Triton team takes Redfish Cup AND Team of the Year!
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas --- Triton Team Blaien Friermood and Jim Franklin came to the Oh Boy! Oberto Redfish Cup Championship with one thing on their minds: To win the Oh Boy! Oberto Team of the Year race.
The Texas team did that and more, winning the Championship with two fish totalling12.83 pounds and in the process taking home $65,000 in cash.
The week capped what Friermood and Franklin described as an unbelievable set of circumstances. Because of the series of hurricanes that hit around the Gulf, the timing of the Championship forced Friermood to not be able to practice for the event. He’s a full-time hunting and fishing guide and had scheduled a quail and deer hunt.
“Jim said, “Hey, you take care of that and I’ll do all the practicing,’’ Friermood said. “It just killed me that I couldn’t help him. But he found the fish right here within 5 miles of the take-off and we decided to stay with them and grind them out.”
That tactic of grinding it out has paid off all season, but never so much as it did in this event. They fished on the spoil banks just inside the Intercoastal Waterway, concentrating on the potholes within the grass beds and later finding three troughs that he bigger fish were pulling to on low tide.
Their baits of choice were Nemire Spoons and Berkley Gulp Sinking Minnows rigged on a chartreuse jighead.
On the first day, the team started in their area catching two fish that totaled 7 pounds, then left. After a short trip to Cullen Bay, they upgraded their catch to more than 11 pounds, enough to put them 18th place in the event and third in the Team of the Year race.
“We decided on day two that there were better fish in the spoil area and we had to stay there and stick with it,’’ Franklin said.
Their stubbornness paid off. With 45 minutes left on day two the team caught a 26-inch redfish that gave them one of the largest limits of the day and shot them into the final five. And then on day three with just 15 minutes left in the day, they caught their final keeper and as it turned out it proved to be the difference in winning and finishing second.
“That’s the true meaning of grinding it out,’’ Friermood said.
For the record, the team locked down the Team of the Year race on day two, needing only a 13th place finish to win the title. But the Championship victory just added even more to the week’s accomplishments.
They won $50,000 for the tournament and another $15,000 in the Oh Boy! Oberto Team of the Year race making their sum total the largest single payday in Oh Boy! Oberto Redfish Cup history.
Of his Triton 240 LTS Blaien says, “I’m hard on my equipment. I rely on my Triton each and every day for tournaments and guiding and I feel safe and confident. On rough seas you can really feel the strength of the hull. There’s no flexing and shaking. It’s simply the best built boat I’ve ever seen.”