Tournament Report – All American Flounder Tournament
Scaling a 6.18 lb. flounder to ease into the top spot on the leaderboard, N. Myrtle Beach local Alan Browning earned first place in the 2017 All American Flounder Tournament, held Saturday, May 20, out of Wildlife Bait and Tackle in Oak Island.
He was fishing with his friends Darien and Derek Crumbley. The winning fish was caught on a live croaker in Hog’s Inlet near Cherry Grove, and the big fish bit around 11:45 on an incoming tide.
“We caught nine keepers that day,” said Darien of the team’s winning day of fishing.
When the 6+ lb. flounder hit late in the morning, added Darien, the winning fish immediately “felt like a good one.”
The trio caught bait the morning of the tournament, and they fished that day using double hook rigs with croakers on the bottom and mud minnows on top. The fishing was slow during the early morning hours, with only one fish in the boat before the tide changed. Around 10:00 am, the action started to heat up, and then a little while later the 6+ lb. flatfish hit the net.
The team kept drift fishing on their 18’ Duracraft for 45 minutes after the big fish was caught. Darien said his brother had caught a 7.29 lb. flounder four days before the tournament in the same spot. The team then headed back to Oak Island for weigh-in at 12:30.
With 41 boats fishing the tournament and 72 flounder caught, Tournament Director Jimmy Price said that this was one of the best turnouts for the All American Flounder Tournament. The total weight of all 72 flounder was 202.16 lbs., with an average flounder weight of 2.62 lbs. A total of 27 boats weighed fish, and the tournament paid out a total of 15 places.
Wilmington, NC’s Troy Philips was hot on the N. Myrtle crew’s heels, weighing in a 5.98 lb. flounder to take second place. Chris Thomas, of Southport, rounded out the top three with a 5.64 lb. fish.