Capt. Troy Strickland, Frederick and friend James Moore left Murrell's Inlet on Aug. 8, heading to the Gulf stream to catch grouper. What Frederick reeled in the next day was a 100-pound, 8-ounce amberjack that put him in the record book, breaking the state record by 13 ounces.
The trip was planned to get the fishermen unplugged from their computers and on the water. They fished one day, then spent the night anchored up near the Georgetown Hole in 160 feet of water in what had been a grouper honey hole for them.
The grouper they were targeting usually hang out on the bottom; amberjacks take the bait before it can get all the way down, so catching a few amberjacks is par for the course.
Fishing with a cigar minnow on a circle hook, Frederick had a heavy-action 6-foot Ugly Stik rod and Penn reel in hand.
When Frederick hooked up with the big fish, he was "walking" the bottom in a current of one to two knots. When the fish felt the hook, it tried to dig in on the deep ledge, causing Frederick to move from the stern to the bow while the crew cleared the other rods out of the way.
After a 15-minute fight, Frederick got the fish to the side of Strickland's Kill'n Time, a 34-foot Crusader, at about 3 p.m. The amberjack was identified, gaffed and brought aboard.
Strickland, Frederick and Moore agreed that it was the biggest amberjack any of them had seen, so they called another captain to check on the state record.
Feeling like they were very close, they ran back to port and weighed the fish at Capt. Dick's Marina. Kris Reynolds, a biologist with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, certified the fish as the new state record.