Month: June 2016

Southern Redfish Cup – Charleston, SC

Ralph and I fished the Southern Redfish Cup last Saturday. We’ve just been too busy recently to even pre-fish – at all. We had hoped to introduce our new Redfish Eyes at this event, but as things happen, they are just simply not ready yet. Instead we provided Trout Eyes to the participants.

All we had to go on was prior years notes and just to go on what we know, which is to fish brackish water. The last time we fished this tournament was a couple years ago and we managed a very respectable 5th place. But that was in February when we have them pretty well patterned.  At the time, that was my first “big time” tournament and Ralph had some very good advice which resonated with me, and we kept to this time. Don’t take it too seriously, it’s just a tournament, have fun and go fishing. I have held on to that bit of advice in every tournament I have fished in since, and I believe it makes a big difference. Another Ralph-ism is “what is on your mind, goes down your line”, which if you think about it, is closely related.

Send off

So, off we went with a rough game plan. The two spots that I had done marginally on redfish (and I say that honestly – redfishing for both of us has sucked recently) were not barren, but no hookups. So, we put our heads together and went into patterning and problem solving mode.

Another thing that we have happen often when fishing together is that one or the other will get on a hot streak. We never taunt or even say anything, because that monkey will jump off one back and on to another within a day, I’ve seen it happen countless times. Well, this day I had a pretty hot hand, and had a very good day for catching, with 4 nice flounder, a few good trout and I also was able to put 3 slot reds in the well albeit marginal size (between 18 – 20″). Ralph was for the moment being snake bit, but I told him “I’m just waiting on you to upgrade us, it only takes one fish” (the latter part is my favorite saying).

Too Big to Measure
Too big, no need to even measure

I had a 24″ red and a freight train burn my thumb and break off, and even a 24″ striper in the mean time. We went back to hit a spot that we had to bypass earlier due to another boat fishing it, and it wasn’t long before Ralph says “Fish on”. I net it and put it on the ruler, pinch tail, and its a perfect 23.0. A perfect tournament fish. It also had a recreational (yellow) tag in it. We cull the smallest and nothing much more the rest of the day.

After a wet ride back to Shem Creek, we were early and 3rd to weigh in. We had 9.78 lbs and Ralph’s 4.32 lb red held on throughout the day to be Big Fish and the $1000 winner. We ended up 4th place with a very nice team paycheck of $1,100.

Here is the coolest part…That big fish, was tagged by none other than David Fladd (me) on Nov 19, 2015 at 21.25″. Turns out, there is a CASH value to tag and release… I relayed to story to Robert Wiggers at the SC DNR, and sent him some pics. He is going to use the pics and story at his presentations and also on the tagging website. That fish was released yet again in Shem Creek, very stressed out due to being out of the water – as all the fish were (that’s another topic), and I hope it survives and will live a long life, free from the slot limit.

Tagged Big Fish
Cash value of tag-and-release fishing

All of our fish were caught on Trout Eye jig heads.  The first leg of the tour in Georgetown was won (overall, and big fish) on Trout Eye jigs by Ashley Lowder and we managed 4th and big fish on them.  That’s over $10,000 in tournament winnings on our jigheads.  Pretty cool.  I’m pretty sure at least one of the three fish for the winners was on a Trout Eye as well…


In other news, Haddrell’s Point Tackle (both locations) now have 1/8 oz Trout Eye jigs in stock!  Pick them up next time your in the shop.

Offshore Product Testing of the new Striper Eye jigheads

Ralph and I spent a day offshore with one of Charleston’s best guides, Captain John Irwin (Fly Right Charters) for the purpose of testing one of our new products, the Striper Eye (TM) jighead.  Like all our jigs, the Striper Eye is built on the amazing Mustad Ultrapoint hook, in a 6/0 size.  Striper Eye jigs will be available in 1/2 oz, 3/4 oz and 1 oz sizes, and like Trout Eye jigs, they will work on all species of fish, in this case, larger and meaner fish!

Our mission was to seek out Cobia and maybe a grown Amberjack or two, to test the effectiveness of the jig and also put the hook to a good test.  In both cases, the Striper Eye passed with flying colors, as can be seen below.

Our first stop was a reef in 60 ft of water.  There were a handful of boats there and not much life or activity going on.  We did manage one AJ about 15 lbs, but no brown fish to be seen, so we pushed out to a reef in deeper water.

On the way, we found a floating palmetto tree and when we pulled up it was covered in schooly dolphin…in just 65 ft of water!  We quickly stepped down some of our offerings to catch them, and just managed one before the school disappeared.  But shortly after arriving, we saw a grown tiger shark, approximately 12 ft long.  John had told us earlier that he had been catching cobia off the backs of larger sharks and sure enough, there was a Cobe on this one.  I made a quick cast with the Striper Eye and one or two twitches and he slammed it.  Fish on!  A few quick pics and we put him back, as he was on the smaller side of what we were looking for.

John with Mahi

At the next reef, in approximately 90 feet, we found what we were looking for – a few grown Amberjack slammed the Striper Eyes, rigged with a perfect matching plastic, the Z-Man 8″ Mag SwimZ – basically an oversized paddle tail made with ElaZtech material.  Super tough, with great action.

John with AJ Close

It wasn’t long before a Cobia came up to the boat to investigate.  John pitched the Striper Eye at him and he turned and inhaled it instantly.  Off to the races and a nice brownie close to 40 inches hit the deck.

Ralph and John with Cobia

A few more Amberjack rounded out the very successful first test of the new, and soon to be available, Striper Eye jighead

Striper Eye Rigged


Striper Eye Logo Modern Green Black

Check back in the coming weeks at for the new jigs to be available!

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We are one of the few places where you can purchase the brand new Z-Man Swimmin’ Trout Tricks online.  We have several colors in stock, including the hot new color Festivus!  Pick some up at our Store, they pair really well with our new 1/8 oz Trout Eye jigs.

New Colors