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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, I caught the fish near Yaupon Reef last Thursday. When I get back to my hotel tonight I will write a better report. I was embarrassed to come onto NCangler and see I made the front page with a 2 sentence write up. Thank you for the front page and blog award, really flattered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok let me make this a little more comprehensive. I have been wanting a king since maybe fall of 2011 when I first heard they could be taken in NC via kayak. I'm just a simple surf fisherman who lucked out and bought a closeout ocean kayak at bass pro shops when I found out I was going to be a father back a few years ago (spend money while I still had it!). I've since been learning a lot, mostly by befriending lots of great and talented people. Sure I've read countless articles and watched many videos, which help, but I like giving credit to my friends.

This summer in Florida I lost my first confirmed king, which hit a vertical jig. I've not finished my video from my Florida trip, and have shelved it in hopes of finishing it in the winter when fishing slows a little bit. But that king has been haunting me since June.

I arrived at Oak Island last week on Monday night. I was planning on fishing the ocean all week, but mother nature had other ideas. I was forced to fish inshore Tuesday and Wednesday. I caught some fish, but nothing notable at all. In fact, Tuesday was a disaster. My fishing buddy slammed out twice, and all I caught was a sea mullet (whiting - or kingfish for secret yankees like me). My friend ragged on me for 2 days about my awful performance Tuesday. All I kept telling him is it is bad juju to keep picking on me, and I will pay him back offshore.

Now one very odd thing about this year's classic was I was not excited or anxious for the trip. I had this feeling that I will come down, catch some fish, and do my thing. I called it my "zen" fishing. This was true until Wednesday night. I had a very tough time falling asleep, at times in limbo where I'm kind of awake but also partially dreaming. I at first constantly had the image of the king in Florida running through my head, with that orange jig sitting perfectly in the corner of its mouth. I then began to have visions of a king on its side coming alongside the port side of my kayak, which was strange to me as I make every effort to land fish on my starboard side if possible.

Thursday morning my buddy and I arrived at the tournament launch early, first two people there. The surf had laid down with a new wind direction, and we knew we'd get to go.

Automotive lighting Road surface Vehicle Atmospheric phenomenon Asphalt


People began to show and fill the beach.

Water Sky Boat Vehicle Watercraft


Bait was tough to get as people waded out pretty far, and pushed bait out even further. Below is a shot of me throwing net in the morning.

Water Cloud Sky Surfboard Surfing Equipment


Now my buddy who was ragging on me was having a tough time netting bait, he eventually got a little bit, but not as much as he would have liked...bad juju?

I fished a bit inshore with no luck. I soon heard someone struck first and got a 20" spanish. After no luck, I put on my trolling rigs and pulled them out to the reef behind me. My friend forgot to pack his trolling rigs...bad juju?

Once I got out to the reef I saw a boat pulling out a bull red. That was a welcome sighting, and I figured I would try for them a bit later. I want some mackerel in the kayak first. I went out past the reef, away from all the boats and kayaks. Floated around with not too much luck. Around 10 o'clock I decided I would scoot back towards the reef and drop some mullet chunks down on the bottom and see if I could score something. I baited up a rod and began to peddle back towards the reef very slowly, with rod in hand ready to drop down if I found a stray piece of structure. I was just about to my nearest waypoint. I had a couple of fellow kayakers paddle near me and began to talk to me. All of a sudden it sounded like someone dropped a cannonball behind me and my rod bent and line began to peel. I looked behind me and saw a big area of white water.

Ugh...darn shark. So I peddled forward as I tried to put my baited rod somewhere. The fish had made a couple of runs before I grabbed the rod. Once I had rod in hand my kayak did a 180 and I got a little bit of sleigh ride. I was able to judge my progress as my Saragosa was loaded with metered line, my top 2 colors are red and purple. I kept thinking this is a real big shark, and he is playing with me. Once I got close, the fish began to go in circles. Trying to tangle me in the rudder, the mirage drive, crossed my bow a few times, etc. I played the fish real easy as I wanted to see the big shark. A decent chunk of the fight was done at the leader, but I just couldn't catch a glimpse of what I had hooked. Finally the fish had calmed down and was swimming along my port side. I slowly worked up the rest of the leader and caught a glimpse of silver with what seemed like some black lines...Tarpon...really? Then I got a better look as the fish came on its side along my port side. KING! I now realized this was a serious situation and slow, steady nerves wins the race. The hook set looked good. I reached back for my gaff and let the fish do its slow circles. In sank the gaff and up came a feeling of relief.

Safety glove Fish Gas Welding Wood


Water Sky Boat Vertebrate Watercraft


Soon the wind picked up, and the water chased away a lot of the kayakers. I'm at home in this kind of stuff.

Water Cloud Boat Sky Watercraft


Bout this time my buddy is talking to me on my VHF asking me what I'm yelling about. I'm pretty sure all the boats and kayaks on the reef must have heard me yelling. I told him I landed a king. He said he was done and going to fish inshore. Remembering the hard time I had gotten the past couple of days - I couldn't resist. I radioed back...hey pay back is a [insert bad word].

Nothing else bit me at the reef, so I figured it was time to troll back to shore, and hope to pick a spanish up. One rod went off, and I was certain it was my spanish. I saw chrome and a mouth open. Alas, my nemesis from 2012.

Automotive lighting Vehicle Hood Light Automotive tire


Got back to the beach...news spread fast and everyone wanted to see my catch.

Cloud Sky Water Boat Watercraft


Fish Fin Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies Wood Electric blue


Now funny part of the story. Another one of my friends comes in. We ask him how he did. He mentions he has a little extra weight in his kayak. He pulls out a small cooler and produces a big spanish. As we marvel at his big spanish he yanks out a big king of his own from inside his kayak. Great times!

Water Sky Cloud Shorts Vertebrate


Day two I only managed to land a 18.5 inch blue and a 14.5 inch gray trout. I lost a spanish next to the kayak, and missed a bite on a red (smashed/squashed bait) at the reef. Those may have helped me get my second win at the classic, but I was ok with winning the calcutta and a nice piece of art work.

And the hook set

Jaw Fin Fish Snout Lamniformes
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sounds like an incredible time! I'm starting to get hooked on ocean kayak fishing myself, although I have not pursued a King yet.

Don't those ribbonfish make prime King bait?
They do make a good king bait, and the one I caught was good size for it too. I even had a ribbonfish rig onboard. But I was on my way back inshore, and with the format of the tournament, I was no longer interested in kings.
 
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