The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

October 19, 2012

TASS King Mackerel tournament at Atlantic Beach

Rick Goines

TARBORO — It was blowing fairly hard off the Crystal Coast last Saturday, but that didn’t stop those hearty souls engaged in the annual Fall TASS King Mackerel Tournament at Atlantic Beach. Even an official small craft advisory didn’t deter those serious Kingfish chasers.

Fortunately, the fish did not get the word that the weather was bad, and tournament participants enjoyed some excellent rod-bending action. The good news is that they didn’t have to go far off the beach to find it. Most boats started around artificial reef number 315 at first light. The King Mac bite was on, and the tournament boats stayed fairly busy all day. Several boats caught as many as 9 fish, and that’s a good day for anybody keeping score in a King Mackerel outing.

Steve Squires, at the helm of UNREEL, beat all comers with a 27.98-pound fish caught in an area called Dead Tree Hole, less than 5 miles from Beaufort Inlet. UNREEL also boated the largest Spanish mackerel of the day, adding to its total winnings that exceeded $1000 for a windy days effort on the water. A good days work and payoff, if you’re fortunate enough to find it.

Second place was held down by David Pennington, Keith House, and Rob Pennington, on the YANK’EM & CRANK’EM team with a 24.24-lb. King Mac, caught on a live bluefish.

MISS ROSEMARY, with Sam Anderson, David Mears, and Samuel Anderson aboard, captured 3rd place honors with a 17.38-lb. Kingfish.

Jimmy Dupree, Jr. and his OBX GIRL team caught 3 fish, but did not place in the money.

Jimmy D said a pretty King Mac leaped several feet out of the water and nailed their menhaden bait less than 10 feet behind the boat. Unfortunately, the line did not tighten, and no hook-up was made. That Kingfish had a tasty fresh menhaden for lunch, and won that round. I’m sure Jimmy D is already planning a rematch.

Rob Pennington, tournament chairmen, did his usual good job organizing and coordinating the 2012 version of the Fall TASS King Mackerel Tournament at Atlantic Beach.

Next up on the TASS tournament calendar is the Fall Toys-4-Tots Speckled Trout Tournament November 17th to December first. So, track and chart those trout honey holes out there, so you can bring a big’n to the scales.

Hotspot of the Week - Getting great reports of Speckled Trout being caught in all the familiar places. One report noted that some greedy fishermen were observed off loading their legal limit, and going back out to catch more. Shame on you! I hope the WRC enforcement officer meets you at the dock, and burns up your hindquarters big-time. I’ll bet those same selfish slobs are also some of the first people to complain loudly when fish populations are down, depleted, and limits are unattainable.

Rick’s Soapbox - Heading to the NC State Fair in Raleigh this weekend? The N.C.

Wildlife Resources Commission will have a family-friendly presence at the fair as usual, with plenty of interactive opportunities for all ages.

This year’s exhibit celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program.

Visitors to the Wildlife Commission’s State Fair tent can experience hands-on activities, such as: the Hunter Education Program’s popular air rifle target range, wild turkey calling with box calls, a “picture yourself as a sportsman” photo booth, and the Sensory Safari.

The Commission’s mobile aquarium also will be on display, featuring largemouth bass, bluegill, and long-nose gar in a “coastal river” tank, and smallmouth bass, brook trout and brown trout in a “mountain reservoir” tank. ‘Tanks a lot,’ NCWRC!

Care to share? Tight Lines welcomes your fish snaps, tall tales, and outrageous lies at

See you on the water, my friend!