~~Jerry Potter caught a lot of small flounder but some large ones mixed in on mud minnows from ofic near Little River Inlet
- Capt. Rickey Beck
Page 1 of 366
~~Jerry Potter caught a lot of small flounder but some large ones mixed in on mud minnows from ofic near Little River Inlet
Capt. Brant took a trial run today on a natural gas powered Intrepid.
Today Kyle Hughes and I participated in the Little River South Carolina River Sweep hosted by Patrick Kelly! Although it rained the event went on. Kyle and I collected 12 bags of trash and 3 crabpots along the shoreline between Ocean Isle Beach and the Little River Cross Roads in 1 1/2 hours. We left plenty behind - it is amazing how dirty our waterways are.
Looking forward to seeing everyone next weekend at the WaterwaySweep held out of the Ocean Isle Fishing Center! 9 - 11am - cash prize will be awarded to the heaviest amount of trash weighed! Message me with any questions you may have.
Report by Brandon "Bonecrusher" Sauls
Jolly Mon VIP qualifying captains - this is your FIVE DAY NOTICE for the Jolly Mon VIP. If you have not given Capt. Derek your credit card information to enter the tournament, please do so by calling (704) 616-1615.
Looks like Austin hit the big time. I don't have any info on the trip. Perhaps Austin will write a report..Hint, Hint
The last 3 pictures are of Jeff Martini and the crew of the "Dirty Martini" today.
So recall yesterday I was contemplating whether all my redfish tournament mishaps were just the nature of the beast or was it a “me” problem. On several occasions that obstacles I’ve faced have been out of my control. Today, though, I can say it was an absolute 100% “me” problem. Before I get to that let me start at the beginning.
After yesterday’s unraveling of my game plan due to the trolling motor fire I was pretty down in the dumps. Here it is the first main event of the new HT Elite Redfish Series and on lap one I have equipment problems that totally handicapped my day. I somewhat overcame the obstacle yesterday and managed five fish for just under 23lbs, which put into 27th place out of 42 anglers. Last night I had a good meal with the wife and kids which helped me to clear my mind and refocus on the mission at hand. I knew making the top 10 was going to be a pretty big reach but I wanted to salvage my week by doing better on day two than day one. The goal I created in my head was to try and crack the top 20. There is a season long points race and if I could salvage a top 20 finish I would still be in striking distance for the next event.
The problem I was fighting, besides mechanical issues, was that I really didn’t have any numbers of good fish that I could run to. The day was going to be cloudy also so I needed to be in an area I was familiar with such that I could concentrate my efforts on very specific pieces of water where I knew there should be fish. Cloudy days makes sight fishing super difficult. There was fish where I was yesterday but I just didn’t feel like those fish were large enough (or better put, too large) to help me accomplish my goal. I wrestled with a plan all night and morning and just before take off I decided to make another long run (surprise, surprise) to an area I had fished many times in the past that held big fish. I did scout the area earlier in the week and saw some fish but not very many and the water was dirty. I felt it gave me the best shot after taking into consideration all the factors.
Off I go, 90+ miles to the west to Bayou Dularge about 15 miles further than yesterday. The day was cloudy and there was more wind today than yesterday. It took me exactly 2 hours to get my first spot after beating my way across the big lake and then running the waterways and canals for the rest of the trip. I sat down and immediately noticed the water was very dirty. It didn’t take long though until I saw the first fish. It was dirty water but I slowed my approach way down and was able to faintly see the fish. Truthfully I believe the dirty water helped me because the fish were having a hard time seeing me and they acted very hungry. I caught two good ones right off the bat in the first pond. I hopped around in the same area to other ponds and banks and over a 3 hour period I was able to catch 6 redfish, all measurable fish and keep a nice 5 fish limit. During that three hour period I’m always thinking, ‘2 down, 3 more to go, 3 down, 2 more to go, 4 down, 1 more to go, will I see another fish?’ Finally, I get 5 in the boat and I’m feeling relieved, and satisfied. I still have about an hour and fifteen minutes to fish if I want to push it but I on this rare occasion I don’t get greedy and I start heading back thinking I will stop off at more spot on the way home to try and upgrade.
Remember that “me” problem. Here she comes. So I take off out of my small ponds and start the 90 mile trip towards the launch. I get about 10 miles into the run and have to make a crossing over a big lake and with the wind blowing now the lake is rough. I’m taking a beating in my flat bottom boat making the crossing and I’m over on the edge trying to get relief from the lee of the bank. It wasn’t working. It was a tough run but I had just about made it across and I start to intently study my gps chart, mind you still getting beat to death and trying to read the chart, as I was approaching the marsh area I was going to stop off at on the way home for one last shot. That lesson they teach in driving school, don’t take your eyes off the road, ya that’s one to remember. Somehow from the time I looked down at my gps to the time I looked up, I covered a lot more ground than I thought. My eyes left the gps just in time to refocus and realize, “OH S***!” It was too late. I jerked the wheel hard and came off the throttle but I piled it up. I’m talking full blown wrecked it. I ended up in the middle of a peninsula of land at about a 30 degree angle. I’m done. I jump out and try pushing, ya right. She is high and dry. I start trying to dig a hole around my prop thinking I could maybe dredge my way out. Nope, its hard clay. I’ve done everything possible and I aint going no-wheres. Remember I’m in the far reaches of southern Louisiana stuck on the edge of Lake Mechant. Not a whole lot of options. I was about ½ mile from an old abandoned fish camp so I’m thinking well worst comes to worst I could swim over to the fish camp and hunker down for the night. That was until I saw a gator swimming across the channel. That’s out. Thankfully I had a little bit of cell service. I start calling other anglers hoping somebody is in the area that could pull me off. Nobody is answering. I knew there was one other boat behind me and I did everything possible to reach him but his phone went unanswered. After about 30 minutes of sitting there and trying everything to get off I make the text of shame to Clay Hughes with Sea Tow at home in OIB asking to get the number for the Sea Tow closest to me. He obliges. About that time I see an old crab boat making its way out the bayou about ¼ mile from me so I jump into action. I grab my flare gun and shoot a couple flares and bust off the hand flares. Either he didn’t see them, not likely, or he didn’t give a damn to help a “go fast” tournament sport angler. There was hope and then it was gone. Another 20 minutes goes by and I’m working on logistics of getting Sea Tow to me, which wasn’t going to be an easy task. Just then I see another boat coming up the lake from a few miles away and he’s running fast. “Maybe this is a tournament guy?” I’m talking to myself, “please don’t turn off into the marsh before you get to me, come on baby!” I have one flare left in my gun. I wait until he gets about a mile from me and I shoot in his direction. “Bingo!” He makes a turn. Let me tell you about what RELIEF feels like. Shane Pescay, (my new best buddy) who happened to be in the top 10 after day one and today has a camera guy on board rescues me. We hooked up a rope and with several attempts the boat finally came free.
And that’s it folks. I continued on my way for 80 more miles and made the weigh in on time. 31.5 lbs with a .75 lb penalty for one dead fish. He died when the boat went on an angle during the wreck which caused the water to drain from the well. I had one of the largest bags of the day and moved from 27th to 17th place just 4lbs out of the top ten. Mission accomplished, in a not so routine manner.
I’m beaten, battered, bruised and exhausted. I barely made my flight after all that but am headed back home tonight. All said, it was exactly what I said it would be all along…..an adventure.
We just received lots of NEW Yeti Products!
Now IN STOCK: 20 Oz Yeti Ramblers, Yeti Koozies, Yeti Croakies & MORE
DONT FORGET- If you buy your Yeti Cooler from OIFC, we will customize it for FREE!
Had a late night last night getting everything ready to go for what was day one today of the HT Redfish Series Elite event in Bayou Segnette, LA. The weather was calling for severe thunderstorms today so we were all prepared to fish under tough, no sun conditions. Sun is critical for this style of redfishing. Fortunately, the weather man missed it and it was a perfect day.
I've said before that a day on the water with me for one of these tournaments should be documented for reality tv. It never fails. Whatever could go wrong will go wrong to the point of it being almost comical. Almost... So far in the previous event's this year I've been battling mechanical breakdowns at every turn. It's funny though how I can prefish for 5 days and everything is perfect. Come tournament day and the whole world falls apart. And so it was today.
I drew boat #1 this morning so I was first to check out. I busted out at wide open throttle and kept her hooked up for 90 miles through lakes, swing bridges and back waterways of southern Louisiana. From Bayou Segnette to Lake Boudreaux was the run and it took 1 hour and 47 minutes. I didn't have great fish I was going to but I felt like this was my best shot. As soon as I sat down I went to turn on the trolling motor and yep, you guessed it, a flicker of a light then nothing. "REALLY!, You have to be kidding". This trolling motor has given me fits for the last two events but I thought I had it resolved now. It worked without a hitch all week. So here I am 90 miles away and not much time to fish and the one piece of equipment that is more important than any other has gone on the fritz. I do what every good boat mechanic would do. I kick it, bang on it, and cuss at it. She's alive! Ok time to go to work. I work the first area for about 30 minutes and see some fish. I put a small one in the livewell and catch one a 1/2 inch too long. I decide to move just around the corner. Trolling motor up. Nope. Here we go again. Wasting precious time. I get down out of the tower to do my banging routine when a funny smell and quick glimpse of smoke around the trolling motor catches my eye. I open the hatch and smoke billows out. Not good, I'm on fire. Yep, I swear to it. Like I said, if it's not one thing it's ten others. I rip the power supply chords out of the plug and when I did this, they made an arc and sent sparks shooting across the boat. I throw the wires down and they burn the deck a little bit. Thinking I had the situation under control I regain my wits and notice the smoke coming back and getting more concentrated. The hole where the plug had been had exposed raw fiberglass and now it was smoldering. I'm thinking, "ok, is this really happening? I'm on fire. Am I supposed to get the fire extinguisher?" I tried a bucket of water first and that did the job. The trolling motor is now halfway deployed and totally out of commission. I spend the next 30 minutes dismantling it so I can stow it and figure out what to do next. You can imagine the smoke coming out of my ears at this point. In my mind I'm selling the boat, rods, reels and never coming back to Louisiana. A cooling off period then ensued. I'm just wondering now, do the other guys fishing this series have the same trials and tribulations as me and thus it's the nature of the beast or is this a "me" problem?
I consider throwing in the towel and heading back as trying to redfish with aritificials without a trolling motor is not exactly the way you want to go about it. Nevertheless, I was here let's just see if we can make something of what's left of the day. I figure out that I can use my big motor to position the boat so that I can then have a slow drift across a pond or down a shoreline. Not ideal, but it can work. I spend the next 2 hours fishing this way and surprisingly it's pretty effective. Apparently by slowing down I wasn't spooking fish and was actually seeing a few fish. I worked hard and ended up catching a fish. I had my heart broken by catching 4 more fish just over 27" but I was able to catch my 5 fish limit of measurable fish. They weren't very big but 5 fish considering my circumstances was an accomplishment. I didn't know whether to feel angry about the day or satisfied for having somewhat overcome the major obstacle I was dealt.
With just under 23lbs for 5 fish I'm nowhere near the top but I'm also not at the bottom of the leaderboard. I briefly considered packing it in and heading home but then I got to thinking about Nascar of all things. This situation is kind of like wrecking on lap one of the first race of the year, the Daytona 500. You either head to the garage or you put the pieces back together the best you can, get back on the track and log a few points laps and stay in the game for the season points race. I got back this afternoon, visited the pits, put it back together and I'll be on the track again tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get a few laps or in this case fish in but I'm most certain that something will break, something unexpected will happen and I will story to tell.
Capt OC and I on duty with local crew from Sea Trail- Bob Clingensmith, Brian Blaine, John Young, Bob Vollmer, Wayne Hellmann, Larry Hershoff. Weather was acceptable but not great- west, southwest at 15-20kts. We started at Blackjack and found 75 degree blended blue water but no action. We were working the 160-180' ledge and got to the East end when we started seeing a lot of flying fish being pushed up. We hooked up on the bird/green machine shotgun and boated a Blackfin. While fighting that fish we had several flyers nearly jump in the boat and we saw several good size Blackfin piling on the flyers. Capt OC and I reset out spread and changed the long riggers to 1/4oz blue/white and solid crystal Bluewater Candy sea witches with small ballyhoo on 80# fluoro- to mimic the flying fish. It worked. We rest and caught two Mahi and two more Blackfin quickly. Again we did the same. From 9:30-1pm it was very busy with action from Mahi and Blackfin. All bites came on the shotgun bird/green machine or long riggers with small skirts and ballys. It slowed after 1 but we did finish up with one more nice Blackfin to call it a day. The World Cat does well in a trough sea and we cruised home relatively comfortable. It was a good day as we stayed busy most of the time and caught some nice fish and great eating. We did not have any wahoo bites today although I did have several baits set for them all day. The fish are biting- lets go fishing! Makeup trip this Saturday for anyone who wants to go- call me at 910-575-3474
Heading off. Weather pushing us toward Blackjack area so we will go with it. Stay tuned.
Jolly Mon VIP qualifying captains,
Eight days left… Please call Capt. Derek at (704) 616-1615 to submit your credit card information or mail your check in TODAY.
~~Couldn't hold her up alone! ?#saltlife? ?#snowy? ?#grouper? ?#shimano? ?#contender? ?#CoastalLiving?-Crystal Babson
Crystal Babson was fishing about 80 miles off shore in 600 ft of water when she hooked up this Snowy.
TUNA, DOLPHIN AND WAHOO RODEO
Friday, May 8th
Last day to enter for $300 early entry-- $350 entry fee May 9th-15th
Saturday, May 9th-Saturday, May 16th
Fishing days- 8am lines in, 4pm lines ou
Friday, May 15th
11:59pm- entry closes
CLICK HERE for tournament details and entry information
Short report for today. It's late and I have another early morning tomorrow. Went to the fish I found yesterday this morning under cloudy conditions. Couldn't find them. Ran all over the earth looking for more fish and just never really found anything too impressive. Pretty disappointed with what I found this morning. Went back this afternoon whent the sun came out and magically all the fish appeared again. Sun is critical. Unfortunately it is supposed to storm during the tournament so that means no sun. Feeling a bit unconfident at this point. I have one more place to look tomorrow before I have to settle on a game plan. Right now the game plan isn't looking so strong. The A team consisting of my wife, two daughters and babysitter arrived in town today to inject some energy into the mission. Stephanie and Blakely will ride with me tomorrow so I'm hoping they are the good luck charm.
We did manage to get on the water this past Saturday for our first backwater school of the year. I had two very eager and dedicated anglers. The morning was filled with heavy steady rain showers. To our surprise we did get two solid trout to bite on brightly colored Mirr-o-lures. That was it for the morning as croakers and bluefish took over the action all the other areas we hit. Later in the afternoon the winds switch and the rain stopped. We hit several places for redfish and finally got a few bites on fresh crab chunks. We did not connect with all of them, but it was great to find some action. Kyle did managed to stay connected with a solid 26 inch fish and we were all smiles! Thanks for fishing with me guys! See ya on the water!
This morning in Venice, LA I woke up to subsiding storms and fog. I stalled for a couple hours and then took to the water around 8:30. The goal today was to either rule in or rule out the Venice area for a possible tournament spot. It would be a long run to Venice from the tournament site so if I was to make that run I would need to be on both quality and quantity fish. It didn't take long for me to realize Venice was not going to be the spot. This time of year all the snow melting from up north makes the level of the Mississippi River rise and Venice is right at the end of the Mississippi. The result is extremely high and dirty water. I thought this might be the case but still needed to see for myself. Truthfully the SW west that was pounding the area had as much to do with the ugly water as anything. I ran more than 100 miles looking for fish and only ever saw a couple small pockets of clear water. When I did see clear water I would see redfish. I stopped for a couple minutes to catch this 32" redfish pictured below. While I was doing that I noticed a massive black colored fish in 12" of water. I threw my gulp shrimp in front of the fish and he ate. A short battle ensued before this 40+ catfish was at boatside! That's a new one. Anyone know what kind of catfish this is? Edible? I finished up the day around 6:30pm and put the boat on the trailer and hit the road. At 10:30 I arrived in Houma, LA. I felt a total change in zip codes was necessary. This area is also a long way from the tournament site but it's within reach. It will take me the next two days to cover this area. The goal again will be to find clean water. Find clean water and I find the fish. Keep hammering away.