Shane Pescay was named Angler of the Year by the Elite Redfish Series on Saturday at the Scarlet Pearl Casino in D’Iberville.
The Mandeville, La. resident finished the D’Iberville event in second place but outpointed the field for the season, earning a boat valued at $65,000, $5,500 in prize money and an additional $2,000 for “Big Bag.”
Pescay overcame adversity. He suffered sore ribs, resulting from a fall on his boat attempting to net a catch.
“I ended up fighting the fish, catching him and weighing him in today,” said Pescay. “That fish was so important that if one person had gotten in between me and the leader, I would have not gotten Angler of the Year. It was critical that I had that fish. Today I was in a rush like usual. You want to catch as much fish as you can. You want to cover as much ground as you can.
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“It had just started raining. I had hooked the fish, and I climbed down from my tower to go net him. And I’m quick about it. I was just a little too quick with a wet surface, and my foot slipped out from under me, and I came tumbling down and landed on my handrail right underneath my left ribs.
“The pole went flying in the water with the fish still hooked to the line. It knocked the wind out of me, and I couldn’t breathe. My chest got tight,” said Pescay. “I took a little while to compose myself. Ten minutes after I composed myself and climbed back up on my tower, I saw something in the water that could have been any oyster shell. It could’ve been my reel. It was my rod and reel, and the fish was still on there.”
First place prize money, a check in the amount of $15,000 was awarded to Paul Dufrene. He finished the three-day tournament with a total weight of 75.61 pounds.
“We left out of here on Thursday and Friday with clear skies and light winds, did real good, sitting in third place after day one, second after two, so I had to really bring it today,” said Dufrene. “The weather did a one hundred eighty degree turn on us with cloudy skies and a lot of wind. Just being consistent and catching the right fish.
Elite Tournament director Pat Malone felt the weather conditions on the final day of the tournament affected the way the fishermen went after fish.
“It was a totally different tournament today than it was the first two days,” said Malone. “That’s what rally challenges these pros. The top five went out after two days, and the three, four and five stayed the same. One and two flipped flopped. The guy that was leading ended up in second, and the guy in second ending up winning it.”
Rennie Clark earned $3,500 for finishing third. Barrett McMullan received $2,000 for fourth place. Josh Gregory earned $1,000 for fifth place. Gregory earned an additional $1,200 for second place in Big Bag.