Following up on my last post, the day of our original planned trip arrived, coinciding with the ideal moon phase for spawning trout, and the goal was to get Ralph a big speckled trout.
Believe it or not, we’ve never been together when either of us has caught one over about 21″. We’ve always been on separate trips for the big ones.
We drove down to Jacksonville, stayed at a hotel on Jax Beach and got some rest for an early morning.
We met Capt. Matt Chipperfield at the landing under a full moon almost as bright as day. After short greetings and catching up, we pushed off with high anticipation.
Since I already had my fish, I asked Ralph to take the bow and in hopes of him coming tight to a sow. No matter the outcome, he was going to get the first shot at a trophy fish. We arrived at our spot and fan-casted the area at the direction of Matt, throwing 17MR plugs. This day, the sun rose as the moon set, making for a strong solunar minor about 30 minutes after we arrived. Almost on cue with the minor period, Ralph had what he described as a light tap and he expertly set the hook on the one we came for.
We watched intently as the fish circled the boat a couple times but Ralph expertly handled this fish as he has done countless times in his angling career. When we got our first look at her we let out a collective gasp. A beautiful, heavy 28″, 8.25 lb speck came boat side. Only about 2 weeks after my trip, his fish was significantly heavier for its length than mine was. After carefully releasing her, Matt just had to light up a Ralph-Cigar and celebrate.
We finished the day with a handful more Release Over 20 trout and put an endcap on a very successful day.
Thanks again to Capt. Matt for making a life long memory, even for a 74 yr old angler who’s been fishing since he was a child. And a memory for Ralph and I together, as it was so awesome to see him catch, fight and release this beautiful fish.
We’re already looking forward to our next visit. If you’re in the Jacksonville Florida area, give Matt Chippefield a call (904) 610-8501 or email@example.com. Matt is also a member of our Team EyeStrike.