Tournament Reports – 2019 Kingfish Cup Championship
The 2019 Kingfish Cup Championship took place in early November with 29 qualifying teams competing for the overall first place title. The four qualifying tournaments leading up to this championship event were the Jolly Mon, Got ‘Em On, Fall Brawl, and the Rumble in the Jungle, all of which took place from June-October 2019. The series began with 100 total teams fishing the series.
The schedule of this year’s Championship event deviated from that of past years due to the weather. What was supposed to be a two-day fishing event was cut down to just one rather dreary day on the water. However, with a total purse of $265,300 for this event alone, the stakes were high to find two big kings.
Capt. Zack Shackleton, from Holden Beach, NC, won the Championship Cup and the title of “Team of the Year,” along with his fellow team members Daniel Blanks, Shane Britt, Stan McDuffie, and their good luck charm, Mini the dog. In their center console, the Rasta Rocket, they managed to haul in a 36.9 lb. and a 40.7 lb. king mackerel, giving them an aggregate fish weight of 77.6 lbs. and earning them the win.
The team began their day by heading to the Jungle, where almost every other tournament boat went as well. Lots of fish were biting; the team caught five 7-8 lb. kings in just a few minutes.
To get away from the crowd, they moved on to the Shark Hole where the bite proved worse, so they ran on about 15 miles out to the Horseshoe. Immediately, they reeled in a twenty pounder, and only two other tournament boats were in sight, so they stayed there for the rest of their day.
The team constantly had 2 or 3 fish hooked up at one time. At around 12:30 p.m., they caught the 36 lb. king, and the big one was brought up an hour later at 1:30 p.m. Because the weather forecast was so bad, they pre-fished for pogies earlier in the week, which luckily stayed alive until the day of the tournament.
For winning the championship, the team will appear soon on National Geographic’s Wicked Tuna television series.
“That’ll probably never happen again. 2019 was definitely our year!” said Shackleton.
To get information on the Kingfish Cup and details on how to enter to fish in 2020, follow @Kingfishcup on Facebook and also visit www.kingfishcup.com and join the newsletter list to receive information.