Oct 19. This is fun tournament with a focus on families. Junior anglers all get a rod and reel combo, there are no losers just winning smiles. The adult competition was tough, not because of the fish that were weighed in, but because of the extremely high water levels. Many of the waders had trouble because the water in their favorite areas was pretty close to chest high. Top Red and Trout were in the 6 to 7 pound range. No Snook were weighed in.
started my day fishing the lights at a small bridge, the water was up so high that you could not get to the fish. They were back up in the Mangroves, heard a couple of explosions, but nothing came out. Next stop, worked a Mangrove shore with a jerk bait. Couple of hits, but no hook ups. Worked a top water popper out to the flat area, few small hits, nothing for a tournament. Worked back up into the cut, quite a bit of bait, but nothing crashing. Then the magic happened, the whole flat came to life with bait working everywhere. Caught a 16 inch Trout on the edge and pulled off several Ladyfish. Started working a 2 ounce popper in the real shallow area. Hooked a 24 inch Trout (weighed in at 4.1 pounds). Off to search for a red and Snook. Worked a couple of cuts, nothing but Jacks and Catfish. Moved to an area where I have always caught Reds, water was not only high, but was the color of coffee with a lot of cream. Watched a pair of Rats chasing bait. Got a 12 and a 14 inch monster. Went back into a cut that I do not fish very often. First fish, good solid hit, a Jack in the 3 to 4 pound range. Hit a couple of more, then got a 20 inch Red (3 pounds). Off to search for Snook, forget skipping docks, water is so high that it s right up to the bottom of the dock.
Back to the weigh in. Most people were complaining about the water level. Trout placed fourth. Red was lower down the list. Trout was good for an Alternate Prize ($100 ) for live release, after 7 hours in the live well she still had good color and took off fast on release.