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  One week in NE Florida 6/16 - 6/22

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Author Topic:   One week in NE Florida 6/16 - 6/22
Traveller posted 06-14-2008 08:16 PM ET (US)   Profile for Traveller   Send Email to Traveller  
I will be leaving on Monday, June 16th, for one week of fishing in NE Florida. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday will be days of fun fishing for kingfish up and down the coast from Fernandina to St. Augustine.

If the weather is good enough, I plan to enter the Nassau Sportfish Association Kingfish Tournament in Fernandina, with fishing days on Friday and Saturday, June 20th and 21st.

I have been fishing in kingfish tournaments since 1993, but it will be the first tournament I've fished in my 2008 170 Montauk. I can't wait to compete against the big boys with their 38' boats with quad 300's. I'll just stay out of their way and then go do my thing after they've blasted over the horizon.

I plan to take many pictures, and if I figure out how to get the pictures from my camera to the internet, I'll share the whole experience.

cotton posted 06-19-2008 11:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for cotton    
Go get "em Travelier. I like your spirit.
Traveller posted 06-27-2008 11:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Traveller  Send Email to Traveller     
The trip to Florida was great fun. I took several pictures and downloaded some of them to Photbucket. I've never tried to post a link to pictures before, so maybe it will work.

I left Asheville, NC on June 16th, and arrived in Mayport, FL about 3:00 in the afternoon. Towing the boat down the interstate was no trouble at all.

When I got into South Carolina, I started looking for gas stations to fill the boat. Every station I stopped at had signs on their pumps indicating that their gasoline contained up to 10% ethanol. I had been avoiding ethanol up until this trip. I called my dealer, who told me that the 2008 Mercury 4-Stroke would run fine on E-10 gas, but to avoid E-15 if I found any of that. After getting assurances from my dealer, I filled the tank with E-10 and hoped for the best. The outboard worked perfectly all week, running or trolling for hours at a time.

Tuesday morning, 8/17, I launched the boat at the Mayport boat ramp. I wanted to run into the ocean and head southeast from the inlet. A southeast sea breeze had blown all night, building 2-3' seas out of the southeast. I was able to keep the boat on plane at 13 - 14 mph and ride up and down the waves pretty easily. Heading directly into the waves was the only direction where I couldn't run much faster than that. If there were beam seas or following seas, I was able to run much faster.

I was looking for good conditions for finding kingfish, and found them. The first kingfish I caught on the Montauk 170 would have placed WAY up in a tournament. I took a quick picture, pulled the hooks, and let the fish go. I watched it swim away in the clear water, and hoped to find it again in the tournament.

Unfortunately, the best fish I could get in the tournament was half the size of that first one. Oh well. I had fun!

My wife insisted that I get XM Satellite Weather on the Garmin 545S on my boat. On Saturday, 8/21, it saved me from getting caught in a severe thunderstorm offshore of Jacksonville. There was a massive thunderstorm moving off the beach in St. Augustine.

The charter fishermen with radar were watching it and giving updates on the VHF radio as to the storm's size and direction. They thought the storm would go directly east offshore of St. Augustine. The XM satellite weather on my boat predicted all the storm would track north up the coast - right over my boat.

I ran to the boat ramp and had the boat on the trailer just before the first raindrops started falling. I probably gave up an hour of fishing time, but no fish is worth staying out in a severe thunderstorm for.

I'll be going to St. Augustine on July 9th to try another week of offshore fishing in the Montauk 170.

Here are a few pictures of the trip, if I can get the Photobucket thing to work.

HAPPYJIM posted 06-27-2008 12:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM

Looks like a fun trip but that king would have been on my dinner plate that night.

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