Holy Mackerel!

Holy Mackerel!  Who knew a Southern Kingfish tournament would be fun and happening right now at Stock Island Marina. My fish book tells me that King Mackerel is another name for a Kingfish … but what do I know?

What I do know is that there are 70 teams competing in this tournament …. who knew that many teams want to compete in a fishing tournament?  Kids, women, “small” boat (less than 27′) and professionals are competing for …. for the biggest fish?  And at 6:30 this morning, before sunrise, they all started checking in at the Stock Island Marina fuel dock….

70 boats were in the channel ready for the

Yep, 70 boats were in the channel ready for the “go” gun at 7 AM, just before dawn (which is why the photo’s out of focus).

David & I had no idea how serious this is, we woke up at 6:46 AM and since they start at 7 AM, we threw on some clothes, grabbed the camera and ran the few minutes to the fuel dock.  We were too late… the boats had been checking in since 6:30 and getting ready to go since 5:30 AM.  They must be crazy!  But Saturday morning, we’ll set the alarm to catch the excitement (and free coffee) down at the fuel dock and out the channel.   🙂    Then they fish all day …  until 4 PM … or whenever they decide they have the “biggest” fish.

The Stock Island Channel as boats wait their turn to submit their fish.

The Stock Island Channel as boats wait their turn to submit their fish.

Since I know nothing about fishing tournaments, I didn’t realize that if you get the BIGGEST fish, you’re always first in… we were out in the dinghy hoping to find some coral heads and hogfish … came in about 3:15 PM and … the largest fish had already been weighed and cheered… at 78 lbs, this is …. the largest fish…  trust me, it’s a BIG fish!

The Biggest Kingfish - 78 lbs.

The Biggest Kingfish – 78 lbs.

And then everyone else checks in.  Every team waits their turn to come to the dock, weigh their catch of the day to figure out the largest and then load them into the “tote” and proceed to the weigh station in front of the marina office….

Each team weighs each of their fish to determine which is the largest, hence, which gets weighed in for the contest.

Each team weighs each of their fish to determine which is the largest, hence, which gets weighed in for the contest.

Each team's largest fish is put into a fish bag and carted up to the weigh station.

Each team’s largest fish is put into a fish bag and carted up to the weigh station.

This guy had the hardest job of anyone in the tournament - hooking up 70 fish to be weighed!

This guy had the hardest job of anyone in the tournament – hooking up 70 fish to be weighed!

While the “rest” of the competition might even have to hold their own fish if they didn’t have the advantage of pro sponsorships and fancy bags…

Some teams didn't have the fancy bags, they just stood in line with their fish to be weighed.

Some teams didn’t have the fancy bags, they just stood in line with their fish to be weighed.

Amazing that the biggest of the fish were caught by “small” boats — under 27 feet — not sure if they were pros or just regular folks…

Boats jockey for position in the que to weigh in their biggest fish.

Boats jockey for position in the que to weigh in their biggest fish.

But they were alot of them … waiting and que-ing up for their turn to weigh in their biggest fish…  And LOTS of fish … but they’re all being sent to a smokehouse to be turned into edible food, so nothing goes to waste … thank goodness…

But beyond the BEST part of the excitement?  Homemade ice cream sandwiches! (beer, wine & hot dogs were also for sale, but they paled in the face of the world’s best homemade ice cream sandwiches!) ….

But the BEST part of the entire day?  The homemade ice cream sandwiches made by a young lady on

But the BEST part of the entire day? The homemade ice cream sandwiches made by a young lady on “B” dock – YUM YUM YUM!

A young entrepreneur on the dock behind us makes these homemade… this one is oreo … mine was key lime ice cream with graham cracker cookie rolled in coconut…. amazing!  And even though it was chilly, she was busy busy busy.

The teams were all talking about the rough waters … tonight the north wind is forecast to pipe up to 20 and beyond which will make it even choppier.  Thank goodness for the behind the ear seasickness patches, almost every fisherman was sporting them.

Cheers!  Can’t wait until tomorrow!   Life is good at Stock Island Marina Village!

Comments

  1. And . . . you can make kingfish into “poor man’s lobster”

    http://theboatgalley.com/cooking-kingfish/

    I bet it’d go well with those ice cream sandwiches!

    • Thanks Carolyn! I didn’t know that, but I doubt I’ll get the chance to try the recipe … these guys aren’t sharing their kingfish … 🙂 Cheers!

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