A Redfish Tale

A short tale of a once great salt marsh flat

This is a short tale concerning a Georgia spartina grass flat I have fished for a number of years. I was shown this place by a friend with years of time on the local water, but little interest in fishing. He had found schools of redfish in the marsh while running the creeks on high tide. The next day he turned me on to a good number of fish tailing in knee deep water. I caught two while he poled the boat.
I fished that flat often for the next eight or nine years and was rarely disappointed. Then I began to see other people fishing the area which was fine with me it was a huge flat and held usually good numbers of fish. But some of these people were keeping all the fish they caught, five redfish per day in Georgia. In one season the fish on that flat disappeared and the flat no longer held fish. I would return several times each year to check, and for five or six years, nothing. I am happy to say that this year that finally changed and the fish are back in numbers that remind me of the"old days".
I relate this tale as an example of the extent of the pressure we fishermen exert upon a local fishery. Even when we follow the letter of the law and take no more fish than those we are allowed, we can do great harm to the fishing in a local area. The tale of this flat has shown me how important it is to "Limit your catch, not catch your limit"