|Division: 3||Murrells Inlet, South Carolina||MARSHWALK KINGSTALK||September 14-15, 2012|
Yates-Sea Wins Marshwalk Kingstalk ... Wins Division 3 with their 39.05!
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina - The first boat to the scales and taking home the tournament's top prize at this year's edition of the Marshwalk Kingstalk was the Yates-Sea, David Yates' Yamaha powered Contender. Fishing with David was his dad, David, Clinton Beck, Lou Tocci and Frank Hill. David told me that they left Charleston, caught some baits, and headed offshore 25 miles to the "Not So Secret Hole" where he had traditionally caught some great fish in September. "When we got there the whole area was covered with large schools of Spanish mackerel and conditions looked great," he explained. "We caught a small fish early, but that was it."
Around 11:00, after dragging their baits around for three hours without another strike, everyone was ready to make a move, so they decided to pick up and run as soon as they made a final pass through another big school of mackerel. David had been fishing his downrigger baits near the bottom without any luck, so before he made their last trip through the Spanish, they pulled both downrigger baits up to 20 feet so they would pass just below the mackerel. Halfway through the bait pod, their 39.05 pound king ate one of the pogies off the downrigger. Dave told me that the fish ran off 250 or 300 yards of line before he could pick up the rod. After a 20-minute fight, he had their tournament winner close enough for his dad to gaff.
This fish ensured a first place win and put them number one in the Open Class Division 3 standings. A monumental victory but it was one of the closest races we've seen in a long time. They beat out the Ripple Effect by just .29 of a pound.
Finishing in second place with a 32.96-pound kingfish was the Big Bad Wolf, skippered by Contender's National Fishing Teams Manager, Stacy Wester, fishing with Andy Justice. Stacy told me that they left Murrells Inlet and headed their Yamaha powered Contender northeast to fish over some ledges 75 miles to the northeast, just outside of the Frying Pan Tower that had been holding decent fish all summer long. "We were slow trolling menhaden in 100 feet of water when our big fish ate a bait fished on the surface way back in our spread," Stacy said. "We were really lucky as the fish was foul hooked and the one treble hook still in the bait had slit a three-inch hole in its belly.
This was a big finish for the defending 2011 Angler of the Year.
Chad, Amy, and junior angler Madison Morris fished with their teammates Brian Buff, George Metzgar, Jr., James Gunter and charter SKA member, Randy Spainhour on the Seahorse, Chad's chartreuse and bright green wrapped Yamaha powered Yellowfin sponsored by Blackberry Marine and Cape Fear Sportswear. They left Southport and headed offshore to fish an area around the Navy Wreck, 14 or 15 miles southeast of the Frying Pan Tower where they had caught several nice kingfish over the past few months. They were able to catch five or six kings including their third place finishing 31.72 pounder. Randy caught their big king around 11:30 after it ate a bluefish in 100 feet of water that was slow trolled on the surface in the middle of their spread.
The Ripple Effect, Arthur Simons' Yamaha powered Freeman weighed a 27.84 pound kingfish that they caught around 11:00 over some live bottom in 90 feet of water due east of Murrells Inlet. Fishing with Arthur on his big catamaran were Billy Freeman, Trent Caulder, Brock Sandish, Jeb Buckner, and Ross Holmquist. Arthur told me that they spent the day pulling on several big amberjacks and a couple dozen assorted sharks, but only caught one other small kingfish. He told me that Billy caught their fourth place finishing king after it ate a big mullet they were fishing way back behind their transom. Trent did a great job of gaffing the fish and hauling it over the big boats gunwale.
Fifth place with a 27.43 pound king was the Low Country Native skippered by Billy Powell and sponsored by Onslow Bay Boats and Mercury Outboards. Billy fished with his brother Keith Powell, Wayne Landon, Jason Hogg, and Scott Flanders. They left from Charleston, caught bait near the Moore's Island Lighthouse, and then added 35 more miles north to the Not So Secret Hole. Their big fish ate a double pogy rig, fished on a downrigger half way to the bottom, in 100 feet of water. Billy told me that they had been pulling ribbonfish on their downriggers all morning but only caught some big black sea bass. Around 1:30 while everyone else was asleep, (too much partying the night before) he switched one ribbonfish to a double pogy rig and their big king ate it before he could put the rod into a rod holder. Jason did get up to gaff the fish.
The Wee Doggie, Joey Crisp's Yamaha powered Fountain weighed a 25.86 to finish in sixth place and Robert Olsen fishing with Leia Elias and Andrew Olsen weighed a 24.84 to finish in eighth place.
Taking home the top prize in the Small Boat Class was the Miss Jenn IV, Ron Greene's Mercury powered Baja who fished the Marshwalk event with his longtime teammates, Andy Williams and Roy McGinnis. Ron told me that they left from Murrells Inlet, ran south, and fished "the only spot that they go," the Not So Secret Hole. He said that Andy caught their 26.40 pounder around 10:15. Their fish ate a big menhaden fished 25 yards behind their transom in 70 feet water.
The Small Boat Class second place fish was caught on a non-member boat and Tim and junior angler Will Lowry fishing on their Yamaha powered Yamaha, the Sea Hunt, weighed a 21.39 to finish in third.
This was a fun event in a super location. Our hats off to a great job. This event has become a must-fish!
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