Live bait key to drought-ending catch off Folly Pier

Anglers Randy Robbins and Kevin Kaylor show off Robbins' king mackerel with Folly Pier manager Joey Crawford

Angler shares why pier fishing for kings is so addictive

A curse was broken on the Folly Beach Pier south of Charleston when local fisherman, Randy Robbins caught a 35-pound king mackerel 10 days ago, the first such fish caught off the pier in two years.

“I have been chasing king mackerel on piers for over 45 years,” said Robbins, who decided to give Folly Beach Pier a try on Aug. 23 after noticing that the weather and water conditions to be just about right for catching fish.

 “Due to the beach renourishment and a few off-years, the mackerel just haven’t been around,” Robbins explained.  “We used to catch them out here all of the time, but for some reason, they just quit coming.”

Robbins was fishing with his wife and a fishing buddy, Kevin Kaylor. Skies and waters were clear, and the tide was rising that afternoon, with big schools of menhaden constantly passing the end of the pier. Robbins caught a live bluefish about 13 inches long, hooked it up on his double-trolling rig and slid it into the water.

“Kevin hooked into a shark and was working on getting it off his line when something busted my bluefish and went soaring out the water,” said Robbins.

The king leaped about six feet out of the water and pealed about 200 yards of line off of Robbins’ Penn Senator 3/0 reel before he got the fish turned. He started to work the fish toward the pier, with Kaylor ready with the pier gaff. One solid snag, and the fish was on the deck.

The king measured 55 inches long and is Robbins’ biggest to date.

“It had a head the size of a barracuda,” said Robbins.  “Once you fight a king off a pier, you get addicted.  There is a reason I have been doing it for 45 years.”

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