"It just feels unbelievable," said Chagnard, who already has one Redfish Series win under his belt. "If you ever lose this type of feeling, that's when you should stop fishing.
"We really took a gamble today. On a last-minute decision, we decided to make a 110-mile run that would take us through a few flood gates and locks. Luckily, we made it through all of them, and it was the right move to make. It was a little nerve-wracking not knowing if we were going to be able to get through all the locks and gates and then back through them again on the way to the weigh-in, but the decision paid off."
The team was throwing H&H Secret Spoons, targeting redfish in grass in about 15 to 18 inches of water.
Rounding out the top five teams were James Lloyd of Deer Park, Texas, and John Lloyd of Pasadena, Texas (six redfish, 46 pounds, 13 ounces, $7,108); John Henninger and Chris Henninger, both of Jacksonville, Fla. (six redfish, 45 pounds, 11 ounces, $5,198); Todd Dufour and Alden Bourgeois, both of Marrero (six redfish, 45 pounds, 3 ounces, $3,842) and Tadd Vandemark, of Key Largo, Fla., and Kevin Shaw, of Corpus Christi, Texas (six redfish, 42 pounds, 3 ounces, $4,486).
Qualifying tournaments in the $1.9 million Wal-Mart Redfish Series — the most lucrative redfish tournament trail in the world — are three-day events. Up to 150 teams compete Thursday and Friday, and the top five teams, based on heaviest combined weight, advance to Saturday's final round. The winning team is determined Saturday based on the heaviest three-day accumulated weight.
The FLW Redfish Series consists of two divisions — Eastern and Western. Each division is comprised of four qualifying events with a $200,000 purse for each event. The top 100 teams — 50 from each division after four qualifying events — will qualify for the three-day, no-entry-fee $300,000 Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series Championship to be held in Orange Beach, Ala., Oct. 18-20. The championship winner will take home as much as $100,000.