(UPDATE – Because of continued flooding of the access road to Ramp 43, the long-distance casting seminar by competitive distance casting champion Tommy Farmer has been moved to Ramp 34, just north of Avon. The casting seminar is still scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4, and will be open to the public.)
About 720 anglers are expected for the annual Cape Hatteras Anglers Club Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament, which is scheduled for held Nov. 4-7 along the beaches of Hatteras Island.
In its 58th year, the tournament not only draws anglers from all over the Mid-Atlantic region, but also their families and friends to spend time on Hatteras Island. In addition, approximately 60 judges will be on hand to score the results. The tournament is considered one of the largest surf fishing tournaments in the world.
The tournament will start off with a long-distance casting seminar by competitive distance champion Tommy Farmer, from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Nov. 4, at Ramp 43. The seminar is free and open to the public.
Then 120 male, female, and mixed gender teams of six anglers each will compete during morning and afternoon sessions on Thursday and again on Friday. Each angler is allowed to have only one line at a time in the water and judges rove the beaches to score their catch. The scorable fish must measure at least 11 inches or the North Carolina Marine Fisheries (NCMF) minimum length for that species.
Catch and release is practiced during the tournament, since judges are stationed within sight of all entrants, which is the key to a successful catch-and-release tournament. Seven roving judges, as well as Chief Judge Ray Schaaf and Assistant Chief Judge Ervin Gaskins, will be available in the event of a blitz.
Last year 2,661 scorable fish overall were caught by the competing teams, which totaled 9,808 points. The winning team for 2014 was the South Jersey Surfcasters with 94 fish totaling 326 points.
The Bob Bernard Individual Tournament will be from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 7. It is open to the public. However, all participants must register in advance at the Cape Hatteras Anglers Club. The entry fee is $10 for adults, but free for youngsters through age 16 and tournament judges.
The Thursday evening tackle show from 7 until 9 p.m. at the Anglers Club also is free to the public. The show will feature booths by various fishing equipment dealers.
Fishing is authorized by a permit issued by the National Park Service. No stations are located within one-half mile of Cape Point or Hatteras Inlet, which allows other fishermen access to these popular spots.