Jim is 46 years old and lives in San Clemente California. He grew up fishing with his Father Bill Kingsmill on many of Bill’s different boats, from Skipjack’s, Pacifica’s, Post’s, Californian’s, a Pursuit and a 40’ Blackwatch all that went by the name “Wild Bill.” From 1987 to 2007 the family belonged to the Dana Angling Club where they fished numerous inner club tournaments that followed IGFA rules. Releasing marlin on light tackle was the main objective. During those 20 years Jim and his dad caught 296 striped marlin and 4 Pacific swordfish, which are huge numbers for an owner operator in the California fishery.
In the early 90’s Jim began fishing the money tournaments with some of the high line captain’s like: Mike “The Beak” Hurt on the Wait n’ Sea and Richard Hoffman on the Captain Hook. In 1993, Jim was introduced to Gyro-Stabilized Binoculars while fishing with the Beak and then swept the tournament while using them.
In 1998, Jim met Anthony Hsieh, the owner of the Bad Company boats, where Jim began competing in the Bisbee and Los Cabos Tournaments in Cabo San Lucas. Jim introduced Anthony to the gyros and during Anthony’s first tournament using the gyros, he found a skipjack school off in the distance with the gyros and then went to it. They baited the school and came tight with a double header on blue marlin. They won the first annual Los Cabos Billfish Tournament.
In 2002, Jim began fishing tournaments with legendary captain Steve Lassley, who was phenomenal at using and finding fish with standard 7 x 50 binoculars. Steve swore he would never convert to gyros, at least unit I introduced him to the Fraser-Optics Mariner. Steve’s best friend Capt. Pete Groesbeck was also part of the team and the 3 of us worked together to form what some call “Marlin Mafia,” where we dominated the Pacific’s marlin circuit for the next 8 years. The team regularly won marlin tournaments in southern California and Cabo San Lucas. The combination of Steve at the wheel, Jim in the gyros, and Pete on the rod was a deadly combination. The pinnacle of the team’s career came in 2006 when they won the Zane Grey, scored a daily in the Catalina Classic, and then proceeded to win $3.9 million by sweeping the Bisbee and winning well over $4 million for the season.
In 2010, the Marlin Mafia was broken up because of the poor economy and poor fishing which caused low tournament turn out, so Jim teamed up with GyroPros Captain Barry Brightenburg. Jim was to début as captain in the money tournaments for the first time running the 54’ Bertram “Shannon Rose.” With Jim behind the wheel, and with Barry behind the rod, they caught the only two marlin and swept their first tournament as a team!
In 2011, Jim and Barry moved over to the 54’ Viking “Chaser.” Where they placed second in their first tournament the “Church Mouse Invitational,” but did not score after that as there was only one marlin caught in the next 2 tournaments. Fishing was very poor to say the least.
In 2012, Jim was back on the Chaser where the team released 3 qualifying marlin and won the Zane Grey Invitational.