Area Angler Takes Bay Grand Champion Spot at TIFT

Above: John Barrera, second from left to right, and the fishing team that participated in the tournament. Courtesy photo

by Tony Vindell/LFN

The Texas International Fishing Tournament, which is one of the Texas largest and oldest such event, was held and, although no records were broken, it’s one to remember for a Port Isabel angler.

So it was for John Barrera, the 28 year old fishing guide grabbed the top spot during the TIFT bay water division by catching a flounder, red fish and a speckled trout twice during the tournament Friday. Aug. 2 and Saturday. Aug.3.

His two Texas Grand Slams weighed the most at 28.4 pounds.

Barrera said he fished with a team, including his father Victor, who is a 40 plus year veteran TIFT angler.

“I have been looking for this day for a long, long time,” the younger Barrera said. “My day finally came.”

TIFT began 80 years ago as a tarpon rodeo to attract anglers to come to Port Isabel/South Padre Island and it’s the Lone Star States oldest fishing tournament having the participation of more than 1,000 anglers from all over Texas and beyond.

The tournament has fishing divisions for all ages, including the heaviest string for the little ones, and bay and offshore fishing.

Bay fishing enthusiasts go after the most popular species such as trout, red fish and flounder and deep sea anglers go after wahoo’s, dorados, amberjack, tuna and sail fish species.

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