ad_banner ad_banner ad_banner ad_banner
SKA Banner

Small Boat Class Reigns in Rainy Brunswick

By Patrick Farrell

Brunswick, Georgia — To the chagrin of many Open Class anglers, the Small Boat Class showed up at the Two Way Sportfishing Club’s Kingfish Tournament at Division 4’s second leg of the trail, finishing 2-3-4 overall in the one-day tournament. The 28th annual event saw torrential downpours toward the weigh-in time, but that didn’t stop David Futch and A Salt Weapon in this Yamaha-powered Contender 32T braved the weather and show up to the scales with the second-place winning 30.29-pound king. However, that is not to say the rest of the SKA teams didn’t show up. When the scales closed at the end of the day, 9 out of the top 10 boats dawned the SKA logo! That is a true testament to how well our anglers compete and the professionalism and respect we as an association have for the sport. Well done Division 4.

Now, back to the action. Capt. David Futch, along with A Salt Weapon crew Jay Seindell, Michael Godbee, and Black McMillen ran to 110 feet of water to their regular fishing hole, hoping to get the same luck they’ve had in the past. “It was pretty slow there so we made a move and around 11am we had one break off, then about an hour later we set the hook on the winner,” Capt. Futch said of the catch. “She nailed a bluerunner on the top-medium line, and Mike grabbed the rod and fought her for about 10 minutes until I was label to stick the gaff.” The rest of the day was pretty slow for the team, although they had a great time on the water. “It was a nice calm day for us but pretty slow fishing, we only caught one other small king other than the keeper”. Well if you have to catch one fish, at least it’s the winner! David would like to that Yamaha, Contender, Garmin (which they’re very excited to get their top-of-the-line set from them), and Loadmaster for all their support. When asked about Nationals this year, Capt. David and the team says “they’re lookin forward to going and we’re excited!” See you there guys!

“This is the best team I’ve ever fished with,” Scott Harding leads off with complementing his crew of wife Michelle, Kevin Webb, and Robert Davis. “I’ve been fishing the SKA since 1994 and this was a monster day of fishing”. Yes, indeed, as Capt Harding and the Big Fishin crew took the third spot in the tournament with a 29.54 king, also grabbing the Top Lady Angler for Michelle at the same time. “We started out at about 106ft of water east of Cumberland Island and saw some action and stopped right there,” said Capt Harding. From there all hell broke loose. At around 11am, Scott said, 3 of the 4 lines they had in the water went berserk, including one 14ft hammerhead shark! “With four people on the boat and three lines going off, it was pretty crazy. In a 23ft boat and seeing a 14 foot hammerhead circling the boat it was intense” As for the winning king, Scott said she hit a google eye on the colored line, while Robert and Michelle took turns hauling for about 5 minutes before Scott stuck the gaff. They even had a bigger king, but the hammerhead made quick work of that one with one bite. “That was the first time we’ve ever fished that spot in my 20 years of kingfishing,” said Scott. After this epic day, I’m sure they’ll be back! Capt Harding would like too many folks to mention here, but a few are Darie Queen, Darien, Mercury, Diawa, Southern Eagle Distributors, Ocean Tamer, Yet Coolers, and Fishizzle Tackle for their support. As for their Nationals attendance, Scott made an enthusiastic “Yea we’ll be there!”. Congrats on a monster day Big Fishin and keep up the good work!

Sailor Jerry/Pirate Punch also made an impressive showing at the tournament, capturing fourth place overall in the Mercury-powered 36 Yellowfin. Starting the day in 115ft of water, the bite was pretty slow except for a 26lb king in the morning, so they decided to start in. “On our way in we threw out a shotgunner runner and got the fish. Blair took the rod and fought for about 25 minutes until Brandon was able to gaff it,” Spenser said of the catch. Spenser would like to thank Sailor Jerry Rum Company, Emeila Underwriters, and Pirate’s Punch for their support. A 9-year veteran of the SKA, Spenser said he’s a “big fan” of Biloxi and he’ll be at the big show in November. See you there guy, and remember to bring the rum!

Capt Mark Strickland’s Reel Broke broke into the 6th spot at the tournament with a solid 27.68 king with the help of teammates Tommy Hunt, Keith Branch, Rand Hendrix, and Stephen Brantley. The team set out on their Yamaha powered 23 Yellowfin at 8am just inside of R2, exactly where the crew wanted to go. And the winner hit quick! At around 8am, she hit the bluerunner at 60ft and Keith took the reel for the 10 minute fight before Mark stuck the gaff. Other than that, it was a pretty slow day for Reel Broke, albeit a nice one. “It was a wonderful day of fishing. Even though our reel didn’t make a sound the rest of the day, it was a good feeling we got a good one early,” said Mark of the day. Mark would like to thank Tommy Pawn Shop, Yellowfin, and Tommy Hunt & Big Nasty Crew for their support. Hopefully we’ll see Mark and the gang at Nationals for the “Ho Rah,” as he called it. Great job guys!

Robbie Beck’s Nauti Gale rounded out the sixth spot with a respectable 26.79lb king, also picking up top Lady Angler in Raegan Hickhighter (???). A Yamaha-powered 37 Intrepid, Nauti Gale had little luck with a few small kings and lost a few, until they decided to make a move and head for the Savanah Snapper Banks to 105-110 feet, and within 10 minutes, they found pay dirt. “It was a really nice day but slow fishing, so we decided to move and it turned out to be the right choice,” Robbie said of the change. With only three anglers on the boat and three lines in the water, two kings decided to strike their top pogies at the same time, causing for some serious action. “Regan and Ben (Craft) were both fighting the kings and I was trying to postion the boat to what I thought was the best fish. We didn’t know which one was bigger but I think we make the right choice,” Robbie said of the fights. Capt. Beck and Nauti Gale would like to thank Intrepid boast, Angler’s Envy Cusomt Rods, Cannon, an Lee’s Live Bait for their support. When asked about Nationals, Robbie said, “We’re sure lookin forward to it!.” Congratulations Nauti Gale and we’ll see you there!

The 28th Annual Two-Way Sportfishing Club’s Kingfish Tournament was a great (and wet) time had by all. It was great to meet all the nice folks up in Southern Georgia – they definitely embody the spirit of “Southern Hospitality”. Even though the weather didn’t cooperate (hey, it’s summer in Southern Georgia what do you expect?), everyone was in high spirits and had a great time. Rick Smith and his team did a fantastic job hosting the tournament and there was even a local marine biology team there to examine the King Mackerel fishery in the area. Great job Division 4 and we’ll see you on the trail!

28th Annual Two Way Sportfishing Club's Kingfish Tournament

Open Class

34.211. Emerald Princess/Jet Lag
Contender / Yamaha
David Futch
Jay Swindell
Michael Godbee
Blake McMillen
29.543. BIG FISHIN
Contender / Mercury
Scott Harding
Kevin Webb
Michelle Harding
Robert Davis
Yellowfin / Mercury
Spencer Ross
Brandon Sandborn
28.705. C'N BLUE
Pursuit / Yamaha
Dr. Greg Madray
Russ Mitcham
Donald Priester
Eric Morgan
Wesley Johnson
Travis Wells
27.686. REEL BROKE
Mark Strickland
Tommy Hunt
Keith Branch
Rand Hendrix
Stephen Brantley
26.797. NAUTI-GALE
Intrepid / Yamaha
Robbie Beck
Ben Craft
Raegan Kicklighter
Contender / Yamaha
Steven Trussell
John Trussell
Joshua Tucker
Sam Tucker
Megan Tucker
19.509. TALL TAIL
Contender / Yamaha
Scott Pope
Wes Pope
Les Claxton
Ryan Harrison
18.9710. GOTTA HAVE
Fountain / Mercury
Randy Simons
Mason Simons
Bernard Blair
Missi Beasley
Amonda Simons
Benjamin Simons

Top Lady Anglers
29.541. Michelle Harding

Top Junior Angler
34.21Will Owens & Will Lewis
Emerald Princess/Jet Lag

SKA Top Junior Anglers
18.531. Johnaton Morris
13.892. Doc Massey III

The name Southern Kingfish Association and its logos are trademarks of the Southern Kingfish Association