Best Baits for Tournament Size ame Fish

Photo – From left SKA's David Worsham presented SKA Junior Angler awards to Morgan Perkins, Cole Perkings, Cooper Perkins and Katie Bowman during the last year's Nassau Sports Fishing Association's “Fernandina Beach Fishing Rodeo”. Also pictured is Nassau Sport Fishing Association's “MC” David Smith.

Photo – (special) Spencer Ross's team “Flossy” will be competing in this year's “Fernandina Beach Fishing Rodeo” and adding points to the SKA's “Division V” for team of the year honors. Team “Flossy” recently placed 4th Aggregate during the “Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament”.

Photo – SKA tournament teams will be cast netting live baits this weekend while competing in the “Fernandina Beach Fishing Rodeo” where live bait fishing is key in weighing in a big money game fish!

2017-Fernandina Beach Fishing Rodeo”

By Terry Lacoss

Having on board the right live baits during the up coming “Fernandina Beach Fishing Rodeo” will be a huge factor in hooking a big money game fish this coming weekend. Many competing offshore kingfish boat will more than likely purchase live goggle eyes and blue runners from live bait dealers from $10 - $12 each. Tournament teams will typically purchase 1-2 dozen live baits, then once offshore, jig up fresh blue runners, spanish sardines and even cast small clark spoons for live Spanish mackerel. If you wish to fish in close to the beaches and inlets of Northeast Florida, cast netting live menhaden is a must when live baiting kingfish and cobia. Menhaden schools are playing a hide and seek game lately while showing up one day on the beaches, then close to inlet mouths the next day.

With this in mind, it is a great idea to have radio or cell phone contact with fellow tournament boats that will certainly help you locate the current schools of menhaden, also commonly referred to as “Pogies”.

Dead baits hould also be purchased including ribbonfish, Spanish mackerel and cigar minnows, which is an excellent back up plan when live baits simply are not available. Too often fishing tournament teams spend too much time atempting to catch live baits while missing out on an early morning bite!

If you look at all of the past “Fernandina Beach Fishing Rodeo” winners, they already have both live and dead baits on board their fishing boat while navigating right to their determined fishing destination without missing on on an early morning “Bite”.

This year's “Fernandina Beach Fishing Rodeo” will have several game fish categories available for both cash and prizes including eight different species in both inshore and offshore game fish. Obviously the mighty king mackerel winner will take home the top prize which is $10,000.00. The kingfish division will also pay through ten places. There is also a “Single Engine” category which will pay $1,300.00 for the largest kingfish, “Youth Angler” largest kingfish will be worth $1,200.00 and “Lady Angler” lagest kingfish will be worth $1,100.00

Largest inshore and offshore species will be worth $650.00 each including cobia, wahoo, dolphin, sea bass, flounder, sheepshead, sea trout and redfish.

All cash awards will be based on 100 paid entries.

The big event will begin on Friday, August 4th at the Fernandina Harbor Marina. Registration starts at 5:00 pm with a mandatory “Captain's” meeting being held at 7;00 pm.

Fishing begins on Saturday, August 5th at 6;30 am and stops at 5;00 pm. The weigh in begins at 2;00 pm if you would like to come down the Fernandina Harbor Marina and witness a lot of big local game fish being weighed in by some of the country's top fishing teams!

The awards and raffle begins at 7;30 pm on Saturday, August 5th.

The traditional silent auction and raffle will be going on full swing Friday and Saturday. For food there will be our great barbeque along with a fully equipped "Scoops" ice cream stand. The Budweiser Beer Wagon will be on hand along with other non alcoholic beverages to help handle the summer heat. There will be live entertainment on Friday and Saturday evening featuring "Larry and the Backtracks" on stage. There will be several boats of various sizes on display. Lots of things to see and do and don't forget the exciting weigh-in of all the fish caught. It happens from 2:00 PM until 5:00 PM Saturday afternoon. Jacksonville's own Captain Rick Ryals, Florida Sportsman TV and radio personality will be the emcee. You won't want to miss it. We invite everyone to attend and enjoy both days of activities. You might even see a Fernandina Pirate or two roaming the waterfront!

Entry fee in this year's event is now $400.00 per boat for the kingfish division and $125.00 per boat for the inshore/offshore gamefish categories.

Be sure and become a member of the Southern Kingfish Association which will have a trailer at the big event, Also join the Nassau Sports Fishing Association which is very active with fishing in our area waters,

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