On one of the few wintry days that Louisiana actually experienced this year, Capt. Eddie Berthelot Jr. had a couple of clients in his boat for a bone-chilling redfish trip on Jan. 8 out of Pointe-aux-Chenes.
“It was 28 degrees when I launched the boat that morning. It was cold,” said Berthelot, who operates Spots and Specks Charters out of Golden Meadow and Grand Isle. “We were going to catch our 15 reds, so we went to one spot and they had 14 in the boat like that. As fast as I could unhook fish, they were catching them.
“I said, ‘Y’all aren’t catching all the fish — I want at least one to get a little pull on my line. I cast one time, and that was when I caught him.”
That lone cast on a day when even the most diehard anglers were probably tucked into their toasty beds produced a spectacular 28 ½-inch leopard redfish that tipped the scales at 9.4 pounds — with an amazing 670 spots.
Just last week, Berthelot picked up the trophy skin mount from Chuck Colombel Taxidermy in Larose — and will have it on display in the Southern Outdoors booth at the Louisiana Sportsman Show March 16-19 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales.
“It’s a beautiful mount. It came out real nice,” Berthelot said. “It’s mounted on a cypress stump with sand around the outside of it. I did it pedestal-style so you could walk around it and see the whole fish.”
Berthelot, who caught the fish with a live cocahoe minnow under a popping cork, said he is having additional replica mounts made, including one for his camp at Grand Isle and one that will be on permanent display at Bridge Side Marina.