them with exclusive insider information that could guide them to a $100,000 victory at every Wal-Mart FLW Tour® stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player's Advantage will give them an edge over the competition and increase their shot for a $1 million cash grand prize that will be awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Those who visit FantasyFishing.com today can sign up for Player's Advantage and FLW Outdoors will include a $15 Wal-Mart gift card.

Coverage of the FLW Redfish Series stop in Port Lavaca will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the "FLW Outdoors" television program airing May 25. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast in Canada on WFN (World Fishing Network) and to more than 429 million households in the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia, Australia, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East through a distribution agreement with Matchroom Sport, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world. The program airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time in most markets. Check local listings for times in your area.

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. In 2008 alone the organization is offering more than 90,000 anglers the chance to win over $40 million through 230 tournaments in 10 circuits targeting bass, walleye, redfish, kingfish and striped bass. FLW Outdoors is also taking fishing mainstream with the largest cash awards in the history of fantasy sports, $7.3 million.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player's Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.

Awards are based on a full field of 125 boats in every tournament.

Tags: press-release  2008-04-10-port-lavaca 

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