Tournament Report – Carolina Beach Inshore Challenge
The morning of October 14, 2017, may have been overcast, but spirits were high as the Carolina Beach Inshore Challenge (CBIC) kicked off in a return to its popular one-day format. The tournament was held out of the Inlet Watch Marina at Carolina Beach, and the rules were simple—find the biggest flounder and/or red drum in the area, and bring it to the scales.
The competition was heated, especially since the CBIC was the last leg of the 2017 Anglers Marine NC/Ranger Inshore Trail, a season-long tournament which is comprised of five events throughout the summer and early fall.
Wyatt Clark, of Team Cinnetic Reels, won the CBIC red drum division with a 6.78 lb. fish. Clark caught between 20 and 30 reds on tournament day, saying his strategy was simply to “stay with the fish and read them properly.”
He fished on a grass flat between Shallotte and Southport, and while he started the day with live bait, he noted, “When the tide started falling, I was able to switch to artificial and do some more sight casting to the school of fish that I was on.” His winning fish fell later in the day to a Gulp Shrimp.
Clark, who has fished the Carolina Beach Inshore Challenge and the Tournament Trail for the last five years, was especially proud that he won the CBIC by himself this year. “That meant more to me than the fish or the money,” he said, “being able to go against the big hitters and catch the winning fish while being solo on the boat.”
Robert Horne and Team No Idea won the CBIC flounder division with a 7.87 lb. flatfish, which he caught on a 6” pogie. Horne says that he “likes to work piers” and stuck to the river and ICW to find his prize-winning fish. In addition to his winning flounder, Horne pulled in eleven other flatties during the tournament, with five of them being keepers.
As for his strategy, he said, “I fished spots that I knew normally hold flounder and waited about an hour before moving on if I wasn’t catching them.” Horne was fishing with friend Ben Miller, and the duo walked away with more than just the CBIC top flounder prize.
Thanks to a three-fish flounder aggregate of 17.65 lbs., Team No Idea also won the flounder division of the Anglers Marine NC/Ranger Boats Tournament Trail. Their 7.87 lb. flounder, in addition to a 7.8 lb. flattie caught at the Wrightsville Beach Inshore Challenge and a 1.98 lb. fish pulled in at the Southport Inshore Challenge, put them 2.42 lbs. ahead of the second place winner, Howsyourmomenem, standing at 15.23 lbs. Third place in the flounder division of the Inshore Trail went to Three Stricklands with a three-fish aggregate of 14.34 lbs.
David Avram and Team ECFA won the Tournament Trail red drum division with a three-fish aggregate of 19.25 lbs. Avram, little brother Banks, and friend Michael Kirby caught 33-34 reds between the three tournaments that they fished. During the Topsail Inshore Challenge, a 6.84 lb. and 6.36 lb. fish were caught to win the tournament, while a 6.05 lb. red drum at the Wrightsville Beach Inshore Challenge put the team in the lead of the Trail. Avram was worried that they would lose their top spot after boat trouble at the Carolina Beach Inshore Challenge caused them to miss the weigh-in, but at the end of the day it wouldn’t matter—the top spot was theirs.
While this is his first time fishing more than one tournament in the Trail, Avram said, “We’re going to be doing it from here on out for sure.”
Second place in the Angler’s Marine NC/Ranger Boats Inshore Trail red drum division went to Team Top Knotch with a three-fish aggregate of 18.20 lbs., and the third spot went to Marsh Fiddler with 18.11 lbs.
For a complete leaderboard of the Carolina Beach Inshore Challenge, as well as all of the final results for this year’s Anglers Marine NC/Ranger Boats Inshore Trail, please visit www.FishermansPost.com.