The winning celebrity angler at the 2013 Red*Trout event was Blair Wiggins, the MOGAN man from Addictive Fishing TV, who racked up multiple redfish releases. He narrowly beat out Capt. Mark Nichols, founder of DOA Lures for the top spot in the annual tourney. Fishing to Catch a Cure for Cystic Fibrosis is the central theme for this fundraiser with a saltwater theme.
"We fished with spinning tackle using a Shimano rod and reel while fishing in Charleston," said Capt. Mark Nichols. "I was using a DOA airhead lure in Arkansas glow coloration, paired with a 6-ought Owner weighted hook with a screw-lock. Blair was using DOA shrimp the whole weekend and the Fiji Chix color was working well for him." Fishing conditions included overcast skies but temperatures were balmy.
Alicia Parsons is the Executive Director of the South Carolina Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), and organizes the annual Red*Trout tournament. Celebrity anglers like Blair Wiggins and Mark Nichols come to Charleston to volunteer their time and talents, and of course to go fishing. This helps raise awareness and local anglers are glad to pay an entry fee that benefits CFF in order to participate. This year, 31 boats help to raise just over $100,000 and the 12-year fundraising total is now more than $1 million.
A Captain's meeting, dock party and an award reception all took place at the pavilion at the Charleston Harbor Marina. The two-day fishing tournament on October 19 and 20 tracks the release of redfish and trout only, and uses a points scale for all eligible fish. For instance, a redfish caught on fly fishing equipment will carry more points than a redfish caught on spinning tackle. At the end of the tourney awards are given for best two-man team, plus individual awards like largest trout or redfish released.
Finishing at the top of the heap for recreational anglers were the father and son team of Ron and Steve Silverman. The Silverman's won this same award back in 2008, and they support the Red*Trout each year, since they have a family member who is affected by Cystic Fibrosis. In fact, many of the participants share a connection that the saltwater anglers must come together annually at this event to give back to the community.
Local charter Captain Ben Alderman won the top guide award in the 2013 tourney, but all of the charter captains are glad to support the Red*Trout. The largest redfish release went 42.5-inches caught by Will Spievogel and the largest trout release went 22-inches caught by Steve Wright. The top Lady Angler was Kristin Le Serta, who shared that she has Cystic Fibrosis.