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Well hello, folks. This was an exciting week in the Key when the Elite Redfish Challenge came to town. Cedar Key was the tournament’s last event location to help decide who would be crowned Team of the Year.
Going into the day, Chandler and Manny Altman were in the lead by less than a pound. And ahead of third place by 1.29 lbs. Everyone knew the the day would be full of tough fishing. The tide was a little tricky and the fishing had been a little slow.
As a token of my appreciation to the hard work the anglers had displayed all year, I hired Tyler Crockett of the JB Crockett Band to sing for us from 1-5 p.m. at the park gazebo. Onlookers in town for the weekend picked up a bonus treat that was totally free. I also surprised the gang with a little Cedar Key secret – little Ceira Beckham displayed a perfect national anthem for the group of onlookers. It was not to be missed as she does an awesome job.
As we ended the weigh-in, it was Brandon Woods of Keystone Heights with his lovely fiancé, Allynne Norman, with the big win: a 11.39 lb. bag that took $1,400 in cash and two new pairs of Costa sunglasses. The team of Steven Roberts and Larry Johnson grabbed big fish honors with a 6.78 pounder. The Seatow Challenge winner was Matt Booker with a 23 and 1/8 inch redfish. The Seatow Challenge number is determined in the morning before takeoff by drawing from a cup. The angler that gets closes to the number wins $200.
As we tallied up the numbers, the husband and wife team of Chandler and Manny Altman were able to hold off the competition and seal the deal on Team of the Year. They pocketted $1,500 in cash and a free weekend at the Cedar Cove with Friday dinner and Sunday brunch upon checkout.
A big thanks to all of our sponsors and all they did for the Challenge. Without their help and support our year wouldn’t had been as successful. We are all grateful and can’t wait to mix it up next year.