Small Boats. Big Results

By Gregg Holshouser
October 22, 2019

Finally, the Rumble in the Jungle King Mackerel Tournament out of Little River Inlet was blessed with good weather Oct. 11-12 and the turnout showed.

“In 17 years, this is the third time we’ve had good weather,” said Tournament Director John Gore, who welcomed a field of 213 boats to the event based out of Captain Archie’s in North Myrtle Beach. “It was the second-largest group we’ve had.”

With tranquil seas and the king mackerel bite prolific close to the beach in mid-October, the small boats came up big, including the winner. Five of the top six boats were 25-footers or smaller.

‘We knew we had a good one’: Small fishing boats have
large time in Rumble in the Jungle

Ron M. Sinclair and his family-oriented crew from Mooresville, N.C., aboard Heels with Reels, a Sea Hunt Triton 225, came out on top with a 39.25-pounder caught on Sunday, the second and final day of fishing in the Captain’s Choice event.

Sinclair was fishing with his dad, Ron J. Sinclair, his son, 14-year-old Will Sinclair, and fishing buddy O.J. Carolan of Oak Island.

The Sinclairs vacation in Ocean Isle Beach, and are familiar with the near-shore waters off Brunswick County, having fished approximately a dozen king tournaments from Southport to Little River in the last five years.

They worked a ledge within a few miles of the beach, using Atlantic thread herring (greenies) for bait after they couldn’t find menhaden (pogeys).

“When it gets to be fall, (the kings are) up on the beach or within a few miles,” said Sinclair. “Those boats with three engines can get there quicker but at the end of the day, we’re all able to get there when they’re that close.”

Around 9 a.m., Ron M. Sinclair was dropping back a bait, when the big bite came.

“I was just dropping back a fresh bait, and that’s when the king took it,” said Sinclair.

Sinclair simply closed the bail and set the hook.

After a 15-minute fight, the king arrived to the boat, Carolan applied the gaff and pulled it into the boat.

“We thought it was close to 40,” said Sinclair, noting the leader after day one was a 35.73-pound king caught by Fin Chaser. “We knew we had a good one, so at that point we knew it would be a top fish.”

The weigh-in at Captain Archie’s didn’t begin until 3 p.m., and the Sinclairs immediately planned to be there early.

“We were in a Sea Hunt with one engine, and with a big fish in the bag, we wanted to get it to the scales as quick as we could,” said Sinclair.

They weighed the fish at around 3:30 p.m., and sure enough, Heels with Reels was atop the leaderboard with their 39.25-pounder.

After waiting a few more hours, the crew had indeed won the tournament at the conclusion of the weigh-in.

“We were at the right place at the right time with the right bait,” said Sinclair, who earned around $34,000 for the win. “There’s a little luck involved in these tournaments. It’s a combination of skill and luck. You want to get lucky enough to have a hungry, big king swim behind your boat, that’s the luck part.”

Wahooligans 2 of Durham, N.C., finished second with a 37.37-pound king followed by Bradley Byars and crew of Conway aboard Hit-N-Run in third with a 36.55-pounder.

First-day leader Fin Chaser, of Monroe, N.C., wound up fourth with Knothead of Raleigh, N.C., with a 33.69-pounder rounding out the top 5.

The Rumble in the Jungle was the fourth tournament in the Southern Kingfish Association’s Division 2 – Carolina Border and the third tournament in The Kingfish Cup.

Capt. Brant’s Fall Brawl King Classic out of Ocean Isle Fishing Center this weekend, Friday through Sunday, is the final tournament in both series.

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Let Em Go, Win The Dough

It was a bit of a slow fishing day for the 3rd annual Let Em Go Win The Dough Flounder Tournament in Murrells Inlet on Saturday, Oct. 12.

The 50 anglers, including four youth anglers, brought 27 flounder to the scales at Crazy Sister Marina, but the good news is they all were released back into the inlet after being weighed in.

The tournament, which paid out a total of $3,000, was won by John Edwards with a 3.3-pounder.

The final event of the fall semester for the Student Angler League Tournament Trail (SALTT) was held last Saturday, Oct. 12 out of the Carroll Campbell Marine Complex in Georgetown.

A beautiful fall day greeted the anglers, from elementary school through high school, who target either red drum or largemouth bass on the trail.

Following are the division winners:

Red Drum Elementary Division: Jameson McCants of Andrews landed the big fish of at 1.51 pounds and leads the division at 4.88 pounds.

Red Drum Middle School Division: Conrad Begin and Aiden Flemming of Waccamaw Middle School won the division with a 2- fish limit weighing an aggregate of 9.04 pounds including the big fish at 4.40 pounds. Cubby Weaver of Coastal Montessori Charter School tied for the big fish, also with a 4.40-pounder. Chappell Miller of Georgetown Middle School was second with 2 fish weighing 7.44 pounds and is the overall leader with 23.74 pounds. Third place went to Riles Hucks and Aiden Day of Conway with 2 fish at 7.07 pounds.

Red Drum High School Division: Ashton Rouhselang and Lance Cooper of Conway High School won the division with 2 fish at 9.12 pounds including the big fish of 4.41 pounds. Brandon Poston of Georgetown and Thomas Boniford of Macedonia were second with 2 fish at 8.09 pounds and are the overall division leaders with 21.88 pounds. Third place went to Christa Edmonds of Carolina Forest with 2 fish at 6.74 pounds.

Bass Elementary School Division: Mack Hardee of Conway won the division with 1 fish weighing 1.14 pounds. Hardee also won second place with a .93-pounder. Tucker Howard of Andrews is the current division leader with 4.51 pounds.

Bass Middle School Bass Division: Cody Wilder and Dalton Williams of Conway won the division with a five-fish limit weighing 8.95 pounds including the big fish of 3.25 pounds. Wilder and Williams currently lead the division with 25.41 pounds. Andrews Middle School anglers Matthew Player and Riley Harrington were second with 5 fish at 8.57 pounds. Conway’s Branson and Tucker Howell were third with 5 fish at 7.39 pounds.

Bass High School Bass Division: Jacob Martin and Charlie Holmes of Conway High School won the division with an aggregate of 15.64 pounds for a limit of five bass, setting a new SALTT record. Their catch included the big fish of 5.30 pounds. Dalton Hewitt and Brantley Todd of Georgetown High School were second with 5 fish at 12.77 pounds and lead the division with 38.57 pounds. Austin Winburn and Chandler Brown of Conway finished third with 5 fish at 9.28 pounds.

Submitted photo

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