Tournament Report – Crystal Coast Surf Fishing Challenge
The 2nd annual Fisherman’s Post Crystal Coast Surf Fishing Challenge, a 36-hour surf fishing derby held from Bogue to Beaufort inlets with weigh-ins at Emerald Isle’s Reel Outdoors and Atlantic Beach’s Chasin’ Tails Outdoors and Freeman’s Bait and Tackle, took place October 28-30, 2016.
Jerry Clontz, of Monroe, took the Black Drum Division, weighing in a 3.9 lb. fish for the win. Clontz hit the beaches of Pine Knoll Shores for the weekend, in his own special “honey hole” he’s found over the year. When the fish bit a shrimp, Clontz had a good feeling, “I felt like it would place, but I didn’t know if it would be the winning fish.”
Tammy O’Neal, of Ayden, claimed top spot in the Sea Mullet Division, with a 0.6 lb. sea mullet. “I caught around nine to ten all the same size, and I had them all weighed, just in case,” said O’Neal. “I didn’t think I would be on the board, so it was a good surprise.” O’Neal, a seasoned Fisherman Post Surf Tournament participant, added, “I fish these events with my sisters and family every year.”
The Flounder Division went to John Goodson, of Apex, who is a regular on the Crystal Coast. “I fish Fort Macon often,” he explained. “I have friends that live there, so I’ve been coming here for about 10 years.” His winning flatfish bit a Gulp shrimp on a jig head. “When I saw it in the water, I was pretty sure I was going to win. It was the biggest flounder I’ve ever caught in the surf,” said Goodson.
Rounding out the leaderboard was Charles Smith, who won the Bluefish Division with a 2.2 lb. fish.
The 1st place Red Drum TWT payout went to Dana Blegen, who caught a 2.3 lb. fish to take the top spot. Although Blegen is from Lillington, he fishes the Indian Beach area often. Blegen caught the fish on cut mullet. “I didn’t think I had a winning fish,” said Blegen of the 18” fish.
For more information on the Crystal Coast Surf Fishing Challenge, including a complete leaderboard, visit the “Tournaments” tab at www.FishermansPost.com.