Team Instigator would like to congratulate all the teams that did well in Biloxi, MS this year. It was great seeing old friends and making new friends on the docks. We love the atmosphere of SKA tournament king fishing, the awesome boats, different venues, and most of all, the people. It’s the people that keep us coming back again and again.
We finished 14th out 109 boats in the open class. The open class is made up of boat 24 feet to 39 feet. We were one of 10 boats under 29 feet fishing the open class; and, the only boat under 29 feet finished in the top 30.
We prefished and caught bait on the Thursday before the SKA National. We started out at some oil rigs about 50 miles offshore in 120 feet of water to jig up big Blue Runners for bait. Â We loaded the livewell with about fifty 2 to 3 pound Blue Runners caught on Barefoot Fishing Sabiki rigs. Next, we ran offshore a few more miles and found a large school of 30 to 40 pound Kings. Â We caught those fish like we catch 12 to 15 pound Kings here in the Carolinas.
On Friday, the first day of Nationals, we were able to run with most of the pack of boats 72 miles to the Salt Dome area, located in 223 feet of water. We pulled up about 9:10am, and start putting lines out. As Kelly was letting out the second line, a King hit it and smoked line off the reel. We turned the boat and started chasing her down. When we got over her, she had gone deep. Kelly pumped her up to the surface and she shot out of the water like a missile. Keith had the gaff and made a perfect gaff shot just behind the head in the meat. Keith brought her on the boat and said, â€œBoys we are in the running sheâ€™s 52 pounds, bag her!â€ Â We put lines back out and caught and released 30 to upper 40 pounds Kings the rest of the day. We saw a lot of nice fish get caught, too. We even saw a 58 pound King caught by Randall Edens, of East Coast Sports. Â About 2:00pm, we headed to catch bait for Saturday, and weigh in before the rest of the fleet arrived. When we weighed our King, she weighed 53.71 pounds; not bad for the first day, we were in 4th place for the day. We knew we had to catch a big fish on Saturday to stay in the running. Our 53 pound King hit a 3 pound Blue Runner on a Blue Water Candy Skirt.
On the second day, we decided to go back to the same place. Man was it snottyâ€¦ 2 to 4 feet, just off the beach, at about 4 seconds apart. At 30 miles, it built 4 to 6 feet about 4 to 6 seconds apart. Â It was long ride out, for sure. Â We passed a 35 foot Wellcraft sinking, with just its bow sticking out of the water about 30 miles out. Team Choice of Two had picked up the crew from the boat. We got back to the Salt Dome about 10:00am, and put lines out.Â We had Kings on before we could get all lines set. We caught a 30 pound King, so we gaffed it, bagged it, and kept fishing. We caught a few more small Kings we released.Â The rod on the deep downrigger went off, screaming line. The deep downrigger was 100 feet down. It was rigged with a Ribbonfish on a Pink Pirate Plug. Kelly was standing by the rod and grabbed it. He said, â€œNot a another sharkâ€â€¦ we had already caught a few large, 250 plus pound sharks on the downrigger.Â He worked the fish up and it was a King.Â Keith gaffed her and put it in the boat; she was bigger than the one we had in the bag. She was about 32 pounds and it was about 2:00pm, so we decided to make the run back to the hill because it was going to be long run we wanted to make it in time for the weight in. The King weighed 32.52 pounds, and was good enough to put us in 14th place. Captain Keith Logan said, â€œNot bad for a rookie crewâ€. Â This had been Scott, Kelly and Ryanâ€™s first year fishing together and their first time to the Nationals.
Team Instigator crew members:
Scott Smith form Charlotte, NC, the grandson of musician and songwriter Arthur Smith. Arthur Smith is also one of the founding fathers of what we know today as a King Mackerel Tournament. In 1977, Arthur was called upon to help raise money for the Little River jetty project and other marine conservation efforts. To do so, he started the Arthur Smith Tournament.
Kelly Fisher from Charlotte, NC.
Ryan Bright from Dallas, TX.
Captain Keith Logan from Myrtle Beach, SC, and owner of North Myrtle Beach Fishing Charters, Little River, SC.Â He has led the team to many victories and continues to bring strategic intuition to the back of the boat.
Team Instigator fishes on Regulator 26 Classic, powered with twin Yamaha 250hp, OX66 motors. The boat is equipped with Garmin electronics, Profinder Chips, Standard Horizon radios and transported on an EZloader trailer. She is based out of Cricket Cove Marina in Little River SC. Our fishing equipment consists of Cannon downriggers. Avet LX 6.0 reels with 30lbs Momoi Diamond monofilament line, and Star Rods Star Deluxe 7′ Live Bait Rod.
We would like to thank the SKA, and its employees, for all their hard work and efforts putting on this big national tournament; and, all the sponsors of the SKA, who put their time and money into making this possible.
A special thanks to Regulator Boats, who build an incredible fishing platform, offers outstanding support, and supports our tournament fishing, more than most people know.
Thanks to our supporters and sponsors for all their support in the 2012 season.
The Finest Team in Offshore Sportfishing