Matt Chambers is no stranger to full fishboxes. He and his wife, Renee, can regularly be found far offshore, putting their 370 Outrage through its paces in the quest for kingfish. The couple boats out of St. Petersburg, Florida, and has access to prime fishing grounds.
Still, that didn’t make it any less of a thrill when he ranked highly at the 23rd Annual Old Salt King of the Beach, a kingfish tournament hosted by the Old Salt Fishing Foundation. With 650 boats registered, 477 of which weighed in a fish, Matt and his crew (whose team name is Aquanimity, after the boat’s name) placed 9th with a fish weighing 29.64 pounds — netting them a payout of $1,250.
Matt recounts the details:
“The tournament limits the fishing grounds to 30 miles from the West Coast of Florida, also including a northern and southern border.
We started on Friday baitfishing, which was a challenge because the bait was harder to find than normal. The tower came in handy finding the bait.
Then, after we filled both livewells, Saturday was tournament day. Most boats had a tough time getting offshore due to the conditions, but our 370 Outrage handled it with ease. We left before dawn, so I drove from the tower heading out, which made it easy to see.
Once we got to our fishing grounds, we put our spread, and worked the same area repeatedly. We had six guys on the team, and never once felt crowded. We also watched other boats rocking, as we were slow trailing in comfortable fashion.
In addition to our tournament-placing fish, we were pleasantly surprised to catch an approximately 90-pound Amberjack! It didn’t count for the tournament, and was out of season, but it made for an even more exciting day.
After taking a few photos, we successfully released him, and watched as the dark shadow disappeared under the boat. Good luck to the next angler that gets a chance to fight that beast on 30 pound test. He is waiting for you!
Thanks to Boston Whaler for the amazing fishing machine.”
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