Rennie and Shannon Clark of Carolina Beach decided earlier this year to fish the Lowcountry Redfish Cup trail – there being no trail in North Carolina in 2013. That decision really paid off last weekend when the Clarks won the tour championship in Beaufort, S.C.
The top 15 boats on the trail, which features four tournaments along the South Carolina coast, qualified for the championship; the Clarks finished sixth in the points, then won the championship and the keys to a new ShallowSport boat package with a two day catch of four redfish that weighed 18 pounds, eight ounces.
The Clarks put a pair of reds in their livewell early on the first day of competition, then moved to an area more protected from the wind and found a school of reds feeding on mullet. They culled both the fish they had, then made another move.
“We moved to some deeper banks of channels connecting water bodies and were fishing through them,” Rennie Clark said. “My wife had a red hit and miss a gold spoon several times, so I followed it up slow-rolling a spinnerbait and connected. It was a fat pumpkin that was just under the 23-inch maximum, and it went in the livewell. We caught several more in that size and several over the slot.”
Their first-day weighed of nine pounds, five ounces gave them the lead by a little more than a pound.
The winds were calmer the second day, and after catching a couple of over-slot reds and breaking one off, Shannon Clark hit pay dirt with a fat, 22-inch fish that weighed five pounds, eight ounces, and was the tournament’s big fish.
“We had the second fish we were looking for on the line for a while, but it wasn’t easy,” Rennie Clark said. “Shannon had been hung up on an oyster rock and got the tip wrapped when the lure popped free and this fish hit as soon as her lure hit the water. We tried to hand line it in, but the line broke. I later landed a solid 21-incher.”
Their second-day weight of nine pounds, three ounces gave them 18-8. Ashley Lowder and Reed Simmons of Charleston finished second with 16-15.