1st Place: $40,000

Eric Holstman, captain and professor of Redfish University, will be teaming up with fellow angler, , to compete in the Redfish Cup in south florida this weekend. The seventh year of the Redfish Cup kicks off in sunny Punta Gorda, Fla from April 30 to May 3. Fittingly, the tournament will highlight the City of Punta Gorda’s annual Redfish Festival. As the only permanent stop on the circuit, Redfish Cup anglers already know to expect two things from the southwest Florida venue: a warm reception and an equally-hot competition.

From Boca Grande to Pine Island to the waters just outside Charlotte Harbor, the second-largest estuary in the state provides vast tidal flats, seagrass beds and tons of mangrove islands. Spooky redfish enjoy the clear, shallow water challenging any angler who targets the busy shorelines and tidal creeks.

In 2008, Mark Sepe and Andrew Bostick proved to be the masters of Punta Gorda during the three-day affair. The local anglers — Sepe from Deland and Bostick from Marco Island – found a healthy school and stuck with it for three straight days and the win.

Overall, the weights seen during the 2008 season were above average.