Huge Redfish in Georgia
It was Friday morning at 6:30am when I pushed the Hells Bay off the trailer and met Jo and Loyd. It was a still and quiet morning. The sky was black as we headed out the creek where we met toward the ocean side flat I had chosen to fish that day. As we were half way through the 40 minute ride the sky started to change from black to bark blue and then yellow and orange. we were looking forward to seeing the sun break through the horizon as we made our way to fish. As we got to the ocean the sun was still hiding from us as we idled into the area we were going to fish next to steep slope of the white sand beach full of pelicans waiting for better light so they could head out for breakfast. We stopped short of the flat and I started to pole to where the fish awaited us. As we approached the fish, they pushed away not in a hurry but slowly as if we had just disturbed from a great night sleep. As we closed in on a small school tailing and pushing at us I looked over my shoulder and say the sun just break the tree line behind me. It was a moment I will remember for the rest of my life. Everything was perfect at that moment. Then in the time it took to look over my shoulder and back another school of fish blasted out from underneath the boat as Loyd cast the small shrimp pattern in front of them.
The rest of the morning went about like that. The fish laying around until we bothered them enough to move. As the tide turned to come in the fish became more aggressive and while we moved slowly down the bank we say a tail emerge next to a small clump of oysters. Loyd made the cast and the fish charged, ate and run right under the boat wrapping the line around the pole and then the powerpole. Loyd moved fast and we avoided a broke rod and lost fish. As I watched the line clear I looked down and saw a large fish run under the boat and then realized the line had made a big u and was coming tight as it swept again under the boat. This fish knew what he was doing. Maybe he had been caught before or just read the play book either was he was doing everything he could to stay under the boat and around oysters. After a few short runs and close calls with oysters and the boat he emerged from the now muddy water where he had made such a great effort to escape capture. As his head broke the surface I saw how big he was. I grabbed the leader and began working him to the boat where I could get the boga on him. As I lifted him out of the water we all realized how big he was. Loyd and I both were surprised as our eyes widened with amazement. I looked at the boga grips scale which was bouncing between 17 and 18 pounds. As the fish settled the scale did to. It appeared we had landed the fish of a lifetime at 18 pounds this was not only Loyd’s biggest red but the largest one I had ever guided a client to catch inshore. We released him and watched as he swam away still in somewhat disbelief.
Captain Scott Owens
Sea Island Fly Fishing
P.S. Jo thanks for the great pictures.