My buddy Eric and I spent all of 8 1/2 hours on the water and covered a lot of it fishing between Chicopit and JTB. It was a beautiful morning and the water was nice and glassy around 8am. After a slow start we found a steady bite near Wonderwood. We pulled out a lower slot red, and a decent sheepshead along with countless small croaker/trout using live shrimp and cut shrimp. Eric had both of the keepers in the cooler as the tide bottomed out, making my recent loss much harder to swallow...
You see, earlier that morning as I pulled into a "fishy" spot, I was making my third or forth cast using small live shrimp. Using a fishfinder rig my weight was getting fouled on the bottom a bit. I felt what I thought was another croaker nibbling and as I lift the rod tip I hooked into a clump of oysters. I reeled in very quickly, tugging the dead weight on my braid and having to pump the rod a bit. As I get it closer to the boat I feel a sligt twitch...and my heart stops. I pull the "oyster clump" up to the surface and a DOORMAT appears in the murky water!! It looked to be every bit of 24" and was surely a personal best and I shout to Eric, "Get the net!". The fish sees the boat and starts going ballistic having exerted no energy as I had tugged him straight from the bottom to the boat. He kicks and jumps and we whiff our first pass with the net, the flounder keeping just out of range. He tries to run under the boat and I suddenly had a bad feeling in my gut. I keep him away from the prop and get him boatside once again...and once again the fish stays just out of range of the net. He thrashes one more time and the line goes flat....I lost him. Defeated I bring my line back in to discover that the snap swivel, a quote-un-quote 40 lb one, had broke clean in two. A piece of me died on Sat. Feb. 2nd, 2012.
Anyway, we head South looking for sheepshead and piss through 1/2 pint of fiddlers without much luck. We had a few nice bites but were broke off in the pilings and after a black drum we called it quits. We headed back to the ramp and decided to pull over to the side of the ICW at a random spot to burn off the last of our shrimp/mud minnows. On my first cast I hooked a redemption fish.
While nowhere the size of his notorious brother it was still a nice consolation prize at the end of a long day. We deep fried the flounder and blackened the rest and served up a fresh caught treat for the girls that night.