UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Clear Lake

Get the low down

Get the low down
Redfish Series finalists depart Fernandina Beach Marina for a day of mostly low water fishing.

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. - During two qualifying rounds, anglers competing in the Walmart FLW Redfish Series Eastern Division event eagerly awaited a narrow window of opportunity within the target-rich scenario of tailing redfish in flooded spartina grass. Today, the window will not even open.

Day one allowed a good two hours of pure flood tide access, but that pattern would diminish as high tide occurred later each day. The opportunity took a big hit on Friday when Tropical Storm Hanna skirted the Northeast Florida coast and postponed the scheduled second round to Saturday.

The tournament resumed on a day in which high tide would come at 2:18 p.m. in the Fernandina BeachNearly flat calm conditions greeted anglers and camera crews prior to launch. area. Today, anglers must check in by 2 p.m., so they'll never see the 3:08 p.m. flood tide.

This will require a shift in strategy, but one that really amounts to a reallocation of effort. In each of the two qualifying rounds, anglers had plenty of time to dissect outgoing, low and incoming tide cycles. Today, they'll simply make the most of what those first two stages have to offer.

Leading the field, Manny Perez of Punta Gorda, Fla. and Paul Jueckstock of Port Orange, Fla. caught the event's heaviest limit - 13 pounds - on day two and tallied a total of 22-11. They've caught fish on low and high water, but today they'll roll the dice and commit the majority of their day to a feast or famine scenario with the potential to seal the deal.

Paul Jueckstock said his team will fish Lucky Craft crankbaits around the jetties of Nassau Inlet."We've been fishing the tailing fish on high tide and on low tide we've been fishing the oysters and creeks in real shallow water," Perez explained. "Today we're going to go fish some deeper water and change completely - we're going out to the (Nassau Inlet) jetties. We feel confident that if we spend eight hours out there that we can get it done."

Jueckstock said he and Perez will rely on Lucky Craft FatCB D12 and D20 crankbaits for bumping jetty rocks in hopes of tempting enough redfish to find two fat ones. "I think if we can get two or three bites an hour, we'll be okay."

Sitting a little more than a pound back with 21-08 are second place anglers Scott Owens of Brunswick,The second place team of Scott Owens and Robert Aldridge sit a little more than a pound out the lead. Ga. and Robert Aldridge of Jacksonville, Ga. Their enjoyed tremendous action on day one, but struggled on day two when most of the fish they found were not interested in eating. The anglers hope that a day of peaceful weather following Hanna's passing has given the fish time to settle.

"We have some stiff competition, so I think we'll need to bring in 14 1/2 to 15 1/2 pounds to (win)," Owens said. "We're going to change up our strategy (today). We've heard of a lot of fish caught in the (Nassau Inlet channel), so we're probably going to fish there."

In third place, husband and wife team Michael and Linda Dotson of Fernandina Beach are the ones to watch. A lifetime resident, Michael has fished area waters for over 20 years, so he'll rely on his local Husband and wife team, Michael and Linda Dotson will rely on local knowledge to deliver a solid performance.knowledge to pull out a few tricks. Fishing several spots with topwater plugs and spinnerbaits will be the Dotsons' strategy.

"I'm just going to run and gun like I've been doing the last couple of days and hit all the spots that I know," Michael said. "We're going to fish some oyster bars on the outgoing tide first thing this morning and hopefully, we'll get the bite."

Linda's prediction: "We're leaving (this morning) in third place and we're coming back in first."

Logistics

All teams compete during the first two days, and the top five teams based on accumulated weight advance to day three. Final standings are determined by the total weight from all three days.Michael and Linda Dotson will put their spinnerbaits to good work in the final round.

Sunday's final weigh-ins start at 4 p.m. at the Wal-Mart store located at 1757 South 14th Street in Fernandina Beach. Take-offs and weigh-ins are free, and the community is invited to attend the festivities.

Starting in fifth place along with Eric Taylor, Chris Cenci sharpens the hook on his weedlesss gold spoon.The Fernandina Beach FLW Redfish Series event is hosted by the Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, Yulee Chamber of Commerce. The top award of $50,000 includes $20,000 cash plus a $15,000 cash bonus from Ranger Boats and a $15,000 cash bonus from Yamaha or Evinrude if contingency guidelines are met.

The top 50 teams in each division of the 2008 FLW Redfish Series, based on Land O'Lakes Team of the Year points standings at the end of the season, will advance to the $300,000 Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series Championship Oct. 30-Nov. 1 in Biloxi, Miss. The winning team at the championship will earn as much as $100,000.

Sunday's conditions:

Sunrise: 7:06 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 80
Expected high temperature: 89
Water temperature: 78
Wind: North at 5 mph, shifting east 7 mph
Humidity: 62 percent
Day's outlook: Partly cloudy

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

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