Billy Thorpe

Tournament Report – Reelin’ For Research

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The 9th annual Reelin’ for Research offshore fishing tournament took place Saturday, April 29, and raised more than $517,000 for the UNC Children’s Hospital and childhood cancer research. With over 63 boats in the tournament, this year was one of the largest turnouts and boasted record breaking profits. The tournament was founded in 2009 in honor of Tony Montana, who passed away from cancer in 2005.

“Reel Country” was the winning boat for this year’s tournament, with a three-fish combined weight of 124.8 lbs. The team, consisting of Jim Molinaro, Todd Wade, Pepe Silva, Matt Logan, and Oliver Lloyd, hadn’t ever fished with the “Reel Country” crew, but they had all fished the tournament before.

“We won the tournament about five years ago, with a 65 lb. wahoo and a couple of decent dolphin,” said Logan.

“We left the docks around 4:30 am, and headed south and straight into the wind. It was a slow bite starting out,” Logan explained, recounting their day on the water. The crew pulled in their first wahoo around 10:00 am, and Molinaro landed the 40 lb. fish off trolled ballyhoo.

Wade got the second fish within a half-hour of the first, and Logan landed the third (and largest of the fish) within the hour, sealing the deal on their three fish trio.

Team “Reel Country,” consisting of Jim Molinaro, Todd Wade, Pepe Silva, Matt Logan, and Oliver Lloyd, with their three wahoo. The three-fish aggregate weighed in at 124.8 lbs. and earned them the title of winning boat in the 2017 Reelin’ for Research tournament.

“We had a few small mahi after that, and even our seasick friend got to reel in a fish,” said Logan with a laugh.

Heading back to the docks, Logan felt positive about their haul.

“We knew we had a chance because there wasn’t a lot on the radio, and it always seems like whoever has the biggest wahoo wins,” Logan said of their winning fish.

Chris Shryock, aboard “The Wraith,” took the award for the biggest fish of the day, a wahoo weighing in at 52.5 lbs.

Since its inception, Reelin’ for Research has raised nearly 2 million dollars to date, all for childhood cancer research. For more information, visit their website at www.reelinforresearch.org.