Tournament – Jolly Mon
The Jolly Mon KMT is the first big king mackerel tournament of the season in North Carolina, and this year 242 boats competed for the title. Besting the field was Team “Lil” John, from New Bern, with a 34.75 lb. king.
“I think this is one of the hardest tournaments of the season to weigh in a fish,” noted Glenn Krofchick, “mostly because it’s hard to find bait.”
The team had arrived in the Ocean Isle area on Thursday and planned to bait fish on Thursday and then pre-fish for kings on Friday. However, they weren’t very successful on Thursday at finding bait, so they spent the day on Friday, too, trying to pin up enough bait for the early start on Saturday.
On Saturday Team “Lil” John left Shallotte Inlet at 4:15 am and headed for the Frying Pan Tower area, and their first fish of the day was a 40 lb. barracuda. They caught three more barracudas before moving around a little. At the next stop they got into amberjacks, but they also discovered that their livewell had quit pumping.
They moved the bait that was still alive over to another well, but lost about half of their already short supply. They apparently had just enough, though, as their winning king came on a live bluefish, with only one live bluefish left in the well.
Krofchick remembered, “When we got the bite, I said that it wasn’t a king mackerel. It just went on a very little run and then nothing. But then he must have figured out he was hooked and went on a big run and straight away. We followed, but then the king turned around and headed back at the boat. It swam past the bow, and Inman gaffed a hot fish.”
The fish went hard under the bow of the boat immediately after being stuck, nearly pulling Inman over, but Krofchcik grabbed Inman and helped pull him, the gaffed fish, and the now bent 12-foot gaff back under control and into the boat.
When the king came over the rails, Krofchick remembered, “We were jumping for joy. We didn’t know if we were going to win, but we knew he had a good fish to weigh.”
Krofchick was also elated because in five years of fishing the Jolly Mon, this is the first year that he has ever weighed a fish.
The team wished to thank their sponsors, including Yamaha Outboards, Heavy Metals, Peak Cranes, Raleigh East Concrete, and Moore’s Barbecue.
Second place in the Jolly Mon went to Jeffery McDonald and Team Undertaker with a 33.15 lb. king, and Kevin Norris and Reel Blessed came in third place with a 32.70 lb. king.
The complete leaderboard can be found at www.oifc.com.