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Mark (Pier Dweller), Pat V. & I fished the Topsail King Mackerel Tournament today.

Mark and I "pre-fished" yesterday to scout out the kings and to locate bait. We decided that our best chance was in an area called Topsail Ledge, Ole Smokey #1 and some other ledges in the vicinity. Bait has been scarce since the heavy rains last month, we could only find small mendaden, too small. So we went trolling for some blue fish to use. We found some near the Topsail inlet shoals. We penned them up overnight. We also caught a few Spanish by accident...lol

We headed out at 5:30 this morning, did some quick checks for bait - nothing - picked up our penned blues - lost three escaped overnight (must have flipped over the top) but still had enough to get started. 7 am was the official start time, a major bite time for today was at 7:34 so we were on station and ready at 6:55. First lines in the water at 7:00 sharp. We were joined by 17 other boats over the first hour. At 7:23 we had a short strike. At 7:27 we had a hook up but he tail whipped the line above the wire leader and cut it off.

At 7:43 we hooked up what was to be our only fish of the day. A 15.50 pound fish caught on one of our flat lines using a blue fish. We had one other strike later, slow afternoon.

We finished 39th out of 109 entries overall, 4th in the 23' boat and under class. But we had a great time and enjoyed the sunny weather.

Oh - almost forgot, on the fish we boated, Pat worked the rod, Mark was the gaff man. He not only gaffed the King, he made a practice shot first and gaffed my 19' Maycraft....lol.... no harm done though. The king gaff was clean - no blood (weight) lost.
 

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You just had to tell em about me gaffing the boat didn't you? LMHO!! Well, that was the 2nd time I've ever gaffed a fish from a boat, and the 1st time I've ever tried to gaff the boat, LOL
Mike, I had a great time, definately learned alot about tournament fishing, and hope to go again. Thanks for the invitation,

Mark
 
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