KEMAH, TEXAS Clearly, there's something in the water around Trinity Bay. On Sunday, teammates Robert Scherer and Blaien Friermood revisited these waters to capture their first win at Kemah in the Oh Boy! Oberto Redfish Cup OPEN.
Sunday's weight of 17.67 pounds capped a tournament for the local Baytown team that saw three bags that weighed over 17 pounds. With days one and two resulting in a 17.65 and 17.70, respectively, the three monster stringers only varied by a mere five ounces.
Taking second place, Mickey Eastman, Sr. and Wayne Webb turned in a 16.78 pound bag. Ralph Frazier and his teammate Richard Freund held their spot to take third place with a 14.86 pound Final Day, followed by Chief Tauzin and Clark Jordan at 14.37 pounds. Belton Texas teammates Danny Coppin and Gerald Rabroker rounded out the top five with 12.41 pounds.
But it was Scherer and Friermood's consistent performance that led the team to the win. "This tournament was really the perfect storm," said Scherer. "The weather broke, the fish stayed and we just stayed on 'em the whole time."
The winners will see the biggest payday in Redfish Cup history with over $80,000 in prize and contingency monies from their sponsors.
Fishing the very same freshwater and saltwater line as the tournament winners, old friends Eastman and Webb were literally right there with them. "Both our teams were culling fish all day long again today," Eastman said. "We just couldn't get the bigger bite."
A low tide on the final day hurt the teams that were fishing shallow. "We couldn't even get to our A-spot until well after midday because of the tide," said Tauzin.
Frazier and Freund were also frustrated with the tide, and spent some of the day just waiting for the right moment. "We had the same game plan as the past two days, but those tides just wouldn't let us in to where we needed to be early on," Frazier said, frustrated with the day but not with the tournament. "Look, anytime you're fishing on Sunday it's terrific."
Danny Coppin and Gerald Rabroker felt that the redfish weren't accustomed to the lower tides after the past couple days' full moon. "It was just a tough bite out there today," Coppin said. "We spotted a good ten-pounder that was just not interested and then we had a few line breaks with a really nice fish on."
With one more Western Division OPEN event to go in Port Arthur, this tournament win couldn't have come at a better time for Scherer and Friermood. While this first year team struggled in Lafitte, Louisiana (the first stop in the West), this result will help their All Star qualification standing and their shot at fishing the Oh Boy! Oberto Redfish Cup Championship (the championship takes the top 15 teams from both OPEN divisions). Next, the qualifying anglers will head to the All Star Mid Season Bash in Orange Beach, Alabama on July 6-8.
But an emotional Friermood had another important reason why Sunday's record payday felt so good to him. His daughter is soon getting married to her longtime fiancé and joined her father onstage.
"Hey, this is really going to help me out with those wedding expenses," he said, hugging his daughter closely.