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Fantastic day in Ormond-by-the-Sea!

It’s been a while since my last report so I’m glad to have caught something worth to write about it.

This last Sunday I had a fantastic day in Ormond-by-the-Sea, where I usually surf fish. High tide was at 11AM and I had planned to be there 2 hours earlier but it’s not so easy when you have to drag wife and the kids to the beach so “early” on weekends :).

Anyway, I made it there around 10AM and had my first hook in the water 30 minutes later. Beautiful day with not one cloud in the horizon and calm water, except the swell breaking some big waves on shore. There were no bait around but I had brought some frozen finger mullet I had netted during the summer. I had one pole dedicated for bluefish and the rest rigged for pompano since they are due to arrive around this time in the Daytona area. At 10:55AM the first fish, a 12” bluefish makes an introduction to my cooler. After that, all hell breaks loose for the next 30 minutes. Nonstop action, croakers, whiting, pompanos and to my biggest surprise a …. read on!

This big surprise fish ate a piece of Fishbites (crab flavor) rigged on a double hook pompano rig on my longest pole, a 15 footer. I just noticed a little tap-tap on the pole and then it just stood straight up. I know there is something hooked on that pole when I see it straight up like this because I use a 6oz sputnik when casting and then reeling the line in until it arcs some while in the rod holder.

Anyway, I go over and start reeling it in thinking a whiting at first. It didn’t take much to realize there is something big on the other end so I call my daughter to bring a landing net over. Started to think maybe a jack crevalle but it didn't fight like it, it’s was almost as pulling a filled garbage can :). I was fully aware that those pre-made pompano rigs are not made of a particularly strong leader so I didn't force it. After 10 minutes, it got close enough to me and to my biggest surprise it’s a redfish! A first one for me even though I have tried for them unsuccessfully on the ICW and the lagoon before.

Once I saw the size of this thing, I told my daughter to forget about the landing net, it won’t fit. So I decided to time the last strokes of reeling it with the incoming wave. I couldn’t believe even though I had heard of people catching them from the surf. It measured 23” and 7lbs.

The two pompanos I caught were only 8” but they are definitely going to get bigger in the coming weeks.
By the way, I did a lousy job filleting the redfish even though I checked out some YouTube videos. I guess in order to get better at it I have to keep catching them more often now ;).

When I cut its stomach I found small crab legs in it, so that explained why he took the only crab flavor Fishbites out of all the other clam flavor pieces.

I grilled it the next day and it was fantastic. Flakey white meat…. I’m hungry again.

Tight lines!

Eno

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