Outdoors / Sports

Kayak anglers enjoy great offshore fishing

The kayak fishing was world-class in Summer Slam Part 2 in Pompano Beach.

The 108 kayaks that took off by the Pompano Fishing Pier came back with loads of kingfish, a big wahoo and an even bigger cobia. The cobia was a first for the Extreme Kayak Fishing tournament trail, which had its first event in 2011.

Jack Daughtry, of Columbia, Md., was the top angler with kingfish of 20.8 and 30.9 pounds for a total weight of 51.7. He won $3,500, a trophy and an Adrenaline Extreme Rod.

Joe Kraatz was second with 47.8 pounds on kingfish of 21.2 and 26.6 to win $1,500 and a Hobie Outback kayak from Nautical Ventures. Kraatz also caught the first of the five sailfish released Saturday to win the sailfish division and a free entry into the 2015 Sailfish Smack Down.

John Sims was third with a 46.4-pound cobia to win $500, Costa sunglasses and a Hobie Revolution kayak from Nautical Ventures.

A Cooper City commissioner, Sims, 56, was thrilled to accomplish two goals: Catching a big cobia and winning a kayak. He fished out of a kayak that he bought six months ago for $250 on Craigslist and modified for fishing with gear he made himself.

He was fishing live baits on the surface and down 60-70 feet on a downrigger while bouncing a 4-ounce yellow jig with a white bucktail on the bottom in 100 feet south of the pier.

"I thought I caught the bottom," Sims said, "then it started to move and I realized it was a fish. At first I thought it was an amberjack."

The fish came to the surface three times and the third time Sims saw it was a big cobia. He needed an hour to land the fish using 25-pound line and a Kunan rod his father gave him.

"It wore me out. I never caught a cobia that big," Sims said. "It's a catch of a lifetime. That's one mark off my bucket list: a big cobia on a kayak."

Carl Torresson was fourth at 44.2 with kings of 22.4 and 21.8 to win $200 and sunglasses. Justin Moody was fifth with a 36.7 wahoo, which also won the wahoo and biggest pelagic divisions, to earn a rod and reel, Costas, a wahoo mount and a Guy Harvey necklace.

Hunter Irvine, 11, was the top junior with an 11.9 kingfish to win $150. Fishing in a tandem kayak with his father, Lance, he first released a kingfish that was just short of the 24-inch minimum size limit before catching the winner.

"It was a pretty good fish," said Hunter, who needed about 10 minutes to get it close enough for his father to gaff. "It was kind of towing us a little bit."

John McKroid won the Trash Can Slam with a 25-pound barracuda. Jon Cunningham, of Lancaster, Pa., caught the biggest kingfish at 32.4 to win the $2,100 kingfish calcutta. The king ate a goggle-eye down 80-100 feet in 210 feet north of the pier.

Daughtry and four buddies heard about the Extreme event -- "It's one of the best tournaments I've fished in" -- and arrived in Pompano last Sunday and fished every day before the tournament.

He caught his first kingfish at 6:45 a.m. on a blue runner in 105-150 feet off the pier.

"They've been staked out there all week," said Daughtry, who got his second king there less than 30 minutes later. "I actually came in after that. I didn't want to catch another one."

(c)2014 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

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