Captain Dave Sipler
June 1 has come and gone and everybody and their brother has Kingfish fever. It's just like October 1 when everyone thinks because it's October it's instantly, ''Sheepshead time.''
Maybe it's not June 1st any longer, what do I know. Tim Deegan on the local channel 12 News said that May is the new June. So, if the offshore waters are 70 degrees plus, I guess it's Kingfish time (back in my offshore days it was usually June 1st.)
There's plenty of folks that can't wait to go out there and, troll, troll, troll... except for me.
Been there, done that, got the "blew up two engines, endlessly slow TROLLING t-shirt" years ago. When the ole 2-stroker outboards wouldn't get enough oil running at a snail's pace for 6 hours, they'd like to go ''BOOM'', after a while.
A June 1st right of summer for me is Runnin' and Gunnin' behind the Shrimp boats in the morning and then go light tackle fish the jetties or river afterwards.
HERE'S AN EXAMPLE ON MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL FROM 5/30: https://youtu.be/A87C0SuN6Po
Arms are feeling strong; T-shirts are still dry at 7:30am. Everyone on the Jettywolf boat is feeling sprightly!
No long boat ride is required. You don't even need a GPS!
What I'm talking about is “Shrimp Boat SHARKIN".
Preferably heavy weight Black tips and their cousins the Spinner Sharks. Each can easily weigh 100 pounds.
The fishing isn't fancy. The sweating, drag screaming, tug of war battles are real, and anyone with some stout tackle, can do it.
No need for telephone pole size fishing rods, but a 6-7' heavy action rod, reels that'll hold 300 yards of at least 30-pound Mono or 50-pound Braided line will work and a good DRAG on the reel!
Rigging can be as simple as the same Kingfish wire leader. And a 7/0-10/0 Mustad 3407 "standard of the industry" J-style hook. I've used 200-pound test Mono leader in 4-5' lengths and used crimps to attach a swivel on one end and the hook to the other.
Today, I have found that 4 feet of 90-pound Nylon coated twisted wire and crimps to match and a 10/0 Mustad 3407 is my favorite rig.
Leadering a Shark at the side with gloved hands to the boat and releasing it, via a long de-hooker, with the nylon coated wire works for me. I always do my best to take the hook out of all sharks, versus just cutting the leader, as I do with all we catch and release.
Get up behind a moving Shrimp boat, watch your sounder. You should see the shrimp nets dragging along the bottom. Where there's Dolphins, there's Sharks below. You'll most likely be in the Shrimp boats prop wash, so idle along, drop any old cigar minnow, a chunk of Ladyfish, a dead or live Croaker, Whiting, Sand trout, or Shark beef jerky... a 'Stingray wing' over the side and pay out line. If your feeling like Bill Dance or Roland Martin, you can cast a bait out. But there's no need. Just make sure you don't hook a Shrimp net!
Maneuver the boat to keep your baits away from your boat, and let the bait slowly sink. It's like riding a bike. Once it all happens, you'll see, it's not hard to do. When the rod doubles in the typical horseshoe shape, and reel drag is a screamin’, .... GAME ON!
Captain Dave Sipler