UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

Tide timers

Tide timers
Day two leaders Manny Perez and Paul Jueckstock caught the tournament's heaviest limit, 13 pounds.

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. - A day after Tropical Storm Hanna jogged past northeast Florida and postponed day two of the Walmart FLW Redfish Series Eastern Division event in Fernandina Beach, anglers returned to the water and found no easy pickings.

Although the day's sunny, calm conditions provided a pleasant stage, the redfish put on a somewhat lackluster performance. Some surmised that Hanna's passing put the fish into safety mode, and they had not yet settled back into regular feeding patterns.

Nevertheless, several teams found enough action to secure good limits. True to form, the area's huge Sunny skies and mostly calm winds were a welcome change from the tropical storm conditions a day earlier.tidal range played a central role in strategies and their ultimate outcomes. Teams launched with a falling tide, fished most of their day in low water and then followed the rising flow to the Spartina grass en route to a flood tide around 2:18.

Topping the field were Manny Perez of Punta Gorda, Fla., and Paul Jueckstock of Port Orange, Fla., who weighed a 13-pound catch - the tournament's heaviest so far. The duo improved from fifth place with a 22-pound, 11-ounce total.

Knowing when to make a move was the key for Manny Perez and Paul Jueckstock.Jueckstock said he and Perez hung their hopes on judging the tide stage and knowing when and where to go for maximum opportunity: "We made the right decisions (today and on day one) and stuck with our game plan. We had only one day of prefishing, so Manny came up, looked at a few spots that we've fished the past couple of years, and the fish were still there."

One of their weight fish hit a Lucky Craft Sammy topwater early in the morning at their low-tide spot. Fishing was lean after that, but a late-day move sealed their lead.

"It was all about timing today," Perez said. "(Day one), we fished the flood tide for the fish that we found during practice. Today, we said, `We have to leave right now,' and as soon as we moved, the tideAn Exude Salatube on a 1/4-ounce Slayer jig head produced fish in the grass for the top team. was turning right, and we caught a fish as soon as we (arrived). We only caught about four fish today, and we caught our second (weight) fish at the end of the day."

Jueckstock said that their main low-water spot held significant potential, but the residents were not interested in anything the anglers offered: "We had plenty of fish in our low-water spot; they just were not cooperating. It was the same thing (on day one); we threw on them for two hours. These were big fish - we could have weighed 15 to 16 pounds if we could have caught two of them, but they just would not eat."

In the flooded grass, the leaders fished an Exude RT Slugs and Salatubes in golden bream on a ¼-ounce Slayer jighead.

Owens-Aldridge struggle up to second

The optimism of a quick bite soon faded for Scott Owens and Robert Aldridge, but persistence goes a long way in tournament fishing. Owens, who hails from Brunswick, Ga., and Aldridge of Jacksonville, Although they caught far fewer fish than on day one, Robert Aldridge and Scott Owens moved up one notch to second.Ga., began their day working deep drop-offs on the outskirts of Spartina grass. The response was immediate, but then things went downhill.

"We got our first fish on the first cast, but that was the kiss of death because we didn't catch another (legal) fish until after 2 o'clock," Owens said.

Fortunately, the team got back on track about an hour before they had to return for check-in and picked up a second weight fish that gave them 11 pounds, 5 ounces for a second-place total of 21-8. Their day-two total was more than a pound heavier than what they entered in the opening round, but the overall picture was a far cry from the 20-fish bonanza they enjoyed on day one.

"We had hoped that when the tide switched around and started coming back in that we'd have a similarLocal favorites Michael and Linda Dotson moved up to third with a 10-pound limit on day two. bite like we did the other day," Aldridge said. "There was plenty of bait in there. Every spot we went to (conditions) looked really good. The fish either weren't there or just weren't biting.

"The fish that we did see weren't moving. We saw some fish making good pushes on the first day of the tournament. Today, we spooked some fish out, but they were just hunkered down; they weren't moving or chasing bait.

"It was a lot different from the (first) day. I don't know if it was the tide or maybe that storm yesterday had them hunkered down. We'll have to come up with a plan to make it work tomorrow."

The fourth place team of Chris Joseph and John Jernigan will be hoping for another quick limit like they caught on day one to put them in good shape during the final round.Owens said he and Aldridge were using lighter-colored plastics on worm hooks with fast retrieves.

Best of the rest

Local favorites Michael and Linda Dotson, both of Fernandina Beach, Fla., bolstered their day-one score of 9-14 with 10-12. Their 20-pound, 10-ounce total moved them up one spot from fourth to third.

Chris Joseph of Holmes Beach, Fla., and John Jernigan of Venice, Fla., slipped from second to fourth with 20-4, while Chris Cenci of Jacksonville, Fla., and Eric Taylor of Rockledge, Fla., improved from seventh to fifth with 19-13.

Rounding out the top 10 teams at the FLW Redfish Series event at Fernandina Beach:

6th: David Senesac and Scott O'Brien, 17-15Breaking the 10-pound mark on day two pushed Eric Taylor and Chris Cenci into fifth place.
7th: Chaz Adams and Michael Phillips, 17-3
8th: Adam Loud and Cliff White, 16-9
9th: Brandon Naeve and Patrick Mason, 16-8
10th: Paul Chavis and Blaine Peterson, 15-15

Day-one leaders Roger Crafton of Boca Grande, Fla., and John Ochs of Englewood, Fla., zeroed on day two and fell to 18th place.

Walmart FLW Redfish Series action in Fernandina continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. EDT at Fernandina Harbor Marina, located at 1 Front Street in Fernandina Beach. Weigh-ins start at 4 p.m. at the Walmart store located at 1757 S. 14th St. in Fernandina Beach.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2008-09-04-fernandina-beach 

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