Author: Patrick Meek
This winter we've been able to take advantage of the hard pulling Redfish and Black Drum off the beach while at the same time able to pick up a slot or two for some fresh seafood for the grill.
We were able to get out to the beach after I got home from work and was met by my good friend Joey Polk and his cousin Austin to try our luck on the sand. The conditions were good with a NE wind around 10-14 mph and 1’-3' surf with an incoming tide. After we were all set up with baits in place, it wasn't long before my wife's surf rod started bending erratically. She jumps up and reels in the first fish of the day with a nice keeper size Pompano. The bait of choice was fresh dead peeled shrimp tipped with Fishbites.
A little bit later, my wife Heather's surf rod gets slammed and we all knew this was not another Pompano. As the fish was pulling drag and ripping 30 lb Bullbuster braid from her reel, she fought it like a champ and managed to land a very nice 37" Bull Redfish! After a quick measurement and photo, it was released to fight another day.
"the score was Girl 2 Guy's 0, I whispered over to Joey that "a woman was kicking our butt."
After my wife had landed her second fish and the score was Girl 2 Guy's 0, I whispered over to Joey that "a woman was kicking our butt." Moments later, I noticed I was getting a bite on one of my surf rods. I could tell it wasn't something huge, but whatever it was, it was giving me a good fight. Once I got it to the edge of the surf, we noticed it was a nice size Sheepshead; however, it swam into some debris that was in the water and managed to pull the hook. I got a fresh bait back out and it wasn't long until it got hit.
As I was reeling in my catch, Joey got a bite and we had a double hook-up going on. I managed to land my catch first which was a 26" slot Redfish and Joey was able to land a nice 20" slot Red which fit perfect in our ice chest.
(Joey on the phone after just discovering his team "True Blue" just caught a Great White shark off Navarre Beach pier.)
"After playing a little game of "tug of war", I was able to land a nice and healthy 29" Redfish."
A little more time went by and as we were sitting around discussing the Great White shark that had just been caught, my 9' surf rod starts bending and I've got another fish on. I have my Van Staal VR50 loaded with 20 lb Bullbuster braid paired with my 9' surf rod for short cast. After playing a little game of "tug of war", I was able to land a nice and healthy 29" Redfish. As I was releasing my Redfish, Joey yells over to me to bring my hand gaff. Austin had just reeled in a nice size Southern Stingray.
All in all it was a fun and productive day on the beach with great friends. Joey and Austin managed to go home with 2 slot Red's and 1 Pompano while Heather and I left the beach with 1 slot Red and 1 Pompano which we all grilled and enjoyed the following weekend.
More catches while on the beach:
37" Black Drum
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