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Friends reel in Redfish title

They’ve known each other since they were 3, and at 7, the Bradenton residents began fishing behind what is now the Crab Trap, tossing mostly shrimp from a small wooden row boat.

This happened while their fathers were hanging out in Fishermen’s Cove, a bar that is now the restaurant Crab Trap.

Robert Permane, 53, and John Duey, 54, are now all grown up.

“I don’t know about the grown-up part,” Duey said.

In any case, they’re at least good enough fishermen to catch more than just the trout and ladyfish they caught as young friends almost 50 years ago.

Now they’ve won a local tournament.

Permane and Duey won the Redfish Tournament at Coquina Beach this weekend and at the Saturday afternoon weigh-in reeled in a 26 1/2-inch redfish that weighed a staggering 9.6 pounds.

Tournament officials weighed the fish three times. Twice it weighed in at 9.6 pounds, and once at 7.9 pounds. Even at 7.9, the fish would have been the biggest of the tournament. There were 65 boats in all, and Permane and Duey won $4,000.

Even better, the Redfish Tournament, which is part of and is in its fourth year, generated $7,500 for local charities Manatee Children’s Services, ManaSota BUDS (Bringing Up Downs Syndrome) and ManaSota ARC (Assisting Retarded Citizens). There were several sponsors, including Joey D’s Chicago Style Eatery.

In 10 years, Chris Egler’s has raised $122,000 for local charities. Egler, who began a bass tournament at Lake Okeechobee 18 years ago, makes sure every angler and sponsor gets a “thank you” letter that explains how much money was donated to charity.

Permane and Duey went to Sarasota Bay and fished an oyster bar with a uddy bottom from 6:45 a.m. to 8 a.m. Saturday. By that time, they’d already caught their two weigh-in fish in this tournament where only redfish in the slot (18-27 inches) are allowed. Live bait or artificials can be used, but Dermane caught this fat fish with shiners on an incoming tide under overcast skies. The fish was caught with an 8-foot St. Croix rod, a Calcutta bait caster, 15-pound PowerPro line and a 30-pound fluorocarbon leader.

They caught their shiners with four casts with a 10-foot, half-inch mesh net under the Sunshine Skyway.

Second place was Craig and John Davis ($2,000), third place was Bobby Pietsch and Mike Questionati ($1,200), fourth place was Brett Norris and Chris Wiggins ($520), fifth place was Kevin Shank ($390), and sixth place was Russ Kitching and Doug Pierman ($325).

Nick Walter, Herald staff writer, can be reached at 708-7909.