50-Pound Kingfish Wins $109,000 In South Carolina Tourney
“The 3-man “Jon Boat” team slams a tournament record-weight fish to better a 40-boat invitational event field and pocket some hefty cash.
It had been a couple weeks since the anglers of the 38-foot Edgewater boat out of Hilton Head Island, S.C. had been chasing king mackerel. And the water, bait and conditions were different than expected.
“We didn’t see a lot, it was a lot different than it had been two weeks earlier,” boat owner Jon Vroon told the Charleston Post-Courier. “It was kinda’ disappointing at the time, because you take a gamble and risk going to a location that at one time looked good. And we’re going in the opposite direction of where we’re going to weigh in.”
Vroon and his “Jon Boat” fishing team members Kenneth Nelson and Kenneth Crosby caught and released a few kings under 20 pounds. Then a bigger fish suddenly showed.
“Out of the blue, the biggest kingfish I’ve ever caught takes line,” says Vroon.
Crosby grabbed the rod while Vroon handled the boat, and Nelson got other lines and trolled baits out of the way.
“Sometimes you can tell by that first run how big a fish is,” says Vroon. “But you can really tell on the second run. Then when he runs again the third time like he ran the first time, you know you’ve got a fish on. We knew we had something, and we were trying to track him down.”
The anglers spotted the fish below their boat in clear offshore water and saw lots of color, a sure sign of a big fish, which was gaffed and hauled aboard.
“When we got that fish on the deck, we knew it was a bigger-sized fish but we didn’t know it was a 50-pounder,” Vroon reported to the Post-Courier.
“We put the fish in the fish box and were quiet for a while. We didn’t know what we had, but we knew we had something.”
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