Karl Credeur wasn’t exactly enthusiastic when his girlfriend suggested they leave his camp and head out for a quick afternoon fishing trip in a drizzly rain on Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area last month.
“My girlfriend said, ‘Let’s go fishing by the bridge.’ I said, ‘It’s raining,’” said Credeur, 63, of Houma. “And she said, ‘Well, let’s go make some memories. Let’s go fish in the rain.’”
Turns out his girlfriend, Tammy Smeal, was right: It’s a trip they won’t soon forget after Credeur landed a massive 11.15-pound flounder that, if certified by the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association, will become the No. 4 doormat in the state record books.
Credeur caught the fish, which biologists with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officially measured at 26 ⅝ inches, on a live minnow under a popping cork near the water control structure on Island Road on Saturday, Nov. 21 around 5 p.m.
When his cork vanished in about 3 feet of water, Credeur suspected it was a flounder — but he didn’t initially know it was a giant.
“I knew it was a flounder because flounder bite different from a redfish,” he said. “Redfish run. A flounder is just like a hard pull, then they start splashing.
“When I got it closer to the bank, that’s when I realized how big it was. I said, ‘Gee, this thing is bigger than the ice chest.’”
When his son stopped by the camp later that evening, Credeur realized the big fish might be extra-special.
“He weighed it on a spring scale he had in his truck and it said over 12 pounds,” Credeur said. “So then I went and started looking at the records, and the state record was 13.”
He called LDWF on Sunday, and then headed to their office in Bourg with the fish Monday morning to get it weighed on certified scales and checked by department biologists.
If ultimately approved by LOWA, it would be the first flounder to crack the state’s Top 5 since Gary Hargis caught the No. 1-ranked fish — a 13.06-pounder east of South Pass — in 1998.
Credeur, who landed the big fish on an Ugly Stik rod with a Shimano 2500 spinning reel spooled with 14-pound Trilene line, is currently researching taxidermists to figure out if he’ll get a replica mount or one made with the actual fish.
“I called one guy and he said he didn’t know if they had a mold that big for flounder,” he said with a laugh.
So Credeur’s potential Top 5 fish came about on a quick 20-minute trip — from the bank — after Smeal suggested they go fishing in the drizzly mist late that Saturday. As the old saying goes, “You can’t catch ‘em sitting in the camp.”
“Tammy said, ‘I told you we were going to make memories fishing in that rain,” Credeur said.