Well-known and beloved redfish angler, father and friend, Manny Perez passed away during the Redfish Series Elite Series event on Galveston Bay on Saturday, August 15. The sad news started trickling in on Facebook over the weekend that one of the top redfish anglers in the world had passed while fishing the top 10 at the event.
Afterwards some of the anglers checked his livewell and found redfish in there “” one of the best catches of tournament in fact. They weighed the fish at 24.07 pounds and asked if they could weigh Manny’s fish in his honor. When they were told they could not weigh Manny’s fish, the other 9 competitors in the top 10 refused to weigh their fish and dumped them all back.
“If Manny can’t weigh, none of us are going to weigh.” A lot of guys have been posting the hashtag #2407 with tributes to Manny this week as a reflection of him going out the way he always said he wanted to go “” fishing and on the water. And many are taking solace in the fact that Manny was probably on “Cloud 9” moments before his passing with good fishing on the final day.
The remaining 9 anglers gathered on stage to join hands and pray for Manny’s family and each other in this tragic time.
Manny’s son, Lil’ Manny as he’s known to the family of redfish tournament anglers and their families, has autism and celebrated his birthday Monday without his father. Our heart is broken for Lil’ Manny. His friends have setup a GoFundMe account in his honor to help his family during this tragedy.
“He was not just a redfish angler; he was one of the absolute best to ever fish,” said Captain “Cajun” Phil Broussard. “Everybody loved Manny and loved being around him. He was such a great angler and person. But I’m telling you he’s one of the best to ever fish. Sure we got him a time or two, but he’s always the guy you had to worry about in these tournaments. We’ve competed against him for 12 years in various trails, and I’m sure going to miss seeing him at the events. I’ve been collecting all my pictures of him today to post on Facebook.”
Please take a minute and go visit his GoFundMe memorial page and add his ex-wife, his son, his girlfriend and all his friends and colleagues around redfish circuits to your prayer lists. Everyone is reeling from this tragic loss to the fishing community.
Here is another article on Manny’s passing at theredfishseries.com. Visit Phil Broussard’s Facebook Page to see several more tribute photos of Manny Perez through the years.