The 2013 Lowcountry Redfish Cup will go down as the first time having a female winner. Specifically, it was a team win by Shannon Clark and her husband Captain Rennie Clark of North Carolina, but it was the lady angler bringing the largest redfish to the scales. This husband and wife team claim bragging rights and the grand prize, a new fishing boat by Shallow Sport Boats.
|Shannon Clark shows off her prize redfish alongside husband Rennie Clark.|
The Lowcountry Redfish Cup completes its fourth year of existence, and this South Carolina series mirrors other redfish tours in some ways. All redfish must be caught on artificial lures only, and all redfish must be weighed in alive and they must be released immediately afterwards. Four tournaments are held up and down the coast during the year, and the teams with the top cumulative points compete in the Finals for the top spot.
After tournaments in Georgetown, Charleston, Beaufort and Hilton Head, the Lowcountry Redfish Cup Finals were fished in Beaufort on Nov. 8 and 9. The weather conditions on Friday, Nov. 8 were harsh for all saltwater anglers with a 20-mile per hour wind and a temperature of only 40 degrees, but Shannon Clark and husband were able to take the Day One lead.
“This was our first year fishing together as a team,” said Shannon Clark. “I told my husband that I would enjoy tournament fishing with him, and I’m so glad we gave it a try! We fished mainly with a Category Five soft plastic manic minnow in black with a chartreuse tail, and utilized a Cape Lookout gold spoon to add some variety.”
During calm conditions on Day Two, it was Shannon Clark weighing in the largest redfish, a whopper at 5.08 pounds. Her husband Rennie also weighed in a redfish that went 3.11 pounds, giving them the first place winnings. With a slot limit of 23 inches in S.C., normally a redfish won’t weight over 5 pounds, so she literally caught a fat fish — which is clutch fishing during the Finals.
The Clark’s take home a $40,000 voucher towards a Shallow Sport Boats, while Butler Marine of Beaufort throws in a Wesco trailer and a Yamaha engine. Wes Hudson with Shallow Sport Boats came from Texas to present the winner’s check. “My grandfather started the company in 1951, and we have been family-owned ever since,” said Hudson. “We are glad to support the Lowcountry Redfish Cup.”
Finishing in second place was Team Crews Chevrolet led by Captain Reed Simmons and Ashley Lowder, both of Charleston. Third place went to Team Natural Light out of Mt. Pleasant led by Capt. Jamie Hough and Ronnie Pitts. Tournament organizer Brian Rose reports that the 2014 tournament trail will begin with an event in Charleston, either in February or March. And you can bet that Shannon and Rennie Clark will be there!