Tournament Report – Bay Creek Classic
Despite strong winds and less-than-ideal fishing conditions, the 2017 Bay Creek Classic was once again a rousing success. The event attracted 67 boats (a tournament high) that headed out in the early morning hours of September 30 to find the biggest flounder (primary), as well as toadfish and live trout (secondary) in the Southport area.
For the second year in a row, Dewayne Kirby won the flounder division and the Heaviest Flounder TWT with a 5.8 lb. flattie caught on a live mullet in the Shallotte River. After hearing the previous day’s weather report, Kirby, who was fishing with Graham Davis and Dalton Vansteen, figured that the water would be a little calmer on the river than it was in the marshes.
After the trio pulled in twelve fish (nine of them keepers), Kirby said, “I knew that Shallotte was going to be good.” Kirby also won the Four Fish Aggregate TWT with a combined weight of 15 lbs. He said he plans to be back in 2018, remarking, “I fish this tournament every year. It’s for a good cause.”
Aside from Dewayne Kirby’s prize flounder, Chris Thomas took second place in the flounder division with a 5.4 lb. fish, and Brantley Reynolds rounded out the top three with a 5.2 lb. flounder.
The toadfish division was won by Justin Perry, who came to the weigh-in with a 2.6 lb. fish. As for the live trout, Quinton Holly’s 2.4 lb. catch got him the trophy. Trevor Gable pulled in a 4.8 lb. flounder to win the Junior Angler division, and Amy Helms took the Lady Angler trophy with her 3.4 lb. flatfish.
Each division winner walked away with prize money and a copper trophy provided by Copper by George. A sixth trophy was auctioned off at the traditional barbecue dinner held after the tournament at the Southport Wildlife Park, attended by more than 300 people.
The Bay Creek Classic helps fund the continued medical expenses of Brandon Matthews, an avid angler and outdoorsman who suffered a tragic accident that left him a quadriplegic almost ten years ago. Matthews has run the tournament annually since 2008.
Matthews, always positive, wishes to thank Copper by George and all the other sponsors who help him continue to keep the Bay Creek Classic alive.