Captain Jeffery A. Dunbar     Co-Captain Nancy J. Dunbar

 

Professional King Mackerel Angling Team

.

Team FishDancer zeros  at the NSFA Fishing Rodeo

August 1st, 2016

 

 

 

Any week leading up to competition in a King Mackerel Tournament ultimately turns into a scramble.  Even though the schedule is released in advance, despite the fact that teams each have a routine they follow and taking into consideration that there is plenty of time to prepare, teams (including Team FishDancer) always seem to be in a scramble for time and information just before any KMT begins.  Our week of preparation for the 34th annual Nassau County Sportfish Association (NSFA) Fishing Rodeo, started out last Saturday,  at the end of the Greater Jax KMT.  On the way back home from St. Augustine where we checked out, we noticed a vibration coming from our center motor.  After safely arriving at OBYC and raising the motor, we found the source of the vibration.  YIKES!!!  We are still not sure how this happened, we didn't hit anything we are aware of, there is no damage to the skeg or hull, but in the end one can never be sure.  Regardless of the cause of this, the scramble began with our need to source a new prop for our center motor.  Thanks to Mercury and Ken at Prop Gods - we were able to get not only a replacement but a spare RH in case we have this issue again.

 

 

 

 Once we received the prop and changed out the bad one, we had AIYB fuel up the Dancer and brought her to our true home port marina; Oyster Bay Yacht Club Marina  - AKA OBYC.  OBYC is an underutilized 76 slip marina and is possibly the best located marina for deep water access in North East Florida.  Only 2 miles due west of downtown Fernandina Beach, this marina is on Lanceford Creek, a deepwater offshoot creek of the ICW.  We are only 6 miles from the ocean, with zero no wake zones in between the marina and the inlet, so we are less than 10 minutes from the ocean.  Unfortunately for Team FishDancer the developer still controls the marina and will not allow us to install a boat lift to keep the Dancer out of the water.  Something about it interfering with the view..aye yi yi, so we dry store the FishDancer at the Amelia Island Yacht Basin and weekend her at OBYC whenever possible. It is only about 5 miles between the two marinas.

 

The 34th annual NSFA KMT was set up as a no check out event and since we were fishing from OBYC - Nan and I figured it would be easy, wake up around 5:30am get to the boat at 6:00am and head out into the daybreak to our fishing spot.  Wait....what about the baitman?  Uh Oh!!  Lee the baitman was scheduled to be at the Dee Dee Bartels boat ramp between 4:15 - 4:45am and then was moving south to deliver baits to those checking out of Mayport. So even though we were sleeping in our own bed and fishing from our home port marina in a no check out event - in order to get bait, we had to get to the boat by 4:15am.  Only in KMT fishing is this possible. In what alternate universe would an apparently rational person, get up at O Dark 30, to meet a guy in a truck in the parking lot of a boat ramp, to give him hundreds of dollars to put live fish into his buckets?  Ahh, the joys of KMT fishing - and so it goes.

We were up at 3:30am had a quick breakfast and coffee and landed at the boat at 4:10am.  Now, one thing I am not a great fan of, even in our home waters which I know like the back of my hand, is running in the dark. We followed my course lines running through Lanceford Creek and into the ICW and came up the boat ramp where minor chaos was underway.  Boats were putting in and boats were dropping off crew to get bait and boats were trying to pick up crew with bait....all at 4:30am.  Nan and I maneuvered our way through the boats, negotiated the drop off, paid our money, executed the pick up and secured our baits.  Now it was 4:45am and the inlet was DARK (see pic below)...yes that's the moon in the picture. I have been running boats for more than 25 years and still have not gotten the run in the dark bug, nor have I learned how to safely run in the dark.  Those two facts combined to see Team FishDancer motor slowly out the inlet looking for any bit of daylight that would let me see and read the waves before we blasted off...

 

As they day dawned, we began to execute our fishing plan for the day.  We wanted to get into 90-120 feet of water in an area we know well and fish hard.  We stopped short of our destination to check a spot we know in 90 feet.  First line out we got a strike and we figured we had found the honey hole....after a brief battle up rolled a Cuda. We trolled for another 15 minutes and every bait we deployed was eaten ... unfortunately not by kingfish, but by barracuda. We pulled lines in and headed another 30 miles east to one of our favorite all time NE Florida fishing spots in 120 feet.  There were some 10 boats fishing this area, a few miles off of our 'secret' numbers.  We worked the area hard with only a few Cuda bites to show for it.  We worked back to the fleet and found this area to be the same as the one we just fished so we pulled up lines around 11:30am and headed in some 13 miles to another spot in 100'.  According to radio traffic a few decent fish were boated at this third stop, so we settled in and prepared to grind out the rest of the day in this fishing hole.  We caught 2 kingfish, one about 12-13 pounds we released at the boat and one smaller than that.  Also we fought and released several more barracuda.  All in all not a great day but for the most part we executed our plan.....we just were not in the right place for this event....it seems that the big fish weighed in came from well south of where we fished.

I still am not used to the value of the speed factor we now have at our disposal. We fished until almost 4pm and ran the 50 miles to the check in arriving with 15 minutes to spare. WOW, this is something it will take some time to get used to.  It still feels to me like we now have a 'bonus hour' of fishing time in the afternoon before we have to pull up and head to the scales. The FishGods have not rewarded us for our efforts in fishing to the last but its only a matter of time until it will pay off.

 

  

 

Given how the SKA's Division IV and V are scheduled so close together, we have decided to focus our efforts on SKA Division V for qualification.  This changes our schedule a bit as we will skip the SKA Divison IV Captain Hap event next week and then focus upon the Golden Isles KMT, a two day fishing event held out of St. Simons, GA.  We are currently in 15th place in SKA division V and are well positioned to secure an invite to the SKA's Big Dance in November. We might already have enough points but for sure, one more fish will sew it up for us.  We will have two days to find that fish.

 

Stay tuned.....

  

>>))))))">

     

 FishDancer Angling Team

2016 King Mackerel Tournament Schedule

Divisions IV and V

Event Location Dates Marina Hotel
Pounds
           
Two Way Division IV Brunswick, GA 6.25.16 OBH HOME 00
Ancient City Division V St. Augustine, Fl 7.7.16 Camachee Cove Casa Monica 13.69
Greater JAX Division V Jacksonville, FL 7.18.16 Camachee Cove Camachee Inn 34.35
Fernandina Beach Division V Fernandina Beach, FL 7.29.16 OBH HOME 00
Golden Isles Division V St Simons, GA 8.19.16 Golden Isles VRBO Condo TBD
           
Mercury Pre-Game
Bash For Cash
 Fort Pierce, FL 11.9.16 City Maria Hutch Island
Hotel & Suites
 
SKA Nationals Fort Pierce, FL 11.11 - 12 City Marina TBD TBD

 

 

 

 

 When Nancy and I decided to fish SKA Divisions IV and V, we were pleased that we would be able to fish most of the events from home.  The idea of sleeping in our own bed and leaving from our own marina had a nice sound to it after so many years fishing the SKA PRO division in far away ports and from fish camps or hotels.  Fishing the divisions is much different than fishing the PRO tour as the PRO tour had a single unifying experience for all teams, qualification.  This made for a commonality of experience to get there and a strong sense of community across the majority of teams competing.  The divisional events are still fun, but come with an interesting variety of anglers, of all skill levels and multiple event rules/regulations.  As such you always have to be ready for just about anything, from checkout to final standings virtually anything is possible.  For example, yesterday morning Nan was listed in the Lady Angler section as the 5th place Lady, and had this become 'official' 'THE' FishDancer would have been 'in the money'.  But while editing this article the 'unofficial' standings have been revised dropping her from the top 5 by .2 pounds.  And so it goes.

 

The divisional events do have a history, especially events like the Greater Jacksonville King Mackerel Tournament, once the largest KMT in the world.  We like the 'Old School' idea of having a burgee that you can fly during the event.  Way back in the day, all of the SKA's Division V events had burgees and by the end of the season many teams would have multiple burgees flying to show they supported the division. 

Like most things in King Mackerel Tournament fishing, our plans for fishing Division IV and V have not worked out exactly as designed.   Pre-fishing last week for the Greater JAX KMT we discovered that there were few fish in our local waters -- water temps in the 90 degree range had the fish somewhere else, so we decided to trek back to St. Augustine where we fished the Ancient City KMT two weeks ago and head south in search of a decent fish. So much for sleeping in our own bed and leaving from our home port. This time we had some logistical issues to resolve even before we wet a line - the Suburban is in the shop so we could not haul the Dancer and needed to run her down the ICW.  This meant that Nan would drive the car and I would run the boat - creating some complicated scenarios and possibly long runs for tournament fishing days.

 

 

We started day one at 4:30am when the alarm sounded.  After a quick coffee and breakfast we headed out to find the baitman.  Two weeks ago when we fished the Ancient City KMT, we decided to meet the baitman with our truck and buckets rather than maneuver the boat into the small channel to the boat ramp with all of the other boats in the dark - after all it was less than 1/4 mile by truck from the ramp to Camachee Cove Marina and the baits we picked up by truck fared well. Without our truck, remember our Suburban was in the shop, this simple task was now complicated as we had to find a way to get the bait into my BMW Coupe?  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!  I don't know for sure but would guess that this was the first time in SKA history that baits were delivered in a 435i.  Couple that with the fact that the baitman lost all of his goggle eyes in transit and we were off to an interesting start of this event. Once we got the baits arranged and the boat ready we headed to the checkout point.

 

 

We checked out and headed some 50+ miles E/SE to our chosen fishing ground and were among the first teams on the spot.  We fished hard most of the day without a weighable kingfish while the 14 other teams around us seemed to be hooked up all day long.  As I was telling our fishing buddies on Sweet Caroline at the end of the event - fishing the SKA is like joining the circus, some days you are the Ringmaster and others the Clown.  Day one we were the clown.  We were in a good spot, had good baits including some large fresh runners we jigged up on the troll and fished hard all day without a weighable kingfish. We felt like Clowns as we seemed to be the only boat without a fish.

 

 

  We did have a first ever event for us with a kingfish.  After a small strike and run 'THE' FishDancer was reeling in what we expected to be a small kingfish - what is called a snake along the trail.  Right on schedule the fish came to the boat - but when we lifted it into the boat to de-hook it, we noticed it was DEAD, DOA, MORTE an EX-KINGFISH as Monty Python might say.  Now I have heard of a few large fish that expire after a long run and protracted fight, but this was a 6 pound baby kingfish.  In all of our years fishing KMTs this was a real first for team FishDancer and unfortunately a last for the small fish.  We hooked up several times to the nearly extinct Red Snapper and ended up the two days of fishing with 8-10 Snapper of this size.

 

 

We fished as late as possible and were the last to leave, but at 4:00pm we took our day one Clown Boat turned North and made the run back to St. Augustine. The RingMaster boats with fish had already headed 80 miles back to Sister's Creek in Jax for the weigh in.  The ONLY good thing about being a Clown Boat on day one was we did not have to make the 80 mile run North to the scale, followed by a 30 mile run South back to our hotel/marina.  Our fishing buddies Sweet Caroline, fishing the same area, had a 39+ and ended up in 3rd place on day one -- RINGMASTERS indeed!!! 

 

Back at the hotel, 'THE' FishDancer and I discussed changing locations for day two - maybe 21 bottom or Elton but we were not sure there were fish in either location.  So it took some determination to head back to a spot where we got Clowned on day one - but we were both determined not to become another Clown Boat on day 2. Again we heard the alarm at 4:30am and began our day - I put my Mercury Pro Team hat on as I thought the circus Ringmaster would put on his Top Hat and headed to the boat.  The baitman had gogs this time and we put 2 dozen gogs and a dozen runners in our baitwells and headed back to the checkout point.  Once checked out we ran hard to the spot and were the second team to arrive -  I have to say it really is different and fun to be able to run 65 mph to the spot and I am enjoying the extra speed and power our Mercury Verado 350s give us.  I began by putting a gog down at 65 feet and then filled in the rest of my 100, 75, 50, 50, 75 spread.  Not too long afterward we got our first strike and we brought a 18 pounder into the boat - no longer a Clown Boat but still not the RingMasters either.  We released several nearly extinct Red Snapper and then got the bite we were looking for.  A screaming run that dumped almost 2/3 the contents of our Shimnano Trinadad 30 reel.  We chased the fish and chased the fish, but every time we got close the fish made yet another run.  After about 15-20 minutes of back and forth we finally got to where I could see the fish and the status of the hooks - YIKES.  It was a good mid 30s fish and it had a single treble hook imbedded in its tail and was coming up tail first -  UH OH!  It is never good to have only one hook embedded in the TAIL (simple recipe to lose the fish) and even worse to have the fish coming up tail first (difficult to gaff the fish in this postion).  'Ladies, Gentlemen and Children of all ages', as much as we might want to believe that is purely skill that distinguishes Ringmasters and Clowns,  in the end sometimes the only difference is luck.  All I could think of while Nancy was trying to angle the fish, tail first to the boat was, Frank Sinatra singing, "Luck be a lady tonight".  As 'THE' FishDancer slowly brought the fish to the boat I could see the tail and the hook and every time the fish with its head down and tail up beat its tail to swim away I thought we had a good chance of losing this fish.  Finally Nan got the fish close enough to the boat to be gaffed -  but have you ever tried to gaff a fish that comes up tail first?  Not much to gaff - so I took a shot and gaffed my first king mackerel through the head -- no blood loss but not my first choice of target areas.  Afraid the gaff would rip out we slowly walked the fish back to the transom where the gunnel is lower and lifted the fish into the FishDancer, now at least on this day, we were officially a RingMaster boat. Finally a good fish - which I estimated at 36 pounds when we landed him (34.35 on the official scale) - for the new boat

 

On the 80 mile run back to Jax, Nan and I began discussing the craziness of fishing KMTs and how your fishing performance can affect your attitude. When you do poorly and don't weigh a good fish you tend to think that you can no longer catch these fish and you are doing something really wrong or other teams have learned something that you don't yet know. This was our day one mentality.  When you do well and weigh a good fish you tend to think it is 100% skill coupled with the genius of your decisions that brought you to the area and fish. This was our day two mentality.  The reality is something altogether different -  fishing luck plays a big part in this game and many times decides whether you wear the big top hat or a big red nose.

 

 Our 34.15 pound fish earned Nancy 6th place Lady Angler and was about two pounds off of the top 10 leaderboard. We also think that the SKA points we earned will end up qualifying us for Mercury's Pre-Game Bash for Cash and the SKA's Big Dance in November out of Division V - which is our ultimate goal for 2016.  After JAX we currently stand in 10th place in SKA Division V. 

 

Congrats to all who fished and especially all who placed in the event - it was a really strong leaderboard. Next up for us is Fernandina's Nassau County KMT next Saturday....wish us luck.  Ringmaster or Clown we still always enjoy the Circus!!

 

    

     

 

Team FishDancer just finished participating in the 2016 Ancient City Kingfish Challenge, the SKA's kickoff event for division V.  This event would be the first real test that Nan and I would have for the new boat.  Yes we have run the boat about 20 hours, breaking in the motors and figuring out the differences that a stepped hull, an additional motor and some extra horsepower might have on how the boat would run and handle. But we knew until we pushed ourselves and the new boat in a tournament setting, we would not know how either of us would fare for sure.  So we got settled into Camachee Cove Marina late Friday in 104 degree heat and were anxious to see how the checkout on day one would go.  Nancy and I have fished hundreds of SKA events since 1997 with several different boats, mostly twin outboard boats, and as such we have never really had SPEED to consider as a tournament variable.  NOT ANY MORE. With triple Mercury Verado 350s, speed is now clearly a weapon in our arsenal which we need to consider to fully utilize all of our equipment and angling skills as well as leverage our fishing plans each day of competition.  It requires a different mind set. 

 

 

The Ancient City Kingfish Challenge deployed a unique check out arrangement, whereby all offshore teams would check out by radio anytime after 5:30am.  Then at 6:15am the teams would be led out of the inlet by a committee boat at which point we could hit the throttles at 6:30am.  In the past we never felt in anyway disadvantaged with our twin engine boats vs the tripe or quad engine teams. Since we could run in the 50mph range we could get our chosen spot in adequate time and maybe we weren't the first on the spot or the last to leave BUT we could still compete with the fast boats. Given this reality, our past check out and fishing strategy was designed to maximize the clock, that is to say to provide us the most available fishing time given our speed.  At check out time our strategy would be to hang back in the back 1/3 of the field and let the fastest boats check out first.   Since we are NOW one of these fast triple engine teams, we decided to be near the front of the queue as the committee boat led us to the launch area. We expected to be able to keep up with the boats checking our first and wanted to settle in for a long run to our chosen fishing grounds.

 

At 6:30am we took off and put the throttles down on the new FishDancer. The ocean was calm and the Contender 35st settled back on the pad and off we went.  The triple Mercury Verado 350s roared to life and pushed the FishDancer past 40mph, 50mph, 60mph and we settled in an amazing 65mph with a full load of fuel, ice and equipment.  A few minutes after turning South from the inlet, we looked around and found ourselves looking at open flat ocean.....not the usual boat wakes and quickly disappearing transoms of the 'fast boats'.  We ran about 90 miles south and we the first on the spot - it was the first time ever we had won an SKA boat race in our career.  So we know now that we have one of the quickest boats on tour and it is amazing what speed can do when properly applied.  Frankly it was the first time in our SKA career that we had the ability to outrun the pack....WOW.  Quite a thrill.

 

 

 

 

We fished far South on day one with only baby kingfish to show for it and fished south day two but about only half the distance of the first day.  We ran and fished hard both days and executed our plan. We learned that due to our speed we could fish earlier than most and fish later than usual, two new variables for us to consider.  We fished where the largest fish of the SKA portion of this event was caught, so we were in a decent place to fish, we just didn't have any fishing luck.  We caught fish both days but could not find one larger than 14 pounds for the scales. So we brought back a single fish weighed in for SKA division V qualification points, where we currently stand 16th in the division. 

 

 

 

 

 

  We have decided to skip the Sapelo Open KMT and focus upon the Greater Jacksonville KMT on Thursday and Friday next week.  Our goal for this season is to work hard, run hard and fish hard to qualify for the 'Big Dance' the old fashioned way. Thanks to our sponsors at Contender Boats, Mercury Marine, LoadMaster Trailers and Raymarine electronics - we appreciate your support!!!    Wish us luck.

 

 

 

 

 

A new feature of FishDancer.net -  FishDancer Classics

 

Recently I was reviewing the archives of the FishDancer.net website - some of them going back more than 15 years and got a kick out of reading them again.  I will now, from time to time, re-post some of these FishDancer Classics.  The initial Classic article posted below is interesting in its original context; it was composed way back in 2001 and was discussing our first SKA experience 5 years before it was written. Then, Nan and I were both under 40 years old, fished out of the original FishDancer,a 23' single motor Century and had yet to qualify for a SKA National Championship. My, my, my how time time has passed and circumstances changed since then.  This article is one of my favorites because it clearly defines how we got the KingFishing bug,  why we have tournament fished for so long and essentially captures the best concepts of why this sport is so much fun....enjoy...

  

 

"On a recent trip offshore – as we were navigating to our fishing hole – we began wondering ‘How in the world did we ever get involved in SKA tournament angling?’  Both “THE” FishDancer and I have always enjoyed angling – and feel lucky to have had great opportunities to fish all over the world.  Why then were we in a 23’ foot center console boat heading some 12 miles E of the St. Mary’s inlet in 3-5’ seas to catch a King mackerel?  As we sloshed through the seas, and I tried to think back to when the tournament bug bit us - my mind wandered back to the time BEFORE there ever was a FishDancer – let alone a FishDancer angling team .  

 

Stretching yourself and learning new skills is how we grow as human beings as well as anglers.  About 13 years ago we began fishing NE Florida with an excellent Charter Captain who has in time become a good friend of ours (and our fishing mentor) - Terry LaCoss.  Terry is the director of fishing activities at the Amelia Island Plantation, the President of the Amelia Island Charter Boat Association, a feature writer for the Fernandina Beach News Leader, an accomplished angler as well as the winner of many SKA sanctioned events.  Terry would always teach us something new when we fished with him, which we did quite often.  Today Terry refers to Nancy - aka ‘THE' FishDancer - as “…my favorite lady angler…” and it is evident that he is proud to see what we have been able to accomplish under his tutelage.  About 8 years ago when visiting Fernandina Beach we tried to set up a charter with Terry, but unfortunately he was busy, as he was planning to fish in the Fernandina Beach King Mackerel Classic.  After a few minutes of conversation with Terry, he invited Nancy and me to compete with him in this SKA event.  Needless to say we accepted and could barely contain our excitement.

 

The next morning we rose in the pre dawn darkness, around 4:30am and met Terry and his son TD at the dock.  Terry then had a 27’ Hydra Sport Center Console – Amelia Angler - with twin 250 Mercury’s on the stern.  We went through the early morning checklist with him and TD; there were so many preparations and details to attend to.  Lines, rigs, chum, fuel, bait, rods, reels, and navigation - it seemed a daunting task to us then to assure ALL of these details were managed.  After assuring nothing was left to chance we motored out slowly through the Fernandina Beach no wake zone to the check out holding area.  This area was filled with glistening angling machines, more than 100 of them, all tensed and prepared for the day ahead.  This is a sight that hooks many an angler into the tournament circuit. The sight of these sleek machines, all tricked out and ready to fight hand-to-hand combat with a smoker King mackerel has been known to create a fishing fever in the most ardent anglers.

 

  We ran some 45 miles N/NE of the St. Mary’s inlet - at over 50 MPH - over the flat early morning ocean.  We stopped inshore of our desired angling location to cast net some live pogies for our day of fishing.  The spectacle of schooling pogies and the maneuvering of the boat and casting of the net to successfully catch these little King Mackerel snacks has never ceased to amaze me. Even today this task remains one of my favorites but on this day – with the adrenaline flowing from our first tournament experience – Nancy and I were amazed at the skill of our friends.  A few quick throws of the net and we loaded up with what we termed back then ‘studly’ pogies. Once the 50-gallon live well was full, and we had some extra for chumming, we turned east and sped to our designated angling spot - Cabretta.

 

       Cabretta – the name itself implied mystery, danger and opportunity to Nancy and I.  We worked in unison with TD and Terry to ready the baits, gear and put out the lines.  There were other boats already fishing this area and the radio chatter seemed to indicate a King bite of significant proportions was on. We watched as boats on either side of us hooked up and the excited anglers headed to the bow to dance the Kingfish mambo with Mother Nature. The excitement level of the Amelia Angler fishing team was increasing by the minute.  Terry provided a last minute reminder of the tasks we ALL had to complete to effectively catch one of these wily predators.  We all watched the baits and they became increasingly nervous. 

 

       Nancy was the designated angler for this day and we all anticipated the strike we knew was coming.  The rod tip was twitching.  The pogy was jumping for his very life when all of a sudden a huge hole in the ocean opened, white water appeared all around the spot where our pogy was recently swimming, the bait disappeared and this unique high-pitched screaming sound began.  It was a second or two before, the then neophytes; Nancy and I, realized the sound was coming from the Penn reels.  Terry and TD were already at work, bringing in the lines and yelling for me to turn the boat into the fish’s sizzling first run.  Nancy grabbed the rod and off we went in pursuit of our first Tournament King Mackerel.

 

     It seemed as if we would never gain on the fish.  This sleek 50 MPH boat was being outrun by a King mackerel!!!  WOW! After a fight of about 15-20 minutes with gentle coaching from Terry and TD, Nancy brought beside the boat a solid tournament King Mackerel.  Terry neatly gaffed the fish and with in no time had the fish on ice in the insulated fish bag he had prepared in advance.  Nancy and I had no idea we even HAD a fish bag let alone one stocked with ice and ready to accept a fish.  We caught several more fish that day but none I will remember as well as Nancy’s first SKA weigh in fish.  Accounting for the long run time required of us to travel 45 miles back to the weigh in site and trying to miss the building afternoon thunderstorms, Terry took control of the Amelia Angler and rocketed us back to Fernandina Beach.  We made the weigh in cut off time with not more than a few minutes to spare and Nancy proudly took her fish and carried him to the scales.  The crowd was pleased to see this fish, cheering as Nancy walked up the Fernandina Beach Municipal marina’s dock.  The look on Nancy’s face was priceless when they announced her fish weighed 25.78 pounds – not enough for a check – but large enough to add a few points to Terry’s aggregate total in the SKA divisional competition.

 

Little did Nancy and I know but that fateful day at Cabretta – the spot of mystery, danger and opportunity, while dancing the Kingfish mambo with Mother Nature – the Kingfish tournament bug bit us.  Since then many days have passed – but few without some work done towards our goal of qualifying for the SKA national championships. There have been many early mornings and late evenings during the season as well as much fun, excitement and joy from our accomplishments.  

 

      The FishDancer was continuing into a head sea while 'THE' FishDancer held on tight.  I then remembered why we were in a 23’ foot center console boat heading some 12 miles E of the St. Mary’s inlet in 3-5’ seas to catch a King mackerel…there is nothing else like it in God’s blue ocean.

 

  Wow...quite a ride and a fish we still remember well many years later. Next up for Team FishDancer is the Ancient City KMT, a Division V SKA event, out of Saint Augustine, Florida in two weeks....

 

Stay tuned.....

 

 

6.20.16 It has been a strange kind of spring.  Usually, by now we have fished in Key West and at least one other West Florida pro event.  With the PRO division being virtually eliminated by the actions of SKA management, we are faced with a new reality for our 2016 tournament season.  In place of the two or three PRO events we would have fished - 'THE' FishDancer and I have been enjoying ourselves in a different way.  We have been to Paris, France - Venice, Italy - New York, NY and have visited the Dominican Republic several times.  So IF anyone at the SKA wonders IF PRO teams will find other, perhaps better uses of their disposable income, the answer is YES, yes indeed!

 

So here we are in mid-June, with a brand new Contender 35st, Triple Verado 350s and a brand new LoadMaster trailer.  The boat delivered in early April has 16 hous on it.  But now we change direction and ready ourselves and our equipment for SKA divisional competition. It is a kind of 'back to the future' season for us where we will fish our local KMTS - a process with which we started our KMT career more than 20 seasons ago.  Our 'home' division is really unclear - as we reiside in Fernandina Beach - Div V seems to be a logical home division for us.  But we are partial - and equally geographically close - to Division IV.  This is the division where we cashed our first tournament check.  So we will try and fish both divisions IV and V.  Although the scheduling of these divisions is really difficult for us - another stroke of GENIUS by the powers that be.  To fish both Division IV and V we will be competing June 17th, July 7th, 15th, 18th and 29th and August 5th and 19th.  Not alot of preparation or maintenance time available in July and early August with us fishing 5 of 6 weekends in a row?  Aye yi yi.  But we are up for it regardless.  I have listed below our schedule and as it develops and our performances become known, I will do a better job of updating this website.  So stay with us in 2016 and see where our fishing adventures take us - we hope to see you somewhere along the trail...

 

 

 

 

   

   

    

 

 

  

 

 

 

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This high energy husband and wife team joined the SKA Professional Kingfish Tour after qualifying in SKA Division IV . They won the Kingfish Division of the Offshore Blitz, won 1st place Lady Angler in the Two Way KMT, 2nd place Lady Angler and 9th overall at the Halfmoon KMT. Team FishDancer won the final leg of the SKA Pro Tour in Port Fourchon Louisiana by landing a 61.1 pound fish, the 2nd largest of the season and the largest weighed by a Lady Angler. Team FishDancer has had 17 top ten day one performances on the SKA Pro Tour and eleven top ten finishes; including 2 top Lady Angler wins; Golden Isles leg of the SKA Pro tour and the Jacksonville leg of the SKA Pro Tour. Thee team has finished in 18th place overall in the Junior Angler Jacksonville King Mackerel Tournament and in 8th place at the SKA PRO tour stop in Brunswick, Georgia, finished 4th overall at the Brunswick, Georgia SKA Pro Tour and earned 5th place in the ASWSC 20th Anniversary Sailfish Tournament, in Palm Beach, Florida. Nancy and Jeff, one of the top performing husband and wife competitive angling teams in the nation, having been nationally ranked in the top 10 KingFish Pro teams with Nancy having been ranked as high as 3rd in the Lady Angler Category. The team has completed the SKA Professional kingfish grand slam weighing in fish in the 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 pound classes, held the SKA big fish (61.1) for Port Fourchon, LA. The team has competed in every SKA division and has fished in the class of 23, Open, Pro, Lady Angler and recently Senior Angler categories. Nancy is considered one of the top Lady KingFish Anglers in the nation and Jeff has received the prestigious SKA Director's award for his 'unselfish contributions to our sport"'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nancy@FishDancer.net or Jeff@FishDancer.net

 

email us we would like to hear from you

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Our goal is to establish and maintain a credible and ethical presence within our sport. As such we are committed to the success of the Southern Kingfish Association and will publish this website with intellectual honesty and present the facts as we know them.  We will accomplish our aims by practicing an honest approach to tournament angling, putting honor before fame or fortune, competing within the rules with unquestionable integrity & probity while enjoying the camaraderie, adventure and excitement of the SKA Professional Kingfish Tour.

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