A magical ending

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PENSACOLA, Fla. — There was a moment after the scales settled Sunday when Kevin Broussard hugged his father and teammate Cajun Phil and allowed his emotions to wash over him.

The tears of joy that ran down his face capped off an amazing season for the Broussards. After claiming the Academy Sports + Outdoors Team of the Year presented by Crocs title in Biloxi at the final regular-season stop, the duo surprised the crowd in Pensacola by besting the final five teams to also be crowned kings of the Crown Royal Redfish Cup Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors with a final-day total of 9.27 pounds.

"This is unbelievable, I can't describe what I'm feeling right now," Kevin said. "I thought winning Team of the Year was as high was we could get. It's hard to believe all that we have accomplished this year and it means even more fishing with my dad. There is no ego there, nothing but love."

Day Two leaders and defending Cup champions Manny Perez and Paul Jueckstock ended the tournament in second place with 7.09 pounds. Jeff Totten and Ozzie Lessinger remained in third place after bringing in 5.91 pounds.

Mike Friday and Danny Latham settled for fourth, with 2.75 pounds and rounding out the top five was the team of Bo Johnson and Mike Del Duca, finishing fifth after they failed to weigh a keeper redfish.

In the end, the Broussards adjusted best to the high tides that seemed to scatter the fish, but after weighing in, they were skeptical that less than 10 pounds would claim the victory.

"We actually were content with finishing fifth," Kevin said. "Today was a prime example of how much a top five can change. We even left our fish at 12:30 because we thought we needed to upgrade fishing closer to Pensacola."

The Broussards focused on shallow areas and continued moving up as the water got higher, using Saltwater Assassin jigheads and plastics on a weightless popping cork. The key was varying the length of the cork, between 16 and 28 inches, based on the water level.

A costly miscue on the final day was the main factor for Jueckstock and Perez coming up just short in their bid to become the first team ever to win back-to-back Cup titles. The team had a good fish hit a bait, but when they hooked up with it, the redfish ran straight at the boat and spit the hook before Jueckstock could keep up with it.

"We had the winning fish on and it came off right next to the boat," Jueckstock said. "I knew when that happened that we had just cost ourselves the Cup."

After beginning the tournament with the biggest bag of 13.67 pounds, Jueckstock and Perez couldn't continue to find the same quality fish as the tide rose over the course of the weekend.

Along with the championship trophies, Kevin and Cajun Phil Broussard walked away with the first-place prize of 50,000 dollars, a case of Mystik Lubricants JT4 marine oil and two bottles of Crown Royal XR.