Fall Brawl King Classic out of Ocean Isle Fishing Center
Feedin Frenzy Charters Captains had a busy weekend! Capt. Mick and Capt. Randy ran deep sea fishing charters this weekend out of Holden Beach, North Carolina, while Capt. Keith fished the gulfstream on Saturday, and the Ocean Isle Fishing Center’s Fall Brawl King Classic with Team Instigator out of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Sunday.
Team Instigator (consisting of Capt. Keith Logan of Feedin Frenzy Charters out North Myrtle Beach, SC; Scott Smith of Charlotte, NC; and, Ryan Bright, of Dallas, TX) won the 2011 Fall Brawl King Classic out of the Ocean Isle Fishing Center with a 35.50 pound King Mackerel. The winning fish was caught on Sunday, in 102 feet of water on a Pink 1 oz. Pirate Plug from South Chatham Tackle, baited with a dead cigar minnow.
With Capt. Keith at the helm, Team Instigator headed out of Little River Inlet at 6:30am looking of bait on the beach. The plan was to look for bait until 7:30am, and fish the Myrtle Beach Rocks. If bait could not be found, we would run offshore to area that Capt. Keith had deep sea charter fished all year long and had caught big Kings on dead bait. At 7:30am, we had not been able to locate any bait and headed offshore in 3 to 4 feet waves running 28 to 30 knots in Yamaha powered Regulator 26. Wow, what a great ride the Regulator is! At 9:10am, we put lines in the water with Pirate Plugs baited with cigar minnows and Barefoot Chin weights with ballyhoo. As we started to troll, the short line in the prop wash, with the Barefoot Chin Weight Boone Head and ballyhoo, went off! Then, a King hit the long line that had a green Pirate Plug with a cigar minnow. The King was about 12 pounds, but was eaten by a barracuda at the boat. We got the lines back out and it was on again. A king hit the short line in the prop wash on the Barefoot Chin Weight and ballyhoo. The King was around 15 pounds and also got bit in half by a barracuda at the boat. Before we get that line back out, we were hooked up with two more Kings on pirate plugs and chain weight. We get them to the boat and they were around 10 to 15 pounds. We get a few lines back out and a bone head hits and tangles up the other lines that are out. We get the lines back in boat and only had one line that was not tangled up. It was a pink Pirate Plug, so we bait it up with a cigar minnow and put it out. We sped up to 3 knots and started to untangle the lines when it went off, smoking the line off the reel! Ryan got the rod and was moving to the front of the boat as I was turning the boat toward the King. The King turned, came toward the boat, and across the bow at full speed, taking all the line that Ryan had gained as it ran offshore. I knew then he, the King, had some size to him. We kept trying to get close to King, but he would take off. Finally, we saw him an eight foot wave at eye level as the King came back across the bow of the boat. I told Scott to come and get the helm and I would gaff him when he came back by the boat. When we saw the King again, he was on his side about ten feet from the boat. Ryan worked the King to about 6 feet away and Capt. Keith gaffed the King in the back by his head. A perfect shot, so the King would not bleed out. Capt. Keith put the king in the fish box and said, “Boys, he is around 35 to 36 lbs!!! He will place in the top three for sure!!! Let’s cover him with ice and pack everything up and head to the hill.” From the time we hooked up and put the big King in the boat, it was a 40 minute time frame. The seas were 5 to 6 feet with some 8 footers mixed in. We could only make 15 to 20 knots on the way back to Little River Inlet and made it back to the inlet around 1:15pm. From there, we traveled the ICW to the Ocean Isle Fishing Center to weigh the fish in around 2:00pm. The King weighed 35.50 pounds and was in the lead for first place…so, we stayed around for about 45 minutes to see if anyone else was going to weight in early too.
We headed back to Cricket Cove Marina in Little River, where Capt. Keith runs Feedin Frenzy North Myrtle Beach Fishing Charters, to dock and wash the boat. Then, we drove to Ocean Isle Fishing Center to watch the rest of the weight in. It was now about 4:15pm. When all was said and done, it was 5:00pm, and Team Instigator’s 35.50 King was still in first place!
Capt. Keith Logan also won the Jolly Mon out of the Ocean Isle Fishing Center in 2008, with a 36.65 lbs king mackerel on ballyhoo with secret lure that Capt. Keith and his dad, Cecil, used back in the eighties and nineties to win and place in king tournament.
Capt. Keith told Capt. Bob from South Chatham Tackle back in January that one day he would win a king tournament with a pirate plug. On charters in the summer, and when bait is hard to find, Capt. Keith uses Pirate Plugs and Barefoot Chin Weights with cigar minnows and ballyhoo to produce King Mackerels for his customer while other captains and boats are still looking for bait. Capt. Keith has caught a lot of Kings this year over 25 pounds while fishing with Pirate Plugs and Barefoot Chin Weight with dead bait. He has the photos to prove it, too.
Capt. Keith still said you have to match the hatch, though. Use live bait when the bait is thick on the beach, and use pogies and mullet when fishing inshore. It still does not hurt to pull a Pirate Plug or Barefoot Chin Weight in your speared, too. Sometimes, the different bait will stand out and get hit before the live bait does!
Scott Smith is the grandson of Arthur Smith, one of the founders of the King Mackerel Tournaments in 1977 and a country musician of the regionally televised Arthur Smith Show from the early 1950’s. Mr. Smith, his son Clay Smith, and Pat Bellamy, began the Arthur Smith King Mackerel Tournament in Myrtle Beach. They brought awareness to the state of Little River Inlet and became a driving force in getting the jetty built. The Arthur Smith tournaments expanded to include a king, dolphin and wahoo event in south Florida and a bluefish event in the northeast. The Smith’s brought in auto manufacturers and other non-boating or fishing sponsors and showed tournaments could be run as a business. They had companies like Delco batteries, Stren fishing line, and a bunch of others. They were really the first to bring a bunch of people together and market the event on a large scale.
In 1986 the Arthur Smith King Mackerel Tournament was the biggest and richest fishing contest in the world. It was held recently along a 70-mile stretch of the South Carolina coast and featured 1,244 boats carrying 6,212 ardent anglers competing for $540,000 in prizes.