Tournament Report – Carolina Beach Inshore Challenge
The 2018 Fisherman’s Post Carolina Beach Inshore Challenge marked the fifth and final leg of the 2018 Inshore Tournament Trail, and due to a schedule change in the wake of Hurricane Florence, only 37 teams were able to to take one final shot at catching the biggest flounder and/or red drum in the area.
Brothers Sam and Mark Daughtry, of Team Parker, were undoubtedly the biggest winners of the day thanks to a 6.97 lb. red drum (which won first place in the regular division, the TWT, and the High Roller TWT) and a 5.96 lb. flounder (which took third in the regular division but second in the TWT and first in the High Roller TWT).
“We always get strong around the Carolina Beach tournaments,” Sam said, adding, “Fall fishing is the best offshore, so we usually go down to Fort Fisher and fish the wrecks and ledges.”
Due to the dirty water still plaguing the area after Florence, Parker had to go three miles off the beach to find a decent red drum bite when pre-fishing. Before heading there during the CBIC, though, they stopped at a wreck right off the beach, and within an hour, one of their Carolina-rigged mullet was hit by the 6.97 lb. red drum that would win them the tournament.
After pulling in another red (this one 39”), the team moved on to their three mile spot to potentially upgrade their slot drum, but they struck out. On their way back in, they decided to stop and anchor at one last nearshore ledge. Shortly after, Mark’s pole took a big bend. “I don’t think this is a red,” Mark had said when he got the fish about 10’ from the boat. He was right—it was the third place, 5.96 flounder.
While most anglers would agree that a 5.96 flounder is a nice fish, it would be a monster 8.45 lb. flatfish, caught by Southern Blend, that took the first place spot in the 2018 CBIC.
Southern Blend consists of Kevin Collie, Michael Horton, Pierre Agena, and Cayley Fisher (who won the Lady Angler prize and caught her first ever redfish at the CBIC).
“I don’t target trophy flounder often,” Collie says, “so for us that was the flounder of a lifetime.” The 27” flatfish (and Southern Blend’s only flounder) came from a hole near the Lee’s Island area that they were using to target red drum.
“The day was, largely, not incredibly productive for larger redfish,” continued Collie, “and we caught a bunch of short ones. We had really good success with that flounder, though. It was a textbook good fishing spot. The tide was right, and bait was moving through.”
Collie went on to say that he was thrilled to be able to weigh in the fish alive and see it released back into the water. “We’re a big advocate of catch and release,” he added, “Maybe it will be a 10 lb. flounder in next year’s Southport or Carolina Beach tournament.”
Coastline Charters took second place in the flounder division with a 7.11 lb. fish, while in the red drum division, Killin’ Time took a very close second place thanks to their 6.94 lb. redfish. Lunar Low rounded out the top three with a 6.86 lb. drum.
For a more complete leaderboard, you can visit www.FishermansPost.com. The 2019 dates for the five inshore challenge events (Ocean Isle, Topsail, Wrightsville, Southport, and Carolina Beach) will be available in mid-December.