Come Fly With Me is king of Summer Open
The first bait in the water apparently was the only one needed to pull in the winning fish in the Harbor Docks Summer Open King Mackerel Tournament last weekend.
Jeff Davis fishing aboard the Come Fly With Me with Capt. Larry McClung landed a 57.9-pound king mackerel to take first place overall in the tournament and $5,360 in prize money.
Capt. McClung said they left at 6 a.m. Sunday and it took about 40 minutes to get to his spot. Captain said he had just put the bait in the water and was putting the line out and had barely put it in gear when the whopper hit.
"I didn't even get it in the rod holder … it freight trained me. He hit hard," McClung said. He immediately handed the rod off to Davis and he went back to the wheel.
"It made two good runs on us," captain said.
After about 10 minutes of tugging and reeling Davis got the mackerel close enough and they got a gaff in him and put him in the box.
McClung said they didn't really know how big the fish was and continued to fish.
"We got another one up to the boat, but it broke the leader," he said, noting it wasn't as big.
About noon, he said they decided to get the big fish and see just how much it weighed. When they put it on the hand scales, it came up error. After a second try, "We knew it was at least a 50-pound fish."
The crew aboard the Come Fly With Me had a good weekend on the water in the two-day tournament.
Miki McClung, Larry's wife, won the Ladies Division with a 36.9-pounder caught on Saturday.
For the tournament, they also won the Big 3, which is an aggregate of the three largest fish for the tournament. Come Fly With Me weighed in 131.9-pounds of mackerel. The other king was a 37.1-pounder caught on Saturday.
Capt. McClung said he enjoyed fishing the tournament.
"I liked it," he said, noting the way the boats had to check in and out leaving the pass.
Will he fish it again?
"Yes … but they'll be gunning for me next year," he said.
Sunday was a big day for Capt. Mike Graef and crew aboard the Huntress as well.
"The bite was hot on Sunday," Capt. Graef said, noting they pulled in their limit, 14 kings.
And young Landen Davis, son of deckhand Groovy, pulled in a winner. He landed a 41.5-pound king mackerel to place third overall and first in the Junior Division.
Graef said that he usually doesn't fish boat tournaments but since he had caught several big kings in the last month, "I thought we had a legitimate shot."
The Huntress pulled in seven kings on Saturday with the largest one tilting the scale at 38 pounds.
Capt. Ken Creel and crew on the Mother Dog caught their big winner on Sunday as well. Creel weighed in a 39.4-pound to place fifth overall.
"Fishing has been good," Creel said, noting they caught about eight over 30 pounds over the two days.
For the weekend, the Mother Dog weighed in six fish that totaled about 200 pounds to win the Calcutta.
"The mackerel fishing has been incredible," Creel said.
Out of the 18 boats that fished the Summer Open, the winners are as follows:
1st - Come Fly With Me - Jeff Davis - 57.9 pounds
2nd - Loose Hook'r - Trey Brown - 41.8
3rd - Huntress - Landen Davis - 41.5
4th - Destin Realty - William Sanders - 40.7
5th - Mother Dog - Ken Creel - 39.4
Big 3 - Come Fly With Me - 131.9 pounds
Ladies - Come Fly With Me - Miki McClung - 36.9 pounds
Junior - Huntress - Landen Davis - 41.5
Daily Saturday - Loose Hook'r - Trey Brown - 41.8
Daily Sunday - Come Fly With Me - Jeff Davis - 57.9
Blackfin Tuna - One M'or - Valerie English - 25.9 pounds
Wahoo - Two of a Kind - Carzie Herrington - 34.8
Dolphin - Two of a Kind - Avery Crowder - 4.9