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Total domination

10/2/2008


Mark Sepe (left) and Andrew Bostick may be the best two anglers you've never heard of.

If you don't live on the coast of Florida, Louisiana or Texas, you may not have heard of Sepe and Bostick.

And no, it's not a law firm.

Mark Sepe and Andrew Bostick have dominated the Oh Boy! Oberto Redfish Cup since September 2007, when they won the season-ending championship in Pensacola, Fla., in the midst of a tropical depression throwing driving rain and waterspouts on weary anglers.

Since then, they have been on a tear, reeling off Redfish Cup victories in Punta Gorda, Fla., and Hopedale, La., before returning to Pensacola to clinch the 2008 Team of the Year title last weekend.

In the six-year history of the Redfish Cup, no team has ever had such a dominant run. And they've still got one more tournament left — the season-ending championship in Biloxi, Miss., Oct. 10-12.

With the pressure of securing the title off their shoulders, don't expect Sepe and Bostick to back down. Just thinking about winning back-to-back championships makes the Florida anglers giddy.

"Oooh, we wanna win that one baaad," said Sepe, just after accepting the Team of the Year trophy. "Then we'd really be hated."

In fact, the other world-class teams of the Redfish Cup already have plenty of reasons to hate the duo: For starters, they not only led the Team of the Year race on the final day of regular-season competition — they were leading the standings on every single day since the season began.

Add to that a win at perhaps the most coveted Redfish Cup venue in Punta Gorda, and cap it with the team's waltz into Louisiana to steal the event there from the normally dominant home-water anglers, and teams are bound to be a little jealous.

Just ask Kevin Broussard who, along with his teammate and father "Cajun" Phil Broussard, finished second in the Team of the Year standings.

"We lost to one of the best there is ... and we didn't lose. We got beat," said the younger Broussard. "They were the best anglers on the tour this year by far."

One thing both Sepe and Bostick say contributes to their success is their sight-fishing prowess, which is enhanced by their unique strategy of casting from atop an 8-foot ladder.

"We are sight-fisherman; we base everything we do around being able to see the fish," said Bostick. "A second fallback is doing other stuff, but everything we want to do involves sight-fishing. So that's big for us to be able to get on that ladder and see that much better with it."

"It's a huge advantage," added Sepe. "This guy here (referring to Bostick) can see as good as anybody out there, but he never sees a fish when I'm on that ladder, because I see the fish so much farther out."

But sight-fishing alone won't take a team to the top of the standings. It takes a combination of elbow grease and versatility — with a little luck thrown in — to sustain such an unprecedented run.

"They're very well-rounded fishermen that can adapt to every fishing style from Florida to Texas," Broussard said. "They put in their time and they do their homework. It's not like they show up four or five days before a tournament and expect to have success."

They've also created the kind of partnership that the notoriously teammate-swapping anglers of the saltwater circuit would kill for.

"We're like a marriage. We know what the other one's thinking," Bostick said. "If he's kind of irritable or whatever that day, I know how to treat him, and vice versa. We just know each other's moves and what we're thinking."

"We've both had other partners who were really good guys and good fishermen, but it wasn't working out like we were hoping. But this has worked out extremely well."

So well, the anglers will have one mighty big target on their backs heading into Biloxi. Everyone likes to bring down the top dog, and the Redfish Cup circuit is no different.

"There's definitely a big bull's-eye on their back; a lot of people are gunning for them" Broussard said. "I don't have to win in Biloxi as long as they finish third."

It will take a red-hot hand to dethrone the reigning champions, who are fishing without the added pressure of securing Team of the Year honors hanging over their heads.

"We're excited. We're obviously going for the win," Bostick said. "It's wonderful, because the points don't count in the championship this year, and before, we would have had to be in conservative mode."

"Now we can just let it all hang out and go for the win."

The Broussards certainly recognize what a formidable challenge Sepe and Bostick pose.

"They always dot their I's and cross their T's," Kevin Broussard said with an audible sigh. "And then on top of that, they're damn good fishermen."