After a very successful first day with Tom the business guy â€“ we decided to try another fishery. With bottom fish, flounder and Spanish under the belt â€“ he wanted to give the kings (and maybe the mahi) a try. So we motored out to a few of the familiar spots outside of Beaufort Inlet â€“ I pulled out the sabiki rigs and began filling the live-well with sardines and cigars. I knew it was going to be an interesting day when I had large fish smashing the baits hooked on my sabikis â€“ simply destroying the rigs. Soâ€¦.three sabiki rigs later, I had a couple dozen cigars and a few sardines.
*Here is where I add a word of advice â€“ sardines make great baits but are not as hardy as cigar minnows. Most anglers cast heir sabikis right into the schools of busting baits and only pull up sardines. The best way to put cigars in the live-well is to drop your bait to the bottom (underneath the sardines).*
I pulled out the live-bait rods, the hank brown rigs and put the bait in the water â€“ within 30 seconds one of the TLDs went off. After a brief fight, the line went limp and in came the head of a very large Spanish (Being that the head weighed a pound or so â€“ I estimate the fish was around 6-7lbs). Too bad Mr.Cuda got him! Twenty minutes and few short strikes later, BAM! Another TLD goes off. After a 5 minute fight, I was expecting a nice king to come aboard. When the fish came close, I saw the shape of a king circling under the boat. Boy was I wrong â€“ up came the largest Spanish I have ever seen with my own eyes. Easily as large as a 10lb king, she laid on the surface with one barb of the treble just barely protruding from her mouth. My client Tom asked that I release her, and just when I was about to boga her for a picture, she popped off and slowly swam away. I think the two of us were in shock from seeing a Spanish that large, and Iâ€™ve had dreams about that fish for the past two nights.
In the next 3 hours, we had over 15 good strikes and pulled in a couple of snake kings and 2 big sharpnose sharks. Tom hadnâ€™t fished for kings in a while and accidentally horsed some of the fish a bit too hard â€“ pulling the hooks as the fish came close to the boat. It seemed that all of the strikes came when we had two lines in the water that were threatening to snag on the structure just as I was pulling in a sabiki-rig completely filled with flopping cigars. Figures!
On Tuesday, after having such a fun day with the kings â€“ Tom wanted to give them a shot after having a good day of practice. But, with the weather turning sour we found a good window of opportunity in the mid afternoon. So, we slowly headed out in the increasingly ugly seas to give the kings a try again. After we caught some cigars, we put the lines in and WAM â€“ strikes immediately. After releasing (and losing) a few small snakes, we started to get some real strikes. After a good fight, as Tom pulled up a 8-10lb king â€“ out from under the boat came a large â€˜cuda that bit him in half right in front of our eyes – it was awesome to see. A bunch of strikes and a few lost fish later, the sea got ugly and we came in. Canâ€™t ask for good weather all the time!
All in all, what a good two days â€“ we averaged a strike every 10 minutes â€“ very entertaining. My client, Tom, sure was a happy campy â€“ I saw nothing but smiles this trip!
Check out what a ‘cuda did to this poor boy! Also, if you look closely you can see the dip in the lateral-line (one of the best ways to distinguish spanish from kings).