By Terry Lacoss
“Our regular live bait suppliers simply could not catch enough blue runners for the many kingfish teams that were competing in last week's “”37th Annual Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament”, Captain Kenny Crawford of Yulee said. “We did have 18 goggle eyes on board but we knew first hand that a large lively blue runner would more than likely put the winning king mackerel in our tournament fish bag.”
“Like many of last week's tournament kingfish boats, team Crawfish had on board large spooled spinning rods rigged with #4 feathered hooks for jigging live blue runners offshore, just in case the live bait companies could not meet the demand.
“Luckily we were able to jig up enough live blue runners offshore to live bait troll deep with our downriggers,” Captain Kenny Crawford said. “Right away a large kingfish hit a blue runner slow trolled from our boat's downrigger at sixty-feet of water and took off on a typical long. Speedy run. Al Morris was fighting the big king and managed to work the speedy kingfish back to our tournament boat when it took off once more on a long powerful kingfish run. Finally the tired king mackerel lay tired at boat side where we were able to gaff and land a very large 45.5-pound kingfish”!
Team “Crawfish” hooked a 2nd large king mackerel during the second and final day of the kingfish tournament that also struck a live blue runner slow trolled deep with their boat's downrigger.
“We never saw the king,” Kenny Crawford said. “However by the way it was running, it had to weigh well over 30-pounds. Unfortunately the kingfish hooks pulled free just before we were able to sink our boat's kingfish gaff into the back of that big king. Possibly we would have taken 1st place aggregate if we had been able to land that second big kingfish. However we were certainly happy with taking 4th place “Largest Kingfish”!boat side
“We had a lot of exciting moments fishing in the recently held Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament,” Kenny Crawford said.boat side “But not quite as exciting as what happened to Gary carter's “Real Quick” fishing team”.
“Team Real Quick” reportedly hooked into a massive 60-pound plus kingfish while live bait trolling offshore and had the big king ready to gaff. Soon the big king was secured with their boat's long kingfish gaff and just ready to be hauled into their kingfish boat when the big king lurched and became free of the four-inch steel gaff. Landing back in the water, that potential new tournament record kingfish began to swim away from the boa and unfortunately the kingfish hooks pulled free! Also a $86,000.00 first place boat and motor packaged swam away with that big king as well!
Another local kingfish team including Adam Peppler, Cody Baker, Daley Glenn and Captain Spencer Ross fished aboard the team “Flossy' kingfish boat placing 4th in the “Aggregate” division.
“We were experiencing the same problems that other tournament kingfish boat's were experiencing,” Captain Spencer Ross said. “The kings were simply not hitting our live goggle eyes, so we reeled in our live baits and ran offshore to deeper water where we soon jigged up enough blue runners to kingfish with. On the second and final day of the tournament we were able to land two nice kings while slow trolling deep with our downriggers weighing 43.7-pounds and 31-pounds. Our combined two kingfish aggregate of 75-pounds was good enough to place us 4th in the “Aggregate” division”.
The largest kingfish of the tournament was weighed in by Tyler Patterson aboard the “Snatch-Um” which weighed 55.15-pounds. Dennis Sergent and team members weighed in the top “Aggregate” weight of 89.3-pounds. Matt Matheson took 1st place honors in the “Single Engine” division with a 39.75-pound kingfish. Preventive Maintenance took top lady Angler honors with a 41.15-pound kingfish.
There have been some changes in this year's NSFA rodeo where the prize The awards program will begin at 7:30 pm on Saturday. Weigh in begins at 2:00 pm on Saturday. For more information please visit http://www.nsfafish.net/. The pool in both the inshore and offshore categories have been expanded to 1st, 2nd & 3rd places. The “Silent Auction”& “Raffle” will be held on Friday and Saturday, food will once again include delicious barbecue and the “Budweiser Wagon”. Entertainment includes “Larry & the Backtracks”. Captain Rick Ryals, Florida Sportsman TV and radio fishing celebrity will also be on hand to add color to the big fishing event!
For more information please contact me.