November 10, 2010

Women’s teams rule the scoreboard at
Anglers Club annual tournament…WITH SLIDE SHOW

For the first time in the history of the 53-year-old Cape Hatteras Anglers Club Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament, women’s teams took two of the top three honors.

The first-place team was the Hatteraskals of Frisco.  Team members are captain Carol McCracken, Ruby Creason, Sue Styron, Roberta Midgett, Rossie Jackson, and Linda Edwards.

The Sand Bunnies of Manteo placed third.  Team members are captain Noelle Payne-Booth, Becky Masters, Julie Gray, Nancy Seebrell, Christi Rauscher, and Dawn Fenyak.

The second-place honors went to the guys, The Eastern Shore of Virginia Anglers Club from Salisbury, Md.  Team members are captain Bill Mariner, Clark Crockett, Marty Bull, Jamie Logan, Brian Hill, and John Conquest.

Larry Hardham, Anglers Club president, said that an all-female team has placed in the top three only nine times in the tournament’s history, including The Sand Bunnies who won top honors several years ago.

“I think it was a very successful tournament,” Hardham said. “The only thing lacking was the fish.”

The tournament began with an open house and captains’ meeting on Wednesday night, Nov. 3, at the CHAC clubhouse in Buxton.

This year, for the 53rd tournament, 120 teams of six anglers – the maximum number allowed under the Park Service – fished at 120 stations.  Sixty of them were on the east-facing beaches and the other sixty were on the south-facing beaches.  Teams alternated at the northern and southern stations, and the stations changed each session.

None of the teams fish at Cape Point, and Hardham said the Park Service once again opened six-tenths of a mile of beach north of Ramp 43 to the tournament – and the public.

Team fishing days were Thursday and Friday, with a morning and afternoon session each day.

And the weather was a challenge each day.

On Thursday, Hardham called the weather “atrocious.” It rained all day with periodic downpours. By all accounts, the anglers were good sports about the wet and windy day. 

Friday was cloudy and very windy.  The tide was high enough on Friday morning that three teams had to be moved to new stations. On that afternoon, the tide was lower, but the current was running really hard.

After fewer fish were caught than usual during the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association’s annual Red Drum last month, Hardham said, “I guess beautiful days and fishing just don’t seem to go hand-in-hand.”

After this year’s CHAC tournament, he added, “Well, bad weather doesn’t seem to do it either.”

Fewer than 600 fish large enough to score were caught during the two days. And the winning teams had fewer points than in most years. The top team, the Hatteraskals, had only 45 points.

“It was a big drum on Friday afternoon that put them there,” Hardham said. Rossie Jackson was the angler who brought in the 29 -inch fish.

Hardham also said there were very few bluefish caught, which is unusual for the fall tournament.  The largest bluefish caught by a female was only 11 inches, and the largest caught by a male was a tie between William Harvey and John Crute with fish that measured 17 inches.

Other teams up and down the coast have noticed that the number of scoreable fish have been down at their tournaments, Hardham said.

He also added that the tournament’s two days of not-so-good fishing were sandwiched between better days for anglers. Some big drum and bluefish were caught on the beach on Wednesday, and the fishing was better for the Bob Bernard Open Individual Tournament on Saturday morning. 

The fish were scored by 35 pairs of judges.  A few teams had more than two judges per vehicle and there were several roving judges, bringing the total to 83 men and women who volunteered for the job.

The tournament ended with a banquet, trophies, and prizes on Saturday night.

“A lot of people participated in raffles, a lot of merchandise was sold, and the tackle show was full,” Hardham said.

The proceeds from the tournament fund CHAC scholarships and other endeavors to support fishing, beach access, and the community.


Session One: Sand Bunnies with two fish for 26 points
Session Two: Eastern Shore of Virginia Anglers with nine fish for 25 points
Session Three: Ocean City, N.J., Fishing Club with 14 fish for 28 points
Session Four: Hatteraskals with three fish for 40 points


Bluefish/Male:  William Harvey and John Crute with a 17 -inch fish
Bluefish/Female: Yvette Everette and Janice Neuman with 11-inch fish
Channel Bass//Male: Dick Dimmig and Jimmy Snead with 19-inch fish
Channel Bass/Female: Rossie Jackson with a 29 -inch fish
Largest fish (other than a red drum or bluefish)/ Male:  Doug Barker with a 23 -inch black drum
Largest fish (other than a red drum or bluefish)/ Female: Janice Spake with a 17 -inch flounder


Youth:   Nicholas Midgett with a 6-ounce bluefish
            Shane Rinier, Jr. with an 8-ounce sea mullet
Junior:  Cameron Johnson with an 11-ounce sea mullet
Adults:  Kieth Van Laarhoven with a 1l-pound, 6-ounce bluefish and a 15-ounce sea mullet
            Brent Douglass with a 1-pound, 13-ounce flounder
            Marty Bull with a 13-ounce gray trout
            Richard Ward with a 2-pound, 12-ounce red drum


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