Month: August 2018

Bulls on Plastic

In my new Sportsman bay boat, I am trying to learn how to fish the jetties effectively with artificial lures.  Past experimentation has been hit or miss, but I have had a pretty good amount of success casting at the rocks and swimming a lure down the slope.  One of my best redfish was caught this way and it was a memorable one.  Ralph and I found our way out there one day and were drifting with the outgoing tide along the south jetty.  I was pitching a 1/4 oz Redfish Eye jig on a Z-Man plastic.  I think it was a rootbeer/chartreuse MinnowZ.  Anyway, I happened to be casting with my smallest rod at the time – at trout rod with a very supple St Croix blank and a 1000 Penn Battle reel.  I had a solid thump and about 30 minutes and a half mile later I boated a 38″ red on that buggy whip!  Did I mention 10 lb braid?  Yeah.  

Daniel Nussbaum with a beauty!

I’ve also had sporadic success using our 1 oz Striper Eye jigs on a 6″ SwimmerZ at the rocks.  Just drifting along the bottom of the rocks and vertical jigging.

Anyway, I asked Daniel Nussbaum of Z-Man if he would help show me some spots.  A couple weeks before he had a great day catching bull reds.  We made a plan and he, myself and Ralph went out.  We had a great day.  We were casting 6″ SwimmerZ on 1/2 oz Striper Eye’s and swimming them along the rocks.  Wasn’t long before Daniel hooked up with a bull.  Shortly later it was Ralph’s turn.  I had a slot red and a 28″ er in the mean time, but by no means a bull.  

Ralph’s bull hasn’t missed many meals

Tide turned and I moved to the other side of the structure and was retrieving my lure when THUMP!  I knew it was  a big one based on the frequency of the head shakes.  Took several runs before it came to the boat.  It turned out to be my new PB Redfish at 41.5″.  What a thrill!  

My new PB redfish

Try this setup at the jetties or even the reefs.  Its a lot more fun to feel the thump than wait for a bull to take cut bait, I promise you!

Don’t hesitate to try artificials for the bigguns


The Ace of Spades

The following is a summary of an unbelievable situation that we and all anglers who fished the Mike Tolbert Spade Foundation Redfish Tournament on May 18, 19, 2018 continue to deal with.  You may have seen some things pop up briefly on social media then taken back down.  The following account contains only facts, not opinions.

This tournament was organized on behalf of the Mike Tolbert Spade Foundation by the Southern Redfish Cup.  The buy-in per-team was hefty…$750.  But, the Guaranteed Payouts were really large, as shown below in advertisements for the event.  With some trepidation, Ralph and I registered for the event.  We hadn’t been fishing much at all, and the trips we did fish we hardly caught any redfish.  But, we figured we had as good a chance as any, since we only fish artificial baits.

Facebook Ad for Tournament
Details of Payout Structure

We submitted our registration, which was received by the Spade Foundation

The weather for the event was awful.  It poured rain both tournament days, and we ground it out both days in full rain gear, along with the other 30 teams entered.  Each day we felt lucky to enter our limit of three mid-slot fish.  Turns out, due to the very difficult conditions, this was good enough for 4th place.  $7,500 team payout.  Pretty good, something to be proud of, considering the quality of the field of anglers we were competing against.  

Both days at weigh in, many pictures were taken, including us with each days catch.

On the final weigh in, when we found out we were 4th place, no checks were distributed.  Instead, we were told we needed to go to the Windjammer on IOP to receive our checks.  There was a country concert as part of the event.  Many of us were not planning to go to that optional event, but we hurried home, cleaned up and got back there.  There was a big presentation of the winning teams.  Ralph couldn’t attend, but I was called up for 4th place in front of the crowd, pictures taken, and no one was given a check.

We were told by Jeff of the Redfish Cup that we needed to fill out a tax form the following Monday and we would be paid by the Spade Foundation.  OK, that was unexpected, but understandable – given the size of the payouts.  Monday came and we promptly sent in our tax forms.  

Meanwhile, the final results of the tournament were never published.  Pics from the event were never published.  Starting to get suspicious…

Weeks passed and no checks. 

Ralph and at least one of the winners at last received checks via FedEx after continued pressure on the event coordinator.  All of them bounced.  I twice received a screen shot of FedEx tracking packages with promises my check was in the mail.  The package was never dropped off to FedEx.  It was never scanned into their system.  Jessica Walsh, of Cornerstone Sports Marketing, has repeatably lied to me and all anglers with false promises of payments.

Ralph and the anglers who received bad checks have since been paid via wire transfer by Mike Tolbert, under threat of lawsuit due to the multiple counts of fraud that Jessica was facing.  How is it that as a team we won $7,500 yet half has been paid and half has not? 

The rest of us have not received one cent.  

An example of the lies we are getting told

I have since signed a letter of engagement with an attorney to bring them to justice.  We have not been told the truth even once throughout this whole ordeal.  

Buyer beware.  Do not participate in an event put on by the Mike Tolbert Spade Foundation!

Update:  The situation was covered in the Post & Courier recently and a lawsuit has been filed with myself and 12 of the other anglers who were unpaid.  We will see how this turns out. 

Drama at the Boat Landing

Hot and hazy days of summer

With the growth of population in Charleston we have seen already busy traffic become pretty much ridiculous, as our local politicians seem to forget that with every neighborhood and apartment complex comes more cars and yet, no new roads or lanes.  Its frustrating, to say the least!  Well, the situation on our waterways has mirrored what we see on the streets.  More and more boats, many with inexperienced captains, and a complete lack of new or expanded boat landings.  A new landing to replace the all-but-useless Bushy Park landing is a can that continues to get kicked on down the road, for example.  

I’ve recently seen plenty of arguments about boat landing etiquette and I think on a Saturday morning about 10 AM in the summer, there is just no way to NOT have problems, simply because there are too many people trying to launch and you know, shit happens.

Often, I think to myself that if people understood one cardinal rule about boat landings, that everything would go a lot smoother.  And that rule is….

Get in and out of the landing ramp as soon as possible!

Most arguments on the landing arise because something prevented the above.  Done right, with two people, a boat can be launched or loaded in under 3 minutes.  One person, maybe 5 minutes.  Some things people do that cause problems are:

  • Using the loading lane as a make-ready area (there are designated make-ready areas available for this purpose, if not, make-ready in another place before pulling up to the landing)
  • Docking on the inside of the lane, thus blocking people from launching (dock on outside of lane.  If two people, have one idle away from the landing then do a touch-and-go pickup after your vehicle is parked)
  • Not knowing how to back a trailer down (this can be learned in an empty parking lot.  Most people try to make too big of a correction with the wheel, in my observation)

Just think to yourself, what can I do to make sure I’m in and out of the landing lane in the absolute minimum amount of time?  This will help immensely!

What are your thoughts on things people can do to make things more efficient at the landing?