"Jolly Mon Winner Crowned; King Bite Hot" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 06/25/12
Look back up at the title to this report.
“King Bite Hot”; now there’s something you haven’t seen me write in a long time.
It is hard to believe how this year’s 2012 Jolly Mon King Classic unfolded; it could not have been scripted any better.
After enduring an early Summer of storms that caused the postponement of the original tournament dates, left the water stirred up and made the King Mackerel uncooperative, the skies opened up and Mother Nature sent a blessing down in the form of a great weather weekend and great fishing.
If you have been following my past reports, you likely could tell that I had all but lost hope in the King Mackerel fishery.
The Kings were no where to be found.
In fact, the Ocean Isle Fishing Center had not seen a single King Mackerel put on the dock in the 2012 season; now that’s amazing.
I had lots of theories as to where/why the fish were as did many other fishermen, but there was no clear cut answer.
But as has been the case with Kings in the past, they mysteriously show, seemingly out of nowhere and everything is back the way it should be.
I may be rambling here, but I’m still in shock over how the fishing did a complete 180 in just a week, and believe it or not, just in time for the Jolly Mon.
A total of 176 boats registered to compete in the 2012 Jolly Mon King Classic. That is down substantially from 3+ years ago when the tournament would draw 300 or more competing teams. As most will agree, a combination of the building bust, fuel prices and poor fishing all have lead teams away from the sport. It is my sincerest hope that one day these fishermen will come back to competition and the Jolly Mon, and I believe many will come back if the fishing will continue strong. Regardless, the Jolly Mon is still one of the largest King Mackerel fishing tournaments in the country, and a total purse in excess of $75,000 was paid out to winning teams who were able to catch the largest King Mackerel. The Jolly Mon allowed for teams to compete 1 out of 2 days, either Saturday the 23rd or Sunday the 24th. The weather forecast was great for both days, and teams were split nearly 50/50 fishing each day. As is often the case in tournaments, the first fish to the scales is the big one that will take the prize. On Saturday at 2pm the Southport based team of Dave Canaday, Treston Nowell and T.K. Nowell pulled up to the scales in their 26 foot boat Snap One and announced they had a big one. The team pulled a monster from the bag, a 41.60 pound King Mackerel that would be the event’s only 40 pounder and good for the overall win and $18,000+ in prize money. Capt. Dave Canady reported they had caught the fish in 65 feet of water near the famous “Shark Hole”, located some 15 miles offshore of Ocean Isle Beach. They reported a good bite from Kings and that several other boats were in the area and catching fish. The stage had been set. The Kings showed up and now it was up to the 175 other participants to bring them to the scales. Shortly thereafter Corey Bellamy and team of the Choice of Two scaled a 33.7 pound King and Austin Eubanks of the Clearly Hooked scaled a 31.8. A total of 3 fish over 30 pounds were weighed in on day 1 along with quite a few others over 25 pounds. Approximately half of the 80 boats fishing on Saturday weighed in Kings, and by scale closing at 5pm, 31st place was just over 10 pounds. Sunday’s weather looked even better than Saturday with glass flat seas. The advantage for teams on this day was that “word” had gotten out on where Kings were caught and thus teams were able to hone directly in on their whereabouts. What was really great was that a large school of Kings had moved into the Shark Hole area just 15 miles offshore, making them accessible to any size boat. In addition, as it was thought prior to the tournament, another large group of Kings was holding 40+ miles offshore, southwest of the Frying Pan Tower. Many of the larger boats blasted off to seek these offshore Kings while the smaller boats went for the closer in Kings. And the best part was of the 30 places on the leader board, it was a near even split between winning fish coming from big boats and small boats; everyone was in the game. Scales opened at 2pm on Sunday, but on this day, there were no teams waiting. In fact, it wasn’t until after 3pm that the first team came to the scales. But, slowly as time pushed toward 5pm, the trickle of boats picked up, and it was evident the bite was hot and the fish were quality. 20+ pound Kings were the norm as many boats reported catching their limits. The Southern Bale team captained by Matt Gay came in early to post a 37.5 pound King that took over 2nd place. At 4pm, Jackson David of the Intracoastal Angler boat scaled a 33.95 to take over 3rd place. And the 30’s just kept coming. It was evident the Kings were back! By the end of the weigh-in on Sunday, 65 of the 95 fishing teams had weighed in. 10th place was a whopping 30 pounds and it took a 21.65 pound King to make 30th place. That is one of the strongest leader boards in the history of the Jolly Mon. Participants were all smiles and thankful for the great day of fishing. Being a competitive fisherman myself, I certainly want to win every time out. However, the difference between being satisfied with my effort and disappointed mostly revolves around whether I feel like I gave myself a fair opportunity to win the tournament. That means I felt like I was in a good place that could produce the winning fish, I caught fish and I didn’t mess up any opportunities. To me, that is a successful day of tournament fishing. And the wonderful thing was that most competitors in the 2012 Jolly Mon felt this way. The bite was good and there were scattered potential winning fish which meant any next bite could be the big one. It is the essence of tournament fishing; the anticipation, excitement and anxiety that occurs when you get a bite that you think might possibly be a winning fish. It is a rush! In the end, the team of Dave Canady, Treston Nowell and T.K. Nowell of Southport, NC took away top honors for producing a 41.6 pound King Mackerel. Congratulations to this team and all the teams who competed and helped to revive the King Mackerel fishery. Also many thanks to the sponsors that supported the Jolly Mon: Yellowfin Yachts, Yamaha Marine, Sea Tow, BrightStar, Bell & Bell, Guy C. Lee, NBOA, The GPS Store, BB&T, Ameratrail, Marine Service Center, Ocean Isle Marina and others.
I believe that with stable weather, the Kings are going to show up strong and make for great fishing this Summer. Let’s cross our fingers and hope the storms stay away; they are the deciding factor.
2012 Jolly Mon King Classis results:
1 41.60 SNAP ONE Dave Canady, Southport, NC
2 37.50 Southern Bale Matt Gay, Walstonburg, NC
3 33.95 Intracoastal Angler Jackson David, Wilmington, NC
4 33.70 Choice of Two Cory Bellamy, Sunset Beach, NC
5 32.65 Wide Spread Nesbitt Noble, Ocean Isle Beach, NC
6 32.60 Jay Bird Jay J Loney_Jr, Wilmington, NC
7 32.20 Hooligan Joseph R Winslow_III, Sunset Beach, NC
8 31.80 Clearly Hooked Austin T Eubank, Carolina Beach, NC
9 30.30 Hammer Ronald K Sutton, Carolina Beach, NC
10 30.25 Salt & Battery Blake Holcomb, Leland, NC
11 29.60 Toes-Up Richard L Boles, Laurinburg, NC
12 28.40 Blew By U! Corey Durako, Wilmington, NC
13 28.05 Half-at-it Brian A Bullard, Wilmington, NC
14 27.35 Inlet View Bar & Grill Tim Milliken, Shallotte, NC
15 27.00 Final Approach James M Demyan_Jr, Southern Pines, NC
16 26.35 Hot Rod Brett A Barnes, Wilmington, NC
17 25.75 Team OIFC Barrett McMullan, Shallotte, NC
18 25.65 What Ever Cheryl Davis, Greensboro, NC
19 25.50 Wild Ride Randy Griffin_Jr, Hampstead, NC
20 25.45 Windy Conditions Henry Tillett, Beaufort, NC
21 24.65 Service Call Patrick Overstreet_I, Tarboro, NC
22 23.70 Bud Light Phillip M Hamilton, Wilmington, NC
23 23.60 Full Throttle Billy Earnhardt, Salisbury, NC
24 23.45 On A Mission Chris Bryan, Ocean Isle Beach, NC
25 22.95 My Time Danny R Goodman, Shallotte, NC
26 22.55 Take a Chance David M Rucker, Raleigh, NC
27 22.20 Eren's Addiction Too Jack Bracewell, Summerville, SC
28 21.95 Wee Doggie Joey Crisp, Wilmington, NC
29 21.85 Logan's Run D Logan, Wrightsville Beach, NC
30 21.80 Gone Haywire IV Randy Baker, Waxhaw, NC
Junior Angler Division (16 years and younger)
1- 32.60 Jay Bird CJ Avery, Wilmington, NC
2- 29.60 Toes-Up Richard J Boles, Laurinburg, NC
3- 27.35 Inlet View Bar & Grill Tristen Catalanotto, Shallotte, NC
4- 25.75 Team OIFC Caroline McMullan, Shallotte, NC
5- 25.50 Wild Ride Ayden Griffin, Hampstead, NC
6- 25.45 Windy Conditions Gage Bass, Beaufort, NC
7- 21.95 Wee Doggie Whitney Crisp, Wilmington, NC
8- 20.90 Miss Teny Robert Jones, Walstonburg, NC
9- 19.75 Seahorse Fishing Team Madison Morris, Troy, NC
10- 17.45 No Pro Bono Holden Clark, Elizabethtown, NC
11- 17.20 Wave Walker David Lambeth Jr, Asheboro, NC
12- 16.50 Liquid Fire Crockett Henderson, Cape Carteret, NC
13- 16.35 Let'er Rip Mason Cashwell, Roseboro, NC
14- 16.05 East Coast Sports Cole Edens, Hampstead, NC
15- 14.80 Knot Head Ashleigh & Jennifer Stocks, Chadbourn, NC
16- 13.55 Fin-der Bender Dustin Mosier, Vass, NC
17- 12.30 Trick C Kaitlyn York, Burlington, NC
18- 11.25 Team Brightstar Christopher Lappin, Southport, NC
19- 10.75 Hail Yeah Brandon Aycock, Ocean Isle Beach, NC
20- 10.00 Pharmasea Holden Carroll, Four Oaks, NC
Grandma Mac Memorial- Lady Angler Division
1- 41.60 SNAP ONE T K Nowell, Southport, NC
2- 32.65 Wide Spread Becky King Noble, Ocean Isle Beach, NC
3- 31.80 Clearly Hooked Margaret Pennstrom, Carolina Beach, NC
4- 28.05 Half-at-it Teresa Bullard, Wilmington, NC
5- 25.75 Team OIFC Katelyn Kincer, Shallotte, NC
6- 25.65 What Ever Cheryl Davis, Greensboro, NC
7- 25.45 Windy Conditions Wendy Tillett, Beaufort, NC
8- 24.65 Service Call Devon Bullock, Tarboro, NC
9- 22.20 Eren's Addiction Too Eren Bracewell, Summerville, SC
10- 20.05 Didn't Ask ! Bonita Alexander, Stedman, NC
Scott Hewett Memorial- Senior Angler Division (55 years+)
1- 41.60 SNAP ONE David Canady, Southport, NC
2- 28.05 Half-at-it Lawrence Bullard, Wilmington, NC
3- 27.00 Final Approach James Demyan Jr, Southern Pines, NC
Capt. Brant McMullan