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Team Haas/Morelli Wins IFA Redfish Tour Event at Crystal River, Florida
Anglers take home more than $29,000 in winnings
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (May 21, 2019) – Shane Haas and Nick Morelli, both of Clearwater, Florida, weighed a two-fish limit that totaled 13.28 pounds to win the first regular-season event for the Florida West Division of the IFA Redfish Tour presented by Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s on May 18 at Crystal River, Florida. The team won a fully rigged Ranger RB190 boat prize package powered by a 90-horsepower, four-stroke Mercury outboard.
First-place finishers Nick Morelli (left) and Shane Haas (right) hold up their winning fish at the IFA Redfish Tour event at Crystal River, Fla., on May 18.
The young anglers have posted a win in just their first year of fishing the IFA Redfish Tour. The team concentrated on the major tide swings and reported this as key to their success.
“Everything was about timing the water level and staying in one place,” Haas said.
The anglers ran approximately 23 miles to fish the Waccasassa Bay Preserve area, where they slow rolled gold spoons along grass lines for their limit. The team’s 7.08-pound redfish won the $500 Berkley Gulp! Big Redfish award to take home a total of $29,535 in winnings.
“We fished very well and worked hard,” said Haas. “Another key was that we didn’t lose any fish.”
Second-place finishers Robert Tsacrios and Frank Fazzioli, both of Homosassa, Florida, weighed a total of 12.77 pounds. The team ran back to their home waters of Homosassa and targeted staged reds on the incoming tide with spinner baits. In total, the team took home $2.333 in winnings.
Coming off a hot streak that includes back-to-back wins at Georgetown and New Smyrna Beach, Danny Sheldon, of Newberry, Florida, and Kyle Craven, of Macclenny, Florida, took third place with 12.47 pounds.
The team reported tough and windy conditions as they ran 25 miles north of the launch where they sight-fished with Berkley Gulp! baits. Along with the $1,270 third-place prize, the anglers took advantage of the many contingency programs and added $2,125 in Anglers Advantage cash.
The next stop for the IFA Redfish Tour is set for Georgetown, South Carolina, on July 20. Teams that compete in at least two regular-season events will be qualified for the 2019 IFA Redfish Tour Championship.
IFA events are made possible through the sponsorship and continued support of these well-respected brands: Hobie Fishing, Ranger Boats, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Mercury Marine, Garmin, Berkley Gulp!, Berkley Gulp! Alive!, PENN Reels, Spiderwire, Navionics, Power-Pole, Valley Fashions, T-H Marine, ATLAS, G-Juice, and Powertex Group.
For more information or to become a member of the IFA, visit www.ifatours.com.
IFA Redfish Tour – Florida West Division
Crystal River, Fla. (Top 10)
1. Shane Haas/Nick Morelli – 13.28 .lbs
2. Robert Tsacrios/Frank Fazzioli – 12.77 .lbs
3. Kyle Craven/Danny Sheldon – 12.47 .lbs
4. Colby Elsass/Andrew Fagan – 12.24 .lbs
5. Robert Hunter/David Crews – 11.80 .lbs
6. Ryan Rickard/Dustin Tillet – 11.61 .lbs
7. Pierre Dubord/Jens Larsen – 11.54 .lbs
8. Bradley English/Collin English – 11.11 .lbs
9. Sam Roberts/Chase Daniel – 11.02 .lbs
10. Brian Visnovec/Jason Prieto – 10.80 .lbs