Thursday, September 8, 2011


Home in Port Charlotte
High of 89, nice breezes

After work today I headed out for a quick fishing trip on Charlotte Harbor.  Little did I know what I would come back with.

Finally got my first keeper Redfish. 26" long, 6 pounds alive, 1.92 pounds of fillets.

Tackle: 30lb braid with a 30 pound floro leader, 3/0 circle hook, free lined, no swivel.
Bait: huge hunk of cut pin fish.
Caught in Bull Bay, near Boca Grande Pass, on a falling tide.

The live shrimp available today was really slim pickens. I hit two bait shops but no one had a delivery nor were they expecting deliveries after the storms and waves in the Gulf last night. I took 3 dozen of the smallest shrimp I've ever fished with, LOL. But it was enough.

I was catching and releasing handsize sheepshead and grunts, using a 1/0 hook, freelined with shrimp. Finally, after releasing so many babies I caught the biggest pin fish of my life. I cut him up to a huge hunk of meat and put it on a 3/0 circle hook. I left it on a 15 minutes soak and decided today wasn't going to be my day. The tide was going down and I had come through 1' of water to get to the 3' hole I anchored down in. I needed to go before I couldn't get out. I started putting my gear away and the corner of my eye saw my rod, pop...pop........pop....pop.

When I realized what it was, I sought devine intervention. "Oh God, please let me get him in the boat." With no net and no crew I just let him fight until he was wore out. When he rolled over at the side of the boat I used the lipping tool to get him landed. I measured him at 26" and dropped him in the live well. I kept him alive for the ride home so he'd still have nice color for the photos.

You can't keep Redfish if they are smaller than 18" or bigger than 27".  It's what Florida calls a slot limit.  A redfish this big is known as a bull.  Funny, he was caught in bull bay.

Click on any picture for full  screen image:
Bull Bay

Red Drum, also know as Redfish

So beautiful, you almost feel bad killing him

Until you taste those Redfish fillets

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