Fishing competitively for king mackerel is an infectious sport that combines skill, teamwork and speed. If you’ve never entered a high-stakes event, the prospect of going up against veteran anglers and professional crews for the first time can be somewhat intimidating. Here are several ways for you to level the playing field.
Be prepared. Make sure your rods and reels are all working properly and load all reels with fresh line. Prepare live bait rigs beforehand and stock up on frozen bait for a backup. Go over the boat, motor and trailer thoroughly before the tournament starts. Service the outboards and carry an inventory of tools and critical spare parts, such as bilge/livewell pumps, propeller and prop wrench, spark plugs, oil, grease and trailer hubs with bearings. You never know when you may have to troubleshoot and improvise on the water, like replacing a pump to keep the baits alive.
If the tournament is out of town, start a checklist of things to bring, including foul weather gear, extra dock lines, charts and the appropriate navigation chips for the area. Don’t forget the obvious like making hotel reservations, paying entry fees or buying necessary fishing licenses. Take care of the routine stuff first, then put all your efforts into finding bait and catching fish.
Scout in advance. Most successful crews pre-fish for several days before an event to find out where both the fish and bait are located. If…