Fishing & Boating News

Redfish Series Event From Venice To Air August 3

FSN to televise second Western Division tournament

by: Dave Washburn, vp comm, FLW Outdoors

(Jul. 22, 2008 - Minneapolis, MN) Tune in Sunday, Aug. 3 to "FLW Outdoors" on FSN for the Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series event from Venice, La. The second of four Western Division tournaments will highlight the best redfish anglers in the world as they compete for a top prize of $50,000 cash. The "FLW Outdoors" saltwater series is a reality-format show told from the anglers' perspective. Each week the top-five finalists are followed from takeoff to weigh-in, allowing the audience to feel the anglers' nerves, listen to their strategy and learn from their mistakes. The stories evolve and the suspense grows throughout the one-hour show until the final weigh-in results are announced.  Despite its well-deserved reputation as southern Louisiana's redfish Mecca, Venice is seeing very few Redfish Series anglers competing in the tournament based at its namesake marina. With the Mississippi River bulging with rainwater from the northern United States, the Venice marsh system has become even muddier than usual. Redfish are a rugged lot, but when the water turns exceptionally stained, finding the fish becomes more challenging. Simply put, this is not your ordinary Venice event. Normally when a redfish tournament is held in Hopedale, Buras or Lafitte, the majority of the anglers make the long run to Venice. But with the unusual conditions this year, the situation has been reversed. After the second day of competition, Todd Dufour and Alden Bourgeois are leading with a total catch of four redfish weighing 33 pounds, 1 ounce. Not surprisingly, Dufour of Marrero, La., and Bourgeois of Barataria, La., are wetting their lines near Lafitte, their home waters. Sight-fishing with spinnerbaits, the two are catching their reds in shallow duck ponds. Despite two successful days, Dufour and Bourgeois are making no assumptions about the finals. On day two, their second redfish came with only an hour left in the day. Despite several top-five finishes, Dufour and Bourgeois have never claimed a Redfish Series victory. Tune in Sunday to see if that changes. In second place is the team of Sal Fontana of Metaire, La., and Tony Grose of New Orleans. The two are fishing broken marsh in the Empire area on the west side of the river. After catching 16 pounds, 4 ounces on day one, they managed a day-two effort of 15-11 to qualify for the final round with a total of 31-15. Spinnerbaits and Berkley Gulp shrimp have proven highly effective, but Fontana and Grose aren't choosing between the two - they are combining them by fishing a Gulp shrimp on their spinnerbait jigheads. This is giving them the ability to leverage a spinnerbait's flash and vibration characteristics, but instantly switch to a dead-stick presentation when needed. The anglers also like to integrate fishing styles with Fontana blind-casting to cover water and hopefully locate fish, while Grose focuses on sight-fishing to specific targets. FSN also follows the redfish team of Dwayne Eschete of Madeville, La., and Blake Pizzolato of Montgomery, Texas, who are running west of the Mississippi Delta and fishing the marshes of Cocodrie. On day two, they secured two big reds weighing 15 pounds, 9 ounces and boosted their opening-round total to 31-7. Casting white Berkley Gulp shrimp on 1/4-ounce jigheads, they targeted shallow duck ponds with stumps and interior grass. Eschete and Pizzolato are making the 110-mile trip to Cocodrie because the purely saltwater environment made it easier to keep their fish healthy than the brackish waters of the Mississippi Delta. Redfish can live in completely fresh water, but they fare better in briny abodes - particularly in summertime heat. In addition, the two landed eight 8-pound fish in the Cocodrie area during practice. FSN broadcasts "FLW Outdoors" Sunday mornings. Check local listings for show times and channels in your area. The FLWOutdoors website also provides an online guide listing upcoming episodes on "FLW Outdoors." FSN is broadcast to more than 81 million homes through its network of 20 regional sports channels. Established in 1996, FSN is the only cable network that supplies national, regional and local sports programming. FSN serves as the cable TV home to 62 of the 82 MLB, NHL and NBA teams based in the United States, and produces more than 4,500 live events each year. FSN has an extensive catalog of original national programs, including "Best Damn Sports Show Period" and "Beyond the Glory" documentary series, along with national packages of collegiate sports. Based in Los Angeles, FSN is part of the vast FOX Sports television family. For the latest up-to-the-minute sports news and opinions, visit the FOX Sports/FSN website at www.FoxSports.com. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast internationally to more than 429 million households in such countries as Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world. 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. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, call (270) 252-1000.