Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sneads Ferry King Mackerel Tournament

The Weather looked good and the Sea Drag’n Team had high hopes of having a good finish in the 2012 Sneads Ferry Kmt. This tournament has always been a favorite of the team and they have been fortunate enough to have several top 3 finishes, including a 1st place in 2003. The team for this week comprised of Capt. AL, First mate Brent Bunn, and long time friend and fishing buddy, Andy Hinton. We all woke and got aboard the SeaDrag’n at 4:30 am. With a forecasted light SW wind, the team headed east to the fertile waters of the east side of Cape Lookout. Bait came aboard first after Capt Al and Andy made one toss of the cast net. Beautiful Pogeys filled the bait well of the 28 ft. Privateer and the Mercury’s were screaming to the east. After a short run, the team cleared Drum Inlet and sat down in 45 ft. of water. Capt. Al and the crew looked at the water clarity which was still a cloudy green. The team decided to continue on to a spot further offshore in hopes of clear blue water.

After a 14 mile run, they settled in near a spot called the 1700 rock and began to put out baits. The area was already covered with about 20 boats so the team stopped short of the fleet and began to fish. The first lines went out and within 15 minutes, the downrigger ripped off. Capt. Al grabbed the rod and handed it to Andy as he and Brent cleared the deck. After a short battle, a mid 20’s pound fish was onboard. Nice point fish, but the team was in hopes of a better fish. Capt. AL and Brent began to put the lines back out. Capt. AL put a jumbo pogey on the long line and deployed it in the wayback position. Before everyone could get relaxed, Brent yelled “Thirty or Forty just skied on the long line!!”.

Simultaneously, the reel began screaming line off. I grabbed the rod and gave it to Andy. Brent and I cleared the deck. Once cleared, Andy yelled for me to come grab the rod. I took over the reel which had lost over 300 yards of line from the fleeing fish. Brent turned the SeaDrag’n and the chase was on. After four big runs , the fish came up and down under the boat. Capt AL eased her up and could feel it was a large fish. After 15 minutes, color could be seen under the boat and the crew looked under the bow to see a monster Kingfish!!

Capt AL shouted for Brent to get the long gaff and after two more big cranks on the reel, the big girl was in striking distance. Brent reached down as far as he could and stuck the monster in the back of the head. Capt AL reached over and grabbed the gaff as Brent struggled to get the big girl over the side. She hit the deck with a big thump and never moved. The Team high fived and celebrated what they hoped would be another good finish in the tournament given the size of the slab on board. The fished measured over 59” in length and they all felt she was well over 50 lbs. The team packed her in ice and began a slow journey to the scales at Sneads Ferry. They arrived early and anchored down in front of the weigh in site waiting for the scales to open at 3 pm. The big girl pulled down the scales at 52.69 lbs and was good enough for the team to capture another 1st place win at the Sneads Ferry Tournament.

The SeaDrag’n Fishing team would like to thank the team sponsors Mercury Marine, Bellhart Marine, Sea Striker and Star Rods. Their sponsors support and great products are so important to the team being able to compete on the SKA Kingfish circuit.

 Tight lines,

Captain Al