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Kingfish on Sunday 7/28/13

15whaler15whaler Senior MemberMandarin, FLPosts: 183 Officer
I took my brother Kevin king fishing for his 33rd birthday Saturday. We pushed off the dock in Mandarin, FL at 5:15 in the pitch black pre-dawn.

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My wife was helping to rig reels as we rode out.

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Scanning for crab traps, we made our way North through the St. John's river heading for Mayport inlet just as day broke. The sky was red, and the seas were glassy. One throw of the net, and the livewell was filled with extra, extra, large poagies. We made our way South down the beach and got our trolling spread out in 40 feet of water. We boated a few fish and wore out the little sharks too!

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I was resetting the spread. With the spool open, I was letting out line to run the bait a few hundred feet back. But this smoker wasn't having it! I let about 15 feet of line out into the prop wash and this torpedo grabbed it and ran. I kept pressure on the spool until my thumb started burning and after losing about half the line's capacity, I clicked the drag back in, hoping that the sudden change wouldn't stress the mono or break the wire leader I had wearily rigged the night before. After a few nice runs we got this fish to the boat. A friend gaffed the fish and just as the gaff found purchase, the line broke. One more second and we would have lost him.

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Ended the day exhausted back in Mandarin with a few nice fish!

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Eric S. Vaughn
Mandarin FL Native

17 Sea Boss CC
90 Mercury FourStroke EFI

Replies

  • TrapperTrapper Senior Member In Arlington near the riverPosts: 266 Deckhand
  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Senior Member Posts: 5,536 Admiral
    Nice fish there Eric....:hail


    Steve
  • 15whaler15whaler Senior Member Mandarin, FLPosts: 183 Officer
  • aquadocaquadoc Member Baldwin FLPosts: 63 Deckhand
    Man that's a run from mandarin!
  • OnTop~170OnTop~170 Senior Member isle palmsPosts: 509 Officer
    Must be nice... we trolled today from the poles all the way past the pier.. then all around red tops.. then down the north rocks then northeast from the tip of the jetties. Got 2 sharks in 7 hours... congrats on ur fish.. I give up on them.. to top it all of my trolling motor started leaking gear oil...
  • TaildancerTaildancer Member Isle of Palms Jax BeachPosts: 92 Deckhand
    Nice! That is a long ride to get out. And you made kingfish look good on the Egg
    2800 HYDRA-SPORTS "The Rum Line"
  • Jus RightJus Right Senior Member Posts: 166 Officer
    Aquadoc, ain't you from Baldwin? What do you know about mandarin? Lol
  • 15whaler15whaler Senior Member Mandarin, FLPosts: 183 Officer
    It's definitely a run from Mandarin, but it was a pleasure Sunday. It was so calm we ran in from ten miles off doing forty with two comfortably seated in the bow.
    Eric S. Vaughn
    Mandarin FL Native

    17 Sea Boss CC
    90 Mercury FourStroke EFI
  • Snatch-UmSnatch-Um Senior Member JaxPosts: 1,428 Officer
    Sweet Report!!!! That 2nd king is SOLID! Get you an 8ft Gaff to make it easier on you, wouldn't want to Gaff a 50lb cobia with a short one. Great job on the beach!
  • 15whaler15whaler Senior Member Mandarin, FLPosts: 183 Officer
    Snatch-Um wrote: »
    Sweet Report!!!! That 2nd king is SOLID! Get you an 8ft Gaff to make it easier on you, wouldn't want to Gaff a 50lb cobia with a short one. Great job on the beach!

    Yes, that gaff almost lost me a fish on several occasions. I'll be keeping a look out for a good one. Any suggestions on where to find one without spending a ton of money?
    Eric S. Vaughn
    Mandarin FL Native

    17 Sea Boss CC
    90 Mercury FourStroke EFI
  • Snatch-UmSnatch-Um Senior Member JaxPosts: 1,428 Officer
    I know Aftco makes a nice 2 piece gaff, easier to store on the smaller center consoles. I would say West marine is your best bet, but B&M bait and Tackle on mayport rd may have them too. You'll love the 8-12ft gaff!
  • 15whaler15whaler Senior Member Mandarin, FLPosts: 183 Officer
    Snatch-Um wrote: »
    I know Aftco makes a nice 2 piece gaff, easier to store on the smaller center consoles. I would say West marine is your best bet, but B&M bait and Tackle on mayport rd may have them too. You'll love the 8-12ft gaff!

    Thanks I will check it out.
    Eric S. Vaughn
    Mandarin FL Native

    17 Sea Boss CC
    90 Mercury FourStroke EFI
  • 15whaler15whaler Senior Member Mandarin, FLPosts: 183 Officer
    OnTop~170 wrote: »
    Must be nice... we trolled today from the poles all the way past the pier.. then all around red tops.. then down the north rocks then northeast from the tip of the jetties. Got 2 sharks in 7 hours... congrats on ur fish.. I give up on them.. to top it all of my trolling motor started leaking gear oil...

    Not sure what might have been going on with that. Could have been trolling too fast or the baits might have been spinning. Some of the guys on this forum might be able help you on this. I will say the weekend prior I went o/o on kings so we wore out the cuda instead!

    Cudatophotobucket_zpsfa59cf07.jpg
    Eric S. Vaughn
    Mandarin FL Native

    17 Sea Boss CC
    90 Mercury FourStroke EFI
  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Senior Member Posts: 5,536 Admiral
    I'd recommend an eight foot gaff for that size boat....

    12 foot gaffs are gangly, in my opinion.....just sayin'.

    I had a 12 on my 21 ft boat, and it was nothing but in the way, hard to store and you'd always be interfered with your t-top.....so I cut it down to a 9 or 10 footer, with a hacksaw...:grin


    Steve
  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Senior Member Posts: 5,536 Admiral
    sorry double post
  • ElementElement Senior Member JacksonvillePosts: 1,749 Officer
    Sea Snake wrote: »
    I'd recommend an eight foot gaff for that size boat....

    12 foot gaffs are gangly, in my opinion.....just sayin'.

    I had a 12 on my 21 ft boat, and it was nothing but in the way, hard to store and you'd always be interfered with your t-top.....so I cut it down to a 9 or 10 footer, with a hacksaw...:grin


    Steve

    X2 - I have an 8' on my 21' and you gotta be aware of your position on the boat so as not to hit the t-top when you're lifting up. It's no big deal with a spent kingfish, but on a freaked out cobia if you bump that t-top on your upswing, you better just get ready for your second attempt... ask me how I know.

    I actually prefer a shorter gaff with a 4" gap for cobia fishing, but the 8'er comes on every trip.
  • OnTop~170OnTop~170 Senior Member isle palmsPosts: 509 Officer
    We were definatly trolling slow.. had 2 buckets out also... I wouldnt recommend putting ur trollinv motor in reverse while trolling.. did that to try and slow the boat down and after an hour when I pulled it in and stowed it darn thing started leaking gear oil all in the boat..
  • carllitoecarllitoe Member mandarin(jacksonville)Posts: 49 Deckhand
    glad to see the pictures of the fish being cooked (looks dang good too) cause someone dumped 5 kingfish at the county dock on Monday
    what a huge waste of good fish
  • Snatch-UmSnatch-Um Senior Member JaxPosts: 1,428 Officer
    carllitoe wrote: »
    glad to see the pictures of the fish being cooked (looks dang good too) cause someone dumped 5 kingfish at the county dock on Monday
    what a huge waste of good fish

    --That's makes me sick! At least leave them at the ramp with good ice on them....try something!

    15 Whaler....whats your Mackeral recipe for the grill???
  • 15whaler15whaler Senior Member Mandarin, FLPosts: 183 Officer
    Snatch-Um wrote: »
    --That's makes me sick! At least leave them at the ramp with good ice on them....try something!

    15 Whaler....whats your Mackeral recipe for the grill???

    Man, I'm glad you asked. I think Kings taste pretty good.

    First I filleted the fish and removed ANY trace of blood line. I am not always so vigilant, but these are big fish and can be less stable than a lot of other species. I found I can then keep the steak-ed fillets on ice in my fridge for up to three nights. Maybe more - I've just never tried it. I cook it right away if I can. Even though I was dog tired from fishing, and it was 6 on a Sunday night, I soaked the cherry wood chips and lit the smoker before I even took a shower. I just put the meat on the smoker (XL Big Green Egg using the plate setter) at 250-300, adding BBQ Seasoning (Tony Chacherie brand), olive oil, and a little liquid smoke since I was short on time. By 10pm that night, they were done and delicious. Once they are smoked, I have no trouble freezing them. My theory - I think the oil in the fish becomes less destructive to it once cooked. From there, I can thaw on demand and add smoked fish to salads, sandwiches, tacos, and make kingfish dip out of them (cream cheese, red onion, liquid smoke, salt, pepper, capers, horseradish). Tuesday night, I had 3 more raw pieces on ice and deep fried (egg, and cajun fish fry) them with some pickled Jalapeno that I also breaded and fried along side them.

    Sometimes I use a cedar plank, but my wife says it reminds her - of a hampster cage?:shrug I do AJ the same way only with butter. AJ freezes fine raw as long as you remove all the blood line:

    AJRaw_zpsba8ca7a6.jpg

    AJCooked_zps5d6470ae.jpg
    Eric S. Vaughn
    Mandarin FL Native

    17 Sea Boss CC
    90 Mercury FourStroke EFI
  • 15whaler15whaler Senior Member Mandarin, FLPosts: 183 Officer
    carllitoe wrote: »
    glad to see the pictures of the fish being cooked (looks dang good too) cause someone dumped 5 kingfish at the county dock on Monday
    what a huge waste of good fish

    Can't stand when people do that.
    Eric S. Vaughn
    Mandarin FL Native

    17 Sea Boss CC
    90 Mercury FourStroke EFI
  • ReefRocketReefRocket Senior Member Jacksonville BeachPosts: 987 Officer
    try right here...found one posted.

    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?121859-I-am-moving-and-already-sold-the-boat-now-it-is-time-for-all-the-tackle-to-go

    If not, pull Dave Workman off to the side and ask him if he has any tucked away awaiting a tent sell. (can't hurt...I love Strike Zone).
    Bobby Riggins, 904-626-8407,
    REALTOR® AT EXIT REAL ESTATE GALLERY
    www.fl4sell.com
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