2024 Galveston Classic Wrap Up

2024 Galveston Classic Wrap Up

Posted by B. Boyette on Jul 2nd 2024

The 8th Annual Galveston Classic Fly Fishing Tournament is in the books. Despite challenges from weather and extremely high tidal surge, anglers made the best out of a tough fishing situation.

Mason Messana and Mickey Collins took first place honors with their total of 110 inches, just shy of a perfect 112 inches.

While the Galveston Classic was originally a 1 day tournament, we pivoted to a two-day format in 2021. Participants compete over two days for the 4 largest redfish caught (up to 28 inches).

In addition to the standard format, each team is given a special fly that is unveiled at the Captain’s Meeting. This year’s fly was an articulated deer-hair frog pattern with a large bass hook trailed by a smaller hook on each of the frog’s legs. This is not an ideal redfish pattern.

Whichever team is cocky enough to fish the giant frog fly during the tournament and lands the largest redfish is deemed the winner of the Cocky SOB award. The Cocky SOB category has gained a huge following over the past few years, and several team elect to dedicate the entire tournament to landing the largest red on the special fly.

There are also 3 sidepots that teams can elect to enter: The Big Red Sidepot, the Big Sheep Sidepot and the Spots Sidepot.

For the first time this year, we called an audible at the end of Day 1 and created a 4th sidepot, the Gar Sidepot. Because of the tidal surge and low salinity levels, many of our traditionally salty marshes and flats were overrun with gar. The Gar Sidepot was awarded to the team who caught the largest gar during the tourney.

Even though teams dodged thunderstorms and poled in high winds during Day 1, fishing was generally better than anticipated. The water was high enough to cover the spartina and cord grass, allowing access to otherwise landlocked or dry areas. If you found fish, they were hungry.

Day 2 presented a tougher challenge. Water levels dropped 1-2 feet and displaced many of the fish teams had located during the first day. Overall, scores were significantly worse on Day 2, with only a handful of teams improving their performance over Day 1.

Congratulations to Mason Messana and Mickey Collins on their performance in this year’s Galveston Classic! Thank you to all our participants this year, and especially to all our many sponsors and donors, without whom this tournament would not be possible.


1st Place:

Mason Messana / Mickey Collins - 110 Inches

2nd Place:

Jason Peeler / Owen Gayler - 106 Inches

3rd Place:

Joey Sullivan / Kyle Kenter - 99 1/4 Inches

Cocky SOB:

Gabe Upanavage / Matthew Upanavage - 26 1/4 Inches

Big Redfish:

Elliott Barr / Duncan Brotzman - 30 7/8 Inches

Big Sheepshead:

Corey Bruekner / Eric Ostrom - 18 3/4 Inches

Most Redfish Spots:

Joey Sullivan / Kyle Kenter - 12 Spots

Gar Cup:

Joey Sullivan / Kyle Kenter - 53 3/4 Inches

Golden Mullet Award:

Matt Dobre / Josh Thorne - Broken Rod / Lost Gar


Ranchwater Rentals, Sabine Skiffs, McRee Ford, Rockport Companies, Orvis, Tibor Reels, Course Construction Co, Magnolia Commerical Finishes, El Dorado Outfitters, Angelina Tank, Southwest Shipyard, Abel Reels, Simms, Fishpond, Smith Optics, Sage, Apex Coolers, Baumann Props, Scott Fly Rods, Bajio, 4WD Coffee, Sight Cast, Benchmade Knives, Yeti, Rio, Chama Chairs, Turtlebox Audio, Umpqua, Kingfisher Leatherworks, On the Fly Mag, Montana Fly Co, The Pelican Chandeleur, Filson, and Scientific Anglers.