Photo: Captain Jimmy Nelson
Photo: Captain Jimmy Nelson

Captain Lace Allenius and the crew of Extreme Fishing Adventures sent us this wild story of their mother-ship trip off Crystal River, Florida.  

The wake-up call came promptly at 5 a.m. A surge of excitement rushed through me. Getting out of bed at the Plantation resort on Crystal River is always a great start to the day. A few minutes after waking, I met Capt. Jimmy Nelson and John King at the West 82 restaurant to eat breakfast and plan our day. We were pre-fishing for an upcoming episode of the TV show Extreme Fishing Adventures and we planned to load our kayaks on a motor boat and head 35 miles offshore for grouper, snapper and other deep sea creatures.

As waves gently lapped and the sun peaked over the horizon, we loaded our gear into the boat unable to suppress our grins. With the Ocean Kayaks loaded and the boat’s motor humming, we headed out on our mothership voyage.

Arriving at our first spot, we slid into our kayaks and began jigging Tsunami bucktails and vertical jigs. The grouper responded immediately, crushing our lures as soon as they reached bottom. However, many of our fish were intercepted by big barracudas and sharks. Kayak fishing for these bottomfish was outstanding, but a little tricky because grouper pull very hard and straight down—one could easily tip the kayak. After conquering the grouper and snapper, we decided to try another challenge.

We moved to a wreck to troll for king mackerel. Since these speed demons respond to fast-moving baits, we tied the kayaks to the boat and put out the lures. With a sudden hit, one of the reels started screaming. A huge fish had slammed our Yo-Zuri 3D deep diving minnow. Captain Jimmy jumped into his kayak, and we handed the rod to him. The fish took off on a smoking run and we had high hopes it was a big king, but we never imagined how big! Once the fish came close enough to the kayak, Captain Jimmy yelled, “It’s a monster king!”  With the Tsunami rod bending deeply, and sweat pouring down Jimmy’s face, he mercilessly brought the monster to the surface.

After seeing the size of the fish, John and I knew Jimmy needed a gaff or he’d risk losing the massive fish to one of the bulls sharks circling below the boat. Once Jimmy had the fish wore out and beside the kayak, we didn’t want to risk losing a potential record so we gaffed it from the boat.

The monster king weighed 81 pounds—just a few pounds short of a world record. With our Grizzly coolers stuffed with fish, and our arms sore from cranking, we headed home filled with great memories of our exhilarating mothership adventure.

To catch the action on Extreme Fishing Adventures, visit their web site at


This article first appeared in the July issue of Paddling Magazine, read it on your Apple or Android device or on your desktop

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Ric Burnley
“Thank God my dad wasn’t a podiatrist,” jokes Ric about following in the footsteps of a famous outdoor writer. After graduating from Radford University and serving two years in Russia with the Peace Corps, Ric returned to Virginia Beach and started writing for The Fisherman magazine, where his dad was editor. When the kayak fishing scene exploded, Ric was among the first to get onboard. His 2007 book, The Complete Kayak Fisherman is one of the first tomes to introduce anglers to paddle fishing and hundreds of articles and seminars have brought countless anglers into the fold. When he’s not chasing every fish that swims, Ric teaches English at a school for at-risk teens.


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