UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Norman

Go east, young man

Go east, young man
Team Loose Lucy set a high mark on day one with their 57-pound, 10-ounce kingfish.

BILOXI, Miss. - A lot of folks, including this opinionated storyteller, exalt Louisiana's west delta region as The Place to find giant kingfish. There's certainly plenty of data to support such claims, but several teams in the Walmart FLW Kingfish Tour Championship proved that the northern Gulf of Mexico is no one-trick pony.

Dockside reports indicated that those who made the run to the west side of the Mississippi River delta found less-than-impressive results, while those who stayed on the east side fared well. Topping the field, Mike Kaminsky and his Charleston, South Carolina-based Loose Lucy team caught a whopping 57-pound, 10-ounce kingfish - in the east delta.

"We've fished this area for a long time, and we know where the fish are this time of year," Kaminsky said. "We had good fish all day long - we were in them. We had another fish that was 45 to 46 (pounds), a couple high 30s and a whole bunch of smaller fish."

Team Loose Lucy - also including Susan Kaminsky, Gary Stecki, James Stecki and David Van Lent - bounced around a few different rigs and picked off several non-competitive fish early, but once they located their sweet spot, the action was nearly nonstop. Susan Kaminsky reported that she and her teammates worked through many rounds of multiple hookups en route to what Mike Kaminsky described as a 35-fish day.

The team's big fish ate a live blue runner on a downrigger set at 60 feet. The Loose Lucy anglers wereWith a sizeable lead and bad weather on tap for day two, the leaders will probably sit out the second round of competition. fishing over natural bottom with live baits they had caught a day earlier. Gary Stecki handled the rod work, and Mike Kaminsky gaffed the fish after a 15-minute battle.

"He hit the bait and just blistered (the reel)," Gary said.

Now, a 57-pound kingfish would make any tournament team reasonably confident that they had locked up a top-five berth, but a big day-one weight means so much more when the weatherman guarantees misery for the second round. By the end of the first day's weigh-ins, scattered raindrops were falling and winds were building as a major cold front approached Biloxi. Local conditions will deteriorate overnight, and day two will see teams launching into an angry Gulf with north winds as high as 20 mph whipping up brutal seas.

"We're not fishing tomorrow," Mike said. "We're going to hang out in the casino and wait to see what everyone else does. I don't think we're going to have to fish until Sunday (top-five finale)."

If the leaders do venture out on day two, they'll likely focus on catching live bait for the final round. Stranger things have happened, but catching a fish larger than their 57-10 seems an unlikely scenario and certainly not one worth pounding the crew and risking equipment.

"That's our best fish in FLW (competition)," Mike noted. "It's going to be real hard to beat that."

Team BP drives into second

When Wilmington, North Carolina's Mike Edwards came to the scales with two big fish, he and his BP teammates Responding to what they observed as kingfish preference, second place Team BP ran mostly blue runners on top lines.had to make a close side-by-side inspection to see which one they wanted to enter. Considering that the weight they recorded was 49 pounds, 7 ounces, they clearly had a double shot of good fortune.

Targeting drilling rigs, Team BP also fished the east side of the delta.

"The water on the west side is dirtier, so we chose to stay on the east side."

Edwards said that basic fishing tactics change little from west to east, but he and his teammates adjusted to what the kings preferred on this particular day: "We noticed all the big fish were being caught on blue runners on top, so we changed out one of our downrigger lines to a top line. We just tried to adapt."

As for day two, Edwards said he'll use the day mostly to prepare for the possibility of fishing in Sunday's final round: "We're probably going to do a lot of bait fishing tomorrow because we actually ran out of bait today. About two hours before we had to leave today, we stopped fishing and started catching bait for tomorrow."

K Sea Lake takes third

Captained by Danny Carter of Morehead City, N.C., K Sea Lake captured a kingfish weighing 45 Placing third with a 45-10, Team K Sea Lake, fished southwest of the Mississippi delta.pounds, 10 ounces to take third place. The team fished southwest of the Mississippi delta in about 150 feet, where they found optimal water conditions.

"We went out there because of the color change," Carter said. "The water was green in close, and it was blue-green out deeper. There was a lot of bait in the water, and the temperature (74 degrees) was right. That's the kind of water we like to fish."

Best of the rest

Team Coppertone, captained by Jay Robertson of Pawleys Island, S.C., placed fourth with a 44-pound, 1-ounce king. Team Sake, captained by Danny Marsocci of Okeechobee, Fla., took fifth with 43-15.

They call him Rounding out the top 10 leaders at the FLW Kingfish Tour Championship:

6th: Team Century-Yamaha, captained by Ozzie Fischer of Fort Myers, Fla., 43-7
7th: Buck Wild, captained by Quint Higdon of Pensacola, Fla., 39-9
8th: OBX Girl/Team Calcutta, captained by Jim Dupree Jr. of Tarboro, N.C., 38-9
9th: Sea Cruiser, captained by Don Jackson of Metarie, La., 36-13
10th: Intense, captained by Neal Foster of Mobile, Ala., 34-7

FLW Kingfish Tour action in Biloxi continues at Saturday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. CST at Point Cadet Marina, in Biloxi. Weigh-ins start at 3 p.m. Point Cadet Marina.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2008-11-14-kingfish-tour-championship 

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