Typical tournament day. Winds were kicking out of the North at 20 plus. Could not beach launch where I usually do, so it was a stop at an improved ramp. The style with sharp angle to the water. In the past I have been bruised from slipping on the growth. First drift down the edge of the Mangroves went by pretty quick a couple of bumps but no hook ups. Back up into a small cut Good hit and run but once again no hook up. The bait was stacked at the back end, plenty of activity. but nothing willing to play. Snook were busy busting bait back up in the Mangroves. The water levels were way up. Moved out to a spoil island. Positioned the boat for a good drift, once again a couple of good bumps, but nothing. Hooked around the point into the lee. Birds were leaving the trees as soon as I came into view. Saw one low in the Mangroves, as I passed the Pelican tried to fly away. Couldn't, tangled in fishing line, eased in and cut the line right at the tip of the wing. Off to the races for the bird. Worked to the point. Water was ripping hard. A quick cast with the Flat Rap produced a four pound Trout. Figure that was the reward for freeing the Pelican.
Time to get serious and find a Red. Back up into another mud bay. Work the trough on the edge of the Mangroves. Good hit and miss. Continue in, good hit and hook up. A 21 inch Trout, fun but not good. Back into the real mud, I could see a half dozen big fish just taking it easy. Would not take a Gulp, Flat Rap or Diet Jerk. Worked to the farthest back mud pocket. A good cast to the Mangrove edge with the diet Jerk (Mullet Pattern), light tap and a good hook up. Red measured just under 26 inches, weighed in at 6.27 pounds Good enough for first place Red.
The fish weighed in at this tournament were nothing short of fantastic. A six pound Trout would not have made the board. For all the results go to www.myflfa.com. For pictures check out the Florida Flatsfishing Association Facebook page..