John Jernigan and Chris Joseph, right, show off their trophies and their $50,000 first place check at the Wal-Mart FLW Outdoors redfish tournament.
By Laurie Krosney
sun staff writer
ENGLEWOOD — A Holmes Beach man and his partner, a Sarasota County Sheriff’s deputy, took home top honors and a $50,000 check in the Wal-Mart FLW tournament in Englewood on Saturday.
Chris Joseph, who by day is a shipping manager at DHL in Sarasota, and John Jernigan fished against some of the top redfish anglers in the area.
"Holy cow!" Joseph said. "It hit me at 4 o’clock in the morning. We actually won."
Joseph said he and Jernigan were hoping to finish in the top 20.
"We never thought we might be first," he said. "We were up against some of the top people in the field. It’s nice to beat all the big guys."
Joseph and Jernigan met when Jernigan brought sheriff’s dogs into the shipping facility occasionally to smell out suspicious packages.
"We got to talking fishing and decided to partner up," Joseph said. "We fish the same."
Joseph and Jernigan netted six redfish over the three-day Eastern Division event that went 38 pounds, 9 ounces.
"We won by 3 pounds," Joseph said. "Usually there are just a couple of ounces between first and second place."
Last week’s tournament was the first ever Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series tournament.
They plan to go out again this coming weekend for the Old Boy Alberto Redfish tournament out of Punta Gorda. There’s a $40,000 first prize in that one.