Poe’s personal best fly-caught speck

Capt. Jeff Poe doesn’t hesitate when naming his most memorable fly-caught speckled trout of his life.

Being part owner of one of the most-successful operations on the lake doesn’t allow for much free time to ply his craft, but his unmatched database of conditions and areas helped on this day, just as it does today.

It was a fun trip with a friend, where quality instead of quantity was the overriding factor. But bluebird conditions — Poe prefers overcast skies with just a little bit of south breeze — threatened to temper the calm conditions.

But what was present was lots of mullet jumping in the area and extremely clear water, factors that generally favor the fly angler offering life-like machinations with every strip.

To many, setting a record (9.31 pounds) for fly-caught speckled trout — of which all images were tragically lost in Hurricane Rita — that has now stood for nearly 18 years certainly would be right up there among their short list.

To Poe, however, this trip definitely topped that.

“It was just a fun trip with a friend. I was fly fishing, he was plug fishing — (it) wasn’t a (charter) trip or anything,” Poe said. “We each got two bites, and each got one fish. Mine was 9-5 and his was 6-something (pounds).

“Both of the other bites we got were big fish, also.”

Belying the notion of many that a big trout won’t come close to the boat, Poe’s second strike of the trip came at his feet, shortly after his companion had boated his big fish.

It made things interesting, to say the least, in getting the fish in a position where he could most effectively reel it in.

“I’d made a long cast and hooked the fish at the boat, so I had a lot of line at my feet,” Poe said. “He made a run and stopped a little bit. I put a some pressure on him, and he took off again and got me on the reel.”

After boating the monster, the decision to dump what was shaping up to be a good day was made in the interest of getting the maximum weight out of the fish.

“Yeah, it was shaping up to be a pretty good one, but I’m pretty happy with what that one came out at,” Poe said.