|Division: 9||Southport, North Carolina||BRUNSWICK ISLANDS SALTWATER CLASSIC||August 31 - September 1, 2012|
C-Sick Hands Out the Dramamine in Southport
Southport, North Carolina – No one on the C-Sick was throwing up as they coasted up to the South Harbour Village Marina's facedock just as the scales opened at 3pm. Onboard their Yamaha powered Mako were Bruce, Stacy, and Junior Angler Hailey Brown. As soon as Capt. Jerry Dilsaver attached a tag to the fish's tail and Jack Holmes took their picture for Angler magazine, they quickly jumped out of the boat and headed up the dock to where Bluewater Promotions' tournament director, Terry Adkins, was waiting to weigh the first fish carried to the scales at this year's Brunswick Island Saltwater Classic. Adkins quickly put the tail rope on the fish and hung it on the scales. In a loud voice he announced that the C-Sick's big king weighed in at 33.04 pounds.
Bruce told me that they caught their fish at one of his "go-to spots" fishing over some ledges in 75' of water, near Christmas Rock, 27 miles east of Carolina Beach. He told me that with the bumpy seas and the current and wind going in opposite directions, they were constantly trying to keep their lines from getting crossed. Around 10:30 in the morning Hailey and Bruce were untangling their lines for a third time and were letting out new baits when the only kingfish they saw all day ate a single menhaden rigged with a purple and silver Bluewater Candy Hot Shot skirt. Stacy grabbed the rod and after a fifteen minute fight had their king close enough for Bruce to gaff. Their fish would earn the C-Sick team the first place check and the $15,000 Contender certificate awarded to the tournament winner for the heaviest kingfish caught at each Bluewater Promotions event. Hailey would win both the tournament and the SKA Top Junior Angler awards. Bruce would like to thank Jodie and the crew at Bluewater Candy, Port City Marine, and Bluewater Canvas for all their help and support.
Finishing in second place was the Blew By U!, Corey Durako's Mercury powered Onslow Bay sponsored by Onslow Bay Boatworks, Mercury Marine, and Intracoastal Hardwood Floors. Fishing with Capt. Corey were Barry Bierstedt, Richard Gilligan, Joel Brown and Jay Loney. They ran offshore to an area 30 miles east of Carolina Beach where they had caught several nice kingfish pre-fishing on Thursday. "This was by far the best day's fishing I ever had in North Carolina!" exclaimed the excited skipper. "We had a 30-pounder in the boat by 6:45 in the morning and caught another 25 or 30 kings and several other species during the day." Richard caught their 32.99 pounder around 2:00 in the afternoon in 80 feet of water after it ate a pogy fished on the surface way back behind the boat.
The All In, Kenneth Strickland's bright blue Yamaha powered Cape Horn would weigh a 30.25 to finish in third place at this year's Classic. Fishing with Capt. Ken were his dad Roy Strickland, Dan Clark, and James "The Chief" Hammonds. Ken told me that they had found some decent fish pre-fishing on Friday outside of the Navy Wreck, 43 miles offshore of Southport. He also told me that over the past several years, he had been able to find good sized kings in the same general area after the first of September. Their big fish ate a menhaden fished on a downrigger, halfway to the bottom in 106 feet of water just before noon. After a couple long runs, The Chief worked his magic and had the king close enough to the Cape Horn's bow for Ken to gaff. Because he is really, really old, Roy Strickland would take home the check awarded to the tournament's Top Senior Angler.
The Hook-Um-Up team, sponsored by Tex's Tackle in Wilmington, Lovett's Auto Sales, and Howard's Towing and Recovery, finished in fourth place overall weighing a respectable 28.62 pound kingfish. On board their Yamaha powered Island Runner boat, were skipper Russell Howard, his son and daughter, Chris and Kayla, and their close friend Emmanuel Bryant. Russell told me that they fished an area in 80 feet of water over some live bottom north of Topsail Island where they had previously caught several nice kings. They had a couple 20 pounders in the box, when the fish that they carried to the scales swallowed a menhaden slow trolled way back (75') behind their transom. Chris and Kayla both took turns fighting the fish and after it had made several long runs, the brother and sister team had her close enough so that their dad could stick her with a gaff.
The fifth place overall award would go home with the Southern Bale, Matt Gay's Yamaha powered Contender. He and his teammates Vernon Jones and Travis Rouse also fished near the Navy Wreck and caught three or four kings including their 26.81 pound fish that they caught around 1:30 in 100 feet of water. Vernon was letting out a menhaden when their big fish sucked it up and took off.
Henry and Wendy Tillett fishing with Clint Richardson and Junior Angler Gage Bass on their Yamaha powered Contender, the Windy Conditions to finish in sixth place with a 25.43 pound kingfish and the check for seventh place overall team would go to Chad, Amy, and Madison Morris who fished with Scott Buff and George Metzgar on their fluorescent chartreuse and yellow Yellowfin, the Seahorse who weighed a 25.20.
Finishing in eighth place with a nice 23.50 pound fish, was the Reely Miss Behavin, Richard Holden's Yamaha powered Cape Horn with Richard Clark and Chrissy Edwards on board. Ninth place would go to Michael Lucas fishing on his Mercury powered Fountain, the Collision Course who weighed a 23.07 and tenth place would go to a non-member team who weighed a 21.41.
The Miller Time, skippered by Capt. Brent Gainey, would take home the Classic's Top Small Boat check and a $10,000 Contender prize certificate for their 29.62. Fishing with Brent on his Yamaha powered Cape Horn was his teammate Ryan Wiggins. "We stopped to fish in 90 feet of water due east of Carolina Beach over some nice bottom where I have caught several nice kings over the past seven or eight years," said Capt. Brent. "Bait was everywhere and the water looked really fishy. They had just one problem, nothing biting but small sharks. At 4:00, they were talking about calling it a day and heading home, when something ate a pogy way back in their spread. The fish really didn't fight and Ryan had it to the boat in three or four minutes. Since it didn't pull hard or make any long runs Ryan powered the fish to the boat. It wasn't until Brent gaffed the fish and loaded it into the boat that they realized how big the fish was. Seconds later with the hammer down they turned and because of the rough conditions started their white knuckle ride to be back at the marina and just made it to the scales by the 5:00 cut-off time.
The Classic also paid two places in its Single Engine category. Jim and Bonita Alexander fishing with Bobby Hammond and Jack and William Offenhauser on their Yamaha powered Sea Fox, the Didn't Ask would weigh a 26.23 to finish in first place in this category. Jim told me that they had originally planned to make the run to the Navy Wreck but the seas were way too rough. So they stopped at spent the day fishing around the 30/30 rig, 20 miles east of Carolina Beach. They too were covered up with sharks, had pretty much given up, and were getting ready to pack up their gear and head home when their 26.23 pounder attacked a naked pogy fished on one of the Sea Fox's outriggers. In no time, Bobby had the fish in the boat and they were headed to Southport. Their fish would get them a nice check from Mr. Adkins as well as a $5,000 Contender Certificate. Bonita would finish the event and go home with some great jewelry and a nice check for finishing as the tournament's Top Lady Angler.
Finishing in second place in the Single Engine class, were Austin Eubank, Margaret Pennstrom and John Theodorakis who weighed a 22.52 fishing on their Yamaha powered Contender, the Clearly Hooked.
For the past three years, the Ocean Isles Fishing Center team, OIFC, skippered by Captain Brant McMullan, has won the Brunswick Isle's tournament. That's right—three years in a row. I don't know of this happening anytime before. As most of you know, Brant took a bad fall and for the next few months isn't able to spend anytime offshore so his brother, Barrett, took over the reins of their big Yellowfin and fishing with his lovely wife Stephanie and father Rube fished the event in search of a fourth straight Classic title. Jack was able to spend some time with Brant while he and Deona were at the Onslow Bay tournament where Brant told Jack that he would be up and running in time to try to win the Pro Championship, a third National Championship title, and was aiming to catch another record kingfish at this year's Nationals this November in Biloxi.
Proceeds from the silent auction and raffle went to the Recreational Fishing Alliance to fight the good fight to keep us on the water. For more information about this organization and what they do, go to their website at http://www.joinRFA.org.
Thanks go to Terry and Regina, Jennifer and Jerry for another excellent tournament. As usual, Terry and his Blue Water Promotions crew (Yes, that includes you, Mr. Dilsaver) put together a well run and fun tournament at a super location. Thanks, guys!
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