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Had the great pleasure of fishing with Capt. Danny Gonzales and Rusty Gauthier (SpeckTackler) yesterday. We hit the beach before sunrise looking for a good topwater bite in the calm surf. Unfortunately it wasn't meant to be as we pulled lots of dinks and an occasional keeper out of the surf on plastics. It was a lot of fun and we got to witness a fantastic sunrise highlighted by lightning laden storm clouds to the north of us.

We wanted a good pull on this day and we weren't taking a no for an answer. If it wasn't going to happen in the surf, it was bound to happen in the big pond.

We loaded up the Don Coyote and headed out the jetties shortly before 10:00 am. The waters were a tad choppy but very manageable. We ran out to the near rigs about 7 miles out and proceeded to troll with ribbonfish as bait. We trolled for over an hour with nothing happening. The other boats out there were having about the same luck as us so we stopped for a little drift and to set up the bimini top to shade us from the searing heat.

Shortly after that, one of the rods in the back rod holder bent double and Rusty was first up as he grabbed the rod and could only watch the line melt off the spool on the king's scorching first run. This was his first kingfish and Rusty was quickly becoming a fan of the species as he kept the rod fully loaded and the fish did its best to head for the nearby rig.

After a 12 to 15 minute fight, the fish came alongside the boat and i tailed it. We decided before we headed out that this was strictly a catch and release trip so we landed the fish and Rusty posed for a couple of quick pics before we released her back to the deep.
 

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Things slowed down dramatically after that and we trolled and drifted for quite a while with absolutely nothing happening. Couldn't even manage to lose a bait. We decided to head for a distant oil tanker on the horizon and were pleasantly surprised to find the beautiful blue water line about half way there.

When we arrived, we noticed 2 other boats in the area and one of them was already hooked up so things were looking promising. We trolled alongside the tanker on both sides with no action and then decided to adopt the tactics of the other 2 boats and slowly drift just off the fantail of the tanker. Well, that was the ticket as the next big king slammed Danny's rod and earned its nickname of "Smoker King" as the line screamed off the reel giving the Ambassadeur a thorough workout.

This was also Danny's first kingfish and I think the fish has earned a little of the good Captain's respect as well. After a hard fought 15 minutes, I tailed this fish and once again we snapped a few quick pics.
 

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Had a great time guys and look forward to doing it again. One really good thing, neither of these bluewater newbies turned green and we had an awesome time to boot. Later, Aubrey
 
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