2016 Elite Redfish Tournament
Twenty professional fishermen cast their lines this morning for the first day of the 2016 Elite Redfish Tournament.
News 25’s Laurene Callander joined them in D’Iberville and has the details.
Twenty boats called out at sunrise, all carrying one professional angler competing in the 2016 Elite Redfish Tournament. The series is gaining more than local attention. Tournament owner Pat Malone said, “This is Discovery Network’s Destination America. They have some famous shows like “Buying the Bayou,” “Buying Alaska,” “Barbecue Pit Masters.” Saturday, every boat that goes out there will have a professional cameraman with it documenting the day.”
The City of D’Iberville welcomed the fishermen for the tournament. The goal is to catch the three heaviest redfish in the Gulf, but there is a bit of a change in the rules. “They’re excited because they can keep three 30 inch fish. We never get to keep fish that big, it’s always 27, maybe 28 inches when we go to Texas, but the norm is 27 inches. These guys are looking to land three big Mississippi fish and bring to the stage each day,” said Malone.
The professional fishermen have until 3:30 to cast their line out into the water, but afterwards they’re free to discover what the Mississippi Gulf Coast has to offer. Elite professional angler Chad Billiot said, “Go gambling. My girlfriend is supposed to be heading this way, so she’ll play around, try to get a tan and so forth.” “You get the best hospitality. You get the best food and you’re within striking distance of a lot of water,” said Malone.
While the trip to the Coast provides fun for the fishermen, all 20 have their eye on the prize. “To win it, you gotta be in it to win it. If you’re gonna play, you gotta win. We always go full throttle for that,” said Billiot.