Your team has earned an invitation to the SKA National Championships but you have never even visited Fort Pierce, Florida let alone fished the wide variety of waters available to you? OK so now what?
First off any team should be sure to secure hotel and marina reservations - this is not as simple as it might sound. There are a wide variety of hotels, resorts, condos and houses for rent in the vicinity of Fort Pierce, so choosing should be easy so long as the team understands what it is looking for as well as what is being offered. Team FishDancer likes to dock our boat at the home marina for the tournament, in this case the new Fort Pierce, City Marina. And we also like to stay as close to the marina as possible as this reduces the travel between the Dancer and our hotel. As your team reviews and chooses a place to dock your boat, don't forget to consider docks that are good locales to keep bait alive. While this might seem to be overkill in the run up to the Big Dance, once there IF the marina you choose is not a good place to keep runners alive, you will look back on your decision. If you are considering a rental home with a dock, be sure you understand how far it is from the City Marina and check to see IF your SKA kingfishing boat can make it in and out of the private dock on low tides. Once you get settled into your marina and lodging you can now begin to review your options regarding fishing areas.
Fort Pierce offers the travelling angler a wide variety of fishing options; you can kite fish, slow troll, anchor and chum, fish offshore or on the beach and to make it all the more challenging, once you pick your angling methodology you have to pick your location. Fish can be found anywhere from the Cape to the North to Port Everglades to the South - a distance of approximately 150 miles. There are any number of fishing spots to choose from that normally hold good fish, but few SKA venues offer the anglers more choices than Fort Pierce. The good news is that even in poor weather there are spots close to the inlet to fish. The bad news is there are soooo many choices.
Usually the folks in Fort Pierce are glad to see the SKA anglers arrive and go out of their way to make us feel at home while we are there. Many teams will come in early to prefish and bait up, especially this year with the no entry fee Mercury Pre-Game Bash For Cash on Wednesday before the Big Dance on Friday and Saturday. The Mercury Pre-Game Bash For Cash is open to all teams who qualify for the Nationals and has a good payout for each of the categories of boats.
'THE' FishDancer and I are getting excited about heading down and are already making preparations. We qualified 6th out of Division V and are really excited about heading south and doing some fishing in early November. We hope most of the divisional qualifiers decide to make this trip as the more teams in town the more the Nationals become a BIG EVENT. We chose not to fish last seasons Nationals and 2016 was the first Big Dance we missed in many years so it will be good to get back in the saddle once again and to compete for the SKA National Championship.......