Now in its third year, the 2019 Galveston Classic Fly Fishing Tournament, organized by Gordy & Sons, has always attracted a competitive field of anglers, and Saturday, July 13 was no exception. Thirty two-man teams had assembled the previous evening to go over the tournament rules and receive their captain’s bags. Donated by tournament sponsors, the bags included a hat and t-shirt with the Galveston Classic logo, a Simms reel case and drink cooler, and the Gordy & Sons measuring device that was to be used for the competition. Everything was provided in a Simms dry bag. The other sponsors for the day were Yeti, Scott Fly Rods, Nautilus Reels, Chance Yarbrough Art, Sabine Skiffs, Ross Reels, Smith Optics and Castaway Customs.

Anglers dealt with the outlying weather bands of Hurricane Barry, with 15 to 25 mile-an-hour winds from the North West. A sunny sky clouded over pretty early in the morning, giving the anglers a bit of a challenge, particularly as the water was stained.

   

The winners were determined by the total measurement of their two largest slot redfish of 20-28 inches. Teams also had the option to enter additional sidepots, including largest redfish, largest sheepshead, and the redfish with the most spots.

After a long day’s fishing, the teams headed back to Waterman’s Marina for the weigh in, where burgers and beer were served to the tunes of one-man-band Austin McCarter. JB Self and Brent Kirkham took first place, with a combined length of 53 inches, winning a Scott Meridian Fly rod, a Nautilus reel, a custom casting mat from Sabine Skiffs and a stunning redfish tail sculpture by artist Roger Fowler. The winners were closely followed by Jarid and Ray Malone, whose length of 52¾ inches won them a Nautilus Reel and a casting mat from Sabine Skiffs. James Jackson and Gene Russell took third place with a length of 49¼ inches, garnering them a Scott Meridian Rod and a custom Sabine Skiffs casting mat.

JB and Brent also won the largest red sidepot with a redfish measuring 287/8inches, while Mason Messana and Mason Matejcek won the most spots category, with a combined count of eight spots. Despite five boats catching sheepshead during the tournament, none of the successful teams opted to join the sheepshead sidepot. All sidepot winners took home a custom engraved Ross Evolution Salt reel.

Baron Boyette, who helped organize the tournament for Gordy & Sons, commented: “It was a really great day – the competition was close and we avoided most of the nasty weather from the storms in Louisiana. I’m glad to say the only hitch was one motor breaking down. Everyone had a great time, and we were thrilled to be able to donate $5,000 to the Galveston Bay Foundation to help with the conservation of our local waters.”