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Redfish Guys Win Riley Rods Fall Shootout 2014

by Lee Padrick, September 22, 2014

On Saturday, September 20, 2014, Dwayne Smith and I had the opportunity to fish the Riley Rods Fall Shootout in Surf City, NC, one of three stops on the Riley Rods Redfish Shootout Series.  Ten teams entered the tournament and made their way to their fishing spots at 6:45 AM.

Dwayne and I had spent some time fishing Sneads Ferry, New River, Swansboro, and Morehead City, but the best fish we could find were in a remote marsh in Sneads Ferry.  We had a falling tide all morning, with a low tide 12:30 PM, so we decided to run about 15 miles north and fish two areas that were holding good fish at low tide.

The morning was cloudy and the wind was blowing 15-20 mph out of the northeast, so it was a good day to fish popping corks.  Dwayne and I arrived at our first stop and started fishing a marsh point where we had caught fish in the past.  Dwayne quickly boated a small undersized red, followed by a 3 1/2 lb fish that went into the livewell.  About 20 minutes later, I caught an undersized red.  So we moved down a marsh bank, hoping to pick up some better fish.  As we neared a post on the flat, I looked down and saw several mud boils.  We continued down the bank without success, so we slowly made our way back up the flat.

Culling fish
We started fishing our original marsh point again, and I hooked a quality fish, a 26 3/4" red.  So we were sitting at a little over 10 lbs, when Dwayne caught another fish that upgraded our smallest by 2 ounces.  We're around the 10.5 lb mark at this point.

Another hour or so of fishing brought more wind and some rain, but once the rain stopped, the wind backed down and we took advantage of the calmer conditions, trading our popping corks for topwaters and gold spoons.  

As we neared the post where we had seen the mud boils earlier, we decided to PowerPole down and fish this area hard.  After a couple of casts, I hooked up on a nice fish that inhaled my topwater, and when we got the fish in the boat, it was a 26 15/16" red that was a few ounces lighter than our bigger fish.  So we released our smaller fish and we knew we were over 13 lbs at this point.

We fished for another few hours, then moved to a marsh where I had seen a few fish and caught a 6+ lber in practice.  Dwayne hooked up on a mid-slot fish on a topwater lure, but we didn't upgrade our weight.  Around 3 PM, we started heading back for the weigh-in at 4 PM.

Our two-fish aggregate was 13.30 lbs, good enough for 1st place.  We got lucky, especially when the relentless wind died down for a ten minute period, where we were able to cover more water and when we caught our kicker fish.

Congratulations to all the guys who fished it.  Great job by Damian James and Bill Driggers for second place, and Allen Jernigan and Tim Chavez for third place.  The competition was as stiff as the wind on Saturday.
The Redfish Guys in 1st place with 13.30 lbs

I want to thank Hook and BonesSalty Bay BaitsTemple Fork OutfittersPro-Cure Bait ScentsFins Premium SuperlinesNo Slack TackleBubba Blade, and for keeping us on the water.  And big thanks to Riley Rods, Mike Pedersen, John Moore, and Daniel Sbrocco for putting on a great tournament series.  We look forward to fishing the final event of the season, the Riley Rods Championship Shootout on October 11th at Fulchers Landing.

Our next event is September 27th at the Carolina Redfish Series Event #3 in Atlantic Beach.    The Carolina Redfish Series really puts together a premier event, so this should be a lot of fun.  We are looking forward to it. - Lee


Video of our day

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