September 11, 2013

30th annual Hatteras Village Surf Fishing Tournament
saw decent fishing, good weather… WITH SLIDE SHOW


This year marked the 30th annual Hatteras Village Surf Fishing Tournament, and for the roughly 400 anglers who participated in the event, it was a weekend full of beautiful weather, local hospitality, enjoyable company, and even some pretty decent fishing. 

The tournament kicked off on Thursday evening, Sept. 5, with a meet-and-greet and registration event. A total of 68 teams registered to fish this year—53 men’s teams and 15 women’s teams—which is slightly down from last year’s 72 entrants. But, according, to head judge, Jon Kelmer, what this year’s crew lacked in numbers, they made up for in spirit.

“Overall,” he said, “we ended up with a few less teams than last year but the same amount, if not more enthusiasm.”

On Friday morning, the anglers took to the beaches, battling it out in the first session of tournament fishing. 

Fishing took place over the course of four sessions—a morning and an afternoon session on both Friday, Sept. 6, and Saturday, Sept. 7. And this year, in a slight break from tournament tradition, HVSFT directors introduced slightly more diverse terrain, setting up stations in Hatteras, Buxton, and Frisco. 

According to Kelmer, the number of turtle nesting closures on the beaches this year meant that, in order to maintain 300-foot stations for all 74 potential slots, they had to expand their reach.

“We tried smaller stations last year and it was just too tight to accommodate the number of fishermen/women,” he said.

Though the nests presented a logistical challenge for tournament directors, Kelmer implied that, at the end of the day, it brought something new and exciting to the tournament. 

“Being able to use both the south and east facing beaches added a different dynamic to the fishing,” he said. “No one could predict where the high-scoring stations were going to be, [and] we had high-scoring sessions in all of the three locations.”

Most of the scoring fish that were caught were bluefish and sea mullet, with some Spanish mackerel, flounder, and puppy drum mixed in.  And though the fishing this year was, in general, pretty good, Kelmer said that much of what was caught was too small to qualify for points.

After the final fishing session on Saturday, the scores were calculated and winners were determined in six categories: session winners, overall winners in the women’s division, overall winners in the men’s division, largest bluefish, largest other fish, largest trash fish.

And even if their catches didn’t translate to high scores, the winners of this year’s tournament still walked away with some great prizes—and everyone took home some good memories.

“Each year were trying our best to improve the tournament and give the teams the most enjoyable, laid back Hatteras experience we can,” Kelmer said.  “My hat is off to [tournament director] Karla Jarvis for the amount of work she put forth to make this thing happen. I’m planning on coming back as head judge again next year.”

The final results of the 30th Annual Hatteras Village Surf Fishing Tournament:

Session winners:
First Session Friday: Advanced Fishing
Second Session Friday: Kinnakeet Luring Ladies
First Session Saturday: Advanced Fishing
Second Session Saturday: Salty Bankers

Team Competition winners, Men’s Division:
1st Place:  Advanced Fishing
2nd Place: River Rats
3rd Place:  Hammered Brothers

Team Competition winners, Women’s Division:
1st Place: Salty Bankers
2nd Place: Fish Tales
3rd Place: Kinnakeet Luring Ladies

Largest Bluefish:
Men’s Division: Jon McGee, 19 inches
Women’s Division: Kathy Jarvis, 17 inches

Largest Scoring Fish (other than bluefish):
Men’s Division: J. Girard, 22-inch drum
Women’s Division: Jeannie Brooks, 23-inch drum

Largest Trash Fish:
Crooked Hooks: 35-inch gar

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