Last week I had the opportunity to fish with Captain Chuck Debevec of Port St. Lucie, FL. Chuck is a disabled veteran who truly loves everything about fishing. He enjoys it so much that he brought his own boat to fish from prior to the tournament so that he could also enjoy spending time with his grandson while he was in the Savannah area.
Chuck and I spent the Wednesday prior to the tournament pre-fishing as we began the search for reds that were assured to be in the area. However, tournament rules are very restrictive on the baits that can be used, and all fish during the tournament must be caught on artificial lures. As many fishermen know, trout and flounder will bite artificial baits all day long, but getting a redfish to bite one, especially during a tournament is much like getting a kid to eat liver. Needless to say, the redfish eluded us during our pre-fishing outing.
The following day, Chuck took his grandson with him and was able to catch a 30" (above slot) beast that would light a smile on any young mans face. Thinking we had found where the fish would be, we fished around the same area only to have them elude us during the tournament. While we didn't catch our target species, we certainly had an opportunity to enjoy our time on the water and good conversation.
During this tournament, many anglers would struggle to catch the target species. However, local charter captains Neal Kendrick and Jon Halker would go on to catch a total weight of 10.98 pounds, receiving more than $28,000 in cash and prizes.