by Gritter Griffin
The competitive redfish season is winding down and the race to qualify for the 2020 Redfish World Series is reaching a boiling point!
Two of the tours are complete (Power Pole & Rudy’s) and the ten qualifiers from those tours are set. But, across the rest of the country, the redfish competition is in a state of chaos.
Most especially the IFA.
On no other tour is the action as hot and the scramble as intense as it is on the IFA circuit! There is a total of EIGHTY TEAMS with a chance to make it to the Top Seven in the RWS final rankings for the IFA because any team with a single point – and that’s a total of 80 teams – has the potential to jump up in the rankings with a win or high finish in the IFA Championship in Venice, LA October 18-19.
Currently, the IFA team of Danny Sheldon and Kyle Craven seem to be safe with their dominance of the IFA circuit. They have a 34-point total with an 18-point advantage over second place. Hank Edwards and Ian Mathews are in pretty good shape as well holding on to the second spot with 16 points. Mason and Melissa Lincoln are all alone in third with 14 points, but they have nine teams right behind them in the 4th position with 10 points. Then there are Thirty-Nine more teams holding down the 5th – 9th spots in the current standings. The IFA Championship will surely tell the tale for the mad scramble to the Top Seven IFA spots that will receive the 2020 RWS invitations.
Over on the Elite Redfish Series there are currently 35 teams vying for the Top 8 spots in the RWS rankings. Paul Dufrene and Travis Land are currently in first place in the RWS rankings with 14 points followed by Jeff Rogers and Luke Landry with 12 points. Nicky Savoie and Shane Pescayare holding on to third with 11 points followed by five teams tied at 10 points.
But none of the Elite Series teams are safe yet since there are two more events to go before that series is complete. SO, it is likely that the Port Lavaca Event and the Elite Redfish Series Championship at South Padre Island on October 4-6 will be major deciding factors in the final RWS rankings for the Elite.
The Saltwater Angler Redfish Series has one event to go and the top spots are packed tightly here as well. Mike Maule and James Alexander are holding on to the number one spot with 12 points followed by Mason and Melissa Lincoln in second with 8 points. Chuck McKinney and Tony Gagliano are in third with 7 followed by Patrick Tabor and Jason Geigenmiller rounding out the top four. It’s anyone’s game on this new tour and the last leg of this three series trail will determine the Top Three teams that earn the RWS 2020 invitation.
But wait, there’s more!
The Southern Redfish Cup is a three-event trail that kicks off September 7th in Georgetown, SC and wraps up on December 7th in Port Royal, SC. The Top Four from this tour will earn invitations to the 2020 RWS and it is likely that this tour will be also utilized by some of the bubble teams as they try to earn their way in via the RWS Wild Card rankings which require points from more than one tour.
The success and validity of the RWS National Ranking System, with a few tweaks yet to come for 2020, appears to be working exactly as planned and the future of competitive redfishing looks brighter than ever.