Jordan Musso was actually more focused on helping his dad land a redfish than he was on his own line when his popping cork vanished Thursday morning near the tip of the Caminada Pass jetties at Grand Isle.
“Dad had a 12-pound redfish at the boat that I was trying to net when my cork went under,” said Musso, 29, of Broussard. “So I dropped the net and yanked. I set the hook pretty good.”
At first he thought he might have another red on the line, but the fish came to the surface and stayed there.
“She ran across the top of the water and I said, ‘Damn, I think I have a pretty good fish,’” Musso said. “She stayed on top the whole time. She never went down and didn’t really pull any drag. She went straight sideways toward the Gulf.
“Then I saw her about 15 feet out, and I said, ‘Don’t worry about the redfish. Leave him in the water.’”
Less than a minute later, Musso was face to face with his biggest speck ever — a huge 25-inch trout with a 15-inch girth that tipped the scales at exactly 7 pounds.
“Sure enough when I got her in the net she was barely hooked. I was like, ‘Oh my goodness,’” he said. “I was just shocked. After I caught the fish, I just sat there and looked at her a little bit.
“At 25 inches, she probably shouldn’t weight that much, but she had a belly full of eggs. Of all things to catch the biggest fish on — a popping cork.”
Musso was fishing with his dad, Michael, as well as Johnny Nichols and Billy Davenport, on the Anna Banana, a 27-foot Gaudet.
He hooked up with the big speck when he decided to change tactics about 9:30.
“The bite had slowed down on the croakers, so I picked up my cork and said, ‘Well, I’ll just try it,’” he said.
He hooked a live shrimp through the crown using a No. 2 kahle hook, which was about 2 1/2 feet under his popping cork.
“I try not to use a big hook so the shrimp has more movement,” he said.
The four men caught 88 solid specks Thursday morning — most in the 18- to 20-inch range — using a Carolina rig along the jetty rocks before they ran out of the live shrimp and croakers they had purchased at Camardelle’s Live Bait.
It’s always a great day when you land a huge speck, but Musso wishes he’d have hooked up with the monster trout about eight days from now on Memorial Day weekend.
“I’m definitely going to get it mounted. It took me 29 years to finally catch her,” Musso said with a laugh. “But too bad it wasn’t next weekend when the STAR Tournament starts.”