Get Out and Run For The Redfish

On December 5, 2009 runners from across the Southeast will participate in the inaugural Run for the Redfish, a combined half marathon, 5k run and kids fun run will be held at Pier Park. A portion of the proceeds for event will benefit the Coast Conservation Association (CCA).

The run will begin at the Front Beach Road entrance to Pier Park and continue down Front Beach Road, looping back to end at Margaritaville. Margaritville will host the post race celebration and awards ceremony. Shotgun start to the race will be at 8am for the half marathon and 8:30am for the 5k. All runners of the half marathon and 5k will receive a Run for the Redfish long sleeve T-shirt as part of their participation.

Race committee member Joe Edgecombe said, “As an avid runner in Bay County, I’m excited to help bring a running event of this caliber to our area. The Run for the Redfish has all the bells and whistles; a certified course, professional timing, a professional race day photographer to capture the moment, and a venue that is above all the rest.  Panama City Beach, the Tourism Development Council, The Resort Collection, Pier Park, Margaritaville and a team of dedicated individuals have made this a destination event! The best location and the most “bang for the bucks’ road race in the entire region!”

The Run for the Redfish is not only a new and exciting event for Panama City Beach, but will bring awareness to the Coastal Conservation Association who works to protect our unique waterways and coastlines which are the habitat of the Redfish.

Race sponsors include Redfish Riviera Outfitters, Pier Park, The Resort Collection of Panama City Beach, seepcb.com, the Bay County Tourist Development Council, Beach TV, and Maragritaville. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

For more information on the run or registration visit www.runfortheredfish.com. Runners can register for the race online or at local retailers; there will be no registration the day of the event. Registration forms and payment can be mailed to PO Box 9927 Panama City Beach, Fl 32417.

Speckled Trout Tournament Coming Here

Speckled Trout Anglers, get your rods ready, on May 30 the Cabela’s Speckled Trout USA Tournament is coming to Panama City Beach.  And, if you’re worried about whether or not you should shell out the dough for the entry fee in fear of losing your shirt – fear not!

For the first time ever, a Speckled Trout tournament circuit is coming through Panama City Beach and the entry fee is only $75.  With a guaranteed purse of $10,000 with $4,000 going to the guy (or gal) who catches the biggest fish, this tournament pays good and is a great opportunity for those local anglers itching to get their fish on.  If the entry pool gets over 150, the prize payout will increase.  Plus, you can’t beat the great weather we have in late May, fishing our protected waterways and flats.

Cabela’s Speckled Trout USA tour started in Perry Florida in November, then moved on to Jacksonville in March, will play-out in Orange, Texas May 15th and will finish off here in Panama City Beach end of May.  The largest trout caught so far was over 7 pounds.

At 6:30 am on May 30 anglers will venture out from all parts of Panama City Beach to cast lines and reel in the big ones.  They’ll have until 3 pm to make their way back to shore, then until 4 pm to show up at the Amphitheater at Pier Park for the weigh-in. Anglers will be given a .2 lbs bonus for each fish kept alive for release later.  This could go a long way as live fish weight more than dead fish anyway.

Pre-tournament late registration is Friday, May 29th at Edgewater Beach Resort.

If you win, bring your truth hat (or your thumbtack in your big toe) because you’ll be subject to a polygraph test to verify your honesty regarding when you left and returned from your speckled fishing trip.  That’s right, a lie-detector test.  I was actually surprised to hear this is not too uncommon in the tournament industry.

Full Rules:

  • Guaranteed purse of $10,000 in cash and prizes *(see below)
  • $500 awarded for largest speckled trout
  • $500 awarded for largest redfish (must be within state slot limit)
  • Purse may increase depending on number of anglers
  • Payback to 15% of the field
  • These will be individually fished tournaments but as many as five (5) participants may fish from one boat
  • Fish must be kept separate or marked to determine ownership
  • Speckled trout limit will be three (3) fish per angler
  • State size limits apply
  • Fish must be caught during tournament hours
  • Bait is limited to artificial bait only
  • No chumming allowed
  • Pre-tournament late registration will be held the night before the tournament from 5-7 PM  at the registration site listed for each tournament
  • Captains meeting will be held at the host hotel following late registration the night before the tournament unless otherwise noted
  • Boats may launch from different locations on tournament morning(s)
  • Fishing hours will be from 6:30 AM until 3 PM and anglers must be in the weigh-in line with their catch by 4 PM
  • Polygraph tests will be given at random
  • Any angler who fails or refuses to take a polygraph test or whose condition does not permit administration of a test due to incapacity from alcohol or drugs will be disqualified and will not be allowed to participate in any future Outdoor Promotions, Inc. events
  • In case of extreme water/weather conditions, Outdoor Promotions, Inc. reserves the right to  postpone or cancel any event with the return of entry fees by mail
  • Teams must comply with state fishing and boating regulations; fishing and boating licenses are the responsibility of each angler
  • The use of mobile communication devices sich as cellular phones, marine radios, etc.  to communicate fishing information during tournament hours is prohibited
  • The use of alccoholic beverages is prohibited during any Speckled Trout USA event
  • The use of or display of any tobacco products in the weigh-in line, on stage, and during awards ceremonies is prohibited
  • Wanton unsportsmanlike conduct may be grounds for disqualification if cirumstances require;  the decision of the tourmament director will be final
  • Door prizes valued at several hundred dollars will be distributed by random drawing
  • Any proceeds from the tournament will be earmarked for the Outdoor Kids Scholarship Fund

Example of payout if 100 anglers enter:

1st Place $3,000
2nd Place $1,500
3rd Place $1,000
4th Place $600
5th Place $500
6th Place $400
7th Place $350
8th Place $300
9th Place $250
10th Place $250
11th Place $225
12th Place $200
13th Place $175
14th Place $150
15th Place $100
Big Speckled Trout $500
Big Redfish $500
Total Payout in Cash and Prizes $10,000

Redfish Riviera Recipe of the Month – April

040209_redfish

Creole Mustard Redfish or Speckled Trout

Start to finish: 15 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

1 pound fresh or frozen fish fillets, 1/2 to 1 inch thick.  Redfish or Speckled Trout.

1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1/4 cup dairy sour cream
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon Creole Mustard
2 teaspoons snipped fresh chives or chopped green onion tops

1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 4 serving-size pieces, if necessary. Measure thickness of fish. Place fish on the greased unheated rack of a broiler pan. Turn any thin portions under to make uniform thickness. Sprinkle with lemon-pepper seasoning.

2. Broil 4 inches from the heat until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
(If fillets are 1 Inch thick, turn once halfway through broiling.)

3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan stir together sour cream, milk, mustard, and chives. Cook and stir over low heat until heated through (do not boil).
Spoon sauce over fish to serve.

Redfish Riviera – Monthly Fishing Report

The month of March can be hit or miss for weather but can be very exciting for inshore or offshore fishing. If you are headed out into the blue water, do not forget to check the weather before heading out. The Gulf can turn into a washing machine without notice and turn a great day on the water into a nightmare.

Keep in mind that Black / Gag Grouper season is closed until March 31st and Red Grouper is closed until March 15th. AJ’s are the hot bottom bite. They can be caught in about 80 feet of water over wrecks. In addition to the AJ bite, you are sure to have fun with the triggerfish and beeliners this month. Please check you FWC regulations prior to your trip for updates.

Going to troll or pole the flats? A slow reel is the key – flats fish aren’t fond of cold water. Some trout may be caught on the flats but you will find the majority of the catch to take place in deep holes of 10 to 15 feet, around structure / docks, around canals and inlets. I find that a jerkbait on a 1/4 oz jighead or live shrimp is the ticket.

The bays are covered up with bluefish. The blues will hit anything thrown their way. Also, Sheephead are in the bay around docks and in the pass around the jetties. The best way to catch these sheephead is to rig with a light leader and small circle hook. I have found it favorable to scrape barnacles off pilings and docks then start fishing with sand fleas. If the sheephead see your line your done!

snapp-2Redfish are being caught in bayous on oyster beds and docks. Some smaller reds are making their way to the flats but the bigger reds are still in deeper water. Just throw a 4 inch Berkley Gulp or live pinfish around docks and the jetties. I suggest – if you are fishing in the pass,  fish the outgoing tide, a one ounce SPRO jig and hang on – look for diving birds, as those big bulls are lurking below. There have been some reports of slot reds being caught on the flats using top water plugs.

The Dan Russell Pier is currently closed for construction. The Pier is scheduled to re-open Summer of 2010.

TOURNAMENT NEWS

100_4111-300x228Melvin and Buffington Brave the Storm to Win Emerald Coast Redfish Club’s First Series Event 20+ knot winds, thunderstorms, and a tornado watch made for horrific fishing conditions as Panama City Beach hosted the first stop on the Emerald Coast Redfish Club’s Tour.  Jason Melvin and Brian Buffington found a way to capture the win and emerge as the Tour’s first leaders of the season.

“The weather was a concern on Friday before the event,” said Team Redfish Riviera’s Captain, Daniel Snapp. The weather folks were calling for 20+ knot winds, seas 6 to 8 feet and protected waters rough all day Friday and at 4:00 am Saturday morning – they were right!

100_4108-300x229Taking everything in consideration, the first event of the year, severe weather conditions and a new location at Bay Point Marina in Panama City Beach – the tournament ended up a huge success, said Tournament Director, Mike Schweppe. We ended up launching 32 of the 33 boats expected for the event.

Team Redfish Riviera, presented by Southern Peanut Producers and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, listed two teams for this event. However, the boat captained by Sean Fields ran into early engine problems and left he and his partner, Co-Owner of Team Redfish Riviera, Steve Bailey on the dock. “I am very disappointed,” uttered Captain Fields. We will be back and will give our sponsors, Redfish Riviera, Southern Peanut Producers and Margaritaville something to rave about. Team Redfish Riviera, captained by Daniel Snapp brought in one fish to give them a top ten finish.

img_0291-300x198Team Redfish Riviera, presented by Southern Peanut Producers and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville look on as their fish is weighed for a top ten finish.

Topping off the event was a second place finish by the 2008 IFA Gulf Coast Division Champion, Fred Myers and his partner Pete Turner. For more information and official results, please visit http://www.theredfishclub.com. The next event is scheduled for March 28th in Pensacola Beach, Florida.

Black Friday? How About Redfish Friday!

As the largest shopping day of the year approaches and the official kick off to the holiday shopping season, Redfish Riviera Outfitters prepares for what they call Redfish Friday.

Friday, November 28th or better known as Black Friday will produce great sales all over the country. In addition, to the great sales, come big crowds at shopping outlets everywhere. Hungry holiday shoppers line outside malls for hours – some at 4:00 AM – to get first shot at these super deals.

Redfish Riviera Outfitters has started its own tradition, as they prepare their anglers and families for what they call, Redfish Friday. For one day only, Redfish Riviera will offer 30% off all of their items online at www.redfishriviera.com. The sale will be from 6:00 AM to 11:00 AM only. Be sure to use promotion code: REDFRIDAY at checkout to receive this super discount.

If you are a dedicated redfish angler, know one, just want to be seen with the hottest new fishing apparel around, or you are looking for the greatest deal online, you need to be at www.redfishriviera.com from 6:00 AM to 11:00 Am on Friday, November 28th.

Redfish Riviera Outfitters carries everything from coolers to beach bags, decals, pewter trailer hitch covers & license plates, men’s and women’s apparel, T-shirts, fishing shirts, golf polo’s, sweatshirts, tank tops, hats, visors and more.

Do not miss out on this once a year opportunity! We look forward to helping you out during this shopping season.

Redfish Riviera = Cool Sport, Great Stuff

A couple buddies of mine, Paul Wohlford and Steve Bailey, started RedFishRiviera.com.  I’ve helped them get their internet presence off the ground, but they are doing a phenomenal job at launching awesome product and educating the community about red fishing.  Check out the press release below and support them by visiting their website, RedFishRiviera.com and buying a cool shirt!

NEW FLATS FISHING OUTFITTER PLAYS ON NICKNAME OF REGION
‘Redfish Riviera’ established to promote growing sport

PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL (September 22, 2008) —Two local fishing enthusiasts decided to pair their love of redfishing with the growing popularity of the sport by launching a new company, Redfish Riviera, Inc.  The outfitters dedicated to the sport of redfishing, created by Paul Wohlford and Steve Bailey, sells a wide range of apparel and specialty items to sportsmen and families.  In addition, the company educates consumers about the sport of redfishing, provides information about redfish tournaments and locations, and connects anglers with one another.

The name plays on a well-know nickname for the gulf coast region as the “Redneck Riviera”.  Wohlford, president of the company, said the idea was born during a Tourist Development Council meeting when they were discussing upcoming Redfish tournament sponsorship opportunities.  Steve Bailey, CEO of the company, and Wohlford trademarked the name, and Redfish Riviera, Inc. became official in April 2008.

“Since then, we have been approached to cast the name on restaurants and lodges,” said Wohlford of the popular name.  “I don’t know where the applications will go in the future.  We are focused on growing the company at this point, and expanding our reach to retailers, outfitters, marinas and resorts across the southeast. The early results have exceeded our expectations. Maybe that’s because redfishing is the fastest growing segment of sports fishing, and is said to be approaching bass fishing in terms of popularity.”

The Redfish Riviera spans the shores of Brownsville, Texas, along the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic coast of Florida, up to Surf City, NC.

The sport has gained popularity in recent years and has spawned into a sportsman’s ‘must do’.  According to the Inshore Fishing Association’s website “inshore fisheries have flourished much quicker than anyone could have imagined since the banning of netting”.  The redfish or red drum has become one of the most sought after fish on the Gulf and Atlantic shores.

“It has really grown into a household name to sportsmen throughout the country,” says Bailey.  “It is a very eco and family friendly sport, too.  With fuel prices the way they are, this is not the kind of fishing you have to run offshore 70 miles to do.  It’s all inshore, and state laws regulate fishermen to size and bag limit. Redfish are a very protected species.”

Primarily an inshore fish, the average redfish weighs from 6 to 12 pounds, but can weigh up to 50 pounds. Redfish are a bottom-feeding, schooling species common along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts. Typically located on flats, redfish can also be caught in reefs, bays and marshes. They live in shallow water and can be recognized by a dark spot on the tail.  They became trendy as a food fish after being offered as blackened redfish in New Orleans restaurants and became popular as a game fish as more former bass anglers got turned on to inshore saltwater fishing.

Redfish Riviera, Inc. has already grabbed the attention of major networks and tournament organizers in their short time of existence.  Wohlford and Bailey recently accepted an invite to join a crew of the Oh Boy! Oberto Redfish Cup Pro-Am Team.  They will partner with a Redfish Cup Professional Angler and fish the flats of Pensacola in the Pro-Am Tournament. The event is being televised on ESPN2 and ESPN Outdoors. Bailey said they are thrilled to have the opportunity to promote their new company on a national platform.  “We’ll see where it takes us,” said Bailey. “It’s a great opportunity for us and we are excited to be part of it.”

Redfish Riviera, Inc. promotes the major redfish tours and their tournaments.  They also sponsor a team, Team Redfish Riviera, who recently claimed a top 10 finish at the IFA Redfish Tournament presented by Cabela’s in Navarre Beach, FL.

“Down the road we hope to expand by offering guide services, restaurant and accommodation partners, as well as introducing redfishing to new anglers” said Wohlford.  “Really, with the way this sport is growing, the possibilities are endless.” For more information on Redfish Riviera, to view tournament schedules or to purchase merchandise visit www.redfishriviera.com.