Updated: Apr 21
Sometimes one fish can make an entire trip! Now you're probably thinking one fish? Come on Capt, one fish can't make an entire trip, can it? Well, I'm here to say yes it can! I had the privilege of taking my friend Andy, who is an 85-year-old USMC veteran and his son in law, who was a retired SWAT officer fishing this Spring and let me tell you, we were not prepared for the beast of a redfish we caught.
What started out as a slow fishing trip, soon turned into an awesome experience. We had fished our tails off during our half day trip. We had perfect bait; good conditions and I was pretty confident in every spot we fished. However, it was one of those days that no matter what you did or bait you presented, we just couldn't get a bite.
As we neared the end of our trip, I decided to fish a grassy point that I hadn't fished in some time. I used a send it popping cork and the biggest shrimp I could find out of my live-well. I thought well the fishing can't get any tougher and we might as well try this one last grass flat/point. It was the bottom of the 9th and the bases were loaded. We were sending a hail mary.
Andy made a great cast and we sat and chatted about life, family, and our favorite type of cold adult beverages. It wasn't more than three minutes later that we hooked into what would be one of the biggest redfish I would ever boat. Not only as a guide, but as a recreational fisherman. The popping cork plunged and the drag began to scream. Having fished for a long time, I was honestly confused as to what we had hooked at first. Everything from Tarpon, Gar, Massive Ray all ran through my mind. Within a few minutes of fighting though, I knew we had something special.
After about five minutes, which feels like forever when fighting a fish, we caught a glimpse of the beautiful bull red. Andy was the first to experience the drag screaming action and after a little bit, he decided to hand the rod off to me, he needed a breather, and I don't blame him. As a healthy 39-year-old, I was struggling as well. Once my arms were toast, I asked his son in law Tom, who as previously mentioned, was a SWAT officer, to take over. I would say we each battled this beast for around five minutes each.
As Tom took over, I decided to be the net guy and try to land this amazing fish. We got it to the boat multiple times and every time she would get close, she would make another run. However, after around a 15-minute fight we had finally tuckered her out. As Tom brought her to the boat, I scooped my net and got her in! When I tried pulling her into the boat, it actually broke my net!! She was too heavy! We were able to manage to grab her by the tail and pull her into the boat and I can't say how elated everyone was once we had landed this trophy redfish!
High fives were given all around and we took a few pictures. It was a special moment for all of us. Once we had reeled that fish in and successfully revived her, we all came to the conclusion that fish was a perfect ending to what had once been a slow day into a day where we all contributed to catching a fish of a lifetime.
It's trips like this that make me appreciate being a guide so much. This fish meant so much to Andy, Tom and I. We still talk back and forth about it weeks later. It was a little bit of luck, a little bit of skill and a whole lot of being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes one fish can make an entire trip.
If you read this and enjoyed it, I would love the opportunity to take you fishing! Who knows, maybe our next fish could be just like Andy's. Wishing you all the best. Tight Lines!