Sunday, September 8, 2013

1st Annual Maryland CCA Red/Trout Tournament

So I spent to the whole weekend fishing for the elusive Maryland Speckled Trout and Redfish on the eastern shore tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. This was an awesome new event put on by the CCA to help recognize the importance of the speck and red fishery here in Maryland, since there are no legal limitations put on commercial fishing for them.

We casted and trolled small plastics including; bass assassin paddle tails and 4" curly tail grubs. A lot of colors worked over the course of the weekend, but chartreuse and white worked best. I was fishing all my baits with weed-less hooks to avoid snagged the grass, but this wasn't a full proof solution.

Friday afternoon was super slow, not really much to speak of except two keeper stripers, that were released.

Saturday was the start of the tournament. I fished with Mike (Grilled), Dail (Stupidjet) and our other buddy Matt and his girlfriend showed up later in the morning.  It was not my day. It was slow and I watched Mike and Dail consistently catch fish here and there, while we were all using the same tactics and pretty much the same baits. But that's how it goes sometimes and I was happy that Mike and Dail were tearing them up..... I ended the day with only 53+", but I was able to catch my 4 fish total, but I did lose a whopper which was a big heartbreaker.

Mike put up the score to beat with 92" for a combination of reds and trout. He also posted up the largest trout with a Maryland Citation of 25".  Dail also put up a good score with 85.5" putting him in 3rd place after day 1.
Not the best picture, but Dail here with a nice trout.

Those scores were solid and topped all the scores in the boat division, but I knew I come close or even squeeze my way into the top three in the area we were fishing.

Sunday came around and it was just me and Mike, and our other buddy Dave (Donkeyfish) who joined us for a day of fishing. Mike was hoping to upgrade his big trout to solidify his lead for the $500 cash prize for the largest speckled trout. I was hoping to put up a reasonable score that could contend for the top 3.

Fishing was a little more active today, I got two fish early on... a 16.5" and a 20.5". This gave me a good feeling about the day and was aiming for 4 fish in the 21-22" range which would put me in contention and would be totally doable. A little later Dave and I found some fish for a short flurry where I picked up another two fish a 17" and 21". Now I just need to upgrade.

We trolled around covering some ground and then I doubled up!!!! Pulled one rod and fought and netted it as quick as possible while continuing to pedal just hoping the other fish would stay hooked. As soon as the 1st fish was boated I fought the next and got it in the boat without the net!!! Took a deep breath and measured and photo'd the fish as quickly as possibly. Simultaneously Mike hooked up in the same area, so I tried get my lure back in the water ASAP, but I couldn't manage another one. After that the bite pretty much shut down. 


I finished the day with a 84.75" total for 4 speckled trout, which put me in 4th place. I was happy with my finish as I definitely gave it my best shot for a shortened Sunday of fishing, since Mike and I finished up early to head to Awards Ceremony in Crisfield, MD

Mike held on to 1st place and the Big Trout Award, taking home $500 and a custom Trout painting posting the largest total regardless of division, Kayak, Boat, or Fly.
Mike (Grilled), Tony Friedrich (CCA President), and Charles (Angler and Artist of painting)
Brian (Slobberbob) took 2nd place with 86+" total.
Dail finished out in 3rd with 85.5".
Don't forget to check out Overboard Rods, AFTCO, and 12wt gloves.

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