Super enjoyable day on the West Wall. Launched from Charlotte Beach Cx Ramp at about 6:45 AM and headed Southwest at a 210 degree heading.
Winds were blowing out of the east at 10 with a light chop. This would be advantageous in that it would give a little more water to cross the West bar and with an incoming tide the bait would be carried into the West Wall creeks. If word was out in the fish schools, this would bring a crowd.
I went a little past Mid Point and chose one of the many tidal creeks. The sun was well behind the clouds, giving a little bonus time for top water action. A bone colored plug drew an immediate strike from a small snook and I landed/released him. That would be the only top water hit for the day. My next bait of choice was a live shrimp under a DOA deadly combo. I worked my way into the creek, moving about 25' at a time, casting and seeking a hit but fining none.
After coming around the bend above, I cast the DOA float ahead to the left and then deployed another rod with a great new j.i.g. I bought at Franks Tent Sale, called a Rockport Rattler. Jeff from Franks shop showed me how to rig a live shrimp on the Rockport. I cast this one to mangroves ahead on my right and as soon as I closed the bail, BAM!, the fight was on. I could tell by the drag pull this was a big redfish. I had 20 pound braid and a 30 pound leader. I was so glad he didn't hit the float rig, since it was half the tackle. I battled the fish, used the trolling motor to my advantage to keep the bow mid creek, instead of drifting into the trees, where the big fellas would gain the upper hand. A few times I had to fight to keep him away from that second line out there, thus the dangers of one anger with two lines out.
The first time I saw his broad shoulders and big head turn at the surface I began to worry he may be too big to keep. He was a nice one. He went on several long runs away from me, each time being brought back with the firm Rockport hook set perfectly in the corner of his mouth. After about ten minutes of patient fighting on my behalf and mad desperation on his behalf, I reached for my collapsible net and deployed it. A couple minutes more to get him to get up and I had him.
27", as big as your allowed to keep in the slot. He had to weigh a good 5 pounds. 8:45 AM and I was already limited out on Reds.
The rest of the day brought just a flat head cat and a sail cat but I wasn't complaining. I worked my way back north along the wall, stopping at a few more spots but getting no strikes. I went up trout creek for the first time, hoping to complete an inshore slam but not today.
By 1PM the seas were picking up and a few thunderheads rumbled in the distance so I called it a day. The big fella made for 5 meals, weighing about 7 ounces each. Not bad for one fish. Enjoyed the victory dinner, coupled with a Sam's Summer Ale.
I shot some video today, 2 short clips and one 4plus minutes of the creek I worked. Will put some YouTube links up when they are ready. The long one is quite enjoyable to me.
Happy catching, everyone. Thanks for reading.