The Eastern Current Spring Redfish Series is kicking off its inaugural tournament, spanning the coastal waters of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Words by: BJ Poss
It’s a flood tide - the air is chillier than you hoped. You should still be sipping coffee from the warm comfort of your armchair, but here you are, standing on the bow. The marsh is just coming to life, stretching its wake in the gleam of first light. You usually wait for the sun to get a bit higher before you even hit the dock, but you’re here, as nervous as the thigh-high water around you. You don’t see it at first but hear it- the brazen slap of a mudding tail against the surface. You can barely make out the ring of murky water in the low light.
It hits again. You see it this time, but you have to wait. You have one hand on your rod and the other twirling the lure between your fingers. You’re ready, still waiting. Your alarm finally buzzes in your pocket. It’s seven o’clock: go time.
March 25th will mark the kick-off of Eastern Current’s inaugural Spring Redfish Series- the first weekend of the three-part tournament will take place on March 25th & 26th, followed by the other two legs on the weekends of April 29th & 30th and May 27th & 28th. In short - you can fish as little or as much of the series as you’d like.
There will be payouts for the top three anglers for each leg of the tournament, and an overall winner will be announced on May 28th. Who will not only win a pocket of cash, but also a custom hand-painted tailing redfish trophy and bragging rights up and down half the coast.
The range of the tournament “gives another way to see how each angler and each state stack up,” says Jud Brock (@judbrockfishing), guide and host of Eastern Current Podcast, the boundaries running from the northern Virginia state line to the southern Georgia state line and all the inshore waters in between. “I know it’s different,” he went on, “I want people to take it seriously but have some fun with it, contributing to that community feel.”
Coupled with the catch-and-release spirit, this tournament series will be cast and retrieve artificial baits only- one rod per angler. You think you’ve got the secret sauce of lure and Gulp! flavor combo? Have you been standing on the bow swearing you can skip and tug a clouser better than your buddy dog-walking his popper? Have you been waiting to show several generations that chartreuse Power Bait can still outfish anything at Intracoastal Angler?
Well, get on with it, then. This is your shot.
Jud explained how he hopes the catch-and-release aspect will breed a conservation-minded tournament and community. “Conservation is a hard switch you have to flip,” he told Chasing Tides Collective, referring to how he’s favored catch and release in his own guiding business, “as guides we see [the state of their fishery] more than anybody…if you’re catch and release, we need to make it cool.”
Will this all rely on a bit of an honor system? Yes. The scores will reflect each angler’s top three biggest fish per day under thirty-two inches. Submissions will be received and updated through iAngler in real-time, making for the opportunity for some real crunch time angling.
Chasing Tides asked Jud if he had any advice for first-time tournament anglers, “take advantage of each moment, each second given to you,” he said, “I don’t think many tournaments have been won on three casts. So just keep casting. If I have the trolling motor going, I’m casting. If I’m getting poled into a spot, I’m casting…if I can be casting, I’m casting.”
Book a day of NC sight-fishing with Jud here, and be sure to sign on the Eastern Current Spring Redfish Series website by March 24th. Check back in with Chasing Tides Collective to stay updated on the winners as each leg of the tournament unfolds.