Swansboro, North Carolina - The Hot Rod, Brett and Alan Barnes' Yamaha powered Contender would weigh a 46.88 on Saturday and follow it up by weighing the 47.12 pound tournament winner on Sunday to take home both the first and second place awards at this year's 32nd edition of the Swansboro Rotary Club's King Mackerel Tournament presented by Stevenson Chevrolet.
Brett told me that they fished both days on the East Side in sixty feet of water about a forty-five mile ride from the Hammocks Beach State Park weigh-in site. Around 9am on Saturday their second place finishing king ate a menhaden fished on the surface way back in their spread. Brett told me that the fish nearly spooled their reel on its first run and they had to clear the other lines and quickly point the boat at the fish to chase it down before it could break them off. Their Sunday fish also came early in the day after it ate another pogie, this time in the middle of their spread. The bigger fish didn't put up much of a fight and was soon close enough to the boat to gaff.
Atlantic Beach, North Carolina – Skip and Sandy Conklin's Mercury powered Privateer, the Ocean Athlete, idled up to the McCurdy's Restaurant dock just as the scales opened on the first of two days fishing at this year's addition of the Bluewater Promotion's Atlantic Beach Saltwater Classic. They carried their big king up the dock and handed her over to tournament director Terry Adkins to be weighed. When the scales settled down, Adkins shouted out 43.53 pounds, the crowd cheered and Skip and Sandy crossed their fingers as ninety other teams still had a couple days to weigh a bigger fish. When all was said and done, the first fish weighed at the event would hold on to the lead for the entire tournament and earn the Ocean Athlete the event's top prize as well as a $15,000 certificate for the purchase of a new Contender. Sandy would also capture the cash and jewelry awarded to the tournament's Top Lady Angler.
Sneads Ferry, North Carolina—Al Morris, Brent Bunn, and Andy Hinton had a very special day on the water fishing the Sneads Ferry King Mackerel Tournament, a Division 1 event. "I love this event," quipped Morris. "We've had several top three finishes plus we won the event in '03." Now they can add another win on their resumé scaling a very special 52.69.
Swansboro, North Carolina—A team called Chaos won the Onslow Bay King Mackerel Tournament with a great 42.09 but were part of a handful of teams who were not SKA members giving the win in our ranks to the Red Bull/Sawyer Fishing Team. Here's the kicker, the majority of the team, Mike, Johni, Mikey, and Chris Sawyer live in New Jersey. Mike's father, Rodney, and Vick McConnell live in Morehead City. Together they fished the Red Bull/Sawyer Fishing Team into the top SKA slot in the event scaling a nice 37.90. They came to the dock right behind the Chaos in their Mercury powered Donzi.
Morehead City, North Carolina—Every tournament director's worst nightmare is bad weather on the tournament date. Sooner or later it happens to all of them. This weekend it was Bruce Andrews' turn. On day one the winds blew 25 to 30 out of the southwest so Bruce made it an either/or event. Rick Hill, who runs the Mercury powered Fountain R/C Homes, elected to make a 23-mile run on day one in the slop to the 1700 block. "This place has a history of big fish," he told me. "She hit a pogy on a flat line in 85 feet of water early in the morning. Close to nine o'clock we got the boat in order and went to the scale."
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