May 4, 2015
Anglers vie for fishing history in annual Ocracoke tournament
....WITH SLIDE SHOW
By CONNIE LEINBACH
The Ocracoke Observer
fun could be the catch words for the annual Ocracoke Island Surf
Fishing Tournament last Thursday and Friday, April 30 and May 1.
than 420 anglers in 71 teams came to Ocracoke to test their skills in
capturing the top trophy in this event in its 32nd year.
work and camaraderie,” said Ann Green of the women’s team, the
Showstoppers, during the Friday night awards event. The team was the
top women’s team and winners of the third session and fourth overall in
Virginia Perlot of the team also won the most
fish award with three fish, and another team member Karen Busciglio,
caught the largest fish for women with an 18 ¾-inch bluefish.
the lines in the water,” Green continued about their efforts. “Try
different baits and rigs. We’re very serious, but we have a lot of fun.”
Delaware Mobile Surf Fishermen were the tournament winners with 89
points. It was their first championship, and they also won the second
The North Carolina Beach Buggy Association of Nags Head
was second with 60 points, as well as fourth session winner, and Team
Advanced Fishing of Rodanthe was third with 51 points.
tournament is catch-and-release, and all fish caught are measured by
the 30 volunteer judges stationed on the beach during the four fishing
sessions over two days. Fish that reach or exceed the minimum
length are awarded points.
Teams draw for stations in each session and line the beach from around Ramp 67 to South Point.
Smith of the N.C. Beach Buggy Association caught the largest fish in
the men’s category and overall with a 30 ¼-inch drum caught in the last
session Friday afternoon when the wind picked up and very few teams
were catching anything.
“I’m trying to figure out what rig
to put on next because nothing’s working,” said Rich Hedinberg of the
Merchantville (N.J.) Fishing Club as he took a break from the wind
His team, however, was the first-place winner
for the first session Thursday morning with 19 points. Jimmy Bowen,
co-owner of Jason’s Restaurant and a member of the Pony Island Anglers,
said that’s because the Merchantville team was in the No. 1 station,
which is at South Point.
“That’s the honey hole for
fishing on the island,” Bowen said as he studied the results board
Friday evening during the pig pickin’ dinner provided by the Carolina
Boys. “Everyone who is in that spot catches fish.”
Boys have been supplying the tournament with barbeque pork and sausages
since the event began, said Woody Billings, event co-chairman and head
Members of The Fish Lips, a colorful women’s team from
Nags Head, order all the merchandise and awards and decorate the
Community Center. And while they don’t always get out on the
beach and fish, they dress in a theme every year for the party.
This year, they arrived at the party attired as nuns.
“We wanted to do something different this year,” said Rae Eley of the team, who also is a tournament board member.
Despite Friday afternoon’s wind, Billings was happy with this year’s tournament.
that wind had been down, there would have been better fishing,”
Billings said about the rain forecast for Friday afternoon. “But the
weather held, and we had great support from the community and our
sponsors,” he said.
Friday afternoon's wind reflected in the low
number of fish caught, which was 40 for that session. Friday morning,
113 fish were caught with 69 Thursday morning and 81 Thursday afternoon.
women’s team was the Fish Tales with 20 points, and third place was Sam
& Omie’s Different Drummers with 19 points.
Stan Steely of Team Advanced Fishing had the most fish caught among the men with 10 fish.
Total fish caught were 303 for 1,035 points. Last year, 399 fish were caught for 1,394 points.
expenses, proceeds of the tournament are donated to Ocracoke charities.
Last year’s tournament yielded $7,500 in local donations to Ocracoke
Child Care, the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, Ocracats, Ocracoke
Youth Center, Ocracoke School: Sigma Willis Memorial Scholarship,
Ocracoke Girl and Boy Scouts, Ocracoke Athletic Booster Club, Ocracoke
United Methodist Church and Ocracoke Assembly of God.
(For more news and features about Ocracoke, go to www.ocracokeobserver.com.)
CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLIDE SHOW