Xtreme Redfish 1 Man Series results
Xtreme Redfish 1 Man Series Recap
Inaugural Event Prize Claimed by AJ Hunter
April 28, 2012
The Xtreme Redfish 1 Man Series kicked off its first season on Saturday when the top redfish anglers of Northeast Florida competed in a lures only catch and release format for a two redfish limit. At day’s end Jacksonville’s AJ Hunter bested the field of 27 boats with a limit weighing 13.57 lbs to claim the title.
With the recent change in regulations allowing a two redfish limit in the northern part of the state, tournament director Bob Morris saw an opportunity to bring a solo angler format to the world of professional redfishing. “As a kid I grew up watching the pro bass guys and always wanted the opportunity to do something similar with my passion for tournament redfishing. The 2 person team format has been fun but the idea of fishing man vs. man just like a bass tournament is appealing to me,” said Morris. Based on the response, several other serious tournament anglers agreed and threw their names in the hat to see who would be the best on this day.
The roster included some of the sport’s top names which should not come as a surprise considering Jacksonville was the birthplace of professional redfishing and local anglers have been in the game for over a decade. Winners from any of the past or present major tournament trails were in attendance making this a true test of skill on what was a gorgeous day with clear skies and light winds which brought the excitement of sight fishing into play for most contestants.
AJ Hunter began the day fishing the tributaries of the St. John ’s River on the low end of a falling tide which exposed hungry reds waking across shallow mud flats in search of a meal. “There was an awesome bite early for me – the fish were very aggressive and eating spinnerbaits,” said AJ. “The problem was that there were mainly 5 pounders and I knew that wouldn’t give me a shot at winning.” He made an adjustment and went to an area where he had patterned the tidal movement of some larger reds and got his winning limit using a white Gulp! shrimp. His win netted him $1,290 which included big fish honors for the day.
The resume of Scott O’brien had many calling him the “man to beat” leading up to the tournament and he narrowly missed the win with a 13.49 lb limit. A winner on multiple tours, O’brien most certainly took advantage of the conditions which favored his keen talent for sight fishing. Third place went to John Kitchens who proved his 2012 Xtreme Redfish Championship win was not a fluke by bringing in a limit weighing 13.17 lbs. Brad Safreed and Bob Morris, both winners on multiple tours, rounded out the “top 5” at the action packed weigh-in.
Full results: http://www.xtremefishingseries.com/xtremefishing/resultsView.cfm?site=red&id=1356&divisionID=88
The next event in the series will be held on August 11, 2012 in Jacksonville. Contact tournament director Bob Morris for details at [email protected].