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Mackerel Tournament 10-29-16

October 29, 2016 Blog, latest news Comments Off on Mackerel Tournament 10-29-16

Husband, wife team up to land tournament-best king mackerel
By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News
With the north wind howling on the heels of the first real cold front of the autumn, the husband-wife fishing team of Jeff and Michelle Drake kept it close to the beach in the Marlin Quay King Mackerel Shootout.
The duo, fishing out of Little River aboard The Law, a 34-foot Fountain, hit three near-shore spots and caught only one king mackerel, but it was the right one.
The Drakes weighed in a 35.87-pounder to win the tournament, the first-ever Southern Kingfish Association-sanctioned event held out of Marlin Quay Marina in Murrells Inlet.
Thanks to the cold front and related windy conditions, the tournament format was changed to Captain’s Choice, with boats allowed to fish last Saturday or Sunday.
The Drakes, both sporting a 100-ton Captain’s License, started their fishing day on Sunday by catching menhaden near Little River and first headed to the Ocean Crest Pier vicinity just off Oak Island, N.C.
“We fished with the masses at Ocean Crest Pier, and we caught nothing,” said Michelle Drake, the owner-operator of Getaway Adventures, Inc., in Little River.
Later, they moved southwest to near the Cherry Grove Pier.
“The water was green, pretty and we fished just east of the pier,” Michelle Drake said. “We were fishing in the pogy pods, and the fish hit. Jeff grabbed the rod, which left me to do the clean-up work.”
The hook-up happened at about 12:30 p.m., and from there, it was husband-wife fishing action at its finest.
“He was yelling at me [that] I wasn’t clearing lines fast enough, just a great husband-and-wife relationship,” Michelle Drake said. “I had the gaff out, and he told me to wait, wait and I didn’t think I needed to wait. He thought I did. I took a shot with the gaff.
“It’s all fun and games except when you’ve got a 36-pound king on.”
Michelle Drake pulled the gaff straight up, connecting with the king and the rub rail.
“We had a little Chinese fire drill going there,” Michelle Drake said.
Once they got the fish in the boat, Michelle Drake guessed at the weight.
“Honest to God if someone had put a gun to my head, I wouldn’t have said that fish weighed more than 31 pounds,” Michelle Drake said.
With a fish aboard to weigh in, the Drakes capped the day by fishing a spot closer to Murrells Inlet – Myrtle Beach Rocks – but caught only a dogfish there.
At the weigh-in at Marlin Quay Marina, Michelle Drake was thrilled to find out her estimated weight was low when the fish went to the top of the leaderboard at about 3:30 p.m. Later, they were declared the winners of the final SKA Division 3 tournament of the season.
“It was one of those things, it’s a rare occasion when Jeff and I get to fish together, and to pull the win makes it even more special,” Michelle Drake said.
The Drakes earned $11,800 for the victory over the field of 60 boats.
“That pays for the year of fishing, right there,” Michelle Drake said.
Raunchie Conch finished a very close second, only about a quarter-pound behind with a 35.63-pound king.
Scale Bound finished third with a 31.94-pounder, Fin Chaser was fourth with a 30.75-pounder and Game Hawg fifth with a 27.88-pounder.
Fall Brawl
With the 2016 SKA Nationals, set for Nov. 8-13 in Ft. Pierce, Fla., on the horizon, there is one more local SKA-sanctioned tournament underway this weekend.
The Fall Brawl King Classic out of Ocean Isle Fishing Center features fishing Saturday and Sunday, Captains Choice, with boats able to fish one of the days.
Weigh-ins are 2-5 p.m. both days. Both weigh ins will be broadcast live on-line at For more information, call (910) 575-3474.

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Fishing Report Oct 28 2016

October 28, 2016 latest news Comments Off on Fishing Report Oct 28 2016

Weather, eager fish making for quality catches on the water
By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News

Look For: Spotted seatrout, red drum, black drum, flounder, sheepshead, spots.
Comments: Plenty reports of excellent catches of spotted seatrout, red drum, black drum and flounder have come in this week. On the north end, Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters has worked Little River Inlet, Dunn Sound and Tubbs Inlet for all four species. Kelly has caught the black drum on fresh or live shrimp while the trout, reds and flounder have hit Vudu Shrimp and Berkeley Gulp Shrimp or Jerk Shad. “It’s been really good,” said Kelly. “It’s the best time of year to fish.” Capt. Jeff Maples of Reel Salty Charters had a pair of super half-day trips Thursday out of Murrells Inlet. After releasing some bull reds on near-shore bottom spots in the ocean, Maples headed into the creeks of the inlet, armed with mud minnows which he fished on Carolina rigs. “It was one of the best fishing days I’ve had in a long time,” said Maples. “We had inshore slams on both trips with nice trout, reds and flounder. You probably could have trolled a beer can and caught ‘em today.” Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service noted a water temperature of 67 degrees in Winyah Bay and said “the water is still black.” Catches of trout and reds have still been decent, though, particularly in North Inlet. McDonald produced 11 reds and eight trout on a Wednesday trip to North Inlet, with all fish caught on assorted grubs. The spot run is on in many estuaries including Murrells Inlet and Cherry Grove.
Look for: King mackerel, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, red drum, black sea bass, whiting, flounder, weakfish, croaker, spots.

Comments: It’s been a super weather week, and king mackerel action has been very good on spots such as Belky Bear and The Jungle in the 10-20 mile range. Slow-trolling live menhaden or dead cigar minnows will produce fish. Near-shore bottom spots such as the Jim Caudle Reef three miles south of Little River and Paradise Reef three miles east of Murrells Inlet are producing weakfish, black sea bass, bluefish and flounder, with Spanish and king mackerel roaming the vicinity. On near-shore hard-bottom areas, look for weakfish, black sea bass, whiting, croaker, flounder and bull reds. Grand Strand piers are producing Spanish mackerel, bluefish, whiting, weakfish, black drum, flounder, croaker and spots, plus bull reds.
Look For: Wahoo, blackfin tuna, dolphin, grouper, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, porgy, grunts, amberjack.
Comments: Wahoo continue to be the top choice for offshore trolling boats, with areas such as the Winyah Scarp and Georgetown Hole producing fish. Also look for blackfin tuna and a few dolphin on trolling trips. October is a fantastic month for bottom fishing on offshore ledges in about 75-100 feet of water when sea conditions cooperate, and they have cooperated this week. Look for grouper, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, porgy, grunts and amberjack. Red snapper cannot be harvested in the South Atlantic Region and must be released.
Look For: Bream, catfish, crappie, bass.
Comments: The Waccamaw River dropped back into moderate flood stage, at 13.3 feet at Conway at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, still over two feet above flood stage. The Little Pee Dee River at Galivants Ferry was expected to drop below flood stage (9 feet) Friday. In short, conditions are slowly improving on the rivers but anglers should exercise caution due to floating debris. Boaters should also watch their wake when going by flooded structures along the river.

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