The official 2016 Fall Field Campaign launched today with a first class outing in the Ponce Inlet hunting for Redzilla.
Captain Billy Rotne, James Jiloty and I endured intense tropical storms, wind and “washing machine” chop as we fished deep for spawn – staging Redfish. We owned the water all day because no one else (in the State of Florida) was brave enough to go out in these conditions. In fact, the local Coast Guard Fleet conducted rescue tests (man overboard) all day long in the stormy conditions.
Billy relented to “giving it a go” at 8:00 AM after I informed him that if I didn’t catch a big fish TODAY, I was probably going to kill someone before I returned home to MT. For the record, I haven’t caught a big fish in over 90 Days! Yes, I’ve been fishing but mostly for trout and none of the many we put in the net were really very BIG.
The Score: We landed 4 monster Redfish today between 30 and 36 pounds, some smaller juveniles and a Bonner head shark. The fish of the day for me was a real stud of a Redfish that taped out at 43.5” x 25.0” and weighed around 36 pounds. James hooked and landed another huge fish that immediately peeled off 200 yards of line as it sprinted towards Jacksonville. He was barely able to turn the fish back toward the boat as the line came dangerously close to the last remaining reel wraps at the end of the spool.
The campaign rolls on to the “inner banks” of NC (Bath September 9-11), to fish with Captain Richard Andrews, Rob and Hunter Brinkerhoff. Once again, we will hunt for the elusive Redzilla.
More pictures to follow over the next 120 days AND make sure to book your trips.