LOCAL DUO WEIR AND SCHOEN ONE OF THE TOP TEAMS ON REDFISH TOURNAMENT CIRCUIT
It has been decades since Bobby Weir and Matt Schoen first learned to bass fish under the watchful eye of their grandfather in North Georgia. Fast forward to today and these cousins spend their leisure time fishing the Redfish Tournament Circuit from Jacksonville, Fla. all the way to Houma, La.
During the season, you can find them battling it out with anywhere from 25 teams to over 100 for prize money and – more importantly –bragging rights. While it can get expensive for gear, travel, and entrance fees, the pay-off comes with prize purses worth thousands of dollars on any given weekend.
Weir and Schoen are sponsored this season by Mercury Outboards, 13 Fishing, Z Man Fishing Products, Yeti Coolers, Cobra Electronics, Costa Sunglasses, and Simmons Custom Rigging.
While Weir and Schoen wouldn’t share all their insider secrets, we were able to catch up with the duo in August to get a mid-season update and gain a few pro tips for both the tourney fisherman and the novice alike.
How long have you been tournament fishing and when did you get started?
MS: We were taking our captain’s license class at Legendary Marina in 2010 and we went outside on a break. There was a weigh-in going on for one of the redfish tourneys and we both looked at each other and said, “How do we get signed up for this?”
BW: Had we not walked outside and seen the weigh-in, I’m not sure when or if we would have ever started tournament fishing.
Name some of the tourneys for us?
Weir and Schoen fish about 16 to 18 events a year, including IFA Inshore Fishing Association, Florida Pro Redfish Series, Tito’s Vodka Redfish Series, Emerald Coast Redfish Circuit, Nick’s Redfish Roundup (won in 2017).
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started tourney fishing?
BW: Where to fish! It can only come over time, and never give up because you can win a tournament on the last cast.
MS: You can have the worst day fishing and it takes two bites and those can happen at the end of the day in the last hour.
Any advice to those just starting to tournament fish?
BW: Don’t be intimidated by folks that may have been shing the events for years. Don’t always sight fish ... Get out of the tower and don’t rely on sight fishing to win a tournament.
BW: And remember, be prepared for anything because your equipment will fail you after pushing it to the max every single day.
Any advice for someone just learning to fish for Redfish?
MS: Tie a gold spoon on, go to a at and throw it as far as you possibly can and do it a million times.
This article originally appeared in the Sept/Oct. 2017 print issue of Hook & Trigger Magazine