Robert Scherer and Blaine Friermood took a field of the best redfish anglers in Texas to school, specifically to open water redfish school and cashed a $25,000 check for the effort. An incredibly deep field of the best redfish tournament anglers in Texas converged on beautiful Harborwalk Marina in Galveston with high hopes of taking home some of the substantial cash and prizes offered.

The weather was “chamber of commerce” perfect and the conditions were certainly right for big stringers. The vast majority of the field keyed in on open water schools of redfish that had been cruising the Galveston Bay complex for the last few weeks. The open water pattern is a difficult one to bank on due to several factors, most important of all would be weather.

Trying to key on schools of fish that can roam miles in open water is a crapshoot for most anglers but in Trinity Bay there are few guys better than Blaine Friermood and he certainly showed that this past weekend.

After day one, Friermood and Scherer sat in second place behind the always tough team of Jon and Chris Culpepper, with each team breaking the 26 pound mark for three redfish. Both teams keyed in on open water schools and didn’t really find the better fish until just before time to head for the weigh in line.

The rest of the filed was bunched up tightly as just three pounds separated third from 14th. Only a few anglers bucked the trend of staying local and made big runs to both the east and the west. Two teams ran all the way to Sabine while a few others took off west and ran to Matagorda and Port O in search of their fish.

Day two dawned a little different, early morning showers and a little more wind certainly made things much more challenging and that was reflected in the overall weights. Scherer and Friermood backed an opening day 26.06 pound stringer with a very solid 23.97 pound effort to seal first place. After posting a 26.59 pound bag on day one, the Culpepper brothers only managed 21 pounds and finished in second place. Rob Schumuske and Joe Peddy (Team Daley’s Hunt and Fish) took third with a weight of 45.92. Judd and Jennifer Johnson finished fourth at 43.51 and Team Thirdstone of Ray Malone and Ryan Sweezy took fifth place with a 43.12 total.

Overall the weights were down for most of the contestants on Sunday but the overall average for the entire tournament was an impressive 6.21 pounds per fish. Perhaps the most mind blowing aspect of the whole event was that 97 percent of all fish brought to the scale were released alive while only four fish did not survive.

The Thirdstone Texas Redfish Showdown was a great success across the board as nearly every team I spoke with commented on how efficiently and professionally the tournament was run. With the help of the folks from the HT Redfish series and others this event really opened some eyes in the fishing world along the Texas coast. From the new hands free weigh in method to the lucrative payouts the tournament was top notch all the way around. It would certainly be safe to say that this event will expand in the near future.

Photo: Robert Scherer and Blaine Friermood took home the title at the Thirdstone Texas Redfish Showdown. RECORD PHOTO: Chuck Uzzle