Broussards come up big

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PORT ARTHUR, Texas — Just over one year and a month have passed since Alden Bourgeois and Todd Dufour set the single day record for the Oh Boy! Oberto Redfish Cup in Lafitte, La., with 18.64 pounds of redfish.

After Day One in Port Arthur, the local Lafitte guides still own that highly-coveted record — but just barely.

Redfish pro Kevin Broussard and his father, "Cajun" Phil Broussard set the stage for what may produce the highest weights of the season with a jaw-dropping 18.14 first-day stringer. Just behind the Broussards in second place, Paul Jueckstock and Manny Perez of Team Under Armour hoisted a 17.54-pound bag. In third place after Day One were Bo Johnson and Mike Del Duca with 16.73 pounds. Chris Wittman and Tom Winroe of Team Hooters nabbed the fourth spot, posting a 16.69-pound weight and Team Crocs' Tim Young and Jason Catchings rounded out the top five with 16.44 pounds of redfish.

"Within fifteen minutes of fishing this morning, we had over 15 pounds of redfish," Kevin, the Broussard's team captain, said after climbing down from the stage. "I had a 6-pounder on my second cast and on my fifth cast I caught a 7 (pound fish). Then, dad had a 7.10 within minutes."

After securing their two fish, which both anglers considered more than ample for weigh-in, the father-and-son duo felt it was still far too early to retire for the day. Instead, the Louisiana anglers decided to investigate new water for a chance to upgrade, but "Cajun" Phil still tended to the fish in the livewell between casts.

"Dad told me 'Hey, let's go back to that honey hole,'" Kevin said. "I caught a 6 there, then the wind blew out Dad's spoon away from where he was casting. But that's when he caught the big one."

Even with the wind-altered cast, the Broussards' "big one" looked to be over 10-pounds unofficially, which gave the team the eventual lead on the day.

The early bite in Port Arthur on Day One gave several of the top five teams an excuse to return more than two hours before the weigh-in began. Joining the Broussards, Larry Puckett and Erik Rue and Young and Catchings relaxed in the Pleasure Island Marina with plenty of time to spare.

"We were on the right fish in deep water on a couple of places," Rue said about his team's 16.44-pound first day. "Those same three spots are definitely on the itinerary for tomorrow."

It wasn't, however, all morning work for Day One's top five teams.

While Jueckstock and Perez admitted to over 15 pounds by 6:45 a.m., the two Florida anglers found the right conditions late in the day to bump up their weight.

"The tide turned at the end of the day and the bite turned back on for us," Perez said. "It [the tide] had stopped earlier and we caught fish on and off, waiting for five or six hours."

With similar weather conditions on Day Two, anglers could find similar, if not better, weights on a more favorable tide.