After a summer Tarpon fishing in Fla. it's nice to be back here in New orleans fly fishing for Reds again. So far we've spent the the first couple of weeks getting things together at redfish camp adding a few creature comforts such as ac to try to combat this Louisiana heat. Had a particularly amazing day fishing Jeff Monsein. It began a little slow the light being poor early on but we made the best of it blind casting poppers for a while and our efforts were rewarded with a few hits. Conditions improved a bit just before noon and we found ourselves staring at a giant bait ball with a mixture of reds and jacks. Jeff landed a nice jack to start things off. Once aboard, both the hull and Jeff were quickly covered with blood as the fish had been hooked in the tongue. We snapped a few quick shots to document the carnage washed up and pressed on. It was about this time that Capt. Jason Rucker spotted a large shadow along the edge of the bait ball. He called out to Jeff , " Eleven o'clock forty feet !!! " After a few false cast Jeff shot it, let it sink and began twitching the fly. The shadow broke away from the bait ball pursuing the fly and seconds later his rod tip was bent but I don't think the beast knew she had been hooked yet as she kind of meandered toward the skiff to investigate the situation ,changed her mind and calmly headed back for the bait. She made it about twenty feet from the skiff when Jeff reeled in the slack ,it was then that she felt the tension and made a spirited run to the south taking Jeff well into the backing . After a good ten minute fight we were close enough to get a decent look at her. She breached and shook her head violently ,it was then that Captan Rucker muttered that has got to be a record fish and all chatter on the skiff was replaced with an intense concentration. Jeff fought her angling her head back and forth drawing her closer to the skiff but every time she got a glimpse of him standing on the bow she would make another run causing his reel to scream. Finally after a thirty minute fight she was along side the skiff and Jeff was able to swing her to Captain Rucker and that was when the real struggle began. Captain Rucker reached in to tail her but could not as she was too large to get a grip on. Placing both arms under her belly he tried to haul her into the skiff..........once........twice........three times and finally she was over the gunnel and on board. She was a monster. We stood and stared in amazement at the size of her.............Well so far we've covered blood and sweat that leaves us with tears. What could possibly make a man salty after the epic sequence of events that had just unfolded. Well,as it was now time to find out just how big this monster was we learned Captain Rucker had lost his Boga grips overboard on a previous outing and Jeff who did own a pair had removed them from his pack earlier that very morning and left them on land. After a few choice words and some finger pointing back and forth Captain Rucker heaved the giant fish up once again and handed her to Jeff and I was able to take a few shots of her. After a few more expletives over the lack of Boga grips she was placed back in the water. Once she had swum out of sight we shook our heads in unison smiled and proceeded to whack reds for the rest of the afternoon. All in all an great day Boga grips or no. We will be guiding Jeff again in a few weeks and I personally can't wait knowing that monster is still lurking out there some where.
someone anyone please send capt. jason Rucker a pair of 60 lb Boga grips so this will never happen again.