‘It was awesome’: Myrtle Beach native, crew win Palmetto Kingfish Tour championship
By Gregg Holshouser
October 04, 2019 05:38 PM
Chad Sullivan had a not-so-secret spot in mind for the two-day Palmetto Kingfish Tour championship last weekend out of Mt. Pleasant, but he was smart enough to hit the spot both fishing days during the championship event of the inaugural series.
Sullivan’s crew of six aboard NautiGull weighed in the biggest king mackerel on the first day of fishing, a 34.0-pounder, last Friday and followed it up on Saturday with a 31.4-pounder to post the winning two-fish aggregate of 65.4 pounds during the weigh-in at Saltwater Cowboys on Saturday afternoon.
The series was comprised of four tournaments, including the Marlin Quay King Mackerel Shootout and three Charleston-area events, with the top 15 finishers in the series qualifying for the championship.
“It was awesome,” said Sullivan, a Myrtle Beach area native and 1994 graduate of Coastal Carolina University. “Overall, I think they did a great job with the series. It’s a great concept.”
In 2 Deep finished second with a 62.0-pound aggregate followed by Yates Sea (60.70), Mas Pescado (51.90) and Mo Better III (49.0).
Sullivan has his eye on the Liar’s Hole, also known as the Not-So-Secret Hole, a live bottom area in 70 feet of water about 30 miles northeast of Charleston.
The first day there were four boats total fishing the spot, including Sullivan’s crew which was comprised of his two sons, Chance and Peyton, his girlfriend, Tonya Cook, and fishing buddies Brian Wilkinson and Will Schexnayder.
They caught four kings as choppy seas and slow fishing ruled the day.
“The second bite was the 34, and he was well-behaved,” said Sullivan. “We got him in the boat in 10 minutes. We felt real good about that one. We were fortunate to catch that fish.”
With the lead in hand, NautiGull returned to the spot for the final day of fishing on Saturday, with much better conditions, and more boats working the area.
“We caught pogeys (menhaden) again in front of Dewees Island, and the ocean was much nicer, so we got there earlier,” said Sullivan. “There were bonito everywhere, bait everywhere and there were 10 boats there.”
After losing a 45-minute battle with what Sullivan estimated to be a 40-plus pound king, they landed the fish that wound up being the 31.4-pounder and gave them the win. Peyton Sullivan, the crew’s designated angler, was the angler on both fish.
“We caught a lot more fish on Saturday, but that brings in other species — sharks, barracuda,” said Sullivan. “We caught 15-20 (kings) on the second day.”
NautiGull won the Hooked On Miracles King Mackerel Tournament, one of the four tournaments in the series, in July with a 38-pound king.
Student Angler League Tournament Trail
The second event of the 2019-20 trail was held Saturday out of the Carroll Ashemore Campbell Marine Complex in Georgetown.
The 57 boats competing set a SALTT record for the second straight event, and the youth anglers were greeted by superb conditions, with sunny skies and calm winds but high tides.
“It was a challenging day for our bass anglers with flood tides and a new moon but the redfish anglers really showed out,” said Rayburn Poston, SALTT founder and coordinator. “(It was) nice to see kids smiling at the weigh-ins saying they caught over a dozen fish.”
Following are the winners in each division:
Elementary School Redfish Division: Jameson McCants of Andrews weighed in one fish at 3.37 pounds.
Middle School Redfish Division: Gracie and Finn Swinnie of Andrews Middle School won the division with a two-fish aggregate weighing 9.67 pounds including the big fish of 4.92 pounds. Chappell Miller from Georgetown Middle School was second with two fish weighing 8.86 pounds. Miller leads the trail after two events. Clara and Wilson Harry of Conway Middle School were third with two fish weighing 7.80 pounds.
High School Redfish Division: Noah Payne and Kayden Kellahan of Andrews High School won the division with two reds weighing 8.15 pounds including the big fish of 4.20 pounds. Devan Harrelson and Carson Watford of Georgetown HIgh School were second with two fish at 6.63 pounds. Brandon Poston of Georgetown and Thomas Bodiford of Macedonia, the current division leaders, were third with two fish at 6.32 pounds.
Elementary School Bass Division: Tucker Howard of Andews won the division with one bass weighing 1.96 pounds.
Middle School Bass Division: Keegan Wildes of Rosemary Middle School in Andrews fished solo and won the division with a five-bass limit weighing 8.75 pounds including the big fish of 2.85 pounds. Cody Wilder and Dalton Williams of Conway Middle School were second with a limit weighing 7.71 pounds. Current division leaders Gavin and Luke Porter of Loris High School were third with a limit weighing 7.49 pounds.
High School Bass Division: Dalton Hewitt and Brantley Todd of Georgetown High School won the division with a five-bass limit of 12.16 pounds and lead the division after two events. Jacob Martin and Charlie Holmes of Conway High School were second with a limit weighing 8.73 pounds. Andrew Ackerman and Jeremy Owens of Georgetown High School finished third with a limit weighing 6.61 pounds.
The next SALTT event will be held Oc
Our President since 1999, Gregg Holshouser, is an avid fisherman writing the weekly fishing report and outdoors column for The Sun News since 2004. Gregg and his sister “Sam” invite you to visit Custom Outdoor Furniture to see how you, too, can Live Great Outdoors. Click here for more information and to check out this week’s fishing report or find us on Facebook. #LiveGreatOutdoors