I spent many Saturday mornings at the Charleston jetties and nearshore areas live bottom areas fishing for king mackerel when I was growing up. I remember the first time I saw a big king swirl on a live menhaden and the reel began to scream. The adrenaline was flowing overtime and I was hooked. Over the years I fished with my dad and brother in some tournaments and we always had a good time. Eventually we got more into the offshore fishing, did not spend as much time fishing for kings and I had not fished a king mackerel tournament in over 12 years.
Recently my son told me he wanted to fish a king mackerel tournament. I have not fished offshore in several year due to a pretty substantial back injury, but have been thinking it would be fun to take him out and let him catch a few kings. The next day I was at my parents house and my dad handed me an entry form for the James Island Yacht Club king mackerel tournament. I called my brother, spoke to my son and the next thing I know we are fishing the tournament.
We decided on a risky strategy of working the shipping channel and areas of live bottom just outside the channel. I knew the action would be slow, but if we could catch a fish, it would probably be a big one. Well slow may be an understatement for the amount of action we experienced. By late afternoon all we were able to muster up were two sharks. Just as we were starting to pull lines, the port rocket launcher rod clicked very quick, but short. We thought we had picked up a piece of grass that was floating all around us. Suddenly a king came rocketing out of the water with a bait in his mouth. The boat came to life as we began screaming big kingfish! My son was on the rod and began to work on the fish when all of a sudden our big kingfish jumped again. My heart sank as in all of my years of fishing for kings I’ve never had one jump twice and I knew it was big barracuda.
While most of us consider the barracuda to be the scourge of the ocean, my son had a blast catching it and has already told