Sarah Gagliardo

Tournament Report – Wide Open Tech Spanish Mackerel Open

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The Wide Open Tech Spanish Mackerel Open took place June 16-18, with 25 boats fishing this year’s event. The tournament, based out of Wrightsville Beach, is a Captain’s Choice pick-your-fishing-day format, which allowed teams to select the best weather day of the weekend.

After the two days of fishing, “Fat2na” was the winning boat, with a three-fish combined weight of 8.48 lbs. Fisher Rogers and Christian Castiglione (both 8-years-old) worked together to bring in the boat’s single heaviest spanish, a 4.68 lb. fish, and the single big fish earned them the title of Junior Angler champions (ages 0-8). The boat added a 2.30 lb. and a 1.56 lb. spanish to finish out their aggregate.

The Fat2na team elected to fish on Saturday, and it only took them a little bit of searching to find a bunch of quality fish. Not only did they boat a near 5 lb. spanish, but they lost two that were clearly bigger.

Dorian Rogers, the team’s captain, reflected, “It was a wild day of fishing.”

“The day started slow and bumpy,” added Rogers, “and then the bite started around 9:45.”

The team started at Dallas Rock and was headed toward the Liberty Ship when all of their rods got hit at once.

“There was no structure in the area, just a random spot in about 45’ of water,” said Rogers.

They were trolling Clarkspoons behind small and medium-sized planers. Rogers said that he had a 7 lb. spanish on the wire for about 5 minutes before the fish dove and got off, as well as another 5 lb. class fish that came off the hook before it could be boated.

Fisher Rogers and Christian Castiglione, of Team Fat2na, with the biggest spanish (4.68 lbs.) of their three-fish aggregate that brought them first place in the Wide Open Tech Spanish Msckerel Open.

The team made the easy decision to stay in the area, and they fished within a 1/2 mile circle for the rest of the day.

The MarineMax Fishing Team finished second, with a three-fish combined weight of 6.36 lbs. The MarineMax 23’ Boston Whaler left out of Masonboro Inlet and trolled Clarkspoons while headed north towards Rich’s Inlet. Their big fish of the day (2.25 lbs.) was caught by Matt Reinks, Parts Assistant at MarineMax.

Jimmy Thompson recalled that the team started catching fish around 7:45, with their big fish coming over the gunnel around 8:45. The majority of their fish, though, started biting around 10:30 in the vicinity of Rich’s Inlet.

Team MarineMax–Jesse Medeiros, Kyle Huffman, Jimmy Thompson, and Matt Rienks–with their three-fish aggregate (as well as some extra fish donated to the fish fry) that earned them second place in the Wide Open Tech Spanish Mackerel Open.

James and Owen Hurley, fishing on Team John Cena, took top honors in the Pre-Teen category (ages 9-12), and Isabella Bufalini, on “SMILEN6,” was the Teen Angler champion (ages 13-17).

For a full leaderboard on the Wide Open Tech Spanish Mackerel Open, please visit www.FishermansPost.com.